Some Thoughts on Constitution Day
'Today, Sept. 17, 2014, marks the 227th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. You can honor the day by reading it. It’s up to “We the People” to hold our elected representatives accountable for failing to honor their oaths," reports Patriot Post.
They also report that Mark Alexander, executive editor and publisher of Patriot Post provides "an extensive archive of columns on the Constitution as it relates to various subjects over the years. And he’ll be writing more today." You can find it here.
Two quotes from today's Washington Times:
1. The first is from the column by Thomas V. DiBacco, professor emeritus at American University:
". . . In recent polls, only about 40 percent of Americans could name the three branches of government set forth in the Constitution. About three out of every four didn’t know the length of a U.S. senator’s term, and 71 percent were unaware that the supreme law of the land was, in fact, the Constitution. Only about half of respondents knew that a two-thirds vote in Congress was required to overturn a presidential veto. And, of course, these polls test only the knowledge about the original Constitution and not the 27 amendments that have been ratified.
"The problem is that contemporary educators are loathe to rely on rote and memory for students, with the latest fad, as reflected by the Common Core standards adopted by most states, emphasizing problem-solving. That may well be good for some subjects, but there is a font of knowledge that must be put to memory, no matter that this can be readily accessed by students through computers and the like. Moreover, memory training has an enormous benefit for the developing mind as well as for keeping it supple during the aging process."The Constitution should be the most revered and understood document in United States history. It is the shortest and oldest of similar documents among major world powers. John Adams put it best by noting that it is the “greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.”
"On this Constitution Day, a wonderful holiday created with bipartisan support just a few short years ago, let’s recommit ourselves to rereading and appreciating our Constitution and ensuring that our children and our children’s children grow up with the same appreciation we were given. Familiarity with the greatest ideas ever created for preserving liberty will breed appreciation. Appreciation will help us all overcome the ignorant political correctness of a few media elites and governing officials who seem to dismiss the fundamental principles of a government that respected liberty first and foremost."
Hillsdale College has a new and free online course, "The Presidency and the Constitution," which focuses on how Progressives have transformed the Presidency and subverted liberty. According to Hillsdale College, it's "an issue that's becoming more and more important in an age of unprecedented executive orders and agency regulations." The course is free, and lasts ten weeks. To register, click here.
Finally, in an e-mail today. the Claremont Institute provided several "essential readings" from their archives:
- From their Spring 2012 Claremont Review of Books, essays by John Marini and James W. Ceaser. Then a response. See their Upon Further Review section for a response by Jean M. Yarbrough, Bradley C.S. Watson, Michael M. Uhlmann, and Jeremy Rabkin.
- CRB editor Charles Kesler's 2009 classic, The Conservative Challenge, which assesses election of Barack Obama "and how conservatives ought to use the high ground of constitutionalism to combat liberalism under our 44th president."
- From their current issue ($ - requires subscription), Edward J. Erler's "Originalist Sin," which reviews Originalism and the Good Constitution by John O. McGinnis and Michael B. Rappaport.
If you're looking to expand your reading, visit the Claremont Institute's blog, Library of Law and Liberty.