Thomas 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.
“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.”