Graduation requirement: Constitution test.

When I went to high school (1966-1970), it was required that all seniors take and pass a test on the Constitution of the United States. Not quite a citizenship test but close.

The thinking was that as students and young Americans you should at least be aware of what the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the debates that shape it are all about. Including in our learning was a dose of the Federalist and anti-federalist papers.

Sadly today, high school students are not taught one thing about the Constitution as a required subject much less face mandatory testing of their knowledge of what the Constitution means. It has been replaced by armchair constitutionalists on Facebook and other social media platforms who will be swift to give you their interpretation of the Constitution and all of it’s amendments. Never mind that they have no clue as to what’s in it because most… have not read it.

Here are my top pet peeves from these armchair constitutionalists.

  1. We are a democracy
    1. No we are not. We are a Republic governed by laws and not men.If we were a pure democracy we would live in the tyranny of the majority. For it is their will that would prevail over our individual rights. Rosa Parks would still be sitting in the back of the bus had it not been for the fact that we live in a Republic and NOT a democracy. You should know the difference.
  2. The Constitution is a living breathing document.
    1. Wrong again! It is a legal contract between us the people and the Federal Government. It serves to limit the powers of the federal government and enshrines certain inalienable rights of the people in the document.
  3. The Constitution is a government document
    1. HA! Now that is rich. It is a Peoples document. Written by the people and for the people. The preamble says it all:“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. “The PEOPLE not the Government, forms a more perfect union. The document belongs to the people.
  4. Our rights are the ones given to us by our government.
    1. My God. Did you even stay awake in history class? NO the document does no such thing.It places limits on the federal government while enshrining our individual rights. In our Constitution, the individual rights are more important than the government.We cherish the individual, not the collective in America. Only recently has there been a movement to silence what some would call offensive speech or that the individual must be silenced and acquiesce to the majority will.Thankfully the US Supreme Court has hopefully put an end to this political correctness madness in Matal v. Tam. It involved a band of Asian musicians who wanted to trademark their name The Slants. But the trademark office rejected them based on a disparaging clause in their regulations. The same section that caused the trademark office in an incredible moment of silliness to disallow the Washington Redskins their trademark which they already held on the teams name.

      The court wrote: “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’”

And this is why we need to have a test of all high school seniors on our Constitution. We’ve drifted for many years, it is time to right our course, remember our heritage as the greatest country on Earth and not be afraid to stand up for it.

Take a moment today on the 4th of July and understand the rich history and the sacrifice of so many that brought us here today. We are truly a unique country. The shining beacon of freedom for all the world to covet. Try not to lose it.

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