Sunday, November 30, 2008

In the Land of the Stupid

No, I'm not talking about Texas. I'm talking about the country Texas is a part of. As in a report from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute on America's civic literacy found that most Americans are too ignorant to vote.

1,800 of 2,500 randomly selected residents, college students and elected officials flunked the 33 question Civics Quiz. Even more scary, the elected officials scored 44% compared to the average of 49%.

I first learned of this Civics Quiz while reading Gar the Texan's fascinating Blog. I was not too shocked to read that Gar the Texan scored 77%. That boy's world revolves mostly around fiction. His understanding of politics and history seems quite limited. When I read that Gar the Texan scored 77% I thought that this was a bad score. And then this morning I read a column by the Washington Post's Katheen Parker all about the Civics Quiz. It was there I learned the average score was 49%. So, Gar the Texan's understanding of politics and history is far better than my judgemental rudeness gave him credit for.

When I took the Civics Quiz the questions seemed rather simple. I was surprised I got 3 of the 33 questions wrong, with a score of 90.91%.

You can go here and take the Civics Quiz and see if you are too stupid to vote.

A couple samples of how simple this quiz is...

In what document do the words "government of the people, by the people, for the people" appear?

Identify a right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Only 27% of elected office holders got that one right. 43% did not know what the Electoral College does. 46% did not know that the Constitution give Congress war declaration powers.

I don't believe the majority of my acquaintances would do very well on this Civics Quiz. One thing I've long noticed, while living in the Land of the Stupid, is that the stupider they are the more defensive they are about being stupid. Saying things like "I'm not interested in subjects like that." Or, "I find that subject boring." Or, "Why does anyone need to know this stuff." Or, "I don't need to know history, I'm only interested in today and tomorrow." Or, "I have too much already in my brain, I can't add any more extra stuff."

I can't help but wonder how George W. would do on this test. I think we all have a pretty good idea. On an encouraging note, regarding people so stupid they should not be allowed to vote, one of the more stupid people I have ever known is banned from voting. Now if we could only get more of them banned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting test. I got 31 out of 33.
You can take a little recollection a long ways by eliminating answers that you know don't make sense.

How do people stumble through life and not really understand these fundamental principles our American system is based on?