A recent Pew survey found that little more than a third of American adults can name the three branches of government and 35 percent can’t name a single one. Only 38 percent of Americans could correctly identify which party controls the House or the Senate, and more than 40 percent “didn’t even feel qualified to guess at the leadership of each house of Congress.” There are dozens – hundreds – of surveys that confirm the fact that majority of Americans care more about anything than they do about foreign policy. And while there’s no shame in being turned off by the cavity of Washington DC, there might be something shameful about nullifying the vote of a citizen who took the time to figure out the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
Accountability is a downer. Making things “easy” is empowering. Last week, in Colorado, scores of negligent teachers and their pliable students took to the streets to protest the implementation of a curriculum that goes heavy on teaching the responsibilities of citizenship rather than romanticizing the state. (The curriculum, it should be mentioned, was implemented using the democratic process that unions claim to hold in such high esteem.)
Is it any wonder that so many people have ridiculously outsized expectations about what government can or should be doing?