When it comes to the U.S. Constitution, there’s good news and bad news. (And then some really good news!)
Good news first: As political debates have sharpened over the past few years – since the rise of the tea-party movement – more and more Americans are becoming interested in the Constitution. While academics and some limited political circles always have discussed the Constitution and its meaning, it’s striking to see so many ordinary Americans having these conversations – and embracing the ideals of our Founding Fathers and the Constitution itself.
Now, the bad news: While interest in the Constitution is growing, few Americans actually know much about what it says. That has serious downsides. It means many Americans don’t really understand the rights the Constitution protects or the powers it grants.