The Constitution: Its Fate Depends on Civic Leaders
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The Constitution: Its Fate Depends on Civic Leaders

September 18, 2019


[John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture 2008]
-The Constitution It’s Fate Depends On Civic Leaders- These are politically contentious times for the American people and perhaps even threatening times for our Democracy as Liberals and Conservatives alike reveal their deep anxiety about our future and the cert that we need to live up to our cherished ideals. It is not surprising that our Constitution, which enshrines those ideals and protects our liberties has been at the center of increasingly pointed and strident commentary books like Sanford Levinson’s [Our Undemocratic Constitution] and Larry J. Sabato’s [A More Perfect Constitution] both of which appeared this year argue for significant revision as many of you know huge controversy has also erupted over governmental encroachment on supposedly guarantee Constitutional Rights a matter chronicled with great alarm in books like Thomas Woods and Kevin Gutzman’s [Who Killed The Constitution The Fate Of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush] and Lewis Fisher’s [The Constitution and Nine Eleven Recurring Threats To America’s Freedoms] both of which also appeared this year. A side from such awareness of constitutional inadequacies and threats to our supposedly guarantee liberties. There’s another grave danger, which is pointed out decades ago by teacher and writer Max Lerner author of [America As A Civilization] and other books of the many things we have done to our Constitutional Democracy the worst has been the indignity of taking it for granted that is to many of us care to little about our system of government and the sacred document that underlies it all. Our speaker this evening is someone who never takes the Constitution or our Democratic System for granted and in fact has emerged as not only a leading scholar of Constitutional Law but an inspiring commentator on political issues and a teacher who’s classes and text books have impacted countless thousands of students across the country. Richard De Hardy is I’m very proud to say a graduate of W.I.U. were he received his Bachelors Degree in Nineteen Seventy with honors I might add his MA and PhD also in Political Science came later in the Nineteen Seventies from the University of North Dakota and the University of Iowa. He spent many years at the University of Missouri Columbia were he was not only a professor but Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Director of the Honors College, founding Director of the Institute for Leadership and Civic Education and held other post as well. Rick Hardy’s list of honors is truly extensive that includes several awards for educational excellence. His publications are extensive as well including textbooks like his massive eight hundred seventy page [Government In America And The Anthology Civic Education] and others beyond his work as a teacher and scholar Rick has emerged as an important public intellectual widely viewed in the media he has appeared on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fox News, CNN and other television and radio shows an article sighting him have appeared in dozens of widely read American news papers. Fortunately for us his listeners he has also delivered hundreds of professional and civic speeches at colleges and public schools and to civic groups and political organizations across the country all the while honing his skills for tonight. [LAUGHTER] Ladies and Gentlemen it is an honor for me to present the 2008 Liberal Arts Lecturer speaking on the Constitution It’s Fate Depends On Civic Leaders Western’s outstanding Chair of Political Science and a darn good banjo player Rick Hardy. [APPLAUSE] [Dr. Ricky Hardy] Thank-you John Hallwas [Dr. Ricky Hardy] Wow many years after he retired the legendary coach John Wooden of UCLA was interviewed by a young sports reporter and the young reporter asked coach Wooden coach what do you consider you’re single most important accomplishment thinking of course that he might talk about winning ten NCAA Championships perhaps he might talk about being the first person ever inducted into the College Hall of Fame as both a coach and a player or perhaps winning the Presidential Metal of Freedom but as quick as a hiccup John Wooden said I am most proud of the fact that I am first foremost and always a teacher and the young sports reporter looked at him and he said coach why would you say that and John Wooden looked at him and he said youngman you asked me why I teach were else could you find such splendid company and my friends tonight that’s exactly how I feel tonight thank you for coming out here thank you very much President Goldfarb, Provost Thomas, Dean Levi, John Hallwas my colleagues, alums and most importantly students of this university thank you from the bottom of my heart and John Hallwas to have my name associated with you in any way is a great honor the most prolific scholar that this university has ever had a true renaissance man a gifted speaker, a gifted writer and a good dancer to not that I’ve danced with you of course but playing my banjo I’ve had a chance to see you do a little dancing thank you. For I forget this the most important person here for me is my dear wife Linda and she’s here. We started our married life together forty years ago right here in Macomb and as I look out the window of my office I can see the very apartment were we lived can you believe that right. We’ve come full circle and I couldn’t have
made it with out you Hun. thanks for being here and thanks for all the support I do appreciate that thank you so much.
-As I’m thinking about-
– yes- [APPLAUSE] She deserves that little did I think that as a young man when I walked through Sherman Hall for the first time and I looked around I’d never been in a really real college campus before my father had a ninth grade education and I just didn’t know much about college I thought that, I thought professor’s were gonna be wearing mortar boards to class the first class period that’s how dumb I was about it. But, little did I think that someday I would someday be standing here and be part of this so thank you. be standing here and be part of this so thank you. In selecting tonight’s topic was pretty easy for me number one I was inspired by some professors here at Western many years ago the seeds of this lecture were planted forty years ago by professors Don Marshall, professors Charles Leonard and David Frye and they instilled in me the importance of this Constitution and what it means and Charles Leonard who taught also Political Theory said I’m wondering will the day come when we become unmanageable that was the seed also tonight were part of a requirement in a sense and that is back in two thousand and five we had a requirement put into the legislation by Robert Bird of West Virginia that every institution that receives federal fund they should honor the Constitution around the Constitution Day which is September Seventeenth this also covers that as well and were part of this. And finally I want to say this and you’ll hear me repeat this but we Americans come in all different packages the veins of every nation flow through our collective quality and we have differences of opinions on religion, we have difference of opinion on ideologies, politics and you name it were always sometimes at each others throats. But we do share two things in common one we speak the English language and secondly we have this Constitution in common and I’ll show you why tonight I think
it’s important to keep it. As I begin to speak tonight I can’t help but remembering a speech that I gave in Missouri a few years ago as I began to speak at a rather large crowd I couldn’t help but noticing a young mother and her beautiful baby daughter sitting in the front row and as I began to speak the baby began to cry so I spoke a little louder and the baby cried even louder and I spoke louder and this went up about six or seven times and as all speakers know you can read your audience and people were becoming uncomfortable and just then the young mother gets out of her seat she takes her baby and she moves to the center aisle and she starts moving right back up there and right out towards the door and just as she was getting outside the door I thought Rick Hardy what is the matter with you you’re mother taught you better than that I said to that young mother I said hold on here just a moment I’ve raised two children I’ve got grandchildren I understand you’re baby’s not bothering me at all she’s not bothering me at all and just then the young mother turned around and said know but you’re bothering her. Well I might do that a little bit tonight but I’ll try to be as even and fair
