SAN JOSÉ, Calif. On Constitution Day, September 17, 2017, a recent poll from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center generated a great deal of insight about why the Constitution of the United States is in trouble. That year’s Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey revealed that a significant number of Americans are clueless about the bedrock Law of the Land.
The 2017 survey queried 1,013 adults in the United States between August 9-13 and revealed that 37 percent of those surveyed could not name any of the rights guaranteed to citizens under the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Additionally, only 26 percent could name all three branches of the U.S. Government.
Running with that information, a green graduate of Stanford University who wrote for Newsweek, at the time, posted a story with the headline: “Under Trump, most Americans lack the basic knowledge to understand current events, study finds.”
Technically, the title is factually accurate.
However, the intent of the [false headline] is to take a media-initiated jab at President Trump. The headline implies Trump was responsible for Americans’ ignorance of the Constitution.
Readers were led to make a directed conclusion that Trump was a significant contributing factor to the collective ignorance of Americans regarding civics. The article revealed more about the author than that she is able to align content with her misleading title.
Main Stream Media is not to blame
Media moguls can loudly claim that they are not the enemy of the people, but headlines that manipulate people to form contorted, unwarranted, and often disturbingly unethical conclusions, the media show up as enemies of the people. Moreover, discerning people are paying attention.
Nevertheless, as the issue of the collective ignorance of civics and government in America reveals itself, the real culprit could be located in the anemic public education system.
Several reasons for the educational anemia.
An additional culprit, however, of “Americans’ lack of basic knowledge to understand current events” is due to the misleading and often genuinely unethical coverage of those current events by the mainstream media.
Another example of ignorance us apparent in the 2018 APPC survey. A poll taken in August and among one-thousand plus adults. The results are:
“Americans are familiar with constitutional provisions involving impeachment and pardons, issues that are in the news… But they know less about fundamentals like the three branches of government.”
The study is quite revealing about the state of American’s understanding of the bedrock Law of the Land.
“This year 32 percent of Americans were able to correctly name all three branches, an increase from last year’s 26 percent and the highest since 2014, when it was 36 percent. The portion of respondents who couldn’t name any of the three branches was unchanged, at 33 percent.”
Ignorance is not bliss
The alarming reality is that there so few Americans know much about even the simplest components of the government under which they live. Americans are more likely to be able to rattle off their favorite sports teams’ won-loss records or chances of a winning season than they are about laws that have much more effect on their lives.
People are more likely to know episode by episode of the fictional West Wing than they are to see the reality of the government that generates thousands of new life-changing laws every year.
Damn tinsel town!?! Damn ESPN!?! No, Americans must look in the mirror.
America post-Barack Obama
Since the days of the blame anyone-other-than-me Czar, Barack Obama, citizens have found justification in blaming anyone but themselves for the problems they incur. Hillary Clinton’s recent book indicates that she is an avid disciple. However, isn’t that what most politicians do?
It is almost a part of the job description.
If Americans are honest with themselves (and with one another), do people care to pay attention to the smelly swamp that is the political realm? According to other polls that have awarded single-digit approval ratings to the men and women of Congress, how well whatever sports team is doing this year is an excellent escape from a dismal reality of how government works—or does not work.
Americans, in reality, are to blame. Despite all the clamoring for attention while running for office, politicians often find it tough to compete with prime-time sports or the hottest docudrama of “reality” television. Virtual reality has become more “real” or more important as it offers an escape from the ugly reality of politics.
How many do care?
Usually, the political junkies sit on each end of the political spectrum. They are the ones who care. Who do more than just vote. Those who always find a way of giving time, energy, or donations.
The real question regards the origin of the stimulus to act – the intent behind the action.
Where did the impetus to act come from?
Violating the rule of law
Today, the violation of the rule of law is seen in the rise of anarchism on America’s city streets. What might be the stimulus behind that increase of young people marching or committing acts of violence against innocent civilians?
The intent is to bully and scare people to fear and act against their conscience. Or to do nothing in the face of danger.
Yet, it has been found by independent news commandos (Project Veritas) that during the 2016 election, many demonstrators were paid by the Democratic National Committee.
The presumed evil of George Soros
It is common knowledge that George Soros is financing some of the riots. Very few Americans realize it because the news media does not provide coverage of such treachery. As recently as the confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, there were demonstrators who were observed being paid for their “demonstrations.”
Today, the Main Stream Media stays busy criticizing President Trump. Commentators against the president spew scandalous, slanderous, verbiage showing the true colors of the media.
Yet much of what the MSM is doing is political wrangling. Some of what passes for news is no more than the character assassination of conservatives, not just President Trump.
Which tail is wagging which dog?
Can we blame the Constitution for our fake news media?
Freedom of the Press allows for this to some degree as it will not be brought forward in a court of law for the slanderous allegations brought against many respectable people. Consider the Twitter rant by Peter Fonda against President Trump’s son.
Would there be the same tolerance if these threats were made against President Obama’s daughters?
The MSM is a one-sided, political tool of the Democrat Party. And, it would not be surprising if it were the other way around.
For citizens who may care about honesty in politics is that most of their angst is politically motivated within a very clearly divided and politically polarized nation.
A looming Civil War
In 2018, citizens are witnessing a silent civil war, a war without any weapons. Except those on the streets when violence is waged against the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech).
More than the APPC annual survey, Americans are learning very quickly about their rights under the Constitution of the United States. They are seeing that one political party declares the Constitution does not matter. Their preference is rights that are not God-given but given by a central government.
Americans today have a serious choice regarding the God-given rights written into the Declaration of Independence and within the U.S. Constitution.
While many citizens may have a steep learning curve regarding the fundamentals of the founding documents, there are those who understand clearly what is at stake. Not only in the election of 2018, but for the sake of the future of the Republic.
The silent civil war is being fought over whether the Democrats will finally become the majority ruling party. As it once was in the Deep South, or as it is now in California. The fight that is dividing America right now is the fight over the fundamental veracity of the founding beliefs:
1) The nation is organized upon its Judeo-Christian heritage;
2) It’s ideals and values are expressed in the Declaration of Independence; and
3) The true principles of a democratic Republic are established in the Constitution and its amendments.
Americans have a choice in 2018. Americans are now at a Time of Choosing that President Ronald Reagan told of when he was in his prime.
As Americans, we are all facing the question of what we are to do. But, the deeper question is what will be the intent behind the actions we take? Will we choose to preserve and protect the Republic, or to do nothing due to our fear or our ignorance?