Danny J. Innis, Muskogee
Thursday, Sept. 17, is Constitution Day. We are close to our general election to be held on Nov. 3, so certain aspects of our government may come to mind.
On Constitution Day, we should try to read or, at best, peruse a copy of the Constitution (even online) to refresh our memories of what’s in it and reflect on its magnificence and the wisdom our nation’s Founding Fathers possessed to create a government that, even they, acknowledged wasn’t perfect but the best they could do.
Take time to ask probing questions to teens and young adults. Request them to “tell me what you know about the Constitution.”
Unfortunately, my experience hasn’t been so great. Some young people may be able to recite or mumble the preamble and then tell me about some of the amendments, but not many are able to tell me what’s in the main body (Articles I through VII) of this document.
I’ve started by saying “Article one deals with ‘Legislative powers.’” Article two deals with ‘Executive powers.’”
At this point, most of them recall, “Oh, yeah! The three branches: Legislative, Executive and Judicial.” From that point on, you can help them with those parts that, it appears, public schools aren’t adequately teaching by going through each article in the Constitution. This assumes they have the patience to depart from school work, video games and other time-consuming activities to engage in another teachable moment.
I’d like to see more people educated on the Constitution. I’m amazed at what some people say is in it that’s not.
I would like to see an amendment, though. We need one to address what I see as a growing problem: Career politicians. We should call this amendment the Coburn Amendment, named after our dearly departed Dr. Tom Coburn.
In his book, “Breach of Trust,” he recommended such an amendment. It should be worded in such a way as to limit the terms of House members to three and Senate members to two. Eighteen years total is enough to be in “public service.”