The Constitution and Kars4 Kids

Apr 9, 2018 by

When an education-related ad hit the radio airwaves recently, it was a refreshing break from the incessant diet of commercials for products and services that show how far our civilization has fallen. I was hoping they would make me think and not merely endure like the pillow that adjusts to your spine like a self-driving car to the road.

And mezzo-soprano Rocky who especially around Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, offers to name a heavenly star for your earthy loved-one, implying a government-recognized transfer of title ownership, for just $54.

And then there’s the purveyors of a crushed veggie pill that works wonders for everything from heart failure to dementia, endorsed by compensated consumers like former NFL player Mark Gastineau, gushing their meticulously scripted spontaneous testimonials.

Also the new genre of ED aids and the infomercial-hogging cancer doctor with the voice of a monitor lizard.

But most exasperating and inescapable of all, is the alleged charity that bums for donations of cars and real estate with an unceasing barrage of commercials up and down the radio dial all day for as long as anyone can remember. Their advertisement tells you nothing about who runs the charity and what they actually do.

It has no content. It consists only of a mercilessly repeated jingle that has the effect of fish-hooks drilled into the ear canals of its listeners and embedded in their consciousness. They have substituted their catchy jingle for the “big lie” of propagandists, seeking and largely achieving the same goal of subjugation and submission.

The education-linked radio spot that I heard during the spring recess was a pitch for support of Hillsdale College’s project of sending free of charge to every public middle and high school and student in the nation a copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Hillsdale College is a somewhat controversial institution that has a conservative orientation philosophically and politically. They don’t accept any federal or state funds, and their curriculum of limited inclusion is a traditional emphasis on the legacies of the Western world. It took a strong anti-slavery position during the Civil War era.

They encourage intellectual debate, but are very vigorous upholders of the US Constitution as an immutable sacred document of absolute moral authority and clarity. They view is as an eternal and infallible guide to moral governance, without elasticity to accommodate evolving society.

Should school systems accept Hillsdale’s gift? Should every student be required to be required to read the Constitution?  Should it be taught a particular way with a single authorized interpretation?  Should lessons be mandated and single-answer tests on them imposed?

Is there to be an official “reading” of its relevance to contemporary issues? Should it be cited as a friend or foe to certain modern ideologies or movements? Are students to be graded on a “proper understanding” of the Constitution and lost points for discovering prohibited readings?

Of course there’s plenty of money for schools to give every student a copy of the Constitution without relying on outside donors. The question is whether they want to and if not, why?  The Constitution is already printed in countless textbooks, If it is neglected in our schools it is not due to prohibitive cost, inaccessibility or logistical challenges of distribution.

There’s no doubt that the majority of high school seniors have hardly a clue about the Constitution.

I say “don’t look a gift a horse in the mouth”. Graciously accept the offer on the merits of the Constitution, if not of Hillsdale College. Perhaps there’s a trace of publicity stunt in their initiative, but that doesn’t matter. That possibility makes us none the wiser, but the Constitution itself makes us wiser.

The Constitution is a living and timeless document that upholds the ideals of humanity and is an enabler, not an impediment to positive political evolution. It ennobles humankind directly and vicariously. It is not an archaic millstone or monument to divisive American “exceptionalism”. It is driver of peace and global unity, not a threat to it.

I applaud Hillsdale for getting the word out and for their public service of taking some advertising spots away from the snake oil salesmen!

Ron Isaac

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