Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I Could Vote . . . Could You?

I am not a Ted Rall fan, but I read his editiorials to make keep me informed about other people's opinions and he had an interesting editorial this past week. He was writng about the lack of knowledge current voters have about current political events. He points out:

Demonstrating that stupefying ignorance can be bipartisan, another Ohioan interviewed for the same article said she is against the war in Iraq because, like 42 percent of her fellow Americans, she thinks Iraq was behind 9/11: "We shouldn't be over there building them back up because they didn't build our towers back up." She is wrong on so many levels that it makes my brain hurt.

60 percent of Americans think we've found Iraq's WMDs, and the 22 percent "believe" that Saddam Hussein used such weapons against U.S. troops during the 2003 invasion.

His solution to the problem is to create POLTICAL LITERACY TESTS. The questions would be:

1. Who is the vice president?

2. What is your state capital?

3. Name one of the following: your governor, congressman or one senator.

4. What is the capital of the United States?

5. Name one federal cabinet-level department.

Personally, I could pass this test (I guess most social science teachers could) but I am absolutly against this idea but I do find it interesting.

FOR DISCUSSION: Could you pass Rall's test? and what is your opinion of his ideas?


Blogger Doc said...

1. Who is the vice president? Dick Cheney or Chainy or what ever...

2. What is your state capital? Topeka

3. Name one of the following: your governor, congressman or one senator. Kathleen Seblius

4. What is the capital of the United States? Washington D.C.

5. Name one federal cabinet-level department. im taking a guess but ill say Legislative Brance?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...


Good try! but you missed one. Of course, you are not 18 so it is probably understandable that you missed one. Good job and by the time you vote, you will score 100 :)

6:59 PM  
Blogger Casey Jack said...

Mr. Gerber told us about this in Government class. A political literacy test would be very interesting; it would certainly take out a lot of the more ignorant people in America, but I don't think that anything like this could work at the moment - implementing it would be far too inefficient. We have enough troubles with just voting, let alone taking quizzes before you can vote.

Also I believe that placing a "minimum knowledge" requirement on voting would be viewed as unconstitutional by some. People would argue that it is their right to vote, as government is created with the consent of the people, whether or not they are very government-savvy.

1. Dick Cheney
2. Topeka
3. Senator Sam Brownback
4. Washington D.C.
5. Department of Treasury

10:42 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

well if they wanted to vote, and the messed up on the first test, they could go home and look up the answers on the internet and then go back unless they are lazy or you can only take it once. (sheesh in all seriousness its not hard to just look for the answers instead of getting really ticked off about it)

5:46 PM  
Blogger Mr. Warsnak said...

I think you make a pretty good point. I am against this because there is a historical issue with the fact that literacy tests wee used to keep African Americans from voting. The idea revives a sad chapter from out pass. Is there a solution that is better and more creative than going back to literacy tests?

6:03 PM  
Blogger John said...

Perhaps these illiterate people could watch the news? I mean, I do not recall the news ever mentioning that Hussein actually used the WMDs, or that we had found them. The news is a great tool for learning about such information, as long as it is balanced and accurate.

5:04 PM  

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