Our Pages

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Are You Ignorant?

Since Election Day was yesterday, I thought it timely to ask the question how knowledgeable are we. Do we, the American people, have the information it takes to pick the best candidates to run our country or are we stumbling through our choices burdened by our ignorance? I challenge you to take the Pew IQ News quiz to test your knowledge on politics and our government and see where you stand. The quiz is changed every few months and given nationally. Each version of the quiz asks a wide range of questions about current events and issues as well as background facts and concepts that are relevant to the news. The answers will be at the very end, but don’t look and cheat for you only cheat yourself. If you want to read all about the Pew quiz and see how you stacked up to the rest of America you can go to: http://pewresearch.org

1. Do you happen to know if children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. are automatically U.S. citizens, or are they not automatically U.S. citizens?
Yes they are
No they are not

2. Do you happen to know who is the current military commander of American forces in Afghanistan?
Stanley McChrystal
Wesley Clark
David Petraeus
Coin Powell

3. Do you happen to know if Congress passed a health care reform bill this year, or not?
Yes they did
No they did not

4. Was the government bailout, also known as TARP passed and signed into law under:
President George W. Bush
President Barack Obama

5. Do you happen to know if the U.S. national unemployment rate reported by the U.S. government is closer to:
5 %

6. What European country recently received a major bailout from the European Union?

7. Do you happen to know what Twitter is?
A new cell phone
An information sharing network
A children’s cartoon character
A rock band

8. Thinking about the major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico about how deep is the water where the leaking well is located?
50 feet
500 feet
5,000 feet
50,000 feet

9. Can you tell me who the Prime Minister of Great Britain is?
Richard Branson
Tony Hayward
Angela Merkel
David Cameron

10. Do you happen to know who is the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?
Thurgood Marshall
John Roberts
Harry Reid
John Paul Stevens

11. The World Cup Soccer Tournament was held in what country this year?
South Africa
South Korea


1. Yes they are
2. David Patraeus
3. Yes they did
4. President Bush
5. 10%
6. Greece
7. An information sharing network
8. 5,000 feet
9. David Cameron
10. John Roberts
11. South Africa

So, how did you do? Do you need to watch more news and pay better attention to the world around you, or did you ace the quiz? I’d love to hear what you think.

Have a great day!

Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem


  1. Fun quiz, Julie. I missed the Prime Minister of England- for reasons obvious to those who know me- otherwise I got them right.

  2. Sadly, I missed the Chief Justice question.

    I think the entire election system needs an overhaul. Too many times I'm voting for the person I dislike the most. Not the person I think would make the best candidate.

    Usually in primaries you can only vote for one side of the candidates. So you may like someone but he/she doesn't get to the main ballot. Then what you are left with is a choice of lesser of two evils.

    Take the 2008 election. In NC we vote primaries in May. By then most of the candidates had dropped out/were not on the ballot. So after the primaries we were left with Obama. He was not my choice at all.

    He didn't have a lot of experience with Congress (hadn't completed his first term in office and spent a lot of time on the road campaigning - similar to John Edwards). Also a lot of things he talked about/promised were things he couldn't do as President. This turned me off. Our Constitution explicitly states what each branch of government can do and Obama routinely promised things he couldn't do as President.

    But at the Main election in November...I felt I had no choice but to vote for Obama because Sarah Palin's views flat out scared me. I didn't want her anywhere near the Presidency. (even running as Vice President)

    So I voted for the lesser of two evils. It would be nice if we could vote for people we think could do the job.

    I can't bring myself not to vote and sometimes I pick a Libertarian candidate just because I can't bring myself to vote for either party's candidate. It's a throwaway vote but I still vote and a negative vote says something as well.

  3. Great blog, as always!! You are always thought provoking. Of course, I passed with flying colors :) I was horrified yesterday when I was voting, and a women was sitting right next to me, on her cell phone, asking which candidate to vote for on each one. Can you believe it?? She was going right down the line. It is sad how many people, are ignorant, on who they vote into office to serve our country.

  4. Clarissa,
    I can't beleive you missed anything!

  5. Beth,
    You should go over to the Pew sight. If you just missed the Chief Justice you scored better than about 95% of the people who took the test. Scary, hugh?

  6. Jodi,
    I'm so glad you think my blogs are thought provoking! I cannot beleive someone feels the need to ask someone else how they should vote. too bad they don't feel the need to learn the candidates and the issues.

  7. I missed one as well and I avoid politic topics like the plague but I feel compelled to mention here...it's very important to know what your party stands for and the candidants who're representing them. There are also "moderate democrats and new republicans." It's okay to disagree with several issues in your party. But figure out what is more important to you and side with the person who has many similar views. So many people that I've spoken to over the years don't even understand thier own party and then later figure out that they might be one of those moderates. Education is always key in life. Great post on educating our citizens.

  8. Well, geez. I guess I'm the only one who needs to crawl out from under my rock. Okay. Back to my cave to wallow in the bliss of my ignorance. :)

  9. I was kind of nervous--don't like to watch the news--but I got them all anyway. Probably because you asked near an election and I'd feel daft voting without information.

  10. Jodi,

    That's so bizarre. Maybe that's why cell phones were banned from the polls in our district. I thought it was just to minimize the disruption. It never occured to me that someone would call someone else to ask how to vote. Why vote unless your choice reflects your values, or at least lines up the closest?

  11. Sheila,
    Thanks for taking the quiz! I'm glad to hear you're informed.

  12. Melissa,
    So true about needing to really understand what each party stands for, or each candidate as they don't always stand for everything the party does.

  13. Samantha,
    Don't feel bad! Several people I know who took this missed more than one. Come out from under your rock!

  14. Very interesting. I missed 2 so I don't feel too bad. I didn't know the Prime Minister (shame on me) and I thought unemployment was closer to 15%.

  15. Fun, Julie! I missed 3, but that's fine by me. I'm happy to live under my rock with my rose-colored glasses on. LOL!

  16. The Aussie girl gave it a go. Missed 4. But at least my ignorance is evenly spread worldwide. LOL

  17. I missed 1, but I should have missed 2 as the world cup one was just a lucky guess ;)