as I can possibly be. The Constitution let me talk a little bit about the Constitution the people who wrote it how it’s changed how it’s not changed and rather or not this document will last that’s the central question. Our Constitution is now two hundred and nineteen years of age it is the oldest writing Nation, State, Constitution in the world. It’s amazingly quite short it contains a preamble we have the preamble up there you can’t see it but. We The People short as reduction ironically there has never been a lawsuit or a case ever using the preamble in a lawsuit but it is our lofty statement of ideals our American ideals it contains seven articles or similar subdivisions and it contains just twenty seven formal amendments and seventeen of those have been since 1791 only all together this document is 7,606 words long excluding the names of the signatures signatories. Today if you had read the Chicago Tribune sports section you’ll have read more words than in the United States Constitution and despite it brevity and despite it’s longevity it has provided us with a workable, durable framework upon which our government has been built It is not some faded piece of parchment or some dust cover relic it is a document that affects everything that we do and even today and I hope long time in the future well let us look at this document. When the framers met in Philadelphia in 1787 in Independence Hall and yes the very spot were they met for the Declaration of Independence they say lightening does strike twice well it did in the same spot and they came back eleven years later and they are writing this document they were there ostensibly for the sole expressed purpose of revising The Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation as many of you know was our government before our present government in 1781, 1789 and the name confederation means it was a weak government each state each of the thirteen states retained their on sovereignty they could coin their own money they could regulate their own boarders they could negotiate treaties they were sovereign and it was a mess and the articles, the articles the legislator couldn’t collect any taxes you couldn’t support an army or navy you couldn’t protect you’re merchants you couldn’t protect you’re land investments we had know executive and the judiciary the only thing it handled was prize cases and piracy cases it was a weak government and so it didn’t take them long to figure out they were gonna jettison that document very quickly when they met in Philadelphia. The difficulty was this and it’s probably encapsulated best by James Madison the father of our Constitution the person who came in with the blueprint but later he would say in the Federalist number Fifty-One he said this and it underscores what the problem was in framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the chief difficulties lies in this you must first enable the government to control the governed and then the next place oblige it to control itself. Think about that how do you built a government that’s strong enough to control the governed and the next place to oblige it to control itself that was the task. Now of course I’ve given you a handout in the spirit of this Constitution Day that talks about the people who wrote the Constitution we could talk about you could read in there that the average age was probably about forty-two years of age they range in age of twenty six all the way up to the venerable Benjamin Franklin eighty-one most of them well all but one was Protestant they were men they were well to do most were lawyers by profession and they had considerable experience eight had signed the Declaration of Independence six were governors and we can always talk about how much they were worth and look at their characteristics Charles A. Beard, Robert Brown and others have gone on to that for a long time tonight I want to look at another aspect of it and that is their intellectual aspect of the people who wrote this document. This is after all the Arts and Science Lecture and often times we forget the important underpinning that the Liberal Arts and Sciences had upon our founders. Thirty of our founders thirty of the fifty-five were at the Constitution Convention were college graduates they’d attended Harvard they’d attended Kings College they’d had attended College of Philadelphia and each one of those people were well grounded in Liberal Arts what were the Liberal Arts? well in those colleges they were the seven Liberal Arts. They divided those up to the trivium and the qua trivium the trivium consisted of grammar of logic of rhetoric those were the underpinnings of a college education and then maybe in a more advance level the qua trivium arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and yes music. They studied this and when we talk about a Liberal Arts education we talk about Liberal well that mean liberating free it’s studying our world about us it’s studying the people in our society our history our culture our philosophy. As opposed to studying some technical aspect or learning a skill or a trade you know there are three common things that they shared three common themes that run through the education of our founders. Number One is Classical Republicanism Number Two is Natural Rights Philosophy and Number Three is the Judeo Christian Heritage and Teachings lets look at those very briefly. In regards to Classical Republicanism our framers were very much aware of Greek and Latin history and culture. The Greeks they had studied Aristotle they’d studied Herodotus they had studied Polyphemus they had studied Pausanias and they studied all the great philosophers and scholars and in regards to the Romans they were particularly interested in the Roman Empire they had studied Cicero and Virgil the very fact that we look at the Anti-Federalist and the Federalist and we look at how they name themselves. The Anti-Federalists called themselves Brutus and Cato Cato the younger the Sentinel those were named after very important people in Roman history and the Federalist those who advocated our Constitution were talking about James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and John Jay they called themselves Publius Publius, Publius friend of the people one of the great law givers and let us not forget one of the people that they really admired was Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus was the Roman who left his farm to go fight for his country to rise up to be the great leader and lawgiver only to give up that power voluntarily and go back to the farm. You know George Washington is often called The American Cincinnatus and there’s good reason for that. But they were very much aware of Classical Republicanism what the Classical Republicanism is about is very simple. You have a public you have an obligation to serve the public you want to put the public interest ahead of the private interest and every citizen has the obligation to participate and do their best to try and improve this society that’s Classical Republicanism and words and meaning and concepts such as responsibility and accountability and honesty and integrity those were things that they admired most about the Romans and the Greeks. And then let us not forget about the Natural Rights Philosophy these were men who had read these works by Thomas Hobbs and John Locke and Rousseau the French philosopher the underpinning of the reoccurring theme is that somehow before there was a government we lived in a state of nature where we were free to do everything that we wanted to do but we were really not free. For various reasons as we all have heard this quote so many times. Thomas Hobbes [Life In The
State Of Nature, Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish and Short.] We had to come together we formed we made an agreement consent of the govern with the sovereign and we agreed to give up certain rights in exchange for protection for Hobbes it was life. For Locke primarily property and for Rousseau well we were born free but everywhere in chains. We gave up, we gave up complete unbridled freedoms for exchange for Civil Liberties and those are liberties within the law. Well they understood that and they understood that you don’t give up certain unalienable rights. Notice, when Thomas Jefferson writes The Declaration of Independence he puts in there that we endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. The right to Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness let us not forget that we talk about the consent of the governed let us not forget that when we look at our Constitution we find many places in there were John Locke the National Rights Philosophers are going to be found we find for example the Fifth Amendment a proscription upon the federal government in regard to taking property no property shall be taken for public use without just compensation. We also find in there that no one shall be denied the right to Life, Liberty or Property Without Due Process. We find the same proscription in the Fourteenth Amendment although relating only to the state governments in that case. And then there’s the Ninetieth Amendment perhaps the most complex of all the amendments the enumeration in this Constitution shall not be used of certain rights shall not be used to denied or disparage others retained by the people. Those are unalienable rights were still trying to
