Saving our ignocratic republic

America was designed as a constitutional republic. The powers that the federal government enjoys were delegated to it by the people via the Constitution, which describes what powers the government has, how those powers are divided among the three branches and what powers the federal government doesn’t possess. The Constitution speaks to courts, but also to officials and to voters.

But what if voters don’t know what the Constitution says? A recent survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni found that college graduates are shockingly ignorant about the Constitution. According to the study, “nearly 10% of college graduates think Judith Sheindlin — commonly known as Judge Judy — is on the Supreme Court; one-third of college graduates can’t identify the Bill of Rights as a name given to a group of constitutional amendments. … Shockingly, 46% of college grads don’t know the election cycle — six years for senators, two years for representatives. Turning to the general population, the report finds that over half (54%) of those surveyed cannot identify the Bill of Rights accurately, and over 1 in 10 (11%) of those ages 25-34 believe that the Constitution must be reauthorized every four years.”