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Former Congressman: Americans need Constitution education

April 11, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — A former U.S. Congressman is taking it upon himself to educate his countrymen on the document that helps keep the country democratic.
And, he says, most Americans have a lot to learn.
“We must become educated,” said John Hostettler, who served the 8th U.S. Congressional District from 1995 to 2007 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hostettler spoke at a recent meeting of the Whitley County Patriots.
The former legislator formed a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching citizens about the U.S. Constitution.
To emphasize the need for such education, Hostettler gave examples of Constitutional ignorance in Hollywood, the U.S. Senate, the federal judiciary branch and the conservative talk show circuit.
His presentation began with a clip from the Chris Farley movie “Tommy Boy,” in which Farley’s character arrives at his college classroom for a test.
“I can’t believe Marquette University attached its name to this movie,” said Hostettler.
Farley’s character was attending the Wisconsin-based college and had to answer a question on U.S. history involving original framers of the Constitution.
The question shown in the movie misidentified John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson as original framers.
“It merely reflects a wide spread lack of understanding of the Constitution,” said Hostettler.
Hostettler’s seminar is traveling the state in what he says is a mission to turn common citizens into “citizen statesmen.”
The seminar is called the Constitution Institute.
“Before we can expect the officeholders in Washington, D.C. to restore the limited government envisioned by the Constitution’s framers, we the people must become enlightened on the profound principles that are present in that important document,” said Hostettler on his website.
Hostettler reported that the next seminar, scheduled in Merrillville, is sold out.
Anyone wanting to attend a future seminar should refer to the website for the nearest session.
The website is


Democracy vs republic

April 11, 2011 by may38 (not verified), 3 years 50 weeks ago
Comment: 3195

The first line of your story is incorrect and a misrepresentation of John Hostettler's organization.. We are not a democracy!
Ben Franklin said "I have given you a republic, if you can keep it."
The difference between a democracy and a republic is fundamental.
A republic is based on laws and representatives elected "by the people". A democracy is synonymous with "majority rule".
A quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson is "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%".

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