Blogs > Liberty and Power > Americans United in Civic Ignorance, Politicians Worse

Dec 9, 2008 9:01 pm

Americans United in Civic Ignorance, Politicians Worse

Every once in a while a report comes out about how ignorant Americans are in civics, politics, American history and economics. This one seems to indicate that American ignorance cuts across all demographics:

"'Young Americans failed, but so did the elderly,' said Bunting."'Men and women, rich and poor, liberals and conservatives, Republican and Democratic, white, black, yellow and brown – all were united in their inability to master the basic features of America's constitutional form of government.'"

But this surprised even me:

"Seventy-nine (79) percent of elected officeholders did not know that the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the government establishment of an official religion."

It's a good thing we have a democratic system, where ignorant voters can vote for even more ignorant officials.

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Nathan Shepperd - 12/10/2008

Is it really that surprising though, given how much religious language gets thrown about in American politics?

"only 17 percent could properly define free-market capitalism"

This isn't surprising either, given that a free market can't actually exist with a big centralised government around. I wonder what they thought the "proper definition" was?