To learn more about peoples understanding of, and opinions on the constitution, I created a survey. My goal was to answer the question: “Will the Great American Experiment Succeed?” I gathered responses from 11 people. I see two distinct ideas surface from the results.
When asked what the first sentence of the constitution is, without looking, only one person correctly replied. I can only assume fewer if I asked for the first sentence after the preamble. Only three people correctly stated that the people are the supreme body in our government. In general people don’t have a good understanding of the constitution.
Next I asked if a collection of ideas that the founding fathers believed in, still hold true today. The mainstream belief is that we are moving away from the founder’s original intent. Additionally some were of the opinion that current beliefs concerning separation of church and state are conflicting with founders’ intentions.
In a letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson said
“Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors, shall all become wolves.”
This does not mean the Great America experiment has failed, but we as a people we need to educate ourselves, and reclaim the principles we held as a newly formed Nation.