MSUBioNerd saidIt really doesn't surprise me that most people can't list that the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances is part of the 1st amendment. The other 1st amendment rights are easy to summarize as 'freedom of x', and so that one's kind of an outlier. It's easy to make a big deal about the greater knowledge of pop culture than constitutional government, but really...the Simpsons have been on the air since 1989, so we're coming up on 20 years of them being on the radar. Then add in the movie, the video games, the merchandising, and it's a lot of attention. Even people who have never seen the show can probably list off the characters. That doesn't mean most people don't know you can ask the government to take action to correct a perceived wrong.
Well, actually it is pretty sad that people cant list them off. This question is just symptomatic. Ignorance of the basics makes it really hard to have a meaningful discussion of issues.
I just finished the book above today while sitting having a coffee at the bookstore.
Television has really dumbed down Americans in many ways. Most americans get their news from the TV. Few read a paper or online articles that give more information. And the news has to be entertaining. Any story that is boring wont get reported on TV cuz the audience will "walk."
And a real problem with this increased ignorance is that the political parties have totally glorified "The People." Nobody can criticize the ignorance of the people or suggest that dont have the information to act on an issue.
Both liberals and conservatives are caught in a pickle now. Liberals base their beliefs on belief in the people. So they have a hard time now coming out and saying that people are just plain too ignorant these days. Conservatives, who inhernetly distrust the people, have been elected to office so many times lately that they dont want to diss the people anymore.
So you have both parties tell the people are wonderful they are when they arent.