figure out what those are that’s the biggest Pandora’s box we’ve have these days is that Ninetieth Amendment almost but you get the idea that there are unalienable rights. You know if Thomas Jefferson were alive today he’d be accused of plagiarism of The Declaration of Independence from John Locke. Literally and figuratively my friends I think he stole it lock stock and barrel but it is important philosophy and keep in mind what was also happening in Western Europe at that time we were going through the enlightenment. An age of discovery they were familiar with Francis Bacon observe nature, discover laws and apply it to human conditions the scientific discovery this was a wonderful period to be making these changes and then of course we have the Judeo Christian Teachings our framers learned how to read from the bible essentially and when they went to college they had to translate the bible into Latin and Greek that was one of the
test for getting into college. They were familiar with the teachings I know that sometimes when we look at this we don’t want to talk about religion and politics but you can’t help but noticing that’s what happened in those days. You know contrary to popular belief freedom of religion didn’t come when the Pilgrims and the Puritans got here. Yes, the Puritans and the Pilgrims came here to avoid religious persecution in part from the Anglican Church but no sooner did they get here that they set up their own state church called the Congregational Church later and indeed by the time the Declaration of Independence at least nine of the colonies were states later had established eight churches they required you to pray or to go to church or taxed to support a church that was a established state church you can’t deny that it happened. Only the middle colonies didn’t have that and even Roger Williams preached complete freedom they even had some discrimination there. But things began to change James Madison in 1785 writes a remonstrance he writes this about using public money to support the clergy and then a year later something happens a year later something happens in Virginia it’s the Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty and in this Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty which Thomas Jefferson is the author at which he has many references to the All Mighty God. Says we need to separate these two he said because Madison and Jefferson were of the believeth that we really need to separate these. Certainly Patrick Henry and George Washington saw nothing wrong with an established state church. But what they did do is they convinced people that they need to make some demarcation there dividing line. Is it because of altruistic views or is it because Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were looking out there and they were seeing the Anglican Church of which was a established state church in the Commonwealth of Virginia they were soon going to be out numbered by the Baptist. Then what happens when the Baptist take over what are they going to do? You see that was what our framers knew when they meet in Philadelphia they knew that you couldn’t establish a National Church because it wouldn’t work. What church are you going to have as the established state church? You will not get the nine states necessary to support our Constitution nine of the thirteen if you have an established state church it’s not going to work so we place in there Article Six Section Three and know religious test shall ever be required to hold public office in the United States or Public Trust. That wasn’t even enough we added a First Amendment later on congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Isn’t it amazing in the United States we have separation of church and state a term that does not appear in the Constitution however and yet in England they have an established state church and they rarely argue about religion during their politics and races for office and we have separation of church and state and we argue all the time it’s amazing isn’t it how that works I just can’ t quite figure it out. But here’s the point the point is this our framers were influenced by thoughts and ideas by religion by philosophy by history the most important impart elements of a Liberal Arts education they understood human beings they they understood the nature of things they understood the idea of spirituality. Well let’s look at this Constitution a few years ago two thousand one to be exact Justice Antonin Scalia was a guest in one of my Constitutional Law classes at the University of Missouri. My wife and I Linda had the chance to go to dinner with him we figure out who wrote Bush verses Gore very quickly in that evening we I had him in my class and he begins by saying this he says first of all, all of you should read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist paper that’s the underpinning of the American political thoughts best single document that you can read and then he asked the students a question he said students, class what do you consider the most important prevision of the United States Constitution all that was easy one of my journalism students raised their hand and said awe Justice Scalia that’s easy it’s the First Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or briting the freedom of speech or press or the right of the people to peacefully know he said. That’s a good one but that’s not quite it. Another student who was studying Criminal Justice said oh it’s got to be the Fourth Amendment. The right of the people to be secure in you’re person’s houses, papers effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrant shall be issued without probable cause. No said Justice Scalia that’s a great one but that’s not it. How about the Six Amendment one of the students that would be lawyer said in all criminal prosecution the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury and have assistance of counsel for defense all that’s a good one another student said oh it’s got to be the Fourteenth Amendment it’s got to be the Fourteenth Amendment All person’s born naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States in states where in they reside in and know state shall deny anyone equal protection. Brown verses Board of Education Justice Scalia, Justice Scalia said those are all well and good but he said the most important provision in the Constitution are the first three the first three provisions. Article One, Article Two, Article Three he said this was the genius of James Madison and the founders were reading about Montesquieu that the people have different perspective’s and different factions and what you need to do is separate those and give them different powers to keep any one group of taking control of government at any one time. Look at the First Amendment the First Article. All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in the congress of the United States which shall consist of a Senate, House of Representatives and then it outlines the powers and the restrictions and then in Article Two the executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States and then it lists it’s powers and then in Article Three, Article Three begins the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and such inferiority courts has congress shall from time to time ordained and establish oh that’s a secret he said you know there are many constitutions in the world that contains words many constitutions that contain freedom of speech, and freedom of the press and the right to an attorney but they don’t mean a thing there just words on paper because there’s no way to back it up. The genius of our political system is that we have the checks and balances that enable us to protect those rights that we find in the first amendment and other amendments that’s the genius, that’s the genius folks think of the changes that has taken place over the years since our Constitution was written you know when our Constitution took affect our nations capitol was New York City. The nations largest city was Philadelphia forty thousand roughly the size of Quincy Illinois today. We had thirteen states the entire United States population was about 3.9 million or about one third the population of Illinois today. Women could not vote people of color were considered property and in many states slaves there were know political parties. We were just beginning with the Supreme Court of six and they didn’t handle a single case for the first three years. When you served in congress it was a great
