The Constitution is not only one of America’s founding documents, it can be a really good engagement tool for your festival booths.
My Tea Party created a Constitution quiz and it was a big hit at the Irish festival in our area yesterday. We had as many as eight people taking the quiz at one time. A big sign - How Well Do You Know Your Constitution? - and a scoreboard underneath drew people to our booth.
The questions, ten in all, started off easy - What is the age requirement for U.S. President? What amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms? The questions got harder from there: True or False - Laws enacted by the States are the supreme law of the land. True or False - Members of Congress can give themselves a pay raise before the next election.
A couple of the questions were disputed by Constitution geeks. For example: Does the General Welfare clause authorize social spending? We asked the question because actions justified by the General Welfare clause are supposed to benefit all the people, not just a subset like people who receive government checks, yet the General Welfare clause is being cited more and more often now to justify all kinds of things, including more social spending. Two people objected to the question, arguing that writing government checks to welfare recipients ultimately benefits all the people. So we will drop out problematic questions in future events because the point of the exercise is to educate the public about the Tea Party and our core values, not spend 20 minutes debating fine points with Constitution geeks. After scoring each individual who took the quiz and placing a colored dot on the scoreboard to mark their results, we quickly pivoted to asking what they think the Tea Party stands for. Many had never talked to a Tea Partier before. We gave each individual a card expressing our core values and giving our website address.
It was very gratifying to see so many people who know next to nothing about the Tea Party display such an interest in the Constitution. It is often said the Constitution is one of the few things left that all Americans have in common. The tremendous interest the quiz generated at our booth yesterday certainly shows lots of ordinary Americans are still very attached to our Constitution - and this was in a Deep Blue area! There’s hope for this country, yet.