Great post on Washingtonsblog giving a detailed rundown, amendment by amendment, on how each of them (except one) has been legislated, regulated, and policed out of existence. This is the state of Constitutional rights in America. The text of the article gives you the how. But the more important question – the why – is answered in a link embedded in the article to a Q&A with former Supreme Court Justice David Souter. And the answer is as obvious as it is horrifying – pervasive civic ignorance. And since mere ignorance does not disqualify a citizen from voting, it makes sense that, with the overwhelming majority of voters living in said ignorant state, we are all suffering under one of the most ignorant, lawless, tyrannical governments in this country’s history. We know nothing and the political class, knowing we know nothing, prey on that weakness. The old adage “ignorance is bliss” holds true in the short run. In the long run, however, the rule is “ignorance is slavery.”
I don’t believe there is any problem of American politics in American public life which is more significant today than the pervasive civic ignorance of the Constitution of the United States and the structure of government.
We know with pretty reliable evidence that 2/3 of the people in the United States do not know that we have three branches of government…it didn’t use to be this bad.
I don’t worry about losing a Republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because of a coup by the military as has happened in other places. What I worry about is when problems are not addressed. People will not know who’s responsible. And when the problems get bad enough, as they might, for example, with another serious terrorist attack or they might with another financial meltdown, some one person will come forward and say, “Give me total power and I will solve this problem.” That is how the republic fell in Roman times. Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman Senate. He became emperor because he promised he would solve all the problems that were not being solved.