According to a new poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports, most Democrats and young Americans believe the U.S. Constitution is “racist,” “sexist,” and should be “rewritten.”
In fact, per the poll of 1,025 likely voters, 57 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of liberals believe the Constitution is “rooted in racism,” and 64 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of liberals say the Constitution is “a sexist document that gives men advantages over women.”
Among likely voters aged 19 to 39 years old, a similar pattern emerges. For instance, 49 percent of young voters think the Constitution is awash in racism and 54 percent believe the document is inherently sexist.
Perhaps most concerning, 49 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of liberals think the Constitution “should be mostly or completely rewritten.” Likewise, 51 percent of young voters believe the Constitution should be mostly or entirely discarded and replaced with an updated version.
On the other hand, most Republicans, Independents, conservatives, moderates, as well as middle-aged and older voters continue to hold the Constitution in high esteem.
For example, just 13 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of conservatives think the Constitution is rooted in racism. Among Independent voters, only 33 percent think the Constitution is inherently racist.
What’s more, only 33 percent of 40 to 64-year-olds and only 21 percent of voters over the age of 65 say the Constitution is “rooted in racism.”
And, just 20 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of conservatives agree that the Constitution is a sexist document that gives men advantages over women. Similarly, only 37 percent of Independents believe the Constitution is rooted in sexism.
The same trend applies with middle-aged and older voters. Only 29 percent of voters over the age of 65 and 37 percent of voters aged 40 to 64 years old agree that the Constitution is a sexist document.
Unsurprisingly, only 17 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of conservatives, and 28 percent of Independents believe the Constitution should be discarded and replaced. And, only 25 percent of middle-aged and just 17 percent of older voters agree that the Constitution should be mostly or completely rewritten.
So, what could possibly account for the stark contrast among these groups when it comes to their views on the Constitution?
For young Americans, it is easy to surmise that their antipathy towards the U.S. Constitution stems from an education system that has become antithetical to the values and philosophies espoused in the document.
As a former public high school teacher of American Government, I can attest that this is certainly the case in many classrooms throughout the country.
Unfortunately, far too many public school (and private school) teachers are not teaching their students the basic principles of the Constitution, such as how it protects individual rights, limits the power of government, and promotes personal freedom. Instead, they are disingenuously telling their students that the Constitution was written by white slaveholders whose main goal was to uphold slavery, the patriarchy, and their hold on power.
Due to this, millions of young Americans have been and are being brainwashed into thinking that the Constitution, which was put in place to prevent tyranny, is itself, a source of tyranny. However, this is an absurd position that is not supported whatsoever by history, facts, and reality.
As for Democrats’ apparent aversion toward the Constitution, one can assume this emanates from the fact that the Constitution places specific limits upon the power of the federal government, which is at odds with most Democrats’ view that the federal government is the solution to our problems, instead of vice-versa.
In recent years, as the so-called progressive wing of the Democratic Party has become more influential, this view of an all-powerful federal government that can bestow new rights, such as health care, housing, and even a universal basic income, has become part and parcel to the Democratic Party’s platform.
Yet, to accomplish the goal of fundamentally transforming the United States—as Barack Obama infamously said days before the 2008 election—the Constitution must go the way of the dinosaurs. In other words, today’s Democratic Party, which seems hellbent on increasing the power of the federal government above all else, sees the Constitution as a giant roadblock that is preventing their grand redesign of the country’s governing structure.
However, for those of us who reject the Democrats’ and young Americans’ shared dream of a fundamental transformation of America, the Constitution remains the single-greatest bulwark imaginable. Such is why conservatives and Republicans hold the Constitution in high regard while Democrats and young Americans generally do not.
Chris Talgo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.