Trustees | General Education

Thanks, Kareem, For Your Great All-American Idea

RICHFIELD PATCH   |  September 22, 2016 by D. G. Connelly

I read Parade Magazine but I don’t want anybody to know I read it because its fluff quotient is way too high. Calling that whimsical Sunday supplement a magazine is like calling an old banana cream-filled Twinkie brain food. At best Parade is junk food for your mind to mindlessly snack on. It’s fun to read, but it never really stimulates thought. Every week it’s full of the same old stuff: God Bless America stories, factoids about TV and movie stars, recipes, puzzles, cartoons, advice from the smartest woman in the world…almost like Readers Digest andWeekly Reader got married and retired to Florida.

That’s what I used to think, anyway.

But then the September 11th issue changed everything for me. Parade actually asked renowned celebrities and private citizens alike what the number one job for the next president should be. It wasn’t just fun to read, it was actually thought-provoking!

The very best idea came from basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 
“If I were president, I would make Constitution Day (yes, there really is such a day, September 17) a nationally celebrated holiday with public readings from the Constitution, a Supreme Court versus Congress basketball game and other events that promoted learning about the greatest political document ever written. We need better public understanding of the document that is supposed to guide the moral and social choices of our government and our people.”

Can you believe it? Just when you thought practically all the athletes in the world were dumbed-down jocks, along comes a former star of the NBA with a fantastic idea. He hit the nail right on the head. The problem with America isn’t a matter of changing laws, it’s a matter of working effectively with the laws we already do have in this country. In order to do that, though, we have to first know what the laws are and how they work. According to recent polls from The American Council of Trustees and Alumni Survey, 2015, a lot of Americans just don’t understand how our Constitution works.

I mean, participants in this survey were so clueless that they didn’t even understand how their wrong answers were that unbelievably stupid. For example, 10% of college graduates who were polled actually believed Judge Judy was on the US Supreme Court. In order for anyone to be on the Supreme Court, certain things outlined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution must first take place. A person has to first be nominated by the President of The United States. Then in keeping with the Senate’s power to Advise and Consent, the nominee must be seriously vetted. The Senate typically holds discussions and hearings, even interviews the nominee. Then the appointment has to be officially ratified by a majority of Senators. Judge Judy has never been nominated or vetted or ratified or sworn in as a Justice. So how could she possibly be a member of The Supreme Court? Duh.

Here’s another shocker. 33% of those polled — that’s at least 1/3rd — didn’t know The Supreme Court was part of one of the three branches of the Federal Government. (FYI, the others are the Legislative branch and the Executive branch.) And only 28% of Americans polled say they’ve read the Constitution? We really need to pump up this holiday in a way so that Americans can learn, as well as celebrate, this framework for our government — and our lives.

But wait. The guy who came up with this great idea is (gasp!) A MUSLIM! OMG! What do you do with a law-abiding citizen who has such great ideas and love for his country but happens to have the same religion as the fanatical terrorists who are trying to destroy America? Well, if Donald Trump had his way, he’d deport Kareem out of this country, period. No questions asked, get him out of here. And according to Trumpty, the rest of the Americans who practice this faith should get the boot, too. That means US Congressman Keith Ellison would have to leave America. So would Mohammad Ali — if he were still alive, that is.

Should law-abiding patriotic Americans like Kareem be able to register as “Nice Muslims” so they could avoid deportation?

Or should Trump’s “No Muslims Allowed” mandate be enforced for all Muslims?

Either choice here is unconstitutional. But the real irony is that Americans could actually elect a non-Muslim who knows absolutely nothing about our Constitution to be America’s next President. That’s just not ironic, that’s downright scary. So, I have a simple solution to avert this impending Constitutional crisis. I know I can’t do it, but here’s what I’d really LIKE to do. I’d like to take The Donald’s fascist intolerance and ignorance and kick him out of the country, but I can’t. I know that would be unconstitutional because I stayed awake during civics class.


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