U.S. Constitution Survey De-Teabagged

July 7th, 2013

A week or two ago I got in the mail from a Hillsdale College its survey on the U.S. Constitution, and found it to have a misleading, teabag bent. So, I edited it for relevance and clarity. (Hillsdale's text is in gray; My text is in yellow. Changed text is in italics.)

ISSUE SUMMARY:

Hillsdale College teaches that the Constitution of the United States (written in 1787) is the reason America grew so quickly to become the freest, most prosperous nation in history.

Hungeski says that the Constitution of the United States (last amended in 1992) is the framework for a strong, pragmatic central government that helped We the People make a prosperous nation with much freedom to lead a fulfilling life[*].

QUESTION #1: What is your level of AGREEMENT or DISAGREEMENT with this proposition?

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Not Sure

ISSUE SUMMARY:

Some politicians and intellectuals today argue that the U.S. Constitution is outdated, and should therefore be treated more as a set of guidelines, but should not be strictly followed. Liberal Supreme Court Justices (including, Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer) see the Constitution this way, more as a set of guidelines that need not be followed strictly. The more conservative Justices on the Supreme Court (including, Scalia, Thomas and Alito) see the Constitution as the supreme law of the land that must be followed strictly

Some politicians and ideologues today argue that the U.S. Constitution is rigid, and should therefore be treated more as a set of strict rules for the 18th century, but should not be truly followed for life today. Right-wing Supreme Court Justices (including, Scalia, Thomas and Alito) see the Constitution this way, more as a set of strict rules for the 18th century that need not be followed truly for life today. The more centrist Justices on the Supreme Court (including, Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer) see the Constitution as the supreme law of the land that must be followed truly for life today

QUESTION #2:

Where do you stand in this debate on how closely the U.S. government should follow the Constitution?

  • I agree with the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Government should follow the Constitution strictly, as law.
  • I agree more with the liberals on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution is an outdated document. We should treat it as a set of guidelines, not strictly as law.
  • I oppose the Constitution. I don't think government should look to the Constitution at all for guidance.
  • Not Sure
  • Other

Where do you stand in this debate on how truly the U.S. government should follow the Constitution?

  • I agree with the centrist Justices on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Government should follow the Constitution truly, as law for today.
  • I agree more with the right-wingers on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution is a rigid document. We should treat it as a set of strict rules for olden times, not truly as law for life today.
  • I oppose the Constitution. I think we should bring back the Articles of Confederation.
  • Not Sure
  • Other

ISSUE SUMMARY: The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution states as follows: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people"

In other words, the Federal government was set up to do very specific duties that only a national government can do such as: provide for a national defense, regulate interstate commerce, set up a federal system of justice, establish a currency and ensure domestic tranquility. Almost all other responsibilities of government are supposed to be handled by state and local governments, or by families and individuals. Hillsdale contends that if Congress actually followed the Constitution, including the Tenth Amendment, our federal government would be about one-third the size it is now.

In other words, the Federal government was set up with powers to do very important duties that are national matters such as: provide for a national defense, regulate interstate commerce, set up a federal system of courts, establish a currency, ensure domestic tranquility, establish justice, and promote the general welfare. Almost all other powers of government are over local matters to be handled by state and local governments, or by families and individuals. Corporations are given no powers. Hungeski imagines that if Congress and the Supreme Court actually followed the Constitution, including all of the amendments, Wall Street would be about one-third the size it is now.

QUESTION #3: What is your level of AGREEMENT or DISAGREEMENT with this proposition?

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Not Sure

QUESTION #4:

How closely do you think our Federal government is following the Constitution today?

  • Not At All
  • Very Little
  • Some
  • Closely
  • Very Closely
  • Not Sure
  • Other

How truly do you think our Federal government is following the Constitution today?

  • Not At All
  • Very Little
  • Some
  • Truly
  • Very Truly
  • Not Sure
  • Other

ISSUE SUMMARY:

The Obama Administration is now building 159 new government agencies to administer ObamaCare and is hiring 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce ObamaCare. When radio host Paul Smith asked liberal Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) why it will take the government until 2014 to fully set up the ObamaCare system, Dingell said this: "It takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people." Source: News Talk WJR Radio with Paul W. Smith 3/23/2010

The 14th Amendment plainly says: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." But Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that women have no equal rights under the Constitution: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that.” Source: ‘The Originalist’ – California Lawyer, January 2011

QUESTION #5:

 Do you think our government should be more concerned with "controlling" the people (as Congressman John Dingell believes)? Or do you think the primary responsibility of government is to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity", as the preamble to the Constitution says?

  • I agree with Congressman Dingell. The primary purpose of our federal government should be to "control the people."
  • I agree with the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and America's Founders -- that the primary responsibility of the federal government is to "secure the blessings of liberty."
  • Not Sure
  • Other

Do you think that women should not have equal rights under the Constitution (as Justice Scalia believes)? Or do you think "any person" has a right to "equal protection of the laws", as the 14th Amendment to the Constitution says?

