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Thread: Only 26% of Americans can name three branches of government

  1. #21
    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    I read an article once that stated the average American could not pass the citizenship test we give to immigrants. Here is a practice quiz....see how well you do.

    FREE US Citizenship Test Practice - Easily PASS
    Thanks from Tedminator, Ian Jeffrey and Babba

  2. #22
    Veteran Member Eve1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    I don’t know that there’s anything to add to what Jay Cost said: “We have squandered the greatest civic legacy in the history of the world.”
    There are various gruesome numbers in this Annenberg survey of Americans’ constitutional literacy but none top the data below, touching on a subject that’s typically covered on day one of second grade. I’m titling this graph, “I Wish I Was Dead.”

    That’s nearly three-quarters of the American population that can’t cough up “legislative, executive, judicial” on demand and fully 60 percent that can’t name *more than one* of those. I wish Annenberg had listed which branch was the one most commonly named. I’d bet it was the executive. We’ve had two mega-watt celebrity presidents in a row and a “cult of the presidency” encouraging executive power at the expense of the legislature for decades. Imagine how surprised some Americans must be to realize that the president’s technically not in charge of the entire government.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2017/09/...es-government/
    You seem surprised that their are dumb ass Americans. The rest of the world is laughing and already know any time they see Trump and think, America elected that!

  3. #23
    You just made the list! Macduff's Avatar
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    So with this level of ignorance about basic government, should we tell people they have to vote? I'm not saying anyone's right to vote should be restricted. But if someone doesn't even know the three branches, why should we guilt trip them into voting?

  4. #24
    You just made the list! Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    You seem surprised that their are dumb ass Americans. The rest of the world is laughing and already know any time they see Trump and think, America elected that!
    The one time Democrats don't want to remind everyone that Clinton won the popular vote.
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  5. #25
    Veteran Member Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    I read an article once that stated the average American could not pass the citizenship test we give to immigrants. Here is a practice quiz....see how well you do.

    FREE US Citizenship Test Practice - Easily PASS
    100%. Easy test. But then again, not only did I take civics in the 80s, I also frequent Boontito's things I learned at PH today thread.
    Thanks from Ian Jeffrey and Wonderer

  6. #26
    Veteran Member HenryPorter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    So with this level of ignorance about basic government, should we tell people they have to vote? I'm not saying anyone's right to vote should be restricted. But if someone doesn't even know the three branches, why should we guilt trip them into voting?
    Well, it's certainly a strong argument for letting the undocumented vote.

  7. #27
    Veteran Member Pragmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    So with this level of ignorance about basic government, should we tell people they have to vote? I'm not saying anyone's right to vote should be restricted. But if someone doesn't even know the three branches, why should we guilt trip them into voting?
    What difference does it make whether or not someone knows the 3 branches. It's easy to see trump is an asshole without knowing the 3 branches.

  8. #28
    Veteran Member Pragmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    The one time Democrats don't want to remind everyone that Clinton won the popular vote.
    Of course they do. Have to at least try to convince others that not all of us voted for the asshole.
    Thanks from Friday13

  9. #29
    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief View Post
    100%. Easy test. But then again, not only did I take civics in the 80s, I also frequent Boontito's things I learned at PH today thread.
    I missed one and got a 90%!! I missed the Susan B Anthony question of all things being female and all. Prof. Boon has enlightened us all. LOL I took Government my Senior year and a required political science class in college. I rarely attended either of those classes because they bored me to tears at that age. I think this is what is happening with younger voters. Boring subject matter with boring teachers.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    I don’t know that there’s anything to add to what Jay Cost said: “We have squandered the greatest civic legacy in the history of the world.”
    There are various gruesome numbers in this Annenberg survey of Americans’ constitutional literacy but none top the data below, touching on a subject that’s typically covered on day one of second grade. I’m titling this graph, “I Wish I Was Dead.”

    That’s nearly three-quarters of the American population that can’t cough up “legislative, executive, judicial” on demand and fully 60 percent that can’t name *more than one* of those. I wish Annenberg had listed which branch was the one most commonly named. I’d bet it was the executive. We’ve had two mega-watt celebrity presidents in a row and a “cult of the presidency” encouraging executive power at the expense of the legislature for decades. Imagine how surprised some Americans must be to realize that the president’s technically not in charge of the entire government.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2017/09/...es-government/
    That's certainly crappy, but the long-term trend isn't what you'd expect from the short excerpt provided. Although the percentage of people who can name all three branches of government has slipped from 38% to 26%, between 2011 and 2017, it's actually been worse in the past. For example, in 1972, less than 20% of Americans could name the three branches:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=8W...g2DiAQ6AEIJjAA

    In 1965, it was 19%:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=lS...g2DiAQ6AEIKjAB

    Anyway, I'd be all for improving the quality of education in this country. But I'm practical about it. I start by looking at where systems are succeeding in the real world, and then we can go about trying to emulate that. That could mean, for example, figuring out what places like Japan, Canada, and Finland do to kick our asses so bad on the PISA tests. Or it could mean looking around within the US and seeing what highly successful states, like Massachusetts, do differently from shameful ones, like West Virginia. The gap between those two states is gigantic when it comes to math, reading, science, and writing, so I assume the gap would be large for civics, as well.
    Thanks from Friday13, OldGaffer and Wonderer

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