Thursday, February 4, 2016

Avoid the Un-Educated Electorate

In my Open Letter to Voters, I referenced the "well-informed citizenry". While most people may consider themselves informed, I believe there is a very small percentage of Americans that have carefully considered or given deep thought to issues beyond their immediate lives.

While some are extreme, here are a few examples of the un-educated electorate that I'm afraid are more common that one would think/hope:

Congratulations North Korea!

Jimmy Kimmel bit where he tests the theory that "if you ask people a question in a cheerful enough way, we will offer congratulations for just about anything."
While I sometimes think some interviewees are staged, the fact that anyone would think this was praiseworthy is pretty disheartening.

(Jimmy Kimmel via The Free Thought Project

"Candidate's Cribs"

Filmed in front of the White House, young people are questioned about four homes and try to match them with the presidential candidate they think own them.

Spoiler: They're all Bill & Hillary Clinton's!

While assuming/guessing that all four are owned by the same person is a bit of a trick, the main takeaway is that these people are so clueless to the Clintons' wealth.

However, overlooked is something even worse; these kids base their political beliefs on a candidate's wealth instead of their stances on the issues.

Note: I did a bit of research and the video was produced by CampusReform, which is a student-focused conservative policy group. So the video is probably edited to maximize the participant foolishness, but I assume the general public has done little research on the Clintons' personal wealth.

Nearly 10 percent of college grads think Judge Judy is on Supreme Court

Justice Judy?
I don't know... This is just sad.
Nearly 10 percent of college graduates think television’s Judge Judy serves on the Supreme Court, according to a new report released this month. 
The report, titled "A Crisis in Civic Education," was based on a survey of 1,000 adults in August and concludes that "recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America's history and heritage.” 
"They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers," the report said, referring to college graduates.  
The lack of civic knowledge extended to the Supreme Court, where 9.6 percent of college graduates incorrectly identified Judith Sheindlin — who handles small legal disputes on the TV show "Judge Judy" — as a justice. Another 5.5 percent of college grads picked John Kerry, the former senator who is now secretary of State, as a member of the court. 
Of those surveyed, the report found only 28.4 percent of college graduates identified James Madison as the father of the Constitution, while 59.2 percent thought the answer was Thomas Jefferson.  
Nearly 40 percent of college graduates didn't know Congress has the power to declare war and less than 50 percent of the college graduates surveyed were aware that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate.
I guess we should just be glad it's not more than 10%.
(via The Hill)

Again, civic engagement is of the utmost importance. It does not require much to greatly improve things, so a little bit of research and staying up to date on current events goes a long way.

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