Amerika: A nation of know-nothing potheads

This past Wednesday, Sept. 17, was Constitution Day — the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
It’s a sad day for our Founding Fathers because after they had labored and sacrificed to establish a government of checks and balances and the rule of law, for the people, by the people, and of the people, only 36% or about one of every three Americans can name the three branches of government — executive, legislative, judicial — which the Constitution had created.
Reid Wilson reports for The Washington Post, Sept. 18, 2014, on more findings from the new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center:

  • Only 38% of Americans know the Republican Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, while 17% think Democrats are still in charge. Worse still, fewer Americans –a drop of 17% — now know the GOP controls the House than back in 2011, right after Republicans had reclaimed control of the lower chamber.
  • An identical number, 38%, knows Democrats run the Senate, while 20% believe Republicans control the upper chamber.
  • Only 27% know it takes a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.
  • 15% of Americans correctly identified the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts; but 27% know Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol.
  • Only 13% know the Constitution was signed in 1787.

There are groups, like the Civics Education Initiative (CEI), which are are pushing to include more civics education in high schools by requiring students to pass the same citizenship test that immigrants do when they come to America. CEI will introduce legislation in seven states that would require passage of the citizenship test before graduating.
Meanwhile, Kate Rogers reports for CNBC, Sept. 18, 2014, that 1 in 10 Americans are showing up to work high on pot.
A new survey conducted by in partnership with SurveyMonkey found 9.7% of Americans fessed up to smoking marijuana before showing up to the office. Worse still, nearly 81% said they scored their cannabis illegally.
james Madison
Think you can do better than the 36% of Americans who can’t name the three branches of the U.S. government? Take the American Civics Literacy Quiz!
After you’ve taken the quiz, compare your score to our elected officials by going to “How Elected Officials Scored on American Civics Literacy.”

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5 years ago

Left/liberal progressive policies in a nutshell… remember what happens to America once it’s in the van.comment image
5 years ago

Dang! Got one wrong…. but I halfway thought it was a bit of a trick question even when it was on the screen, so I won’t flog myself too badly. What truly appalls me, though, is to take that civics quiz and then think about the national result…. when I was in school (yes, yes, doing our lessons by torchlight and writing on clay tablets), any 8th grader who’d been paying attention more than half the time would have been able to get a passing score of 70% or so. I’ve long thought that any real hope for saving the… Read more »

5 years ago

(yes, yes, doing our lessons by torchlight and writing on clay tablets)…giggle… thanks, you made my day!!!

Steven Broiles
5 years ago

I am against smoking marijuana or taking any drugs for recreation, but at this point the War on Drugs is a farce, and it’s done a lot to ruin America. As a libertarian, I believe the government has no right to tell anyone what they may or may not put in their mouth.
I think if we as a society had not lost our collective morality back in the 1960s, this would not have happened. The Culture War has been lost; This is just another of the consequences.
And it’s not just America. Most of the world is going downhill.

Who Cares
Who Cares
5 years ago
Reply to  Steven Broiles

Sorry, but anyone who believes that individual liberty is more important than collective safety is an anarchist. As an anarchist, you issue knee jerk reactions over laws that have sound basis… and as an anarchist you are driving the world downhill.
Of course, explaining how “victimless crimes” are not victimless is beyond you people; it is all about your personal freedoms. Nevermind REAL statistics (not the trash you kiddies use) can show a strong correlation between the creation of victims and an action; until someone is killed, it doesn’t matter.
Purely disgusting.

5 years ago

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this important post. The illiteracy of American citizens regarding American history and civics is shameful. God help us!