History of Constitution Thursday
CONSTITUTION THURSDAY was born out of an idea that I had in February of 2009. As the Tea Party movement was really just starting to percolate, I though it would be cool to have a “Constitutional Coffee Klatch” on a regular basis at a local restaurant or bar where we could eat, drink, read and discuss the Constitution, much as our great-grand-forefathers did. That idea eventually morphed (for a number of reasons) into what was the Afternoons Live Book Guild, but the thought of a pure Constitution time still held very strong sway and I was determined to make it happen.
When I couldn’t get the backing to do it externally, I made the decision in December of 2009 to do it as a part of the show. I looked over the schedule and Thursday was (at that time) the only day we didn’t have a segment so, the 5pm hour looked good.
On January 7, 2010, Constitution Thursday was born.
It’s a sad truth that I wasn’t as organized in those days as I am today. Later it would take a great deal of effort and time to organize the collection of original broadcasts into a coherent list. Also, alas, September and October of 2010, mostly Article II and III, have been lost – although I continue to look for them and every now and then I come across an episode that was missed.
One of the things that I learned early on in the process was that virtually everything that I thought I knew about the Constitution was either wrong or at least incomplete. Moreover, I had no concept of “Incorporation,” no real understanding of the Supreme Court System and quite frankly my vocabulary skills were rusty. All of those things have markedly improved through this process.
As a former Instructor, I learned a long time ago that I learn best when I am teaching. So all of these broadcasts have a feel to them that I am learning along with the audience. You are in fact, coming with me on my journey to discover the US Constitution.
There are – because these are live broadcasts and for the most part extemporaneous in nature – errors and misspoken words and phrases. Before you jump on one, listen through the end and at least through the first 5-10 minutes of the next episode before you assume that I didn’t catch it. I am sure that there are more that I have not caught, but I make an honest effort to insure accuracy and precise information.
That being said, this is not a college level course in Constitutional Law. I am not (alas) a lawyer (yet). But the Constitution wasn’t written for lawyers and scholars, kings and priests. It was written for all the People, We the People, as it were. I believe with every fiber of my being, that if EVERY American citizen had a level of understanding of the Constitution equal to that gained by listening to these broadcasts, American Liberties would be much safer and our Government today would have a much different tone and approach to governing.
I will add in closing that the nature of the broadcasts changes over time. In the beginning they are more lecture, as befitting of my training as a Naval Instructor and Pastor, with various show cast members and guests added in later episodes.
The biggest single change in the tone and preparation of episodes came in October of 2011, when John Considine was added as the co-Host. John is a wonderful man and very professional (despite his on air persona). But he came to the show from a background in music radio, and had no initial grasp of Constitutional issues and history. To his credit, he jumped in feet first, and as you will hear over the course of time, he becomes not only interested, but passionate about the Constitution and what it means to him personally. It is amazing to me to see the effect on just one person.
And that, is what Constitution Thursday is really all about.
In late 2012, the idea of a “working group” to teach and study the Constitution gave birth to the “Layman’s Point of View” group. Consisting of the people listed in the main menu, the group seeks to study, comment and share about the US Constitution. It is a diverse group of people and professions and some of the finest people and minds I have ever had the privilege of working with. The melding of the LPOV and Constitution Thursday into a single web presence made absolute sense and gives an additional source of viewpoints and thought, while adding the ability for listeners and readers to participate as well.
If you have any questions, comments or various sundry whining or complaints about Constitution Thursday, feel free to drop me an eMail.
David Ray Bowman (a/k/a Dave! Diamond)