Our Constitution Made Easy: A Courageous Conversation

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Constitution is one of our nation’s most important documents, and knowing more about our Constitution is something we can all benefit from.

The single most distinguishing feature of American government is our Constitution. Ratitified in 1788 and in effect since March 1789, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest in the world, and provides the basic rules for how our government is organized and what is does.

Yet Americans lack knowledge of the document’s contents. In a 2014 national survey conducted for the Annenberg Center, only 36 percent could name the three branches of the federal government, while only 35 percent could name just one.

Meanwhile, 1/5th of the survey respondents thought that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision requires Congress to reconsider the case.

We put these questions to our Ozarks neighbors.

Michael Roberts, local resident says “I don’t know.”

Darian Rowe, local resident says, “Executive, Legislation. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.”

Jeffrey Goss, Jr., local resident says, “The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branch.”

On one level, these resonses are evidence that we don’t always talk about democracy and it’s principles enough to keep them at the top of minds.

In response, we here at KOLR10 embarking on a “Courageous Conversation: Our Constitution Made Easy.”

Over the next several days, we’ll offer you fast and easy-to-use explanations of what the constitution says, and what it doesn’t.

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