Should all American citizens have to be familiar with the Constitution and

Should all american citizens have to be familiar with

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2.Should all Americancitizens have to befamiliar with theConstitution and otherfounding texts? 3.Are there groups inyour town that holdstudies of theConstitution? May 30, 2010Foster’s Daily Democrat.. . Earlier this month, the conference room at St. Mary’s Church was packed for thefirst official meeting of the Dover 912 Project and a presentation on the dismantling of theAmerican republic by city resident Greg Vatistas. The 30-year-old self-employed contractorrejoiced that so many people came out to “talk liberty.” He said it was a sign of the times.The 912 Project, brainchild of conservative commentator Glenn Beck, has spawned local groups dedicated to restoring what they see as the nation’s founding ideals.“Everyone wants to do their part, but it’s hard to focus everybody,” Vatistas said. “Wecan’t leave this for anybody else. . . . We have to do the heavy lifting . . . we have to readthe original texts.”A couple weeks earlier, on May 6, the Rochester 912 Project hosted a debate betweenRepublican U.S. Senate candidates that almost exclusively focused on the Constitution. After the debate, Jim Bender’s campaign spread a couple dozen pocket-sized copies of theConstitution on a table. Rochester businessman Gary Dworkin picked up a copy. He saidhe wanted to freshen his understanding of what “everybody was coming back to . . . as acore base of their beliefs.”. . . The emergence of the Tea Party and 912 groups, and their focus on the Constitution,complicates things for candidates and campaigns, Spiliotes said. “They have to make a decision about how far they’re willing to go down that path and what it holds for them forpolitical value.”. . . During the presentation, Vatistas drew two diagrams on a blackboard depicting thedifference between a simple and compound republic. Today the nation operates under asimple republic, where voters elect U.S. senators, as promised by the adoption of the 17thAmendment in 1913. Before that the nation was a compound republic, he said, with thepower to elect senators resting with state legislatures.Before the change, Vatistas said, each state had an “enforcer of the 10th Amendment”whose loyalty to their home state meant they would serve as a protector of localsovereignty. Before the 17th Amendment, he said, senators brought the country each state’sideals and was in a position to resist changes opposed at home.Several people left the talk charged to take some sort of action. They said they felt theyno longer had a choice.“We were like sleeping giants,” said Dover City Councilor Catherine Cheney. “People hada faith that this could not be eroded. People had a certain faith in the government, so westayed at home . . . now we’re realizing our lives as we know them could be very differentunless we say this is our life, this is who we are, and the documents and the history backsthat up.” . . .
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SOCIAL ANDCULTURAL CHANGEEven the most far-sighted of those inattendance at the Constitutional Convention could not have anticipated thevast changes that have occurred in the United States. For example, although many
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  • Science, American Revolution, United States Declaration of Independence, Thirteen Colonies, Second Continental Congress

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