By now you may have heard about the The Annenberg Policy Center’s annual Constitutional Day Civics Survey. If you’re a regular reader here at RedState the fact that Americans are woefully ignorant about the Constitution and basic civics probably doesn’t surprise you. The way some left leaning pundits are approaching it is so transparently biased it will make you cringe.
The Blaze summarized some of the pathetic results of the survey. Note that right leaning outlets still address this sort of thing even when their “side” is in power.
According to the report conducted on Aug. 9-13, of the 1,013 American adults surveyed, more than half could not name basic constitutional provisions in the Frist Amendment, nor the three branches of government.
Here what they found:
More than half of Americans (53 percent) incorrectly think it is accurate to say that immigrants who are here illegally do not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution.
More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.
Only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) can name all three branches of government.
One left wing pundit from Newsweek, Stav Ziv would have you believe this is something new judging from this headline:
Really? This is only true “under Trump?”
When the public hears news of a travel ban proposed by Donald Trump being struck down in whole or in part by the courts, it should recognize the interaction between the executive and judicial branches of government and remember that freedom of religion is protected by the First Amendment.
Pundits should recognize that the executive branch can act on immigration issues and the judicial branch only struck down the so called travel ban by extrapolating Trump’s intent from his campaign rhetoric rather than focusing on the content of the executive order. Granted the first iteration was a ginormous clusterhump by the Trump administration but the basic concept of limiting immigration and travel from certain areas is within the jurisdiction of the President and similar actions have been taken by past Presidents.
When the public reads about Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall, it should be aware that he cannot act unilaterally to make it a reality, but rather that he’ll need the legislative branch to provide funding. And when the public hears fiery rhetoric about deportation, it should be aware that even people who are in the United States illegally have the right to due process under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
I’ll bet when President Obama established DACA by executive order, I’m sure Stav Ziv was silent about Presidents acting unilaterally. And since when are deportation and due process mutually exclusive?
I touched on this yesterday as well with regard to Chris Cillizza’s similar take on the Constitution survey.
CNN’s always annoying Chris Cillizza wrote about a poll from which he concludes that “Americans know literally nothing about the Constitution.” I’d quibble with the absolute, but I’ll grant that Americans are pretty ignorant in general when it comes to government and the Constitution. Where Cillizza displays his obsession and lack of self awareness is in his sudden concern for such ignorance and how it empowers Washington at the expense of the people.
What we don’t know about the government — executive, legislative and judicial branches — is appalling. It’s funny — until you realize that lots and lots of people whose lives are directly affected by what the federal government does and doesn’t do have absolutely no idea about even the most basic principles of how this all works.
This was apparently never a problem during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, or at least we never heard about it from CNN or Cillizza.
The level of civil ignorance in the country allows our politicians — and Donald Trump is the shining example of this — to make lowest common denominator appeals about what they will do (or won’t do) in office.
These Democrat party apparatchiks want people to believe that widespread ignorance about the Constitution is something for which Donald Trump is both a cause and effect. I won’t argue that everyone who voted for Trump is as uninformed as this survey indicates but it is a problem that effects both sides of the aisle. It only concerns the Left when they are out of power though. Like the issue of homelessness, Constitutional ignorance is only a problem when Republicans hold the White House.