by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nobody, as far as I know, gets off from work to observe Constitution Day. It’s yet to be honored with a “doodle” from Google, which both this year and the last marked Constitution Day with separate graphics honoring Honduran Teachers’ Day.
The only place Constitution Day gets the respect it deserves is at the National Constitution Center, where president Jeffrey Rosen described the holiday as “the most exciting day of the year.” It is also the site where deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein delivered his first Constitution Day address.
I spent the hours leading up to the Monday night address with Rosenstein discussing his views on where the Constitution stands today.
He pointed me to a passage in an 1838 Abraham Lincoln speech to a group of young men in Illinois on the perpetuation of our political institutions. Lincoln calls for every American to “pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor” to the Constitution and the rule of law. Lincoln calls for “reverence for the laws” to be “breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap.” He wants the Constitution to be “written in primers, spelling book, and in Almanacs,” and “preached from the pulpit.” He hopes that the Constitution becomes the “political religion of the nation,” and that people of all stripes in the nation are willing to “sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.”
That’s not quite where we are today. Last week, Hillary Clinton bitterly argued that the Electoral College, one of the founders’ chief compromises on representation, “needs to be eliminated.”
Rosenstein, however, is on Team Lincoln.