In the wake of Constitution Day, there is a truly depressing survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center that found that 227 years after the signing of the Constitution only 36 percent of Americans can actually name the three branches of government. Thus, 64 percent of Americans cannot name the three parts of our tripartite system.
The same rough percentage (62 percent) was unaware that the GOP controlled the House of Representatives and 17 percent actually thought that the Democrats were in control. The same percentage — only 38 percent — knew that Democrats controlled the Senate. Some 20 percent thought that the GOP controlled the Senate.
The situation is even worse with regard to the details of Article I. Only roughly a quarter knew that it took two-thirds of a majority of both houses to override a presidential veto (27 percent).
Only 15 percent could identify the Chief Justice of the United States while, in a truly depressing comparison, 27 percent knew Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol.
That is a chilling result 227 years after the signing of Constitution, but that is not likely to concern most citizens since only 13 percent knew the Constitution was signed in 1787.
This is the result of years of neglect of the civics training in our country from elementary high schools. We need a return to basics in our schools, including our constitutional history and values. Americans are fiercely proud of their country but many know relatively little of the key characteristics of our system or its history — the very thing and defines and binds us as a people.
Source: Washington Post