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January 17, 2011

Elected Officials Know Less Than General Public About Constitution

Posted by Dave Blount at January 17, 2011 8:41 AM

Alarmingly, elected officials have been found to know even less than the general public when it comes to our Constitution. According to a study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute:

Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to "uphold and protect" the U.S. Constitution.
But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:
• Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
• Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war — 54 percent of the general public knows that.
• Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase "wall of separation" appears in Thomas Jefferson's letters — not in the U.S. Constitution — compared with 19 percent of the general public.
• And only 57 percent of those who've held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for "training those aspiring for higher political office.")

Bureauweenies don't know their own business; yet they know better than you do how to spend your money.

On a tip from J. Hat tip: Hot Air.