Chris Christie Flubbed Something Really Basic About American History

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/19348311842/in/photolist-vtKa2u-vrYuc3-uxrsai-uxgDeJ-vuRUa5-uxgFvY-vcGPCL-vvphtp-vtJYSS-vuhdtk-vtJY2o-uxrgdZ-vuhemx-vrYmgy-vtJYof-vcGJCf-uxgCa9-vuCHYD-vuhbKk-vcQ4Cg-vtJZuU-vtJVjE-vuCK94-vrYqaq-vcGxq7-vuCJjZ-vcGHSN-vuCGsT-vtJVAS-vuh9ei-vtJVtC-pvwrWW-uyowDQ-5AnfGQ-zAavPU-zRDDaS-yVKyCE-zAc4gh-5Bg5q2-8LsbMN-8LsbRu-8Ls9Eh-8Lsauq-8Lp6Aa-8LsaRY-8Ls9um-8LsaNu-8Lp89r-8Lsagq-8Lp6GK">Marc Nozell</a>/Flickr

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a bold pronouncement at Thursday’s Republican debate: the founders considered the right to bear arms to be one of the most important constitutional amendments—that’s why it was the second one on the list. “I don’t think the Founders put the second amendment as number two by accident,” he said, adding, “I think they made the Second Amendment the Second Amendment because they thought it was just that important.”

But that doesn’t make a lot of sense—the Third Amendment (which prevents citizens from quartering soldiers against their will) is not more important than the Fourth Amendment (which prohibits unwarranted search and seizure), simply because it has a lower number. Nor would you be able to find many conservatives who believe the Tenth Amendment, which delegates rights to the states, is somehow the least important of the bunch.

The other problem with this line of thinking is that the Second Amendment as we know it wasn’t really the second amendment to be written—it was the fourth. James Madison proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution, but the first two were not ratified by enough states. The original First Amendment concerned the size of congressional districts—not quite as big of a deal in the grand scheme of things as, say, the original Third Amendment (which would become freedom of expression). The original Second Amendment would have prohibited Congress from raising its own pay (it was eventually ratified as the 27th.)

This is all a bit confusing but you have to bear in mind the Founding Fathers were drunk most of the time.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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