Public needs primer on the US Constitution

newsroom@islandpacket.comApril 26, 2014 

With a great deal of bewilderment and even more sadness, I read an April 21 letter regarding the Constitution. The lack of understanding of the Constitution, and the representative government established therein, speaks volumes as to the problem facing America today.

Popular opinion and what may be right and proper are two completely different notions. Frank Luntz of Fox News has written extensively on how to craft a polling question to obtain a desired response. The use of certain words and terms (death panels) can produce swings of some 40 points in polls about the Affordable Care Act.

Also, the Constitution contains the phrase "to promote the general welfare," i.e., to look after the best interests of the citizenry, best health practices certainly among them. In a representative government, those elected to office vote, in part, to "promote the general welfare," regardless of public opinion, or how that opinion is formulated and/or tabulated.

Currently, polls overwhelming show American support for a raise in the federal minimum wage and for firearm background checks. Where is the writer's righteous indignation about the lack of a vote or debate on these popularly-supported stances?

Finally, here's a little history. Count the number of executive orders and signing statements (proclamations that the president is not bound to uphold the law he just signed) issued by President George W. Bush.

I am sure I will find many a letter penned in protest of these executive moves. Or not.

Steve Corvini

Hilton Head Island

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