chapter  8
36 Pages

God Knows How Dearly We Need a Constitutional Revival

Constitutionalism became more controversial and assumed a more central role in American culture than it ever had before. Some of the consequences seem quite positive: a reduction in the customary level of public indifference toward the Constitution; a “filtering-down” process that stimulated popular interest in certain aspects of American government, past and present; and the construction of a permanent home for the Supreme Court. Democracy seemed dangerous for many reasons, but particularly because the “average man” did not understand the American system of government. Radio became a vital supplement to the classroom in reminding Americans of all ages that the country was moving dangerously away from constitutional individualism toward unconstitutional centralization. The spectator will learn the lesson of the Constitution presented through motion pictures better than by any other means. The conservative refrain that became commonplace after 1923, “constitutional morality,” may be more comprehensible in the context.