Thursday, January 12, 2006

Nomination, humiliation and ignorance

Maybe this is why we're threatened with a lying, white-male solipsist as a Supreme?

Only 59 percent of Florida adults surveyed by Harris Interactive for the Florida Bar could name the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial). Other popular answers included local, state and federal (18 percent), and republican, democrat and independent (16 percent).

Questions about the meaning of the terms "separation of powers" and "checks and balances" also yielded low percentages of correct answers, 46 percent and 61 percent, respectively, the Bar said. Yahoo.

I wonder how 2 percent more got the "checks and balances" right than could name the branches of government? Oh well...

Civic ignorance certainly isn't confined to Florida. Most people are not engaged with the Alito nomination because they either don't understand what the Supreme Court does or they fear that they'll feel stupid if they try to understand what the nomination means. The one certain thing most folks learn from schooling is to fear humiliation for not knowing the answer.

If enough people are kept ignorant or choose to rest in ignorance, democracy is impossible. Obviously that is in the interests of those who already hold power.

Hat tip to Facing South.

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