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Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Nation Is Doomed When 39% Don’t Know What the First Amendment Means
may be a worthless pursuit, but I need to vent here and question a most
disturbing poll result. No, I’m not
wondering why Clinton-Trump polls show a close race nor am I going to comment
on polls about the favorite foods, clothes, or gadgets of consumers, but I must
wonder aloud how it is possible that so many Americans are clueless about the
First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
it to the long list of what’s wrong with this country – which still pales to
what is great about it – but our citizenry needs a quick lesson here. According to a recently released poll of 1006
adults that was conducted by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, in
partnership with USA Today, four in
ten adult Americans could not name a single freedom listed in the First
right, 39% of our population has no clue the 1st Amendment protects
freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of the right to petition the
government, and of religion. Just what
do we teach in school if so many people remain clueless on their basic
rights? Mass media has constantly
covered this in various news articles, books, movies, ad campaigns, political
speeches, and theater, so what is it that people don’t understand or recall
about this? Even immigrants seeking
citizenship know this stuff – otherwise they couldn’t pass their test!
fairness, I would imagine that many of the 39% know about the free speech
concept but perhaps they didn’t know it was specifically covered under the
First Amendment, but I just can’t envision how our society is to move forward
unless everyone has an understanding on basic things like this.
can only conclude that we are doomed.
Too many people are just ignorant about the principles, values, and
history of our nation that it puts a burden on those who are in the know. One can’t be active under a system it knows
so little about. We need more people to
contribute to the public discussion of issues and ideas but if tens of millions
of people remain clueless of the news, history or even of basic freedoms and
rights we become a country that’s held hostage by the dumb, the narrow-minded,
economy and our culture can’t survive when we have so many people failing to
pull their weight. These things may go
hand-in-hand -- uneducated and underemployed.
This produces people who don’t contribute, but take. Instead of paying
taxes, they suck up benefits instead of being a part of the solution, they are
a cause of the problem.
people who don’t know anything about the First Amendment probably overlap with
those that fall into other designations – school dropouts, illiterate, poor,
and are less involved in civic duties.
should have a few requirements to become and remain a citizen, and one of
them should be to pass a knowledge competency test every five or ten
years. If you don’t know what the First
Amendment even means, get out of the country.
is not meant to be mean-spirited or some diatribe that supports a lunatic like
Trump, but I have to say that we can’t have a country that is based on a
foundation of idiocy. Not everyone has
to quote Ben Franklin or know everything about many things, but if our people
don’t even know about the First Amendment, what else don’t they know, and as a
result, how helpless are these non-contributors that the burden of running a
nation is forced onto fewer people, creating a crushing weight?
generation has a lot it needs to know and it can be forgiven if some people
don’t know all the facts of our history, but once we condone and accept people
not knowing what the First Amendment means we will permit the collapse of our
country, and to accelerate to the inevitable fate it dooms itself to.
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