The Constitution of the United States is a product of Enlightenment ideas that define the relationship between the national government, the states, and the average citizen. This is a very important key to understanding what makes it a truly unique document and why it has thus far endured the tests of time. Over the past few weeks, through Facebook, emails, telephone conversations, and even a few “real” world conversations, I have been asked by many why the current generation of Americans, those who are graduating from high school and college, seem not to be interested in politics or in defending or standing up for the Constitution. As a college instructor and as a freedom-loving American, I honestly believe that the major problem is the way we teach the history of the founding of our nation and the Enlightenment ideas that would define its nature.
Posted in A nation in distress, Constitutional Issues, National Politics
Tagged American Citizenry, American Left, Cesare Beccaria, Civil Rights, Classical Liberal, Enlightenment, François-Marie Arouet, John Locke, U.S. Constitution, Voltaire
While serving in the United States Army in the early 1990s, I had to prepare for the much-anticipated promotion board for sergeant. Like many, I had bought a study guide to help me prepare for the range of questions that I could expect to be asked. Besides the obvious questions on military tradition, job-related skills, and the history of my unit, the study guide had a section devoted to what it called “general knowledge citizenship.” As I prepared for the promotion board using the study guide, I began to understand how much about the Constitution of the United States I simply did not know. I prided myself in being a high school graduate and even had thirty-four hours at a local college before joining the Army. Although I considered myself as educated, I was far from being a member of the educated electorate our founding fathers said must exist to protect the Constitution and the national government it defined.