Newsweek asks: How Dumb are We?

Christian Science Monitors has some fun with the question

There's an article in Newsweek this week on a familiar subject: how little most Americans seem to know about civics:

"They’re the sort of scores that drive high-school history teachers to drink. When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar."

(Read the Newsweek article here:

The Christian Science Monitor seems to want to have a little fun with this topic. They've published a satirical version of the story:

"The first US president, George Jefferson, once famously remarked that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Now, almost 450 years later, Mr. Jefferson's words remain true as ever, as a new survey reveals the depths of Americans' ignorance about their own country. Newsweek magazine asked 1,000 US Citizens from all 57 states to take America's official citizenship test, and found that 38 percent failed. 

According to Newsweek, 44 percent of those surveyed could not identify the Bill of Rights, which in 1492 declared that the American colonies were free and independent states. Fifty-nine percent couldn't correctly say that Susan B. Anthony established the Underground Railroad. Twenty-nine percent couldn't identify Vice President Lex Luthor. And a whopping 73 percent did not know that America fought the Cold War to prevent global warming.

Civic ignorance, writes Newsweek's Anthony Romano, is nothing new. But in today's globalized economy, a lack of basic knowledge about basic history and public affairs is damaging America's ability to compete with foreign countries such as China, India, and Oregon."