Ben Carson: Viral 'man-on-the-street videos' confirm that most Americans don't know their Constitutional rights

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson says Americans overwhelmingly are unfamiliar with the US Constitution — and the proof is in viral “man-on-the-street” videos.

In a wide-ranging interview with Business Insider promoting his new book, “A More Perfect Union,” the Republican presidential candidate opined that such videos show evidence of a root cause of many of America’s problems: ignorance about protections afforded under the Constitution.

“Almost every American knows we have a Constitution, but not very many people know what’s in it,” Carson told Business Insider.

“It’s become blatantly obvious — when you see those man-on-the-street interviews and you ask people basic stuff and they have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Such videos, seen everywhere from right- and libertarian-leaning websites to “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” show reporters questioning Americans on the street about their knowledge of basic political facts.

In his book, Carson argues that Americans need to better understand the Constitution in order to better understand their civil liberties. “A More Perfect Union” walks readers through the Constitution as seen through Carson’s conservative lens.

As a solution to Americans’ lack of knowledge about the Constitution, Carson suggested public schools should expand programs that teach government and civics.

“I certainly think that it should be taught. There was a time that civics was taught on a regular basis in schools, and that’s no longer the case,” Carson said.

Carson also wrote in his book that Americans may be better served by memorising the preamble of the Constitution, though he told Business Insider that he would not support any kind of mandate requiring that.

When asked by Business Insider if he had the preamble memorized, Carson recited it almost verbatim.

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