Does the Constitution Mean Anything to You?

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. — Mohammed Ali

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Mohammed Ali

Reading time – 51 seconds; Viewing time – 1:55  .  .  .

There are lots of Americans, each with our own understanding, so what do you suppose the Constitution means?

Donald Trump wants to prevent any Muslims from entering the United States. I thought there was something, somewhere in the Constitution that bans religious tests for anything. Oh yeah, it’s the First Amendment. I guess the Constitution doesn’t mean much to Trump.

George W. Bush was a master of silencing protest, as he got special “federal protection zones” for his appearances where there would be protesters. They were called “free speech zones” and the protesters were made invisible to both Bush and to television cameras. In contrast, people carrying signs of support for Bush were allowed to stand close in so that they could be seen and heard. Didn’t we used to have free speech zones that ran border-to-border? Oh yeah, that was in the First Amendment, too. Looks like the Constitution didn’t mean much to Bush, either.

Donald Trump wants our military to torture prisoners and kill the families of terrorists. Both actions are war crimes. Isn’t there something, somewhere in the Constitution that says that it isn’t okay to do those things? Oh, yeah, it’s that cruel and unusual punishment thing in the Eighth Amendment. And murder – I’m pretty sure that isn’t okay. Apparently, Trump sees the Constitution – shall we say – differently.

Inherent in the Constitution are obligations that rest on the shoulders of all of us. They tell us what it means to be a responsible citizen and they carry duties of service. Some understand that, as did Mohammed Ali. He said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

What does the Constitution mean to you? And what will you do – what action will you take – to make sure that it continues to mean that?

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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