personal sacrifice you rode for weeks or month’s to get there forging streams on horse back and when you got there you couldn’t just get on the phone to call you’re loved one. George Washington’s first administration consisted of one part-time person his nephew Bush Rod and he paid him out of his own pocket. There were know cell phones know computers that’s the way things were. And today, think about what we have today think about what we have today my goodness Washington D.C. has long been our nations capitol we have fifty states we have three-hundred and ten million Americans were going in debt 1.9 billion dollars a day. Political Parties have long dominated the National Elections and Selections. The President alone has four hundred and fifty staff members excluding carpenters and painters and everybody else around the White House. Today, it’s hard to know were the Federal Government begins and were it ends and point in fact when I look out there and I see the creative use of the commerce clause and implied powers and taxing and spending powers. I’m not so sure that Illinois is really the State of Illinois it might just be the department of the Federal Government today things have changed five to one policy the Federal Government doesn’t regulate it but things have changed just think about this just think about this very shortly we are going to have either an African American President or a woman Vice President of the United States can you believe that it’s amazing things have changed. Well let’s look at how they’ve changed and by the way when I think about change I’m reminded of a middle-aged women who moved to Columbia Missouri were I lived a few years ago. This middle-aged women moved there from Iowa she’d been in Columbia for just three days when she developed an abscess tooth oh it was painful and not having a support system not knowing a dentist she just simply got in her car and she drove down Broadway which is the main street until she got to the first dental office she could find she walks in and she says I need some help I need some help can you help me and the receptionist said will work you in will work you in start to fill out the forms and she couldn’t help but noticing the name of the dentist the she serendipitously selected it was the most unusual first name and last name and years ago, years ago in high school years ago in high school she went to school with somebody with that same name oh it couldn’t possibly be him it couldn’t be him and she thought there and she remembered this guy and she was kind of sweet on so to speak. He was a he was thin, sinewy had dark thick finely clothed hair and just then she get’s called into the dentist and here to her dismay it was a rather rotund, balding, graying, bespectacled dentist and then he says how may I hope you the voice the voice the voice came back to her and she says oh doctor I have to ask you this or you from Iowa by any chance? He says as a matter of fact I am and I still root for the Iowa Hawkeye’s doctor are you from Davenport Iowa by any chance? Matter of fact born and raised there my folks
still live there he said. Doctor did you happen to go to you happen to attend Davenport Central High School? He says matter of fact I am a graduate of Davenport Central proud graduate she said were in the class of 1974? he said matter of fact I was in the class of 1974 and the doctor and she said oh doctor you were in my class you were in my class you were in my class and the dentist looked at her and he said excuse me ma’am but what class did you teach. [LAUGHTER] Wait until you go back to class reunion’s you know what I’m talking about. It’s changed through Constitution Amendment think about this our framers recognized that our Constitution would have changed from time to time. No sooner did they finished that document then all kinds of criticism the Anti-Federalist, Brutus we can’t have this Constitution it’s filled with all kinds of problems among which they said first of all it gives to much power to the Supreme Court. Second it contains no Bill of Rights we have George Mason of Virginia didn’t sign the Declaration that didn’t sign the Constitution he said it doesn’t contain the Bill of Rights he said I would rather cut of my right arm then to sign this document as it presently exist. The Federalist at the urging of George Washington said we promise, we promise to add a Bill of Rights. You know what happened when they met for the
first time congress met for the first time in New York City in March 4, 1789 James Madison the Federalist announced plans that they would in fact add a Bill of Rights my friends it’s probably the first time and only time in recorded history were congress ever kept a promise. Because that’s what they did and he and George Mason Madison was not an attorney but he was he was a philosopher and a student of human nature and George Mason and he collected some hundred and twenty-five get this hundred and twenty-five amendments. Some of them were over-lapping and they sifted and whittled through there and they finally got it down and finally twelve passed congress and they were sent out to the states were they required the two thirds three fourths ratification and of those ten got amended and those are the
Bill of Rights today. The First Ten Amendments added in 1791. It’s a good thing that the very first amendment didn’t get the original First Amendment didn’t get selected didn’t get approved because today that amendment would require this one representative in congress for every thirty thousand people. Today would have over ten thousand members of congress. Have you ever tried to herd squirrels? [LAUGHTER] Could you image that it’s a good thing now the original Second Amendment it didn’t pass initially but today it is now our Twenty-Seventy Amendment it is our last amendment adopted in 1992. It says no member of congress can take a pay raise until after the current election has intercede and it was a college student who came up with that. He was doing a research paper and he discovered that there was no time limit on that amendment. Congress had just taken an automatic pay raise at a time when most of us were hurting financially it didn’t take long for the state legislators to add that that’s the Twenty-Seventh Amendment the original Second Amendment see we’ve had a chance to add amendments oh incidentally there have been over eleven thousand proposed amendments. In that handout I gave you there are some of those for example the prevent dulling in the United States. How bout this one do you like this one were gonna change presidents from now on says one by drawing names out of a list of retiring U.S. Senators wouldn’t that be a hoot. There are people who want to eliminate the Second Amendment others want to clarify it and give everybody
a rod to pack around. There are those who want to eliminate my Alma Mater Electoral College took me a long time to get in that college. You know I thought Western was exclusive boy the Electoral College is pretty exclusive. I’d be proud to be a member of that but you know there’s been actually over eight hundred proposals to eliminate my college I don’t like that. But, it may be the only fair thing to do when you think about it. You see we’ve added amendments we’ve added some amendments we’ve added three amendments for social reasons social cultural. The Thirteenth Amendment to end slavery. We added prohibition to stop you from drinking and we added the Twenty-First Amendment to let you do it again. You know a lot of people say you know the Twenty-First Amendment that’s an example you can’t legislate morality. That’s not true we legislate morality all the time. What maybe the case is this can we legislate addiction that’s the difficult thing, that’s the difficult you know we’ve added we’ve added four amendments in regard to the president changing the presidency we’ve added all right we know let’s get right to it. We know that the framers who said we the people were men. Who may have looked more like me than you in some cases. They were middle-aged people and they were whatever and some people look at that and say well that’s really why are we honoring this? Well I’ll tell you what we have