Politicians score lower than public in Constitutional knowledge

This is the kind of story that should make you realize that handing over more control of your life to the politicians is not the way to make your life better.

Apparently, one study suggests that the politicians know less about our government and the constitution than the average citizen does. Continue reading for the details.

So which one is the politician and which one is the average American? Is there any comfort in the difference?

AOLNews has a story that lays it all out. A survey asked 33 basic questions about civics. Some of the participants identified themselves as getting elected to a government office at least once in their life.

Here is a rundown of some of the results from that AOLNews story:

  • Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
  • Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war — 54 percent of the general public knows that.
  • Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase “wall of separation” appears in Thomas Jefferson’s letters — not in the U.S. Constitution — compared with 19 percent of the general public.
  • And only 57 percent of those who’ve held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for “training those aspiring for higher political office.”)

Overall, the general public scored 5 percentage points higher than those who indicated they had been elected officials.

Of course, when you look at the sample size of those who indicated they had been or were elected officials, it was relatively small. However, this should still get people thinking. The truth is that none of these people are more qualified than you are to govern your own life. In fact, some of them manage to so completely screw up their own lives, they should not even be allowed to be responsible for the well being of a cat, much less millions of Americans.

Don’t start feeling too superior tho. While these politicians certainly cannot claim to be any better informed than the rest of us, we are still talking about some depressingly low numbers on what folks know – whether they are politicians or not!

You can take the quiz yourself and see how you score.

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