Story Archive

We the People

A survey released for Independence Day in the U.S. shows that Americans cherish their freedoms. The poll, conducted by Vanderbilt University’s First Amendment Center, found the most important Constitutional right to Americans is the freedom of speech, followed by the freedom of religion and the right to bear arms. But when asked to name any of the guarantees in the Constitution’s First Amendment (freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances), 49 percent could not name even one. Worse, 53 percent said the press has “too much freedom,” and 35 percent thought the government ought to have the power to approve stories that newspapers publish, up from 20 percent just two years ago. (RC/AP) ...“Ignorance, forgetfulness, or contempt of the rights of man are the only causes of public misfortunes and of the corruption of governments.” —Declaration of the Rights of Man (French National Assembly, 1791).
Original Publication Date: 04 July 1999
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 6.

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