Repairing our Constitutional Republic

Mark Menaldo’s outstanding essay today indicates the kind of essays we plan to publish more of in the future at The Constitutionalist. As we put the Trump storm behind us, the questions become: how do we make sense of where we are? how did we get here? how do we repair ourselves going forward? This is much harder work than the kind of anger we directed at Trump and his cronies. Menaldo’s call for an education that will help us overcome our barbarism gets at the deepest roots of the rot that has infected us. We just don’t understand ourselves or our regime anymore. We can’t repair ourselves because we don’t know what the car was supposed to look like in the first place. The barbarism of both last summer’s riots and of the attack on the capitol arose partially from ignorance. As Greg Weiner wrote in a recent article, the problem right now is as much “demand-side” as it is “supply-side.” And the “demand-side” problem can only be solved by better education. As Menaldo writes: “Our children, and those to come, deserve an education that will help them appreciate the precariousness of peace, prosperity, and political stability and keep barbarism at bay. This is my civilizing project.”

One thought on “Repairing our Constitutional Republic

  1. I must first state that although I agree with the premise of your essay, I disagree with a significant amount of the content of your essay.

    As an educator, you should teach your students how to think and process facts, events, and opinions and not what to think or how to process facts and opinions. You must be careful when you “implore and model” because this might be directing thoughts and beliefs, not permitting them to be formed by the the students on their own.

    I believe your last paragraph was trying to state this rationale, however, the greater body of your text did not convey this.

    Over the past year, the United States has not been a place of peace where the rule-of-law has been followed. BLM and ANTIFA have taken hold of many cities causing havoc and destruction with the take-over of cities. There has been destruction of property and loss of life. Although you talk about the siege on the United States Capitol Building, it was only one of many riotous events that has occurred in our nation, even on federal lands, during this past year. It was wrong, just as all of the other riots–or should I say “peaceful protests” that led to destruction and death–were also wrong. One riotous event should not be singled out as being more wrong than any of the others.

    As an educator myself, I would be wrong to stifle the ideas of my students, even if I feel them to be wrong or naïve. Without ideas, no matter how fledgling, we, as a society, would not come up with creative new ideas that enable us to grow, develop, and prosper.

    Be careful of your words, especially when they are directed towards your students because many have yet to have found their own mind and will simply follow your lead. This situation is then not teaching or leading, but indoctrination. As an academic, it is a fine line, but a critical line, which can lead to creativity and leadership or compliance and indoctrination.

    K. Etzel, M.D.

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