With limited thinking abilities and knowledge of our heritage, we Americans set ourselves up as easy prey for charlatans, hustlers and quacks. If we don't know the constitutional limits placed on Congress and the White House, politicians can do just about anything they wish to control our lives, from deciding what kind of light bulbs we can use to whether the government can take over our health care system or bailout failing businesses. We just think Congress can do anything upon which they can get a majority vote.
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has one finding that I find both a bit perplexing but encouraging. Roughly 70 percent of Americans, even those who failed the test, agreed that our history, culture and institutions are important and should be taught to our college students. They might even agree with Thomas Jefferson who warned, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
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