As we head into what is likely to be the most significant election in modern history, it is clear that a disturbing percentage of Americans still do not have any idea about what is going on in America.
A perfect example is a recent poll by the legal research organization, Findlaw.com – they found that “Nearly two-thirds of the people questioned could not name even one member of the U.S. Supreme Court, and only 1 percent knew all nine justices.”
This should frighten all of us. As Findlaw points out, the 9 Justices of the Supreme Court “are among the most powerful people in the nation. They’re appointed for life, and they make decisions that affect all of us.”
And yet most Americans can’t name a single one of them, in spite of the fact that within the past year the Court has been highly visible in the news, due to the retirement of two high profile Justices and the very heated public debate over their replacements.
But this kind of “willful ignorance” is more widespread than you might realize. Those who do pay attention to political matters often assume that everyone knows about the things they discuss on a daily basis. But they would be wrong.
The American Revolution Center sponsored a survey which found that:
• More than 50 percent of respondents attributed the quote “From each according to his ability – to each according to his needs” to either Thomas Paine, George Washington or President Obama. The quote is actually from Karl Marx, author of “The Communist Manifesto.” [Why some of the survey subjects attributed Marx’s famous utterance to Obama is not difficult to understand.]
• A third mistakenly believed that the Bill of Rights does not guarantee a right to a trial by jury [it does], while 40 percent mistakenly thought that it did secure the right to vote [it does not].
• More than half misidentified the system of government established in the Constitution as a “direct democracy” rather than a constitutional democratic republic – a question that must be answered correctly by [legal] immigrants qualifying for U.S. citizenship. [This is a significant point – Jugo Chavez’s Venezuela is a “direct democracy” – and so is Iran.]
And what is perhaps the most disturbing finding:
• More than a third did not know the century in which the American Revolution took place, and half of respondents believed that either the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation or the War of 1812 occurred before the American Revolution.
Also not surprisingly, when it comes to economic issues, conservatives and libertarians do far better than liberals – in survey after survey, the more liberal the respondent, the less likely they are to understand even basic economic realities like the fact that raising taxes blunts economic growth, or that “minimum wage” laws invariably result in higher unemployment.
Such ignorance of history, civics, and economics also explains how an inexperienced amateur like Barak Obama got elected with a vapid and infantile appeal to “hope and change” – and why having a majority of ultra-liberal Democrats running the country has resulted in some of the most economically destructive policies in our history.
From the out-of-control EPA bureaucrats who have prevented on-shore oil drilling in favor of taxpayer-subsidized failures like Ethanol, to government takeovers of banks, insurance companies and even automobile manufacturing, it is Democrats who have been responsible for most of the ills plaguing our country today.
Which is why those voters who actually DO have a clue about what is going on in America need to get out and vote this November – the country cannot afford to stay on its current downward slide into what is little more than thinly veiled Marxism.