If democracy requires an informed citizenry to function well, the United States is in serious trouble. Many Americans are political ignoramuses. It doesn´t take much effort to describe the typical citizen´s political ignorance. The Pew Research Center for The People & The Press, for example, has plumbed random samples of the public´s public affairs knowledge about twice a year since 2007. The questions have varied in substance and format, but the results have been uniformly dismal. The average correct score is usually just above 50% which, if judged by the usual academic standard --90+% = A,
Comments: Churchill once said that the greatest argument against democracy was a five minute conversation with the average voter. I would guess that things have only gotten worse in the sixty or seventy years since those words were uttered. After a half century of the stimulation of ignorance in government schools, we have the least informed voters in the nation´s history. The "quality" of our leaders accurately reflects the intelligence of the electorate.
Most natural born Americans are woefully ignorant of history, law, foreign and strategic policies, and what could be called American ethics. This ignorance has been carefully cultivated since the Depression era, and has only gotten worse since the depradations of Great Society. Now with the likes of Obama and Biden in charge of the Executive Branch, the intellectual gangrene has fully set in. I believe that the nation is going to have to go through some really hard times before enough citizens recognize the hole we´ve dug ourselves into. Things will have to get a lot worse before they get better.
Below is a link to a test comprised mostly of questions from the citizenship exam given to those who want to become naturalized citizens. The final few questions are more difficult, but I would expect that most LDotters would ace the first part of the test and answer most of the rest correctly. (I got 29/30, missing the one about unratified constitutional amendments.)
While I do not doubt the sentiment, the article contains an erroneous premise. FTA: "Since people who cannot be contacted or refuse to take part in polls are more politically ignorant than those who do,..." Lots of people let answering machines get the phone so as not to be bothered by pollsters and salesmen. To assume that people who don´t want to talk to them are stupid is at the very least arrogant. Since their premise is wrong, the rest of their poll is worthless, even if it is accidentally right.
The problem is that the LoFo voters were historically not motivated to vote, and stayed away from the polls. They realized that it was irresponsible to vote when they had no idea who or why they were voting for - people or issues.
The Democrats have labored to change this - to convince LoFo voters that they must vote, and to drag them out to perform their duty - armed only with the most rudimentary of marketing catch phrases.
My son,age 50, has been super informed for years. He read everything to do with the presidency, Congress, government agencies both national, state and local. After this election, the deficit debachle he has decided it was a waste of his time to be so informed. He now enjoys more sports, music and other outlets that actually bring him pleasure instead of angst. I´m 23 years older than he is; it just took me longer to get to the same place.
I don´t thin politicians have any real respect for the people whose votes they court.
From now on the Democrats will definitely pick their national candidates based upon their gender and racial make-up, and the Republicans will not be far behind. Just as just about all the mayors of the big cities are now either from a ethnic or racial minority, in the decades ahead, so will be the President and/or Vice-President.
Ben Franklin and the other Founding Fathers were keenly aware of everything this article states. This is not new by any means. That is why they tried hard to avoid a democracy and a tyranny of a narrow majority. But their worst nightmares are coming true in form of Zippy and the free phones crowd.
This past election day I was discussing issues with my co-workers prior to their visits to the polls. They were mostly women and they just couldn´t get their little heads off of the free birth control and the binders full of women and the Republicans taking them back to the 1950´s. Finnaly, in exasperation, I reminded them that there were other freedoms at stake besides reproductive freedom, such as freedom of religion. One of them shrugged and said, "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries". When all they can give you is a slogan rather than an argument, you´ve lost them.
Most are not all that stupid, just paying attention to other things. In the very JayWalking interviews, most who are ignorant about politics are pretty up to speed on matters related to entertainment and sports celebrities. We just have to get their attention. A government shutdown would do it.
i used to listen to sirius (fox news), rush, and npr. i hardly turn them on anymore. when romney lost, i just couldn´t (can´t) bring myself to care so much anymore. i still read lucianne but not the first thing every day and sometimes i skip it altogether. being knowledgable about politics and government got me nothing but angst, heartburn and sadness. i, too, now listen to music while i drive (and i drive a lot for my work), books on "tape" and talk on the phone. i think i´m a happier person but deep down i´m still crushed by romney´s loss and so sorry for our beautiful, once wonderful country.
If you mean their current poll hey I got 13 of 13 and only one was a guess.
But I´ve turned down polls from national organizations because they couldn´t tell me how long it would take, or it would take a long time, or the first two questions were really stupid.
I don´t doubt the conclusion that the lofo voter predominates, but that is not really new. It is a politican´s job, if he wants to be elected, to address the lofo. It is the press´s job to present information honestly, if anyone wants it. The press has deteriorated, and Republicans like Romney don´t want to talk to 47% of the electorate. That´s what´s changed. The lofo is just a fact of life.
The Obama supporters I know personally are not low-information voters, they are no-information voters. Exactly as planned by the "progressives" running the schools and the media. People who actually think will never support Democrats, it´s as simple as that. Maintaining the Celebration Of Ignorance that is the Obama "presidency" means elevating the status of the ignoramus and demanding that stupidity be shown respect. Perhaps that is why Biden is so useful, as an example.
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