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Round Table Discussion

Jacobins—and Jacobins

At the dawn of the 21st century, few of today's public (or private) school students would argue with you if you told them that the United States of America was founded upon the principle, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, that "all men are created equal." They would offer no argument, perhaps, except that they thought that statement was in the Constitution, not the Declaration.

If Alan Keyes, considered by many conservatives to be their paragon, were teaching your son's history class, he would encourage this particular confusion, precisely because the platform of his "Declaration Foundation " states that the Constitution is properly interpreted through the lens of the Declaration. For the average American, conservative or liberal, that makes sense. However, for the tiny remnant still familiar with the debates surrounding our republic's founding, that makes as much sense as saving that the Torah can only properly be seen through the lens of Elijah's rants before the prophets of Baal.

How exactly do we read the Constitution objectively in the light of our greatest propaganda document, the Declaration of Independence, without reading in our own interests? There are those who believe that the federal government should exert absolute control over every abortion because our nation was founded upon the principle of the "right to life." There are also those who believe...

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