There is an important debate that has raged since the birth of our country. Everyone who lives in America submits to the Constitution as the supreme law of the country, but not everyone agrees on how to interpret it. Both during our country’s early years and today, people have argued on whether to interpret the Constitution strictly and to the letter or to take a more malleable approach, allowing the government to intervene in citizens’ affairs if needed.
The debate has continued in light of recent government actions related to voting, the environment, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And according to recent nonpartisan surveys, most Americans would land on the side of caution rather than allowing a looser interpretation of the Constitution.
Online focus group company and online polling company John Zogby Strategies recently asked this question: “Should the Constitution be interpreted strictly to ensure checks and balances are maintained or loosely to expand the federal government’s role in solving problems?” According to the company’s podcast, The Zogby Report, 60% of respondents preferred a strict Constitutional interpretation, while 21% of respondents argued for more government intervention.
These results are especially striking given the company‘s usual poll audience, which includes a variety of perspectives, including a sizable number of Democrats. While opinion polls do not give a definitive answer to whether more government intervention is good for the country, they are a good indicator of what the current administration needs to do to win independent voters. In order to remain in power after the 2024 election, the Biden administration will have to justify the necessity or effectiveness of government administration during the current term.