March 26, 2009
Why are so many people ignorant of the Constitution? The fault lies in part with the government schools, which mostly do not teach it.
My friend John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute writes that, as we look at public schools, “It is difficult to imagine that they were once considered the hope of freedom and democracy. That dream is no longer true.”
Whitehead references a national survey of high school students that shows only two percent can identify the Chief Justice; 35 percent know the first three words of the constitution (“We the people”); less than two percent know that James Madison is considered the Father of the Constitution and just 25% know the Fifth Amendment protects against double jeopardy and self-incrimination.
Public educators don’t do much better. If teachers and students don’t know our Constitution, how do we expect elected officials to live up to it? And if they don’t live up to the Constitution we are all in trouble … as we are now.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.