Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline, “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.” In a new article, Professor Emeritus of Government John Finn shares his research—as featured in his new book, Fracturing the Founding: How the Alt-Right Corrupts the Constitution—showing how the alt-right and a wide variety of extremist organizations advance a comprehensive—if not entirely comprehensible—vision of the American Constitution.
How the alt-right corrupts the Constitution
About 10 years ago, I spent a sabbatical on the Maine coast writing a book about the Constitution.
One afternoon, an eager reference librarian who knew about my interests invited me to a talk at the library. The featured speaker was a woman who proudly called herself a “Constitutional Patriot.”
The speaker was self-educated and her message was simple: Liberal elites – judges, politicians and academics – had perverted the meaning of the “True Constitution.”
Getting the Constitution “right,” in her view and in the view of a great many far-right conservative groups and organizations, all of them constitutional patriots of a sort, means understanding the Constitution as the Founders understood it.