Are You Smarter Than Your Congressman?
Ready to test yourself? Go ahead and answer these True-False questions:
The Pledge of Allegiance was written by George Washington during the Revolutionary War;
The Electoral College is part of the Ivy League;
Asia is west of Africa and three other countries.
If you answered “True” to all of the above questions and now you’re all worried that you’re too dimwitted to get a job anywhere — cheer up. You can always run for public office.
When it comes to ignorance of American history, government and economics, our elected officials are even worse off than the rest of us.
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) has compiled 33 questions for their exam. The average score was a dismal 49% correct. Elected officials averaged an even more pathetic 44%. Anybody in charge here?
Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI, said: “It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI's civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned. How can political leaders make informed decisions if they don't understand the American experience?”
About 2,500 people were randomly selected to take this test. One of the questions was: “name two countries that were our enemies during World War II.” 69% correctly identified Germany and Japan. Incorrect answers included Canada, Mexico and England.
20% thought the Electoral College was established to “supervise the first televised presidential debates.”
Activities that improve civic knowledge include discussing issues, taking part in civic activities and reading about history and current events.
Civic knowledge is dulled by talking on the phone, and by watching TV shows and movies — even if you’re watching a news program or documentary.
cross-posted at Bring It On!