At perhaps no time in our nation’s history has the importance of a good civics education been more necessary. Arizona is taking the fight straight to their public schools, passing a bill that requires high schoolers to pass a citizenship exam to graduate. With unanimous support from Republicans and even some support from Democrats in the state legislature, the law will go into effect for the 2016-2017 school year.
The mandate will require students to take an exam similar to the one immigrants must pass to gain citizenship in the United States. Out of 100 questions, students must correctly answer 60 to pass the exam, which includes questions about former U.S. presidents, the Bill of Rights, and the Founding Fathers. Laws like the one passed in Arizona are currently being considered in several other states, and North Dakota seems ready to pass a bill this year.
A Deplorable State of Ignorance
Last year, the Annenberg Public Policy Center division of the University of Pennsylvania conducted a survey of American adults, and the results were astonishing. Only 36 percent of respondents could name all three branches of the government. 35 percent couldn’t even name a single one. Only 27 percent of adults knew what it took to overturn a president’s veto, and 21 percent thought that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision had to be returned to Congress for deliberation.
This isn’t about exposing American ignorance for giggles, like some political version of Jaywalking. It’s not about knowing facts and dates so you don’t wind up looking foolish when a conversation turns to American history. It’s about nothing less than maintaining democracy. When foolish liberals claim that the Bill of Rights and America’s Founding Fathers are irrelevant to today’s kids, they fail to realize that these concepts will never be irrelevant. They stand, today, as the foundation for our entire system of government. They stand as the historical framework that made all of this possible.
When kids (and, apparently, adults) have no idea what’s going on, it makes it that much easier for Democrats to expand their socialist, liberal efforts. They can skirt around issues of constitutionality with no problem at all if the voters don’t know about those issues in the first place. If high school graduates are landing in university classrooms without knowing the first thing about American civics, their liberal professors have a blank canvas upon which to imprint their twisted view of the Constitution, American history, and the problems that face this country today.
The most twisted view that liberals take on the Bill of Rights is that they are the rights our government has bestowed upon us. That’s utterly incorrect. These are rights given to us by the Creator. Government can only limit those rights. Maybe if more Americans understood that basic fact, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in now.