"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
- Thomas Jefferson
Let's face it, the American public is pretty damn stupid. Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition for redress of grievances), but over half can name more than one member of the Simpsons family. Barely half of all adult Americans will read a novel this year. Barely a quarter of Americans can name two of the three branches of government. Less than one in five know how many senators America has, and the same number could name how long their term lasts. Thirty percent of Americans don't know what the Holocaust is. Nearly half believe the president has the right to override the constitution (somewhat understandable, considering how hard he works at it). Forty five percent of people believe that revolutionary speech is punishable under the Constitution.
So yes, America is full of idiots. And these are the people that are helping to elect the people that run our country (sometimes running it into the ground). So should we have a basic proficiency exam to allow people to vote? Is there any other way to do something about this issue?