Dumb politicians

Palin got a lot of bad press for being, well, stupid. Particularly when it comes to civics. According to this story however, elected politicians are generally pretty poorly informed. When they took this quiz on civic literacy, they scored, on average, 44%, and average citizens who took it scored under 50%.

Now, I don’t want to start whining about how Americans can’t seem to find Australia on a world map, or express similar dismay over the seeming idiocy of our average citizen, but I was expecting this quiz to be at least moderately difficult. Full disclosure: I missed a question (damned Puritans!), though I suspect it was just from inattention. And I’ll admit there are some odd question constructions there, so this may just be an indication that people do poorly on multiple-choice tests. But it’s still pretty shocking to me that US citizens know so little about the way their own country works and its history.

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2 Comments

  1. jason
    Posted 12/15/2008 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I got 81% and I have no idea what goes on down there. One question was wrong. #33 I think is incorrect. I’ve never read anything by jefferson…

    Question #7 – D. Gettysburg Address
    Question #8 – C. appoint additional Supreme Court justices who shared his views
    Question #10 – C. Religion
    Question #15 – E. Thomas Jefferson’s letters
    Question #18 – A. guarantee women the right to vote in national elections
    Question #33 – D. tax per person equals government spending per person

    I wonder if I can become a politician in the US?

  2. Richard Smith
    Posted 12/20/2008 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I got 90.1 (30/33) and I’m not an American. I blew questions 8, 10, and 11.

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