2008 The Age of Arrogant Ignorance
November 25, 2008
By JB Williams
In the months leading up to the 2008 election, as it became painfully clear that America was preparing to elect the most unqualified Commander-in-Chief ever to seek the Oval Office, I jokingly pondered how many current members of congress could pass a basic civics test.
Then 52% of Americans cast their ballot for a man who has done absolutely nothing to qualify himself for the highest office in the land and America's mass ignorance was coming into focus.
Two weeks after the election, we now have more valuable insight into the intelligence of the average American and it seems to confirm the world wide notion that Americans are the dumbest people on the planet.
As Seattle guest columnist Deroy Murdock explains, "Thus, Americans slouch into the 21st century -- a free and confident people blissfully unaware of how we got here or how we shall continue our 232-year-old tradition of limited self-government."
How Ignorant Are We?
In Murdock's column "Americans in need of civics lesson," it's clear that the average American is no longer qualified to self-govern. As our nation's most prolific founder put it, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson
Yet a recent study conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute shows that Americans have forgotten how we got here and what it takes to remain.
* 71 percent of Americans flunked a 33-question civic-literacy survey. The average score was just 49 of 100 -- a solid F. While just 2.6 percent scored B's on this quiz, only 0.8 percent earned A's.
* Just 49 percent of Americans were able to identify the legislature, executive and judiciary as our three branches of government....
Released at Washington's National Press Club, "Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions" is available online at http://www.americancivicliteracy.org/.
Read more here.