Sunday, March 05, 2006


From Reuters comes this disturbing, but hardly surprising bit of information:

Half of 1,000 Americans randomly surveyed by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum could name at least two of the five members of Fox Television's Simpson family, the stars of the network's long-running show.

But just 28 percent of respondents could name more than one of the five freedoms listed in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment -- about the same proportion that could name all five Simpson family members or could recall the three judges on Fox TV's top-rated "American Idol."

How can freedom survive and democratic institutions prevail if vast numbers of Americans know more about the characters on a television cartoon than they do about the character of the nation in which they live?

Some participants displayed comical ignorance such as the 38 percent who believed the right not to incriminate yourself -- "taking the 5th" in lawyer lingo -- was granted by the First Amendment rather than the Fifth.

Among other rights not mentioned in the Constitution but listed by some respondents was the right to drive and the right to have pets.

It is that comic ignorance upon which the Republican Party and its leadership depend.

Big hat tip to One Pissed Off Veteran.