Americans ignorant when it comes to facts
Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 14:04
One phrase comes to mind when thinking about a recent study done by Newsweek — ‘We aren't wise.'
Newsweek gave 1,000 Americans the citizenship test and apparently the results do not favor a wise society of Americans.
Here is one staggering stat from the study: 29 percent of the people do not know the name of the vice-president. That is equivalent of not knowing the name of the restaurant that makes the Big-Mac (Bernie Mac, right?).
Why is it that Americans always get the dunce cap when it comes to knowing about our own government?
On an old episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, foreign correspondent Jason Jones went to Afghanistan to interview people about the American government. They answered questions such as, "Who was Ronald Reagans' vice-president?" and, "How many forms of government does the U.S. have?"
The results were astounding. The Afghan people answered questions with ease, thumping the American audiences with knowledge about our three forms of government, how many stars the original U.S. flag had on it and best of all, knowing who Daniel Quayle is.
Another staggering statistic found in the research is that 73 percent of Americans could not figure out why we were in the Cold War. To my knowledge, that was the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war.
It really is a shame that as time moves forward, the U.S. just seems to be slipping back into the stone age. Some people are stating government atrocities and claiming that the government is against them.
This seems to be the model of the modern political warfare (no pun intended). The article then goes on to explain that U.S. citizens were also last place in being informed about the international world. Only 58 percent could identify what the Taliban is.
Enough of the political stuff, because if the U.S. citizens actually cared about it then there wouldn't be 44 percent of them who could not identify the Bill of Rights.
We college students have the potential to become one of the smartest generations to ever populate the U.S. and make it the smartest population in history.
It has to start with having a basic knowledge of our own political systems; this seems to be a problem seeing how the people with the least amount of money do not really care about knowledge of the government. They mostly are trying to survive and live paycheck to paycheck rather than read up on political affairs.
I do not blame them, though — 400 of the top earning households make more than the bottom 60 percent here in the states.
Different people have been talking about having a national educational system verses the individual state system. I mean think about it, it could be a good idea because it creates a standard of education.
What do we do when the rest of the world just moves forward and we continue to ignore them? We end up looking like the crazy uncle with tin foil on his head and bucket of guns in the back shed.
I remember growing up singing, "My Country, ‘Tis of Thee." This was a song that defined the patriotism of our nation, a nation that used to pride itself on being No. 1. Now we're happy when we tie Slovenia in the World Cup.
I hope for our sakes that the teachers being taught now in school know their importance. Oh wait, they probably do not know who the Secretary of Education is.
It's Arne Duncan by the way.