Dear Reader: This “BEST of Common Sense” comment originally aired on October 3, 2005. When I read in the paper about a fifth grade class re-writing the Constitution, I immediately thought about our judiciary. Then I discovered the whole effort was part of a program mandated by Congress. We should all — freely — read the Constitution. Luckily, it is shorter than most of the bills in Congress. —PJ
James Madison, father of our U.S. Constitution, must be rolling over in his grave. You see, he forgot to put love in it. In the Constitution, that is.
By congressional edict, schools and universities across the nation were recently required to spend some time on or around September 17 teaching about the Constitution. That’s the date our nation’s founding document was ratified back in 1787.
One institution of higher learning, Irene’s Myomassology Institute in Michigan, was forced to comply because some students training to be tomorrow’s masseuses receive federal money. The Institute gave students a flier.
Marlboro College in Vermont held a parade featuring professors dressed up as constitutional articles and amendments.
Virginia’s James Madison University celebrated with a “We the People” cake and a trivia contest.
But you ask: What has love got to do with the Constitution?
Oh, yes, I almost forgot Sharon Alexander’s fifth-graders at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia. In following the federal order, they did what too many federal judges do: they re-wrote the Constitution. Actually, just the Preamble. Their new kid-friendly version states that “kids, pets and adults” are entitled to “electricity, food, water, schools and love.”
Our Constitution doesn’t talk about love. Love isn’t government’s job. That’s ours. Government is power. And our Constitution is all about limiting that power. Read it — and read it to your kids, too, if you love ’em.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.