Often, when a movie or a novel wants to use a truly vapid slogan for a pretend political campaign, the writers will fall back on the phrase “Now more than ever.” It’s so broad and vague as to be utterly meaningless. Yet it’s precisely what popped into my mind today when I thought about the pressing need for educating the public, both young and old, about the wonders of the United States Constitution.
The first thing that reminded me how important our Constitution is came from a New York Times video about the mob slaughter of a 27-year-old Afghani woman named Farkhunda Malikzada. Despite surprisingly brave police efforts, a howling mob beat Farkhunda to death for burning a Koran and then, in a bow to the modern world in which these savages live, used smart phones to video the attack:
Afghanistan, a Muslim country, has nothing close to our Constitution. There is no freedom of speech (which our Supreme Court long ago said included burning symbolically significant items, provided the burner isn’t destroying someone else’s property); no freedom of religion (in Islamic countries, apostasy means death and members of other faiths are killed, enslaved, exiled, or subject to second class treatment); and no due process. Mobs exist everywhere, of course, but the ethos in America is (or used to be) freedom of speech and religion, as well as due process.