When I was in Junior High (Eighth grade I believe) we learned all about the United States Constitution and a few of the other sacred documents on which the government of this country is founded (like The Declaration of Independence). Then we had to pass an examination on the Constitution with a requirement that we could only get one or two answers wrong to avoid failing the test.
The really scary part, though, was the strict requirement that we could not graduate without passing this test.
I studied intensely in panic mode and lay in my bed at night, awake and iterating the many jobs I might qualify for if and when I failed the Constitution test (they all involved French Fries). Despite the length of the test and the detail of the Constitution it went into, I only answered one question incorrectly and saved myself from a sad life of bagging groceries or flipping burgers.
There were many other topics and tests throughout my public school career (that’s a U.S. public school, not British) that taught me all about the geography of this country as well as its history, and others that taught me all about the history and geography of countries around the globe. In Social Studies I had to learn the grain output of the Ukraine and well as how to spell Reykjavik; what countries the Amazon and Nile Rivers flowed through; what the climate was like in the Chagos Archipelago and Tierra del Fuego.
I don’t remember it all, and much has changed in the last fifty years, but I still remember that knowing these things declared that I was a cognizant and thinking person. I was educated and the curiosity for knowledge that I discovered in school has continued to this day. Is it any wonder that the shear stupidity and recklessness of many politicians has me shaking my head .. and my fist.
But it seems simple to me right now: if I would have failed that test on the U. S. Constitution, I probably would be disqualified from holding any public office; but there are so many politicians running for office with unexercised gray cells and only enough sense to stay on script and eschew thinking for themselves. But what if politicians such as those running for their party’s nomination to be President of the United States had to take a comprehensive government test which included both national and world affairs?
When I was a senior in High School I had to take the Civil Service exam for entrance into the Naval Academy at Annapolis. It was the hardest test I ever experienced and although I withdrew my bid to the Academy for health reasons, I learned two things: first, based on that test, the demands at the Academy were going to be extreme, and, second, the Civil Service guys could really make a hard and comprehensive test to weed out the candidates that shouldn’t be allowed in the Academy.
So why is there no Civil Service test for candidates for national public office?
I’m reasonably sure that most riders in the Republican clown car would be unable to pass my Junior High Constitution test, let alone the test for the Naval Academy or even the test to become a United States citizen. In fact, few of the GOP candidates could have passed my High School Social Studies or History exams (at least based on the level of stupidity they expose whenever they go off script).
Is it any wonder that the GOP is doing everything they can to keep the population over-worked and under-educated? That way you might actually believe that Climate Change isn’t real, Evolution is a hoax, and the future of the American Empire is in fossil fuels. Besides, what politician would want a constituency to be smarter than he is (or she).
Note: I don't agree with his positions and would never vote for him, but Linsey Graham is possibly the one exception out of the hot sweaty mass of Republican mendacity that is not as stupid as he looks.