It’s no wonder that American politics is a mess. Our schools have done a great job keeping the majority of people politically stupid. It’s not for a lack of intelligence. There are a lot of very bright people who do not know much about how our system of government operates, the history behind it, and why the Constitution was written.
Government schools are designed to push government programs. Government (public) schools are dependent on them. There are teachers and schools that are exceptions, but they are few and far between.
While I know it will never happen, I believe we need, in addition to voter ID laws, a test on the basics of American government as they relate to the content of the Constitution. We should begin with people running for office. Every congressman takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, but I wonder how many of them have actually read it and understand its principles.
The video below was put together by the Immigrant Archive Project. It features 15 randomly selected individuals attempting to answer some of the easiest questions from the citizenship test. A passing grade is actually a near failing grade in the real world. Out of ten questions, a person trying to acquire citizenship must get only six questions correct. That’s a D- average.
If you are interested, here’s a link to a 100-question citizenship test with answers. You might want to try it out on yourself and your children. It will give you some idea how well your children are doing in their history and what use to be called “civics” classes.
It’s quite embarrassing to watch some of these people flounder about for answers. See if you can spot the historical mistake1 made by interviewer Tony Hernandez, co-founder of the Immigrant Archive Project who’s doing the interview:
- George Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence. [↩]