We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Too many who go to college, etc., would be much better off getting a diploma in something useful at the local polytechnic institution. There they'd skip the brainwashing and acquire real skills, preferable marketable.
Point taken about the interviewed being college students. We should all expect college students to know better.
But that was Tech.
There were no questions about oil, cattle, cotton, or football. I would expect clear answers from many of those same students on the subjects I just listed. Just as they knew who Brad Pitt was married to. They would also know the name of that big breasted chick in the video game commercials.
In a free country the average Joe shouldn't need to be concerned with anything other that what he wants to be concerned with. In the country envisioned by our founders the average citizen would live in an environment where the pursuit of his happiness would not be conditioned upon his knowledge of who is the Vice President. And really, what has Joe Biden done for any student in Lubbock? Why should any Red Raider outside of the PoliSci department know who that clown is?
Barrister, it is late. I've had a couple of drinks. I understand your point. I trust you understand mine.
They were asked some basic questions about history and current affairs, and couldn't even answer those.
That points to a severe lack of knowledge about both.
The former can be blamed on education, even down to primary school level, the latter is mindset. Someone who's interested in getting a higher education should be interested in the world around them in general, and I don't mean the colour of Lady Gaga's new underwear but things like which political party is in power.
And No. Someone at a technical college doesn't have to know everything about football, or any of the other topics you mention.
I'd expect them to have a decent level of knowledge about their chosen majors of course, but why would a physics major need to be an expert in cattle breeding?
I was a college professor--Geological sciences and math-- for ten years so this is no surprise. Good for a chuckle but the true ramifications of this incessant now-now-now culture will come home to roost when they graduate, if they do, and try to enter the workforce. Employers across the boards lament how ill-prepared the current college crowd is for what lies ahead.
I like the girl who got all the numbers for the date of Independence but couldn't get them in the right order.
What this mostly shows that even our "game show" education system is failing. They should ask some questions that require understanding to see if any have real education on the topic, but are just absent minded on the details. I would expect worse answers to the latter.
"The sort of “History” that was taught in Narnia under Miraz’s rule was duller than the truest history you ever read and less true than the most exciting adventure story."
-- C.S. Lewis, 'Prince Caspian', 'Chronicles of Narnia'
I would like to see the same questions asked of home schooled college students.
The real problem with the failure of our K-12 public schools is that these people will be the movers and shakers of the 21st century. If you go to almost any other country and asked them pertinent questions about their history and world history etc. you would probably get an exact opposite response. I.e. that those students would know history, politics and other important things. Those would be the movers and shakers for their country. This is part of the reason why the U.S. always seems to get the short end of the stick in international negotiations and contracts. Our ambassador to Japan is Caroline Kennedy, her entire list of skills, experience and credentials is her last name. I would be willing to bet a years income that the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. has a very impressive resume and skill set. Our politicians are stupid and continue to outdo themselves on their stupidity. Who would appoint Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to anything? She isn't alone, many of our ambassadors are simply big donors to the winning party's coffers. Many of our bureacrats are no smarter or better educated then these college students. We are so toast.
There are a great many movies and TV shows that these kids would not understand if they did not know the answers to these questions.
>I would be willing to bet a years income that the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. has a very impressive resume and skill set.
This is a very good point, In addition, most U.S. politians think Japan is a major trading parter and fawn all over them when Canada is number 1 and the province of Ontario is number 2. Yet the Canadian PM is virtually ignored.
Japan is 6th!
I wish I could be sure I remembered correctly what I knew when I was 18. I have a vivid memory of studying for the SAT (at 16? 17?) and running across the word "monetary," which I had never, ever encountered in reading or conversation. Wow, has to do with money, huh? Never heard that. It's hard to keep in mind how much of my vocabulary and basic fact acquisition came in later years.
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I knew the Union won the Civil War, and the name of the VP at the time, and so on. I was aware of the VP as far back as Lyndon Johnson, at least as early as the date of the Kennedy assassination, and I'm sure I knew VPs Humphrey, Agnew, and so forth continuously after that, though I was never what you'd call politically active.
It wouldn't have done to ask me the names of any state elected officials, I can tell you that. I remained vague on them until quite recently.