There’s an old joke about a man-on-the-street interview in which they ask a typical John Q. Public which is the bigger problem facing our country today, ignorance or apathy? His response is the title of this article.
I was reminded of this after reading this story today. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched Leno’s “Jaywalking” segment on The Tonight Show, that the results of the survey are true. The average American knows little to nothing about the system of government under which they live, nor do they care. It is a testament to the vision of the Framers that they were able to craft a system that even 200 years hence affords us the luxury of not knowing or not caring.
But it should also be noted that the Framers assumed there would always be a vigilant citizenry ready to rein in a government that went astray. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” This is the state in which we find ourselves in America today.
I just wanted to make the point that you cannot fix a system of government that relies on fans of the Simpsons to vote for the “fixes.”