'The Words That Made Us': Scholar Akhil Reed Amar On How To Better Understand The Constitution

Historians in the News
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What do Americans have in common? Scholar Akhil Reed Amar says the one thing every single American shares is the United States Constitution. He shares why he wants Americans to better understand the words that made us.  

Guests

Akhil Reed Amar, professor of law and political science at Yale University. Author of "The Words That Made Us."

Interview Highlights

Do you think members of the Republican Party are at war with the United States Constitution?

Akhil Reed Amar: “I personally think they're at war with the truth, and that's an even bigger thing to be at war with. And yes, I also think they're at war with the Constitution because here are the two most fundamental elements of the American constitution, or maybe three. The Constitution has to endure. It has to go on. In order for that to happen there have to be fair elections whose results are abided by all concerned, even the losers, and open, robust free speech.

....

"... Jefferson and Madison formed a political party that deformed their conduct. They originally began as antislavery folks and then they became increasingly pro-slavery because that's where the party base was. Why did they form their political party? In part because John Adams and his supporters, who themselves were a kind of a party, made it a crime to criticize John Adams. So you can't have a world where one party tries to criminalize the other party, which John Adams did, which Donald Trump threatened to do, even before he was elected with chants of 'Lock Her Up.'

Read entire article at WBUR