How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative

Constitution cover

Immigrants have no rights!

America is founded on Christianity!

Unlimited guns are my birthright!

These are just a handful of arguments being shouted by vocal conservatives even though the Constitution of the United States–the very laws of our nation–says something quite different.

If liberals are going to counter these erroneous, angry, ill-informed positions with facts, they need to learn for themselves what the Constitution says.

This book teaches the basics with a large amount of humor and snark, all illustrated with more than 40 cartoons by 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial artist Darrin Bell, creator of the syndicated comic strip Candorville.

Click here to read the first chapter | Click here to hear Michael read it

Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Nook

“This book is a brief, basic constitutional lesson for those of us who remain utterly perplexed during these politically tumultuous times, yet are never entirely sure what is proven law, what is Constitutional law, and what remains nothing more than opinion masked as ‘fact.’ The book makes clear there is a robust market for propagating distorted personal views, augmented, of course, by shady politics. These exploitative distortions are then shamelessly masqueraded as absolute facts contained in the Constitution. This kind of political manipulation is something that has always existed. However, now I think I have a somewhat of a better understanding of how these offenses have managed to be pulled off.

The book is, well, funny. Seriously.––I know, I know… how could learning about the Constitution––of all things––be hilarious? Trust me … this book was packed with a ton of facts, seasoned with snark, and spiked with wittiness, which only added to making a droll subject burst alive on the pages. I lost count as to how many times I laughed.

However, I would be sorely remiss if I didn’t also mention how the brutally honest, uncompromising editorial cartoons by artist Darrin Bell, exposed a conundrum of unpalatable facts, making for a perfect accompaniment to such a serious subject [despite the author’s spot-on penchant for satirical humor.]

Again, the book isn’t long. I read it in just one sitting, jotting down notes for further research, but that didn’t take away at all from the book’s impact. As I read, I pictured the author, a criminal defense attorney and former Constitutional Law Professor, standing at the lecture podium in a room packed with eager students much like myself, all ready to learn once and for all, ‘What the hell is going on?’

And now, I know.” – Sahar Abdulaziz

“So often you’ll hear someone––yeah, usually a Conservative Republican––mouthing off about the Constitution, and you are pretty sure he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Well, here in one volume, from a Constitutional scholar, is a hilariously funny journey through the Constitution that explains each part, from beginning to end (including the Amendments), while debunking so many of the myths about it. Nothing dry here––Ventrella lets loose with both barrels on many of the ignorant arguments made by those on the right. A fun read, even if you aren’t interested in how the poorly-written Second Amendment (and others) has been misinterpreted by conservatives, how presidential power has been abused, or the problems with the Electoral system.” – Larry Hodges

“I’m nuts about The Constitution. I can’t read it enough nor can I read about it enough, but I do have the hardest time arguing about it with someone who reads the same words but come up with entirely different interpretations on what they mean.

Michael Ventrella’s book was a fun, engaging read, Darren Bell’s cartoons added insight and an additional tickle to the funny bone and, through this book, I learned the most important lesson of arguing about The Constitution… with anyone. The words are always up for interpretation. My read of The Constitution may not be 100% right, but neither is the person I’m arguing with and that’s kind of the beauty of it all.” – Valerie Jackson

“Great little book. The author explains what’s in the Constitution and interprets it as only a lawyer can. He explains why conservatives are more activist in interpreting the Constitution than even liberals and he also explains why both conservatives and liberals are wrong on many interpretations. The author also shows a great sense of humor, making the reading fun. Highly recommended.” – Albert M. Kapustar

“I’m familiar with Michael A. Ventrella’s work from several of his other books and anthologies (most of those are fiction, I’m a personal fan of Bloodsuckers and his Fortannis novels and short story collections). He has a great sense of flow and a wonderful sense of humor. I read the book in an afternoon and laughed out loud (for real) more than a few times. It’s a great introductory piece. Michael has demystified the cumbersome language of the constitution in a way that a layperson such as myself can grasp. He leans heavily into his explicitly stated liberal bias but as he says a number of times in the book – the law is all politics anyway.” –  Henry Hart

“We all know people who are living in a Fox News version of reality: family members, neighbors, co-workers who think they know the facts about their Constitutional rights. This book will help you navigate difficult conversations with those you care enough about to discuss our different world views. And if you have given up talking to the other side, read this book anyway so you know you are not crazy and, while you are at it, enjoy some cathartic laughter. Mike Ventrella has taught constitutional law but he writes like a professional comedian. I guarantee that you will be laughing out loud and have your world view confirmed or expanded by this book. The illustrations by Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist Darrin Bell are hilarious also. Buy this book and enjoy!” – Anonymous (from Amazon)

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