Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Transcript - Juliette Turner, the 14-year-old daughter of Janine Turner, is already an author of a new book called "Our Constitution Rocks". Juliette certainly knows more about the document signed today by our Founders than our Commander-in-Chief and most of the men in Congress as well. Check out Mike's interview with Juliette and a link to her excellent book...
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Back to our Dude Maker Hotline on the Constitution Day extravaganza. Let’s talk to Juliette Turner, daughter of actress Janine Turner and author of a new book out called Our Constitution Rocks. Young Ms. Turner is but 14 or 15 years old, Juliette?
Juliette Turner: I’m 14 years old.
Mike: Fourteen years old and already an author. Welcome aboard. How are you today?
Juliette: I’m wonderful. Happy Constitution Day!
Mike: Same to you. So why pick up the author’s pen to write a constitution book at age 14, I must ask?
Juliette: Well, three years ago my mother read the Constitution to me during my spring break. It sparked an interest in me to learn more about our country’s founding documents. Then I became the national youth director of my mother’s foundation Constituting America. We were actually just in Philadelphia celebrating Constitution Day with the winners of Constituting America’s annual contest. You can find more on that at ConstitutingAmerica.org. I began as the youth director and saw how little my generation really knew about the Constitution. It concerned me. We are the future of our country. We’re the future voters. If we don’t know about it, then we won’t know when it’s in danger, won’t know how to protect it.
I joined one of Constituting America’s 90-day forums on the Constitution. I read scholars essays from all across America, then I wrote 90 essays. I wrote them for kids, so they’re in kid form. I had fun fact paragraphs. It was very short and sweet and fun or kids. I wanted to talk about the Constitution in a hip and cool way for my generation. A lot of people my age think the Constitution is a 225-year-old document written by a bunch of guys who wore tights and wigs. I wanted to make sure that my generation knows that the Constitution is so relevant to today. It’s the law of the land. It establishes the checks and balances of our government.
I now have a book on the Constitution where I have sections in my book, one of the “The Bottom Line.” I break down the Constitution into 90 segments. I take that one segment, which is clause by clause, essentially, and rewrite the Constitution or clause in I break down the Constitution into 90 segments. I take that one segment, which is clause by clause, essentially, and rewrite the Constitution or clause in my generation’s language in one line. I also have “Why Should I Care?” because that’s the question we all ask, and then “What Has It Done For Me Lately?” how that clause is so relevant in our lives today. My book is just to spread awareness among my generation in a fun way, in our generation’s language.
Mike: I’m intrigued because I haven’t received my copy yet. Can you give me a clause that you translated, that you’ve committed to memory, so that your generation understands it better?
Juliette: One of my favorite clauses -- I love all the clauses in the Constitution that we know very little about and take for granted every day. One of them, I believe, is Article I, Section 9, Clause 2, and that protects our Writ of Habeas Corpus, which means you can’t be just thrown in jail and left in there and not addressed for your crime. I love that because we take that for granted. Almost everyone today doesn’t know, unless you’re a constitutional scholar, you don’t know what’s in the Constitution. We take for granted that we have the Writ of Habeas Corpus in this document. Also, Article IV, Section 4, it protects statewide and nationwide our right to a republican form of government. It’s little things like that in the Constitution that I love.
Mike: Juliette Lewis, the daughter of -- Juliette Turner, good grief. I’m sorry, that’s an insult. Good grief, was that an insult. Forgive me.
Juliette: That’s okay.
Mike: AG, you were ready to jump in there and correct me, weren’t you?
Juliette: That’s fine.
Mike: Juliette Turner, daughter of Janine Turner, with Our Constitution Rocks, a kids’ book, a teenagers’ book. Let me ask you, what’s it like going up against the teen wolves? You’re a young author and you’re trying to steal attention away, Constitution Day or not, against the Twilight series, against The Hunger Games and all that. How is that going?
Juliette: I love The Hunger Games. That’s one of my favorite series. I believe that my generation actually is becoming more and more aware of the urgency of knowing our constitution, of protecting our country, of the crisis our country is in right now. I believe that my generation really is standing up to the plate and going, “No, we’re going to protect our country. We want to protect our rights. We’re going to know our Constitution.” I think it’s actually a great time right now. I think my generation is awakening to the call of duty almost.
