NPR's Peter Sagal: U.S. Constitution Like 'Tinkerbell'; It's 'Only As Alive As We Collectively Have Decided'

April 23rd, 2013 4:42 PM

Promoting his new PBS special "Constitution USA with Peter Sagal," the NPR "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" host went a step further than the typical liberal explanation that the nation's governing charter was a "living document." No, "[w]hat makes the Constitution a successful document... is less the document itself than the people's willingness to believe in it," Politico's Patrick Gavin informed readers of his April 23 profile on Sagal, which summarizes a 13-minute interview (embedded below page break).

"The Constitution is only as alive as we collectively have decided it is today," Sagal told Gavin, adding, "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!'"

One thing Sagal "learned, among other things, is that most Americans don't know their Constitution terribly well," Gavin explained a few paragraphs earlier.

While that may be true, that's certainly no excuse to deride the Constitution as akin to a fictional fairy who befriends -- and effectively enables -- a boy who refuses to grow up. One wonders if Sagal's Tinkerbell comparison might additionally have a deeper level of derision to it, that it's constitutional conservatism which is a political philosophy which refuses to grow up.

Read more about Sagal's bias here.