Friday, January 14, 2011

U.S. Elected Officials Flunk Constitution Quiz

I think we've all noticed that a good number of our elected officials in this male-dominated nation aren't too bright. This appears to be just one of many symptoms of declining empires:

20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for "training those aspiring for higher political office."

The survey asks 33 basic civics questions, many taken from other nationally recognized instruments like the U.S. Citizenship Exam. It also asks 10 questions related to the U.S. Constitution. . . Overall, our sample of elected officials averaged a failing 44 percent on the entire 33-question test, 5 percentage points lower than the national average of 49 percent.

The fact that our elected representatives know even less about America's history and institutions than the typical citizen (who doesn't know much either) is troubling indeed, but perhaps helps explain the lack of constitutional discipline often displayed by our political class at every level of our system. . . When elected officials take an oath "to protect and defend the Constitution," shouldn't they know what they are swearing to?

Take the quiz.

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