Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Enemy Within

Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by Walt Kelly (1913–1973). Pogo is famous for his quote, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

 The ISI (the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization) when they  conducted a scientific survey of civic learning among American college students discovered that 71% of Americans failed the test with an average score of 49%, or an “F.”
  •  Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government, a minimal requirement for understanding America’s constitutional system. 
  • Only 24% of college graduates know the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States.
  • Earning a college degree does little to increase knowledge of America’s history, key texts, and institutions. In fact, college educators themselves scored only 55%.
  •  Only 54% of college graduates can correctly identify a basic description of the free enterprise system, in which all Americans participate.
  •  Elected officials typically have less civic knowledge than the general public. On average, they score 44%, five percentage points lower than non-officeholders.
  •  30% of elected officials do not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

We have met the enemy and he is us.

The following quote was translated into English from a reader’s commentary in the March 2010 issue of a Czech Republic newspaper The Prager Zeitung.

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President.”

At least one citizen of the Czech Republic and 48% of Americans get it. Unfortunately, 50% of Americans did not revealing one startling truth...Pogo is right, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”