Monday, January 27, 2014

Most Americans Are Unaware Of [Insert Issue Here]


Let’s face it: a disturbingly large portion of the American electorate are not-so-knowledgable about their world. As of 2008, 30% still maintain that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and 18% think the sun revolves around the earth. So, when our friends in the press ran headlines about how most Americans had heard “nothing at all” about President Obama’s recent surveillance reforms, I would have been surprised by exactly the opposite.

Let’s take a trip down the rabbit hole of America’s civic knowledge and whether it matters to a functioning democratic state.

Most Americans Haven’t Heard Of [Insert Issue Here]

Pew surveys released fresh stats about the number of Americans who approve of the National Security Agency’s dragnet program, along with a pie chart showing that 50% had heard “nothing at all” about President Obama’s proposed reforms.


To political pollsters, results like this would be a regular Tuesday. Indeed, it was almost embarrassingly easy to find the exact same results for any given issue.

–Fewer than 25% of Californians knew “much at all” about the massive healthcare overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, that impacts every single American.

Fewer than half of parents with children in public schools knew anything about the Common Core Standards, arguably one of the most radical overhauls of education in at least 50 years.

A measly 39% of Republicans who think the 2012 attacks on an embassy in Benghazi was the “biggest political scandal in American history” could identify that event took place in a country called Libya.

For the rest of the story:

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