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Saturday, February 16th 2008

Americans Don't Know The First Amendment

Okay, this post is yet more political commentary and deals with medicine in no way.

We have yet another reminder that Americans are woefully underinformed…and worse, likely uninterested about history and political machinations. Looking at it through this lens you wonder why it’s even an honor to be elected President. Yes, these people voted for you.

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

.1%? Are you kidding me? I’m sure the percentage is something better amongst those who actually cast a ballot, but still this is appalling. Two points:

  • It absolutely, positively is important and relevant to actually be interested and informed of something like the Bill of Rights when going to cast your ballot
  • Our lack of attention to American history and political current affairs is a currently worsening problem…this isn’t something that has always been the case

There is absolutely no cerebral involvement in how we decide to vote nowadays. We fill out the ballot based simply on who we feel will do the best by us or by who tugs at our hope or (more commonly) fear.

This is why we elect people like George Bush.

In honesty I’d probably need a moment to remember the right to petition the government for grievances, but given a moment to think I could certainly rattle the first amendment off. Congress shall not abridge the rights to/of: speech, assembly, press, religion, petition government.