The Constitution as Tinkerbell

If Peter Sagal’s idea was to get people stirred up in discussions about the U.S. Constitution — and let’s hope it was — it’s working. Sagal is promoting his soon-to-air PBS special on the Constitution and stopped by Politico for a fascinating discussion about the document and the documentary.

He points out, for example, that the Constitution is changing by our willingness to view it in context of the times. If segregation, for example, was unconstitutional when it was struck down, in theory it was unconstitutional when it was fully ratified in 1790.

It’s a great conversation worth taking the time to watch.

But Sagal seemed stunned by the reaction to the interview. Specifically this:

“I’ve been calling it the Tinkerbell of national charters because Tinkerbell only lives if you clap, right? Or if you say, ‘I do believe in fairies, I do!’ It’s like this: ‘I do believe in civics, I do!’ And everybody believes in it, and we move on. And it’s an amazing phenomenon.”

“A very ‘NPR’ kind of attitude is apparent,” Larry O’Connor of Breitbart said.

The national dialogue that Sagal’s program is sparking, sounds very much like the accounts of the Constitutional Convention itself. It’ll be a rowdy and ugly discussion, and we won’t be worse off for having it.

The show airs on May 7.