changed. We added an amendment in 1870 called The Fifteenth Amendment, which gives men of color not women of color men of color the right to vote. Of course it took a Civil Rights Act a hundred years later and a Voting Rights Act to make that come to furwishing. In 1919 we added the Nineteenth Amendment that gave women the right to vote. 1913 we had the popular election in the Unites States Senators Seventeenth Amendment and in 1971-72 we have aloud eighteen year olds the right to vote. Now let’s just think about this we have the Fifteenth Amendment that ends discrimination based on race. We have the Seventeenth Amendment calling for the popular election of the Senate. We have the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote. The Twenty-Six Amendment giving giving, giving eighteen year old’s the right to vote. Let’s see maybe this is how it happened see if this see if I got this right. There were a bunch of guys like me sitting around fellas I got a good idea instead of getting elected you know by our friend back home you know back room deals let’s let the people vote on us what do you think is that a good idea? You think that’s how it happened? Maybe they did it like this fellas I got a good idea let’s give women the right to vote isn’t that a great idea let’s just give women the right to vote you think that’s how it happened? Maybe it was like this I got a really good idea let’s let people of color vote not just us white guys you think that’s how it happened? Or how bout this guys who were probably approaching sixty years of age saying let’s let eighteen year olds the right to vote wouldn’t that be great let’s just give them the right to vote. Folks I gotta tell you how it happened is that people said I’m not gonna take it any longer and they said you know we’ve had a Fifteenth Amendment that’s taking a long time and we need to have you know even after Brown verses The Board of Education there wasn’t even one percent compliance in most states. It took a movement it took Civic Leaders like Martin Luther King somebody to lead the charge and when women got the right to vote it was Elizabeth Katie Stanton and women who were willing to sacrifice and willing to put it on the line in order to get those changes made. And regard to the popular election of senators it was a progressive movement. A reform movement and when eighteen year olds got the right to vote my friends I was going to college here when we didn’t know rather we would go to class are not because the protest over Vietnam War. Old enough to go to war not old enough to vote or drink my goodness. You see it changed because people organized and changed that’s the way things are done. Well we can also change the Constitution through a Constitutional Convention. Article Five says that anytime two thirds of the state legislators petition we can congress we can call for a Constitutional Amendment. Thresher Hall was mentioned Larry Sabato’s book I have the summary of that in that handout you see and he calls for Term Limits for members of congress. Extending the number of people in the Supreme Court all kinds of things but that won’t happen he doesn’t believe unless you have a Constitutional Convention. How many Constitutional Conventions have we had? One, one could you imagine if we called another Constitutional Convention we come close twice we’ve had over three hundred attempts but we’ve come close twice. Once was when Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois tried to change a Supreme Court ruling called Reynolds versus Sims in regard to changing the composition or the selection of the Upper House of the State Legislator it puts those Senators out of a job. They said you can’t do that Supreme Court were gonna go around you. You know we came within two states of calling for a Constitutional Convention and back in the early in the late nineteen well middle nineteen nineties we came within two states of calling for a Constitutional Convention to balance the federal budget. But think about this what if we did have another Constitutional Convention? What if we did have another Constitutional Convention? How would the delegates be selected to this convention? How would we select the delegates would we insure that they have Democratic, Republics what about the Greens? What about the Libertarians how many delegates does
each states entitled to have? Did you know that the original Constitutional Convention know matter how many delegates they had every state just had one vote. Do you think California would have allowed itself to be have it’s just one vote with thirty-five million people and Alaska with five or six-hundred thousand are gonna get the same equal treatment I don’t know if that would go over and
who would you select as the leader? George Washington was our was the presiding officer of the Constitution which one would you select? Who would you select Bill Clinton maybe George Bush? Which, who would you select? Well let the delegates select and then again what would prevent a runaway convention? I thought about this do you really think that even the Bill of Rights could pass today if they
were submitted back to the people. Do you think we could even agree upon the Second Amendment do you think we could
agree on the First Amendment? Keep in mind that the original Constitution Convention in Philadelphia and I hope you have a chance to visit there someday. It’s a wonderful place it’s just almost in the exact same,same layout that was when they when they wrote the document. But they kept the doors closed the windows down it was complete secrecy in the long hot summer of seventeen eighty-seven. Do you think we could keep Geraldo Rivera out of the window? Huh, can’t keep him out of a hurricane for crying out loud right. How on earth would we keep these reporters out and keep secrecy? As I told my faculty the other day I said in politics three may keep a secret if two of them are dead and that’s it’s hard to keep it in secrecy well even if it passed even if we changed the Constitution it would have to be ratified by the state legislators and I don’t see that happening. We’ve also changed the Constitution through Custom and Usage there were a lot of things like Senatorial Courtesy things such as Executive Orders. Executive Orders are not in the Constitution it’s an entity directed by the President to carry out an order or
a treaty or carry out a law or Supreme Court ruling there have been hundreds thousands of these some of them have been quite good. Think about this if it weren’t for an Executive Order we wouldn’t have affirmative action. One, one two four six calling for affirmative action
in all hiring and contracting and sub-contracting that started with an Executive Order that’s not in the Constitution. Harry Truman also brought out an Executive Order. He said let’s integrate the Armed Services. Bill Clinton used it Don’t Ask Don’t Tell rather you like those or not those were Executive Orders. It was also in the Presidential Executive Order that called for the Japanese Internment during the Second World War. Can’t have it both ways there are a lot of things in there that
were caused by Custom and Usage a lot of things and then there’s the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court some people say that we have a consent continual Constitution Convention because of the Supreme Court. I’d like you to imagine this I call it the Allegory of the Skull and here it is I’m borrowing this from
one of my dear colleagues Fred Spiegel he was one of my mentors. Imagine this, imagine this there is a primitive tribute in a very isolated island in the South Pacific. They have never been exposed to the Western World they don’t never seen a television they’ve never seen an airplane they have never seen anything Western Civilization. They live in a primitive state they wear loincloths they spear for fish they eat coconuts and bananas and it’s very primitive and when they have a problem and when they have a problem the elders gather up and they go up into the side of the mountain into a cave and in this cave there on the floor the ground of the cave is a skull and in that skull that skull is the founders skull. and there they sit there and they have incantations and gyrations and they consult with the skull all night long and then they emerge from the skull and
they come down out of the cave. out down of the mountain down they down to the village below and they pronounce what the skull says. The skull says this relationship is okay. This is contrary to the village law. Now you might laugh at that primitive tribe but I’ve been at the Supreme Court I had a chance to study there one
