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The increasing anti-American anarchism, radicalism, and Wokeism of Americans, particularly young Americans, leads me to believe that young people in America are monumentally ignorant. The apparent success of the so-called “1619 Project” is consistent with this hypothesis. But it is difficult to determine how widespread this ignorance might be. It is quite easy to find anecdotal data, like a humorous online video of young people demonstrating their cluelessness, but hard to find quantified data.
Condoleezza Rice had an interesting comment in Peter Robinson’s recent interview, reporting that she drew an analogy about the capture of a notable Muslim terrorist being equivalent to the capture of Erwin Rommel. The kids in her audience had no idea who Rommel might be.
I found an interesting and useful data point. About 2 years ago, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation released the results of a survey of 1,000 American citizens who were given the U.S. Citizenship Test (here). The test has a pool of 100 questions. Prospective citizens are asked 10 of those questions, and pass if they correctly answer 6 or more. So how do American citizens do on the test?
The answer is that only 36% of American citizens surveyed can pass the test. The results, however, are highly stratified by age:
- 74% of Americans 65 years and older passed the test.
- 19% of Americans under age 45 passed the test.
The news release commented: “Surprisingly, the poll found stark gaps in knowledge depending on age.”
Why would that be surprising? The results are certainly consistent with my general impression that radical, anti-American Leftists have been taking over education, at all levels, for decades.
I’d be interested to see other demographic data on the rates of passing the citizenship test, but these are not reported by the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation.
Back in 2016, USA Today reported a prior survey on the same issue, though it only asked 5 questions (which would require 3 correct answers to achieve a “passing” grade of 60%) (here). USA Today gave limited demographic data by party, reporting that 40% of Republicans answered all 5 questions correctly, compared to 35% of Independents and 33% of Democrats. Unfortunately, it did not report rates of passing the test, by party.
If you’re interested in testing your knowledge, you can try a practice test here. I find it to be astonishingly easy, but I admit that I’m quite weird in my interest and knowledge in the areas of American politics and history. I’ve done several practice tests, and have not missed a single answer.
There is not a problem with all young people. My oldest, the 25-year-old Marine, did very well on the test. He is evidently in a small minority in his age group.
Over recent years, I’ve become increasingly skeptical about the wisdom of a broad franchise and birthright citizenship. I do recognize that any alternative system may create other problems.
Sorry for the depressing report, but it’s probably better to face the facts. We are dealing with two entire generations who are monumentally ignorant about American history, government, and politics.
BLM delenda est. Antifa delenda est.Published in