Mike: When you say “awakening to the call of duty,” what do you think the call of duty is for 13-, 14-, 15-, 16-year-olds? Is it just learning or is it learning and then getting in the face of those that refuse to learn and saying, “You need to read. You need to learn”?
Juliette: I know, right? We’re the future voters. In a republic, our vote is our voice. The people we vote into office are making our decisions for us up in Congress and the presidency and even the judicial branch. If we don’t know our Constitution, we won’t know how to vote properly. I believe that not only do we need to know the Constitution, we have to apply it to our everyday lives. That includes spreading awareness about the Constitution. I believe it, sadly, is not taught in schools much anymore, because the schools are so busy teaching things like science and math. Civics has been almost dropped. I believe the parents need to teach the children about the Constitution, as my mother did with me. Also, my generation and kids my age need to tell their friends about the Constitution. In that way, we’re lighting one candle at a time. We just need to spread the word about the Constitution. The Constitution is a nonpartisan document. It’s the law of the land for our country. It establishes the checks and balances.
Mike: True, very true. How is the tour going? The book came out about two weeks ago, three weeks ago?
Juliette: Yes, it came out on September 4th. It’s been out for a few weeks. It’s available on Amazon.com or bookstores all across the nation. It actually has sold out a few times on Amazon. You might not get it right away.
Mike: How can you get an autographed copy? How do I get my autographed copy?
Juliette: I’ll send you an autographed copy. I’m setting up some book signings right now and doing some other press.
Mike: Are you having to take time out of school? Is mom tutoring you on the road? How is that working out for you?
Juliette: I’m actually missing school today, but it’s Constitution Day. It’s the 225th birthday to our Constitution, just to give a shout out. I am missing school, but my school is really working with me.
Mike: Juliette, you’re not missing school, you’re teaching school, my dear.
Juliette: Exactly. It’s a learning experience. We were in Philadelphia this weekend and on Friday with the winners of our “We The People 9*17” contest with Constituting America. It was college kids, elementary kids. We all love the Constitution. It was so great to be with my generation. We had singers who love to sing about the Constitution, with writers who wrote wonderful essays or speeches on the Constitution, little elementary girls who wrote poems or drawings. We had films on the Constitution. It was great to see people my age using their talents to spread the word about the Constitution. It was really fun.
Mike: AG, let me let you come in on this for just a second here. Will you second my nomination? I nominate Juliette to debate President Obama on the Constitution. Just leave Governor Romney out. He can stay home for this one. I nominate you at the Hofstra University to take on President Obama and school him on the Constitution. What do you say, Juliette?
AG: I agree.
Mike: You concur? I had to get a second from my producer. Are you up to the challenge? Will you debate the President on the Constitution?
Juliette: That’s funny. Well, yes, sir, I’ll do that.
Mike: That’s funny. Well, we’re going to send the invitation. We’re going to try to make this happen. I think it’s apparent you probably know more about the document than 98 percent of the Congress. As a matter of fact, is one of your tour stops to go to the Capitol to teach a class?
Juliette: Oh, goodness, I love Washington, D.C. so much. It is important that our elected representatives know about the Constitution. They take an oath of office upon going into office to protect the Constitution, not to protect the people or America, but to protect our Constitution. Our founding fathers had it that way because they knew that the Constitution would in turn protect the people. It’s important that our elected representatives know the Constitution.
Mike: You got my vote. Juliette Turner, her book is Our Constitution Rocks. It’s written by, as you can hear, a teen for teens. It sounds to me like there’s a lot adults could learn in it today. Juliette, best of luck to you. I will be looking for my autographed copy in the mail.
Juliette: Yes, I will send one to you, definitely.
Mike: I will send one back to you. I’ve got a couple movies on the subject you might enjoy.
Mike: Fantastic. Juliette, thank you.
Juliette: Thank you so much. Happy Constitution Day!
Mike: Same back to you.
End Mike Church Show Transcript