Another Census Anecdote

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A reader writes,

“We had visit number Three from the Census Bureau tonight, with promises of more. First visit was a pleasant older gentleman. I told him according to the Constitution I was only required to say how many people lived here. I told him four. He wrote it on his form, said ‘thank you’ and left.

A couple weeks later, a less friendly older gentleman knocked on the door. When he received the constitutionally required answer, he started talking about Federal law, became quite animated, waving his papers and wanting us to read the requirements on them. He was only dissuaded by a “thank you sir” and the closing of the door.

Tonight, the supervisor knocked. When she got the constitutionally required answer, she tried to get names too. She asked “Where in the Constitution does it say you can’t give your name?” My husband told her the Constitution was a limit on government, not individuals. “I haven’t read the Constitution since I was in like, fifth grade” she whined. Then she informed us that her supervisor, the state supervisor, would follow up, and then the supervisor for this region of the country, and so on. My husband said he would be more than happy to provide them with the same enumeration. Four. That’s when she gave the quote of the night. “Don’t make me go home and read the Constitution!” she pleaded.

Too bad the video camera wasn’t running!”

I think this qualifies, as John Whitehead noted today (quoting Naomi Wolf), as [gently] pushing back in the name of freedom.

8:40 pm on May 18, 2010