It’s a very short document, which, by the way, I have a copy of. Just to show you how small the Constitution is… This is the Constitution. It’s a very very very small document that’s no longer than a term paper. In seven articles and 27 amendments, it creates the entire blueprint for our government. It identifies the actors, the institutions, the processes, and the ground rules by which we as a society choose to live. So once you understand the Constitution, you really understand the essence of how American government was designed. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, it was a brand new notion that people could figure it out for themselves, that we could govern ourselves. We had been a colony of Great Britain for a couple hundred years and we didn’t really
like the experience. We had always left it up to people who were
in aristocracy, the monarchy. One of the founding principles of the country
was to limit the power of the national government and that’s still in our political DNA today. The Constitution is a remarkable document in that it’s lasted us over 200 years. Many
other countries have experimented with representative democracy and they’ve had far more constitutions
than we have. When they wrote this document, they wrote
a document that was flexible enough to let it stand the test of time. It was never, ever meant, it was never, ever meant, to be etched in stone. I had these very, very conservative professors.
They were, uh… rather… old. They felt that the Constitution was divinely inspired.
“Let me get this straight, you’re telling me that the writers of the Constitution were
divinely inspired to have slaves?” That’s where my interest in the Constitution kicked
off because I said if it can be wrong about one of its major principles, how else might
we critique it?