Reuters through Yahoo News reports of a poll by Zogby International, “commissioned by the makers of a new game show on pop culture called ‘Gold Rush‘,” where the law was veritably “dwarfed” by the competition.
75% of Americans could identify two of the dwarfs in the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, and Dopey), 74% could identify the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly), 60% could identify Bart Simpson, 60% knew about Superman and the planet Krypton, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter surpassed British Prime Minister Tony Blair 57% to 50% in terms of public recognition.
By comparison only 42% of Americans could identify the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial) and only 11% could name the Supreme Court Justice last confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court (Samuel Alito).
Saving grace, the intellectual elite that drives the country did put in an appearance as fully 20% of those polled could name at least one of Homer’s epic works (Iliad, Odyssey).
Hmmm. Perhaps it is time in the USA to speak openly about the necessity to achieve an EFFECTIVE GENERAL EDUCATION of American citizens.
We can not fault the public for not knowing the names of Supreme Court Justices, who are no competition for Hollywood, but when less than 50% of the citizenry know how their own government works, then you have a long term problem. This lack of knowledge is one of the reasons that the qualifications of people elected to Congress have dropped in recent decades and will continue to drop as an uninformed, uneducated public elects people who know not much more about their own government than they do.