The Constitution Institute
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Federalism * Enumerated Powers * Separation of Powers
Over the years, various organizations have sprung up with the noble desire to return the government to its constitution moorings. However, I have noticed time and again two things about these organizations.
First, they are generally headed by individuals who have no experience actually applying these constitutional principles in practical terms. Obviously, the more groups talking about and teaching the Constitution, the better off we all are. However, a constant refrain I hear as I speak with attendees who have participated in forums put on by these organizations is the second thing.
The second thing about many of the organizations who speak on or teach constitutional principles is that attendees to their events are left asking: So what do we do? How do we fix this? What is the Constitutional remedy?
This is where the Constitution Institute is different. Rather than teaching students about the Constitution. The Constitution Institute will TEACH THE CONSTITUTION.
Said another way, say you are on the road, many miles from the nearest cell phone tower and your car breaks down. Would you be better off if you knew about your engine or if you actually KNEW YOUR ENGINE? Sure, you may know that your engine has six cylinders, oil is necessary to keep the engine lubricated, and that there is an air conditioner provided as standard equipment. But the question is: Do you have the working knowledge of what’s under the hood so you can fix the problem that has left you stranded?
Likewise, with a concern about the direction that a particular government branch is taking on an issue, it would be much more advantageous to know exactly how they are violating the Constitution AND how We the People can correct the damage or stop the damage before it happens.
As a student proceeds through the Institute’s training, he or she will gain the knowledge and confidence to engage their government or, hopefully, even run for office. Be assured that the student who completes the Constitution Institute’s training will have a better working knowledge of that document than their neighbors, every talk show pundit, and the vast majority of politicians.
So how, you may ask, will the Constitution Institute fulfill its mission of “producing citizen-statesmen.” We will do it through education.
However, it is not the aim of the Institute to re-invent the wheel. There are numerous organizations that teach the history of the constitution, the principles that underlay the constitution, American history leading up to the constitution, etc. The Constitution Institute will focus the student’s attention on the practical application of the provisions of the Constitution in governing our “confederated republic” – as James Madison referred to it.
The Institute’s training will begin with seven (7) “modules.” When a student completes those seven (7) modules, he or she will have a working knowledge of the Constitution that empowers them to properly understand whether a specific branch of the government or legislator or president or judge or justice is operating in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Constitution. It is one thing to be concerned that your government may be operating outside of the bounds of Constitutional authority. It is another thing altogether to know specifically how the government agent is violating their oath to uphold the Constitution and then to be able to offer the Constitutional remedy for the error.
As the student attends the classes that cover the various modules, the student will gather an ever growing confidence in their own ability to apply Constitutional principles. By attending the classes and acquiring the printed materials that will be issued by the Institute, the student will obtain the ability to discuss current events in the light of a keen understanding of the Constitution.
The modules that will make up the series of classes available through the Constitution Institute are:
Note: A discussion of the Bill of Rights and other Articles of Amendment will take place in the various modules.
Seminars held by the Constitution Institute will be conducted by the president of the Institute, former six-term Congressman John Hostettler and will begin in the state of Indiana. However, training is available to other states as well.
Click on Ben to request a presentation to introduce your group to the Constitution Institute.