April 10, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:18 pm

Do you spend more time than you ought to wondering how the hell the federal government got to be in such a sorry state? I know I do. It is often noted that at the end of the final day of deliberations of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, someone asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

Benjamin Franklin responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

One of the requisites of “keeping it” is an informed electorate. I fear that one of the reasons we may in the process of “losing it,” is the sorry state of our primary educational system (the colleges aren’t much better – maybe even worse).

Take a look at an Eighth Grade Civics Test that was given in 1954. How well do you think the average voter would do on the test today? How would you do?

I see that Kenny Hignite, the boy who took the test in 1954 scored 98.5%. I figure that Kenny Hignite must be about 69 years old today. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to see him at a Tea Party holding a sign.

Thanks to reader, Dick, for the link.


  1. My 8th grade was in ’67, and it was already going downhill by then.

    Let’s not forget the folks that grew up thinking that the government was the place to turn to for an answer to everything, or the ones that are so self-entitled that they want what they want without regard to anyone or anything else.

    Comment by Dave Merriman — April 10, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  2. re: “Do you spend more time than you ought to wondering how the hell the federal government got to be in such a sorry state?”

    No. One can never spend enough time performing such a rational activity. The republic would be better off if more of us did so.

    Comment by Ken Adams — April 10, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  3. Average voter?? Hell, I’d bet the majority of the House or Representatives and the Senate couldn’t even score a passing grade.

    Comment by Dan — April 10, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  4. I am not surprised. I live in Blueville.

    Comment by Cappy — April 11, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  5. Every middle and high school in the U.S. should have Civics classes. I had Civics in 9th grade.

    Comment by Kevin — April 11, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  6. It really is upsetting to see that test but it would be even more stark to look at the test and then watch some of those clips from late night TV (Letterman, Leno, et al) where they poll “average [VOTING] citizens” on the street with basic questions and they don’t know who the vice president is or how many members of Congress there area or whether the Civil War came before or after the Vietnam war, etc. etc. But they can tell you all about Britney! shaving! her! head! or whatever the hell.


    Yes I worry. All the time.

    Comment by sheri — April 11, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  7. I am just amazed at how dumb the average person on the street is. It would be nice if they had common sense. Not so much of that either.

    Comment by Jerry in Indiana — April 13, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  8. How many Sheeple can pass this test “open book” with a copy of The Constitution in their hands????? If you don’t own a copy of The Constitution with The Declaration of Independence, then you better make a trip to the bookstore this weekend. Your very future may well depend on how familiar you are with these documents!!!!!!

    Comment by Julie — April 13, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

  9. Funny, I was in 8th grade that year. Not only did they teach Civics, but we used to get monthly “Current Events” pamphlets to reinforce our Civics classes. But then we were allowed to start the school day with a prayer from the Bible which was placed on a lectern in front of the class. I am now 70. My, my, where do the years go?

    Comment by Little Willie — April 16, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

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