Thread: Americans don't know civics
#1 Americans don't know civics11-21-2008, 12:05 AM
Americans don't know civics
By Michelle Healy, USA TODAY
From high-school dropouts to college graduates to elected officials, Americans are "alarmingly uninformed" about the USA's history, founding principals and economy — knowledge needed to participate wisely in civic life, says a report scheduled to be released Thursday.
The study, the third in a series by the non-profit Intercollegiate Studies Institute, finds that half of U.S. adults can name all three branches of government, and 54% know that the power to declare war belongs to Congress. Almost 40% incorrectly said that it belongs to the president.
And while 56% can name Paula Abdul as a judge on American Idol, only 21% know that the phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people" comes from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Just 54% can correctly identify a basic description of the free enterprise system.
Those who have held elected office lack civic knowledge; 43% do not know the Electoral College is a constitutionally mandated assembly that elects the president. One in five thinks it "trains those aspiring for higher office" or "was established to supervise the first televised presidential debates."
Last edited by bijou; 11-21-2008 at 03:18 AM. Reason: To comply with Breaking News rules"Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards." -PJ O'Roarke
11-21-2008, 12:16 AM
You wanna know why we get the leaders we do, you want to understand why the drones are moving the wheels and we're giving away our liberty to enact Socialism piece by piece, here's your answer. More people can identify the hosts of American Idol then the Gettysburg Address...and you wonder why these morons will throw out our Constitution if the Government just waves some "free" money at 'em?
If you've got young kids, pay close attention to what they learn in school. Spend time reading together. Turn off the damn television, pick up a book and learn something as a family. It's up to all of us collectively to try & turn this thing around.
And Jinx, we all congratulate you on your new baby man. Now make sure you homeschool when it's time! ;)"Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards." -PJ O'Roarke
11-21-2008, 12:31 AM
Thanks for posting this.
I think some of our elected officials still think we're on a Gold Standard also. If this doesn't highlight the need for having standards for letting people into voting booths, I don't know what will. I'd be interested to see a bit more data - finding out of the 50% of US adults that can't name the three branches of government, what percent were Democrats and what percent were Republicans.
And +1 at the home schooling or private schooling idea.
Last edited by Troll; 11-21-2008 at 12:32 AM. Reason: i has gud grammerNothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around.
SonnabendGuest11-21-2008, 05:27 AM
Hey, Marinejcksn: got a fun challenge for you.
Come up with a twenty question civics test for me, and lets see how I do.
I promise no Google.:)
11-21-2008, 09:09 AM
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- Southern Louisiana
We lived in Washington when my daughters were in elementary and junior high. We had many dinner time conversations regarding the Constitution and what it said. My oldest actually got into "debates" with her very liberal sixth grade teacher regarding the first amendment. I should have known it was getting intense when she came home and grabbed her dad's copy of "The Federalist Papers" and locked herself in her room. Her teacher suggested to me the next day that Erica "spend more time outside in the fresh air". She also quit spewing her hatred in class.Most of our happiness depends on our disposition not on circumstances.- Martha Washington
11-21-2008, 10:09 AM
I'm lucky, I went to good public schools. I know of some bad private schools, so one has to be careful in that sense, too. I once had to explain the difference between a Senator and a Representative to a coworker, a woman who had been educated in private schools, and actually has a master's degree.
I used one of my classic lines on that coworker-she walked into the lunchroom one day when we were all blowing up balloons for an office party, circa 1999. She asked me "What are you doing". I told her "I'm preparing for my presidential internship".
11-21-2008, 11:46 AM
It's not axiomatic that private are all perfect. But I'll wager that they're more effective than the public school counterparts overall.
Not knowing the difference between a Senator and Rep is small potatoes. probably more to do with being uninterested and ignorant of civics. Heck!.....I've had to teach some public school kids how to read. :p
The problem is Empty People, Not Loaded Guns - Linda Schrock Taylor
11-21-2008, 12:11 PM
Another study confirming what many of us already knew by using our powers of observation.
I'd like to see a CU Civics test, myself. It would certainly be interesting to see if us blowhards really do know our stuff.Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Differences between Obama and God: God's plan to save us is actually written down for people to read. Rush Limbaugh.
My blog: How Things Look From Here Politics, religion, random stuff, now on Wednesdays!
11-21-2008, 12:24 PM
We now know that Obama voters don't know much about their candidate. I wonder if we can set up a civics test using the polling options.
Last edited by Odysseus; 11-21-2008 at 01:41 PM.--Odysseus
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
11-21-2008, 06:12 PM
(I can personally name at least 8 out of these 10 without Google, though I always mess up 1 or 2 :p)
11. Name at least 1 Federalist.
12. Name at least 1 Anti-Federalist.
13. Name the bodies that compromise the US Congress.
14. Name the total number of seats in Congress. (specify the number of seats in each house).
15. If both the President and Vice President die in office at the same time, who becomes the new President? (name the title of position they hold. For +1 bonus point, name the specific current person)
16. How many original Colonies were there?
17. Name at least 2 powers of Congress.
18. Name at least 5 former US Presidents who served before the Civil War.
19. Name the branches of Government.
20. Give 1 example of who is in each individual branch of Government.
Last edited by marinejcksn; 11-21-2008 at 06:15 PM."Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards." -PJ O'Roarke
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