Random Rantings

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Serious Education Needed!

Apparently the reason that more people aren't outraged by our current state of governmental affairs is that they don't know that they should be outraged...

Are we all forgetting what we learned in grade-school civics class? Or are schools these days not teaching civics anymore?

Perhaps our popular culture has become the "opiate of the masses", such that people are only interested in what goes on in their own circle of influence.

Regardless of where this ignorance comes from - we have a big job ahead of us to educate everyone first, and then get them to take action.

Study: Few Americans Know 1st Amendment
By Anna Johnson, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

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.

Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results.

"Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions," said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. "It means we have our job cut out for us."

The survey found more people could name the three "American Idol" judges than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.
It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan. 20-22 by the research firm Synovate and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


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