Which country won the Vietnam war? Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? What is the number of voting representatives in the House of Representatives? Can’t answer those questions? Chances are you are not alone, as most of the American population cannot answer basic questions about US civics, politics and history. That is not acceptable and I am here to help solve the crisis.
How did I come to know about the problem at hand? It came to light from of all media, a Youtube video. This video accurately showed that the majority of the American public does not know basic information. For one of the questions, most responses to “Name a country that begins with u,” were “Utah.” Utah is not country, the United States of America is. An overlooked problem in our society is that the citizens are not fully informed about the country they live in. It has always frustrated me to see that citizens who grew up in a school system, which although is not the greatest, can’t remember the topics they learned in class or in school.
“Americans Don't Know Much About History” reads the title of an NBC article, detailing the lack of knowledge the country as a whole has. This could be the fact that our education system and our method of news distribution has been . I am not fond of American news agencies for their constant repetition of information and only reporting about the “breaking news.” One might at least know, from all of the ad hominem thrown at the public, what some current issues are and maybe basic facts. But no, an article by Mic.com on a study done by Ispos-MORI, shows that our country is the 2nd most ignorant in the world when it comes to knowing about social issues and topics.
This infographic above is a great showing of where we fall on the ignorance scale.
What does not being informed mean to the country though? By not being informed, the country will not be able to make decisions that help the situation. Like immigration, most citizens know that illegal immigrants cross the border, but many don’t know that immigrants legally take the citizenship test have a 97% chance of passing! What does this have to do with the situation? Well the whole test is about American civics and politics so Americans should pass with ease, right? Wait for it, 1 out of 3 naturalized citizens would fail the test. If the number of answers right needed to pass the test was 7 instead of 6, 1 out of 2 naturalized citizens would fail. What does this all say about our country? That we are losers and or stupid? No, it says we need to study more and be engaged in the topics that affect us all
This above is the chart on how many native citizens would actually still get to live in the country if they had to take a citizenship test to determine their status.
After reading this, some might say, “Who cares? The government makes the decisions and not me, besides I already am informed about this country.” It does make a difference on what you know, this country is a republic and built off the people. I hope to see throughout the course of this project, that citizens will all take charge of our American knowledge and strive to learn about the country we call home. It is a civic duty to be informed. Our country must enlighten itself.
Images are taken from sources listed in the bibliography.