Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Nation of Dolts....

After eight years as the poster boy for gut-decision uninformed leadership by a man who called the Constitution "just a piece of paper,".... the incurious Decider's sorry legacy will be legions of like-minded dummies.

Proof of the decline of an educated U.S. populace was highlighted by Kathleen Parker in "Voters Fail the Test." (WaPo)

As Parker says, "So much for the wisdom of The People.

"A new report from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) on the nation's civic literacy finds that most Americans are too ignorant to vote.

"Out of 2,500 American quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials and other randomly selected citizens, nearly 1,800 flunked a 33-question test on basic civics."

Here's the scary part.... "In fact, elected officials scored slightly lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent compared to 49 percent.

"Most bracing: Only 27 percent of elected officeholders in the survey could identify a right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment."

That's right, our leaders. You know, the ones deciding all things that affect our daily lives.

Really not surprising since we watched incredulously as John McCain's VP choice, Sarah Palin.... the governor of a state.... didn't know the duties of the next office she sought, the vice presidency of our country. She thought the Vice President "ran" the Senate.

Of those taking the test, "Forty-three percent didn't know what the Electoral College does. And 46 percent didn't know that the Constitution gives Congress power to declare war."

What's behind this dumbing down of America?

"The ISI found that passive activities, such as watching television (including TV news) and talking on the phone, diminish civic literacy."

What increases civic literacy?

"Actively pursuing information through print media and participating in high-level conversations -- even, potentially, blogging -- makes one smarter. "

That's right.... blogging! Bloggers personify the First Amendment.... you know, freedom of speech, freedom of the press.

Only a sorry 0.8 percent of all test-takers scored an 'A.'

Parker points out, "America's report card may come as little surprise to fans of Jay Leno's man-on-the-street interviews, which reveal that most people don't know diddly about doohickey. Still, it's disheartening in the wake of a populist-driven election celebrating joes-of-all-trades to be reminded that the voting public is dumber than ever."

Let's face it.... most of the economic trouble we are in has come about because people didn't understand the loan agreements they were signing, financial institutions didn't understand the far-reaching ramifications of their actions, and our government was unable to anticipate the severity of.... and appropriately regulate.... this financial house of cards.

It's hopeful that an intellectual Barack Obama prevailed over the McCain-Palin hillbilly-pandering roadshow. As The Decider would put it.... "Our children is learning!"

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