When you consider the fact that a third of American adults cannot name a single branch of their federal government, you cease to wonder why things are so bad and begin to wonder why they are not already worse.
In a poll conducted for the Annenberg Public Policy Center ahead of this weekend’s celebration of the 229th anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution, only 26 percent of respondents could identify the executive, legislative and judicial branches, while 40 percent could name only one or two.
Americans - Talk - Culture - Big - Stupid
Americans talk openly and often about the dumbing down of our culture, what we refer to as “The Big Stupid.” It is a lament, but also something of a brag for people not clutched by ignorance of this magnitude.
But it’s easy to be an intellectual elite in a nation where not even half of the people know what kind of government they have. Possessing the knowledge we should expect of a sixth grader is nothing to boast about. This should be cause for deepening alarm, not selfish pride.
People - Horror - Mobs - Denounce - Founders
Knowledgeable people look on in horror as mobs denounce our Founders, attacking even the author of the American Creed. Reasonable people despair to hear the growing frequency with which bigotry mingles with patriotism.
But if these bad actors do not even understand what the American system is, can we be so surprised that they do not cherish its most basic tenets?
Conceits - Politics - Era - Americans - Failures
One of the conceits about the lunkheaded, tribal politics of the current era is that Americans are rightfully aggrieved by the failures of their government. In this sympathetic view of the electorate, voters are desperate for change and willing to accept increasingly radical options in hope of fixing Washington.
Let us suggest a more frightening possibility: Not enough Americans know what their government is for to make...
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