On the way home I listened to a program from the Aspen Ideas Festival on Michigan Radio. Walter Isaacson, CEO of the festival, brought together Normal Lear and Khizr Khan for a discussion of the Constitution. Lear is famous for the many TV shows he created, one of them was All in the Family, featuring the character Archie Bunker.
Khan is famous for a brief moment in the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Khan’s son had been killed in 2004 in the Iraq War, so at the Convention Khan sharply criticized the nasty guy, especially on the then proposed ban on Muslim immigration. A couple paragraphs of that speech were frequently quoted by media. This one is key:
Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words "liberty" and "equal protection of law."During that paragraph Khan pulled out a miniature copy of the Constitution out of his pocket and held it up. Yes, he carries copies with him.
This Aspen Ideas Festival discussion was about what Khan is doing to promote knowledge and understanding of the Constitution, evidently with Lear’s help. Khan reports that most schools no longer have a class in civics, so he and his colleagues go into schools (a great deal of interest in middle schools), pass out copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and talk to the students about what it all means. Khan focuses on what he says are the two most important amendments, the 1st and 14th. No other countries have in their constitutions have such phrases, such “dignities” as he calls them, of “freedom of assembly” and “equal protection.” Because of such phrases Khan highly prizes the Constitution and is doing what he can to defend it.
During the program it is clear that Khan has a great deal of reverence for our Constitution.
The audio is 52 minutes.
My brother is visiting his daughter (with husband and 3 children), who lives a half-day drive south of here. His other daughter is also there. I’ll be visiting them for the holiday weekend, so this is my last post of the year.