Like Lisa, I have the naive belief that all people care about the things that matter. And like Lisa, I am sad when I learn the hard truth that other people just can't be bothered to make the time or the effort to focus on the important things.
Call me crazy, but I have this radical notion that Americans might actually know/ care about the most fundamental of our rights. Naturally, this study scares the living shit out of me. And it just confirms that most Americans are not like Lisa (or me).
For the record, I think Matt Groening is a genius. It's time for him to do an episode (or forty) on the Constitution.
D’oh! More know Simpsons than Constitution
Study: America more familiar with cartoon family than First Amendment
Updated: 1:22 a.m. ET March 1, 2006
CHICAGO - Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” than they do about the First Amendment.
Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms (Freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances) guaranteed by the First Amendment.
But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.
The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.
Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results.
“Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions,” said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. “It means we have our job cut out for us.”
The survey found more people could name the three “American Idol” judges than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.
It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.
The telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan. 20-22 by the research firm Synovate and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.