Thursday, November 20, 2008

Citizens and Civics: A Shocking Disconnect

Considering the fact that the words "citizen" and "civics" derive from the same root, you'd think there would be more knowledge about our system of government out there in the country. For me, personally, having lived through the Clinton Impeachment debates, the Republican takeover of the House and the Gore / Bush "hanging chad" campaign (decided by the Supreme Court), I was sure that everyone certainly knows what impeachment and the electoral college are, much less the three branches of government! (not Moe, Curly and Larry, FYI)

That's whay I was surprised to read this USA Today article on the, frankly, apalling lack of knowledge about our government. According to the piece, only half of Americans can name all three branches of government and just over half know that it's the Congress that can declare war (not the President).

But then, I took part of the test and was further surprised at my own apalling lack of knowledge :). Some of the questions are hard!: albeit, not the "how many branches of govermment" questions. The Scopes Monkey trial? What's a progressive tax? Huh?

You can take the full test at Be prepared to be humbled.

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