The basics of American government-how important is it that our leaders know them? Better yet, do you think it is important? Let’s look at recent occasions of misquoted or forgotten American foundations and then decide.
Recently, a prominent national leader misquoted the Declaration of Independence. What did they leave out? “…that we are endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Big miss to leave out WHO endows us with our rights. Is it God? Or Government? If the government gives you liberty and the right to own your income and property, the government can take them away. Our Founders said that our Creator endows us with these unalienable rights.
But what else is missing? The unalienable right to life was left out. If we aren’t endowed with the right to life, how can we enjoy liberty or the pursuit of happiness (our property)?
Here’s a big problem: If our national leaders misquote our founding American documents, we become (through our ignorance) easy prey for those nations who want to conquer us. That’s right. We have enemies that despise our rights and freedoms. These nations would love nothing more than to take our unalienable rights away and own us.
In another case about a week later, a senator was questioning a U.S. District Judge nominee at a confirmation hearing. He asked, “Do you know what Article V does?” The nominee answered, “Article V does not come to mind.” The senator then asked, “What about Article II?” Again, the prospective district judge said Article II does not come to mind.
My students learn an easy way to remember the Articles of the U.S. Constitution. It’s elementary. We take the first letter of each Article and make a sentence out of it. “Let Everyone Judge Rightly And Support Ratification.” That would be:
Relations Among the States
Supremacy Clause (and General Matters)
After all, if school-age children can learn this, should not highly experienced judicial nominees know that Article II deals with the presidency and Article V is about the amendment process?
Finally, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee proposed an amendment to the committee rules that would require members to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of their meetings. Opposition to this proposal is that Congress already opens with the Pledge of Allegiance, so why do it twice in one day? BTW: It takes about 13 seconds to recite the Pledge.
So, you decide. Are we asking too much of national leaders to know and support our founding documents and recite the Pledge, possibly more than once per day? The basics of American government-how important is it for our leaders to know them?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