Every Fourth of July, Americans gather to celebrate the country’s declaration of independence from … um, what country was that again?
If you answered the above question with the word “England” or “Britain,” you would be obviously correct. But a new Marist poll finds that more than a quarter — 26 percent — of Americans polled couldn’t bring to mind the name of the country from whom the original 13 colonies gained independence.
Results were especially poor among the young: Of respondents aged 18 to 29, only 60 percent correctly identified Great Britain. A full one-third were unsure.
Maybe history class was too long ago. Or maybe, as the New York Daily News would have it, Americans are “pretty dumb.”
Overall, 20 percent of the population answered “not sure” to the question, while six percent declared it to be a country other than Great Britain. “Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain,” Marist reports.
China? Maybe all this poll tells us is that six percent of people who answer surveys like to screw around with them.
That’s a possibility that Jack Stuef at the Wonkette blog is ready to consider.
Consider that a good 10% of Americans probably have AlzheimerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. Then another 5% are just regular crazy people. And probably 11% of Americans got offended that some annoying academic called them up during dinner to ask them this single, inane question and answered Ã¢â‚¬Å“the United States won its independence from the country of My Ass.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Let’s hope Stuef is right. Or this country is in big trouble.