summer and I’ve been in that conference room and it’s a conference room has a table about the size of Dean Levi’s table in her office. Around that is the Chief Justice right off the Chief Justice office and there they have the Justice’s sitting around there and on the center of that table is the Constitution. Now I could get in there when they weren’t there nobody get’s in there when they have conference. But on Friday afternoon’s and Thursday afternoon’s they sit around and they have that Constitution in front of them and they have to ask this question. Is it Constitutional for police to stop somebody on a routine traffic stop and then look into
the glove compartment of their car? Is lethal injection violation of the Eight Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishment is it? Is wire tapping a violation of the Fourth Amendment or Mass Suspicion list searches what about profiling at airports? Things that our framers could never envision is not in the Constitution and they sit around there is a pregnant women riding alone constitute a
car pool? [LAUGHTER] They ask important questions and then when they finish they emerge from their cave I mean the conference room and the reporters from the Washington Post and the New York Times and the U.S.A. Today and the Los Angles Times and the Wall Street Journal. They sit there and their all lawyers any way and they sit there and the write down what the justices say this is thrilling. It’s unconstitutional to do this, this and that one over there and the rest of us read the newspaper and it says Supreme Court says this is unconstitutional. I ask you my fellow Americans is that really any different from those primitive people in the cave consulting the skull? Where on earth did you find in those seven thousand six hundred and six words those things about wire-tapping were did you find about when life begins were did you find about mass suspicion list searches, profiling were did you find about prayer in schools were did you find that it’s in the Constitution and of course we argue over who should be
interpreting this some of us say you should only interpret the words in the Constitution Judicial Restraint. Others say oh no our country is changing we need to have the flexibility look what we did with Mulberry versus Madison. When John Marshall came out with Mulberry versus Madison know government in the world had every given the judiciary that power to declare acts that the legislator unconstitutional this is an American contribution to the art of
government it’s an American invention think of the power that we give to the Supreme Court. It’s amazing and yet what keeps use going is the believeth that they have interpreted it correctly. The cave think of the cave The Constitution has changed many ways but will it last will it last you know this is the heart of it will it last? In many respects you say it’s got to last I’m very optimistic for many reasons first that it’s lasted this long. The second oldest Constitution Nation, State Constitution is Norway and it’s pattern after ours. It was written in eighteen fourteen and we have twenty-five years seniority on it. In the United Nations what do we have
about a hundred and ninety something Nation, States in the United Nations and of those about a hundred and twenty have written a Constitution since nineteen seventy. Think of France not the most stable ten constitutions in the time that we’ve written ours between five Republics several Dictatorships Republic, Monarchy what ever. El Salvador what do they have thirty-six constitutions. You know the longevity of it and think about what our Constitution has done yes we have to be optimistic. It has survived all kinds of crisis including a great depression were one fourth of all Americans were thrown out of work through know fault of their own. It survived the early days of the Republican even have a banking system. the [unintelligible] stage of development when we did not We have survived Political Scandals from Credit Mobilier, Teapot Dome to Watergate we have survived political assassinations. Four presidents assassinated Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy we had a period of time my friends from nineteen seventy four to nineteen seventy-seven were we had a president and vice-president neither of whom were elected by the people. Talking about dodging a crisis and a bullet we have gone through upheaval social upheavals we have gone through the greatest of all conflagrations called the Civil War Were we lost six hundred and eighteen at least thousands Americans. Brother against brother sister against sister and by the way Abraham Lincoln you know what he did he did things that weren’t in the Constitution. He called for a blockade he put up an blockade he suspended the Rite of Habeas Corpus he intercepted peoples mail. Is that justified? In his speech before congress on eighteen sixty-one July fourth Abraham Lincoln said this in essence Must the government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of it’s own people or to weak to maintain it’s own existence. Think about that must the government be too strong
for the liberties of it’s own people or to weak to maintain it’s own existence. We are a free people we are being challenged right now and to what extend do we give up our liberty in order to get security that’s a tough one isn’t it? Were fighting over that thing called The Patriot Act. One of the greatest lovers of freedom Justice Robert Jackson in the Terminiello versus Chicago case in nineteen forty-nine said this. This Constitution is not a suicide pack however it’s a question of balance it’s a question of balance will our Constitution last? I’m of the fervent believeth that it’s in pretty good shape and our country is in decent shape. There are some warnings and I want to tell you that we have to be careful and if we use history as our framers did we might look at Edward Gibbon I know he has been criticized for his methodology. Edward Gibbon in his six volumes on the decline and fall of the Holy Roman Emperor. Was it because of the over expansionism was it because of cultural conflicts internally was it because of licentiousness and moral decadence. Is that why it declined? Oswald Spengler a German philosopher the decline of the West said all great powers they go through a birth to maturity to decay and in the autumn of your cycle in the autumn he said this cities grow, sprawl politics becomes corrupt people lose a disconnect have a disconnect with the past. with their heritage and their history and they know longer share common things. It might be something to that Arnold Toynbee his twelve volumes not that I’ve read all twelve but I get the idea here. He said civilizations come and go but they may or may not last depending upon leaders and how leaders can meet the challenges that are before us. A more recent document by Paul Kennedy of Yale University looking at great powers great powers thirteen hundred all the way to eighteen or to nineteen eighty or so. Fifteen hundred excuse me he says all great powers the problem is that in order to keep their great power they expand overseas more and more, more and more money goes overseas more and more money military other kinds of things and pretty soon their stretched out so thin that the people can’t pay for it and then they collapse internally because of their poor economy. Does everything does anything really last for ever? I believe love does I believe maybe the scripture does words. This building would collapses in a hundred years if we didn’t do anything. Things just have away your life can change on a dime you get that telephone call that a loved one has just been killed. You discover things change your bodies change people around you change everything changes. The great words of Hebrew’s and simply [And This To Shall Pass] is this what’s going to happen. Think about our situation first of all Weapons of Mass Destruction. Today, we live in a age of Biological Chemical and Nuclear or Nuclear however you pronounce it at least nine countries now have capabilities of detonating bombs who knows who else has it. You ever heard the expression the toothpaste is out of the tube it’s pretty hard to get it back in. Many years ago one of the oldest shows on television Meet the Press Lawrence Spivak that doesn’t ring a bell to most of you but Lawrence Spivak was interviewing Bernard Baruch and he was asking and he says is there a possibility is there any way he said to stop a terrorist from getting a atomic bomb as they called it then. and going into New York City and detonating and destroying everybody in New York City? Bernard Baruch said the only way sir that you can prevent that is with a crow bar if that doesn’t ring a bell. A crow bar you would have to open up up every single package that came into New York City. Is there a way