Bob's First Rule of Power
We live on a planet with 6 billion humans, and most of them are uninformed and ignorant. Here in the United States, despite high standards of living and abundant material wealth, the situation is no different. In 2006, during coverage of the manufactured debate over "Intelligent Design," Newsweek conducted a national poll about scientific literacy. All of the participants were adult residents of the United States. The results were astonishing:
Fewer than a third of those polled know that DNA is the molecule of heredity
Only 10 percent know what radiation is
20 percent think the Sun revolves around Earth.
But of course, that was from 2006, and Bush's educational reform program has probably improved things considerably since then. I truly hope so, since that same year an even more disturbing poll was conducted by the Washington Post:
While the country is preparing to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives and shocked the world, 95 percent of Americans questioned in the poll were able to remember the month and the day of the attacks, according to Wednesday's edition of the newspaper.
But when asked what year, 30 percent could not give a correct answer. Of that group, six percent gave an earlier year, eight percent gave a later year, and 16 percent admitted they had no idea whatsoever.
This memory black hole is essentially the problem of the older crowd: 48 percent of those who did not know were between the ages of 55 and 64, and 47 percent were older than 65, according to the poll.
The Post telephone survey was carried out July 21-24 among 1,002 randomly selected adults. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
I'm Not Pointing Fingers and Laughing
Don't mistake this for crowing about how dumb people are. This is a serious and intractable problem. The vast majority of voters in the United States are dangerously ignorant and easily manipulated.