  • I agree with Justice Scalia. Women have no equal rights under the Constitution.
  • I agree with the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and well-settled law -- that equal rights apply to "any person."
  • Not Sure
  • Other

ISSUE SUMMARY:

Hillsdale contends that the fastest way to solve America's economic problems and restore America's position as the world's #1 economic power is for our federal government (including Congress and the President) to start following the Constitution again.

Hungeski says that the fastest way to solve America's economic problems and restore America's middle class is for our federal government (including Congress, the President and the Supreme Court) to start following the Constitution again, and ban corporate personhood and corporate meddling in politics.

QUESTION #6: What is your level of AGREEMENT or DISAGREEMENT with this proposition?

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Not Sure

ISSUE SUMMARY:

Hillsdale contends that America is in such dire straits because voters don't know enough about the Constitution and the case for liberty to insist on electing leaders in our government who also know and appreciate the magnificence of our Constitution and heritage of liberty. So Hillsdale has launched online courses on the Constitution that all Americans can take from the comfort of their home. So far, more than 325,000 Americans have signed up for these courses. Hillsdale is aiming to have 1,000,000 Americans taking this course in the next few weeks, and many millions more Americans taking this course in the months ahead. Rush Limbaugh calls Hillsdale's online "Constitution 101" course "unprecedented."

Hungeski says that America is in such dire straits because voters don't know enough about the Constitution and the case for the freedom to lead a fulfilling life to insist on electing leaders in our government who also know and appreciate the Constitution and heritage of the freedom to lead a fulfilling life. So Hungeski is providing this LINK to the Constitution so that all Americans can read it from the comfort of their home. So far, an unknown number of Americans have read the Constitution. Hungeski is aiming to have 1,000,000 Americans read the Constitution in the next few weeks, and many millions more Americans reading it in the months ahead. The ACLU says, "The Constitution is for the 100%!"

QUESTION #7:

How supportive are you of Hillsdale's "Constitution 101" online course to educate millions of Americans on "the blessings of liberty" and on the case for making America great again by restoring the Constitution as the supreme law of our land?

How supportive are you of Hungeski's "Read the Constitution" LINK to educate millions of Americans on "the blessings of liberty" and on the case for rebuilding the middle class by using the Constitution for We the People?

  • Very Supportive
  • Somewhat Supportive
  • Not Supportive
  • Not Sure

QUESTION #8:

Will you make your best freedom-saving donation right now to help Hillsdale buy $1 million in advertising so that every American can know about the online Constitution course that's now open FREE to all Americans . . . so we can increase enrollment from 325,000 citizens now taking this course to more than 1,000,000 citizens (or more) taking online Constitution courses in the next few weeks?

Will you make your best freedom-saving link share right now to help Hungeski spread the word so that every American can know about the "Read the Constitution" LINK that's now open FREE to all Americans . . . so we can increase the number of citizens that have read the Constitution by more than 1,000,000 citizens (or more) reading the Constitution in the next few weeks?

  • Yes
  • No

~~~

U.S. Constitution

Amendments 1-10 to the U.S. Constitution

Amendments 11-27 to the U.S. Constitution

Sources

their survey "American Opinion Research Survey of 1,000,000 U.S. Citizens on whether the U.S. Government should follow our Constitution" - Hillsdale College

Scalia said "Scalia: Women Have No Equal Rights under Constitution" - The Paragraph; 2011-01-23

California Lawyer "The Originalist - California Lawyer; January 2011

LINK "Constitution of the United States" - The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

ACLU says "The Constitution is for the 100%" - ACLU

freedom to lead a fulfilling life FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 1941 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS (“THE FOUR FREEDOMS”) (6 January 1941)

[66] For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

[67] Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

[68] Jobs for those who can work.

[69] Security for those who need it.

[70] The ending of special privilege for the few.

[71] The preservation of civil liberties for all.

[72] The enjoyment . . . the enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

[73] These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

...

[82] In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

[83] The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

[84] The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

[85] The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

86] The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

* * *

By Quinn Hungeski, TheParagraph.com, Copyright (CC BY-ND) 2013

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3 Responses to “U.S. Constitution Survey De-Teabagged”

  1. Barbara Says:

    In reading the Amendments to the Constitution, I’m moved to present Amendment IX for consideration by Justice Scalia in response to his statement about the Constitution not specifically prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender: “Amendment IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    Get into the 21st century, Judge.

  2. Quinn Hungeski Says:

    The United States named some of those rights retained by the people, when in 1948 it signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 2 of that declaration says: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

    By Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, that declaration, as a treaty made by the United States, becomes, as I understand it, part of the supreme law of the land.

  3. Barbara Says:

    Excellent point. And yet we continue to waste the people’s time and energy fighting about a separate amendment awarding women equal rights. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment

    I’m convinced, however, that even should such an amendment pass, it would have no teeth, just as the law prohibiting discrimination based on age means almost nothing. And just as surely as the amendment awarding persons of color full rights is daily, hourly even, ignored and violated.

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