According to a new poll that is out, only 36% of Americans can name even the simple three branches of government – namely, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Apparently, roughly the same amount could not even name one of the branches.
Notice, this poll doesn’t even involve questions that include the principle of federalism (or, in other words, take into account state/federal relations), the Administrative State (a kind of de facto fourth branch, at this point) or even the People themselves – who are the oft ignored fundamental and primary branch (or, perhaps, root) from which the other branches can find source for legitimacy. These are not merely additional insights either, as is realized by many of those who are inclined to desire a restoration of these principles to the united States.
Is there any wonder why the American system of governments is failing, when the people – from whom the power and authority are ultimately derived – are so ignorant of even the most basic concepts of civil government?
This brings to mind the famous dictum from Thomas Jefferson, which he wrote in a letter to Colonel Charles Yancey in January 1816, that:
“If a nation [or in this case, nations] expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects was never was and never will be.”
One wonders if there has ever been a time when information and knowledge has been more accessible in all of this world’s history, let alone American History – and yet, at the same time, has there ever been a time of more pervasive ignorance?