How is it that America, the greatest country on Earth, at least in my opinion, can also have what have to be some of the dumbest people on Earth? It’s not as if we don’t have the potential to be smart, we just choose to be dumber. We let our news networks tell us what to think, we blatantly ignore facts because we don’t like them, and worst of all, we refuse to retain some of the most basic information that we should have learned in Elementary school. If we don’t begin to educate ourselves, we are doomed as a country.
We like to believe that we all will never forget what will probably always be the worst terror attack in American History, yet according to a 2006 poll by the Washington Post, a good number of Americans did (Lang 2013). 30% of Americans did not know what year 9/11 took place on (Lang 2013). If you are someone who would have fallen in this category, it was 2001, meaning that only five years later, three out of ten Americans had already forgotten what year a terror attack that killed thousands occurred (Lang 2013).
Another statistic that should concern you is that 25% of Americans do not know what country we gained our independence from (Lang 2013). Some of the people who don’t know even believe that we gained our independence from France, the country that allowed our Revolution to be successful (Lang 2013). Even if you were going to take a wild guess when asked this question, why wouldn’t you guess England, considering that English is the language that is predominantly spoken here in America. Then again, if you actually have to think about that question, that kind of rational thinking is probably a bit too much for you.
The last statistic I’ll give, and believe me there are plenty more like these, is that half of Americans are not aware that Judaism came before Christianity (Lang 2013). You’d think it would be pretty well known considering that the majority of Americans are Christian, that the Jews persecuted Jesus in the Bible for being a heretic in their eyes and saying that he was the son of God or the fact that the story of the Jewish people all takes place in the Old Testament would help us figure out this one (Lang 2013).
We need to get our heads out of the sand, we are getting dumber as a country. I realize that some of these statistics show that the majority of people in our country do know the correct answers, but considering how basic these questions are, we should have almost no one getting these wrong. And it can only get worse from here. If we don’t do something, pretty soon sarcastically calling someone “Einstein” in this country will require an explanation of who Einstein is, as well as what sarcasm is. And if you still don’t think the statistics listed are that concerning, feel free to look at some of the other ones in the source I listed.
Lang, N. (2013, October 7). 14 Surprising Things Americans Don’t Know, According to Poll Numbers. Thought Catalog. Retrieved from http://thoughtcatalog.com/nico-lang/2013/10/14-surprising-things-americans-dont-know-according-to-poll-numbers/