to stop this is there a way to stop this I don’t know but we live in a different time and let’s consider our economy. Folks we are going in debt we are now nine point seven trillion dollars in debt going in debt one point seven billion a day. If you look at our budget our federal budget our federal budget the general fund the largest expenditure and it should be I believe is National Defense. The second largest expenditure is just the interest payments on the national debt what we owe creditors who have purchased U.S. securities and bonds the largest second largest amount of money that we are spending out for the federal government is the interest rate the interest rate I’m not talking about the principle I’m talking about the interest rates and we spend more right now on the interest rate on the national debt then we spend for that the federal government for education, highways, transportation, homeland security and environmental protection combined. We have homes we have a policy were we have people losing their homes. We’ve had a policy of sub-prime lending to high-risk individuals with balloon payments and we have a fuel crisis were people are finding it difficult and impossible to meet their mortgage payments and were finding now that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are being bought out by the Federal Government that’s gonna cost us trillions of dollars and were are we borrowing money? Were borrowing money from other governments of the world. It cannot be the most secure thing that were doing. Members of congress are also engaged in a process called Air Marking that’s not in the Constitution. That’s another name and moniker for present day Pork. Every member of congress now instead of going through the entire process can go through a committee and find this pet project here add it they go back home and say I brought these monies home it makes them very popular. But it also puts us in debt what are we going to do? How are we going to handle this? You know our country is growing in terms were changing all the time in terms of diversity. I know our Provost and our President are saying this is something we need to address the diversity. Folks it’s not a matter of choice it’s a matter of necessity. One third of all Americans Now are really minorities by definition. Forty-five percent of all children under the age of five are now minorities. Within fifty years our nation is going to go from a three thousand awe three hundred million population to six hundred million were gonna double. By that time everyone will be a minority. Were going to have to learn how to get along were going to have to learn to get along. Well will this Constitution last? A few years ago I was going through graduation I got a chance to meet Bill Cosby oh what a speaker that man is I got a chance to meet the great Bill Cosby he gave a commencement speech at Mizzou and here’s what he said right in the
middle of the speech he said you know when I was a student he said at Temple University I was studying Poly Si he said for a while and he said a Poly Si professor would always ask rhetorical questions at the end of the day. And on one particular Friday he asked this question class is this glass half full or half empty? Don’t answer just think about it. So Bill Cosby went home on a Saturday morning he was sitting there and his grandmother happened to visit. Granny as he called her there was a glass of water sitting there and he said you know Granny I got to ask you this question is that glass half full or half empty? And she said well Bill that’s easy it depends on rather your a pouring or a drinking. Isn’t that a great answer? What’s the future of our Constitution are we a pouring or are we a drinking. I think our future depends upon civic leaders, civic leaders, civic leaders a leader is anybody who can get people in an organization to move towards a common goal. It’s the driving force behind every church every organization every school every college every university every state legislator, congress the whole country. Is leadership civic leadership and when I say civic leadership I’m talking about that civic virtue that we were talking about in regard to The Republicans Classical Republicanism. Public interest ahead of private interest but what is public interest we hear that all the time. I had a colleague Lloyd Manning Wells years ago. Lloyd Manning Wells as a young man put his life on the line for our country in World War II. He’s a peace loving man he was a peace activist and a peace lover in his later years. But he said this Rick Hardy I tell you exactly what the public interest. The public interest is what makes young men and women go to war and old men and women plant trees. Isn’t that profound isn’t that profound that we put something above our own self-interest. Civic leaders every civic leader has to have a vision. Nothing happens said Carl Sandburg unless first a vision. You have to envision it what’s going to happen remember James Madison came to the Constitutional Convention with a plan. Last year last summer I was conducting a workshop on the Constitution at James Madison University and we took the students out to Montpelier that’s where the home of James Madison and I got to stand in that room alone in a second floor room where he wrote the Virginia Plan. Where he read Montesquieu this room that overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia looking West. Can you imagine this it started right there and I want you to think that everything in this room the cell phones you’re using the ties you’re wearing the shoes you’re wearing the chairs you’re sitting in the lights we have the speakers we have the screen up here everything in this room started in the mind of one person one person. Every great idea starts in the mind of one person so you have to have civic leadership a person who looks for the public interest somebody with vision somebody who knows how to set goals by the way take a look at the
goals of this university look at our values there not just empty words they mean something it give us a way to go a way to chart. I also believe that all great civic leaders are politician’s their politicians I know it’s fashionable to make fun of politicians why wouldn’t you when you hear all the things
said about politicians. Ambrose Bierce once said politics is the conduct of public affairs for private advantage your lining you’re pockets. Louis McHenry Howe during the New Deal said politics know one adopts politics as a profession and remains honest. Remember Forrest Gump that famous scene in there were Sally Fields is taking Forrest to the doctor and she says doctor are Forrest legs crooked he says no Mrs. Gump his legs are strong but his back is as crooked as a politician. But here’s my thought about politics and I want
to share it with you. This is my definition perhaps nobody in my department even share with me on this but this is my view. I think politics is the art of drawing dividing lines. Lines, lines everywhere lines lines are real or imagine set of points lines are real or imagine set of points that are use to divide to separate people to distinguish. Sometimes to discriminate sometimes to reward lines, lines everywhere lines. Look at a basketball court what do you see? Look at a football field what do you see? You see lines drive down the street and what do you see? You see lines we say this is the Conservative this is Liberal that’s a line. If you’re in the military you have different ranks if your in the university this is the President this is the Provost and we go down the line. There are lines, lines everywhere lines. I came up with this as I was teaching
a class of five hundred students every semester at The University of Missouri and nobody
there would come and see me until after the first exam. Students would be out there looking Doctor Hardy it’s not fair I just missed the A by one point I just missed the A by one point. I just missed a B by one point it’s not fair my
best friend I knew more than she did and I it’s just not fair I’m going to loose my scholarship and you know I don’t blame them because there’s know precision in the way we test. One point here is that really a difference but
then I got to thinking. You know I saw the time when Michael Jordon made a shoot in the last minute of a play-off and it went around, around, around and fail out didn’t go in but it was so close let’s go
head and give him those two points. I saw Albert Pujols hit one against the
Cubs one time and it hit the top of the it hit the line and it bounced into the field but it was so close we should have given the
