Poll: Almost Four Out Of Ten Americans Cannot Name A Single Right Under The First Amendment

official_presidential_portrait_of_thomas_jefferson_by_rembrandt_peale_1800Thomas Jefferson called an educated public as “the only safe depositories of their own liberty.”  If so, a new poll conducted by the University of Pennsylvania suggests that we have a serious problem.  The poll made a truly alarming finding that many Americans cannot name a single first amendment right.  Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center found 37 percent could not name any of the five rights protected by First Amendment and fewer than half (48 percent) could name freedom of speech.


If you are not depressed enough, the poll also found that one-third of Americans (33 percent) cannot name one of the three branches of the U.S. government.  Now here is the most crushing state: only 26 percent could name the three branches.

Jefferson said:


“I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

117 thoughts on “Poll: Almost Four Out Of Ten Americans Cannot Name A Single Right Under The First Amendment”

  1. Two very powerful sentences by our third president,Thomas Jefferson. Sadly, our political & financial class seem more interested in dumbing down society for selfish reasons. Is it not true, if asked, few, if any, congressman could identify the author of such words? Do most politicians think the public is “not enlightened?” Do most politicians not abuse their “constitutional power” by dumbing down society?

  2. This current generation of Americans would probably be able to recite accurately the 10 Plancks of Karl Marx.

    1. The students I talk to would say “Karl who?” They don’t even know who the Marx brothers are…

  3. Thomas Jefferson –

    “…an educated public as ‘the only safe depositories of their own liberty.”

    That “educated public” was represented filtered through the control of entitled voters.

    Ben Franklin, we gave you “a republic, if you can keep it.” That republic of Franklin, Jefferson et al. was a restricted vote republic, distinctly not and never intended to be a one man, one vote democracy. Women and “the poor” were not “entitled” to vote. Obviously, women were busy perpetuating the race; bearing and nurturing numbers of children, and it was considered that “the poor” would “sell” their votes.

    Alexander Hamilton –

    — “…the people are nothing but a great beast…I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

    — “The true reason (says Blackstone) of requiring any qualification, with regard to property in voters, is to exclude such persons, as are in so mean a situation, that they are esteemed to have no will of their own.”

    — “If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.”

    Thomas Jefferson –

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

    As exemplified by the recent election for U.S. Senator in California in which two democrats and no republicans ran, that rapidly deteriorating state is a one-party communist dictatorship – the same as China, North Korea and Cuba.

    The inexorable juggernaut of Tytler’s Dictatorship which begins with the collectivist, redistributionist, elected government serving the people “…under the pretense of taking care of them.”

    Alexander Fraser Tytler –

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”

    The “serious problem” that America has is that its judicial branch does not uphold, support and implement the “MANIFEST TENOR” of the Preamble, Constitutional and Bill of Rights.

    The welfare state cannot exist. Government cannot take private property from one man to give private property to another. All forms of redistribution of wealth are precluded by the right to private property, which exists “in the exclusion of every other individual,” and the severe limitation on government of having no authority to tax for individual welfare but only “general Welfare.”

    All conceivable natural and god-given rights and freedoms per the Bill of Rights, with emphasis on the 1st and 9th Amendments, are unalienable to the People and existed before government was established. Government under the Constitution exists solely to facilitate the freedom and free enterprise of the People, not to abridge their rights and freedoms.

    1. But George . . The Sovereign States. What have you done with the sovereign states, George? Aren’t they the ones who legislate eligibility for the vote? Weren’t three out of four of them the one’s who ratified The 19th Amendment?

      Keep your eye on the painted lady. Now you see her. Now you don’t. Where’d she go? Nothing up George’s sleeve–not even the three-card-monte constitution.

    2. The 19th Amendment is the Devil’s Paradox. The 19th Amendment generated the unintended consequences of dilution and extinction. Women are allowed to vote and to reject their role as the birthrate enters a “death spiral.” As the population is imported and minorities become the majority, in 100 years, there won’t be an American left in America. Without babies, there are no people. Without people, the absurdity of women’s suffrage is moot and mortal.

      The 19th Amendment is injurious to the Constitution, terminal for the nation, anti-constitutional and, therefore, unconstitutional.

      To wit,

      ”…And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution,..”

      James Madison

      Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789

      “…And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution, and they can be ingrafted so as to give satisfaction to the doubting part of our fellow citizens; the friends of the federal government will evince that spirit of deference and concession for which they have hitherto been distinguished.”

      The TEN Amendments to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights were sufficient and did not injure the Constitution. Fundamental Law, such as that of the Ten Commandments, constitutes the immutable foundation. There does not come a day when theft and murder are acceptable. Madison et al. did not include women’s suffrage in the Bill of Rights because they knew it was Wrong. The race and nation must be professionally, fully and increasingly perpetuated by women who are dedicated to that function which was appropriately assigned by nature.

      1. George – there were actually twelve amendments sent to the states for ratification. Only ten were ratified. One will be passed later. The other is just hanging out there. However, had it been passed, states like Arizona would have had more power and states like NY would have had less power.

        1. Thank you, PCS. I stand corrected. Were those additional, immaterial and substantially unknown amendments injurious to the Constitution? The point is that the population must now be imported and a birthrate in a “death spiral” is injurious to the nation and, therefore, the Constitution. It is inescapable that 19th Amendment is injurious to the Constitution as we understand Madison, and that which is injurious to the Constitution is irrefutably unconstitutional

          ”…And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution,..”

          – James Madison

    3. The 19th Amendment is null and void and must be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as it assumes a power, not enumerated to the federal government but to the states. The federal government has no authority to legislate or amend in lieu of a state legislature.

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