The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the need for citizens of the United States to be well informed. When citizens do not know the contents of the founding documents – Declaration of Independence and Constitution – and the laws of the land, they can be easily be deceived by those people who want to control them. This is one reason why immigrants who want to become citizens must take a test and get a certain percentage of the answers correct.
During the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, the American colonists were happy being members of the British Empire. None of the people wanted to become a separate nation. Yet, after the publication of the Declaration of Independence and a pamphlet called “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine, the people began to realize how their freedoms were slipping away through the different acts of Parliament. They were willing to act only after they were informed of their situation.
The Founding Fathers were quite concerned about the importance of having an informed citizenry. Here are a couple of quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
Jefferson must have had some sense of what would be happening in the United States today. Many people – myself included – believe that Donald Trump was elected by the people because they were concerned about what was happening in the nation during the Obama administration. In other words, the people took steps to right the government. That is why we are seeing so much violence and chaos in the nation. The liberals who were taking the country down the wrong road are violently opposed to Trump turning the nation around, and they are fighting the change with everything that they have – lies, chaos, and violence. We The People elected Trump to do the work that he is doing.
In 2012 the Center for the Study of the American Dream at Xavier University conducted a study to see how informed Americans are. The study found that one of every three citizens of the United States fails the civics portion of the test for immigrant naturalization.
The survey of more than 1,000 voting-age Americans asked respondents 10 random questions from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services civics exam, which is administered as part of the immigration process, finding that 35 percent answered five or less questions correctly. More than 97 percent of immigrants applying for citizenship pass the test.
Native-born citizens fared best on questions related to history and geography and struggled most with questions about the function of government, specifically on questions about the Constitution and those that asked to identify current policy-makers. Other parts of the study show respondents were overwhelmingly confused about powers granted to the federal government and those granted to individual states.
Here are some questions that gave respondents the most trouble:
. 85 percent could not define “the rule of law.”
. 75 percent did not know function of the judicial branch
. 71 percent were unable to identify the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.”
. 63 percent could not name one of their state’s Senators.
. 62 percent did not know the name [of] the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
. 62 percent could not identify the Governor of their state.
. 57 percent could not define an “amendment.”
I can almost understand a situation where a person would have a senior moment and not remember the names of Senators, Governor, or Speaker of the House, but I believe that every American should be able to answer the other questions. A favorite cry whenever President Trump does anything people do not like is “That’s unconstitutional!” How do they know whether something is constitutional or not if they do not know the Constitution?
I am grateful that President Trump is nominating judges for the federal courts that know the Constitution and are willing to make their decisions according to the Constitution as it is written. Liberals do not want judges and justices that follow the Constitution because they know that they cannot pressure such judges to go against the supreme law of the land.
I believe that every citizen of the United States should be able to pass the citizenship test given to immigrants. I also believe that students in every school of the land should be taught civics. The rising generation must know the founding documents and other important papers, or they must be prepared to lose freedoms.