Cardinals that home run right Cub fans? We should have given that so you were just a minute late for that airplane and they should have waited for you. You see I don’t blame those students you see but at know time in recorded history did anybody ever come and say President Hardy I just got an A by one point
it’s not fair take it away. That’s not the way human beings are lines, lines everywhere lines. Lines are any real or imaginary set of points that use to distinguish ideas or people or events we go for gold medals and silver metals we make differences between people and we say if you get enough credit hours
you will graduate. But I’m only one course short I’m sorry but you’re not a college graduate yet. That’s the way life is we draw lines
and anybody who has the ability and the authority and legitimacy to draw a line is a politician and that means the mother who says I want that car in at ten
o’clock tonight is a politician. It means when the basketball coach says these are my starting five those are my that’s a politician. You see when you draw a line and I figured this out and every professor in here knows what I’m talking about. You look for the natural breaks. If you got a clump of students and you
run that line right through there it’s an artificial line and all you’re going to have is flake. Look for the natural breaks look at in the world today were governments are drawn into artificial lines all your asking for is more trouble more fights and more wars. Look for the natural breaks it’s the art of drawing dividing lines and when the University of Missouri decided it would go to plus minus grading oh it didn’t solve the problem. Everybody thought this was going to solve the problem A students were complaining they didn’t get an A plus. A student come in and said professor I only got I got a bad grade I said son it’s an F plus and you’re going in the right direction right. [LAUGHTER] Lines, lines everywhere lines and when you look at the Constitution it’s filled with lines separation of power some of those are fine lines. You have to be eighteen in order to vote for President you got to be twenty-five in order to run for Congress. They are fine lines but then again we have the fuzzy lines and it’s filled with fuzzy lines. What do we mean by probable cause well I guess it means somewhere between absolute certainty and a hunch. That kind of nails it down doesn’t it? What do we mean by free exercise clause? I don’t know. What is free speech? What do we mean by privacy? What do we mean by cruel and unusually punishment? You see we depend upon those people in the cave to define those things for me. So we need civic leaders but civic leaders finally take action and their not afraid to take action. But do you know why most people don’t do anything? You know why most people don’t do anything in this world because were afraid about what other people are gonna think about us. You understand that when you think about these people running Barack Obama running for President or Biden for Vice-President or you think of McCain or Sarah can you believe that Sarah running for President all the criticism they get. Why would anybody dare do that their gonna find
out what you did in the third grade. their gonna go through everything you’ve ever did. The reason why most people don’t get involved in any thing and they don’t take action is because their afraid of what other people is going to think about them. Know matter what you do you’re going to get criticized let’s just take that to the bank that’s a fact. But as I was talking to Doctor Professor Thomas this morning about leadership maybe this is the one you were thinking of. Aesop told it best twenty-six centuries ago. Think about this if there’s anything you want to remember about my speech tonight this is it. Aesop told a story of an old man and a little boy and they had this donkey and they were gonna sell this donkey. They were gonna lead it from the mountaintop down to the valley below and they were going to lead this donkey down below and they were going to sell it. And as the old man and little boy can you picture this their leading the donkey down the path and soon they see critics along the road and the critics laughed and they said huh look at that silly old man and that little boy there they are walking when they could be riding this sure footed donkey. The old man thought oh the critics are right so the old man and little boy get on the donkey and they ride down the path until they encounter critics critics look at them and they say huh like at that silly old man and that old little boy their gonna break the back of that poor donkey. The old man says their right being being the heaviest he gets off and leads the donkey and let the little boy rides. As they go down the path they encounter some other critics and they say isn’t that terrible that disrespectful little boy riding when that poor old man has to walk. Their right said the critics are right so the old man gets on the donkey and let’s the little boy lead and pretty soon they see other critics isn’t that terrible that lazy old man riding when that poor little boy has to walk. And then you may recall Aesop’s story and Aesop said at the end of the story here’s the old man and little boy carrying the donkey into town. [LAUGHTER] The moral of the story is you can’t please everybody. If you are a real civic leader you keep you’re vision you hold steadfast to you’re principles and what you believe in and your not afraid to take action. Cause you’re gonna get criticized but you keep moving on because you know it’s the right thing to do. Will our Constitution last another two hundred and nineteen years? Will it last another generation? I don’t know? I do know this let’s not take that thing for granted it’s a wonderful document. It does so many neat things for us it’s probably best summed up by former Chief Justice Warren Burger when he said. Here’s what the Constitution is in its purest and simplest form. One it gives you the freedom to solve your own problems. Number Two is you can’t solve you’re problems then there is a government there set-up a represented government to make the laws to help you out that comforts with what Abraham Lincoln said. The legitimate object that governments do for a community of people that which they need done but can not do in there separate and individual capacities. That makes sense and then this Constitution gives you an executive to carry it out and it gives you a judiciary to adjudicate the settle and resolve conflicts over the application of this new law to help you out. And then after that says Chief Justice Warren Burger you’re on your own, you’re on your own. It is a marvelous document are we a pouring or are we a drinking? I think what we need are civic leaders
people to step up to the plate and as we become more and more complex and we have more and more problems were gonna need it. Were gonna need all of us to step up to the plate. I will conclude with this and I am borrowing from none other than Benjamin Franklin the very person who said. Nothing is certain but death and taxes. But now you know he was referring to what the Constitution. but I will quote him on another way. “For want of a nail the shoe was lost, For want of a shoe the horse was lost, For want of a horse the rider was lost, For want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost oh you see the kingdom was lost all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” My fellow citizens I do believe that you are that I am that we are together those horseshoe nails and together we can and we will make a difference and I thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture 2008
The Constitution It’s Fate Depends On Civic Leaders

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  1. As each Nation, lucky enough to have a constitution, becomes more and more cultureless and diluted racially, ethnically and in creed its Constitution is ammended and erroded to facilitate thoses who dont. But mostly the threat is greed.

  2. The Constitution died in 1937. It was a casualty of the Great Depression and of Justices of the Supreme Court appointed for their political connections and not for their legal acumen. For example, Hugo Black, a Senator from Alabama and former member of the KKK, and then, in 1953, Earl Warren, a Republican politician from California, who made a deal with Eisenhower at the 1952 Republican convention.

  3. @14ATruther – yep, the clue is he said "our Democracy" he's talking the District of Columbia, not the Republic

  4. Whether or not you agree with any of the speaker that fact that our government is coming into light or at least undergoing revision

  5. Best professor I ever had at Mizzou. Wish I could go back and do it all over again, and pay a little more attention this time.

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