US still likes the Constitution…sort of

Ramussen has a poll on the public’s perception of the Constitution:

Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters nationwide rate the U.S. Constitution as good or excellent, and there is little public support for changing the document.

However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% believe the Constitution doesn’t place enough restrictions on the government. Only 10% hold the opposite view and say the nation’s governing charter places too many restrictions on government. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the balance is about right.
Despite the desire for more restrictions on government, 93% of Americans say they would vote for the Constitution if it was on the ballot today.

Sixty-six percent (66%) say that no changes are needed in the document while 27% see a need for minor changes. Four percent (4%) believe major changes are required, and one percent (1%) want to scrap the document and start over again.

Too bad the meaning of the Constitution is often changed, misinterpreted or ignored by the judicial branch, which sidesteps the Article V process for amending the document.

Do Americans like the Constitution and it is written and can be easily understood or do they like the Constitution as they’ve learned it in government schools? That’s a question I’d like answered. You can sort of get your answer to that by this part of the poll:

Thirty-nine percent (39%) now believe that the legal system is too worried about individual rights over national security. Just 24% hold the opposite concern.

I don’t need to remind you what Ben Franklin said about trading liberty for securing.

  • southernjames

    My children (now 21 and 17) where educated in our fine Government School system. (the very system soon to be providing our automobiles and health care too!).

    They were taught virtually nothing about the Constitution. During their US History they got in 8th grade and again in 11th, they spent a day or two on the Constitutional Convention, and they learned the very very basics (covered in 3-4 multiple choice questions on the Chapter test) about the Bill of Rights. They were taught virtually nothing about the Founders.

    I would venture to say most Americans are profoundly ignorant about the Constitution.

  • Akston

    It would have been interesting if the poll included a small test of what is actually written in the Constitution. I’d bet a shiny nickel a vast majority could not even name the three branches of government, paraphrase more than one or two amendments, or pick which branch of government where “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate”.

    “I believe in the Constitution.”

    “Do you know what is written there?”

    “Yes, WE THE PEOPLE”

    “Anything else?”

    “I think it’s kinda brown-looking.”

  • Bill Walker

    If the polls referred to actually reflect the true feelings of Americans then it follows we should see virtually no protests whatsoever ever again. Everything is completely settled and resolved for all time. How refreshing that after all this time we Americans have finally reached the promised land of political resolution. I know I can sleep better at night knowing this.

    Now to get serious. The illogical position this poll shows can be illustrated by one fact. The majority of American people say they like the Constitution the way it is, according to this poll. That means that what is in it should be kept and used as needed. How then, do you explain that the poll says they don’t want change yet under the terms of Article V, because of the 750 applications from all 50 states mandating that a convention be called to propose amendments, Congress must call a convention to consider changing the Constitution?

    The poll is contradictory. If the people support the Constitution as it is meaning they support Article V and therefore the fact that if the states apply there must be a convention, how then can the poll be accurate that they want no changes where public record shows the public has overwhelmingly supported change to the document. The applications by the way can be read at

    Could it be the government has lied to the people and not told them about the applications? Given until the recently the fact the applications were buried in public record, the answer is yes. Could it be people don’t really know the full story as indicated in other comments? Yes.

    So it is clear this poll is meaningless as the facts of public record don’t support it.