RUSH: This is not going to surprise you, ladies and gentlemen. But it’s still infuriating. ‘Report Finds College Students Fail Basic Civics Test — ‘Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it’ is one of the most oft-quoted aphorisms of Edmund Burke, an 18th-century Irish-born member of the British Parliament and fearless friend of liberty. Judging from the results of a recent survey conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), most of the 14,000 college students who participated sadly will be repeating history. Considering that most of the 14,000 students who completed the exam (7,000 seniors and 7,000 freshmen) scored an F on the portion of the test covering basic American history and institutions, not only will they be repeating history, but with test scores like that, they’ll be repeating history class, as well.’
No, they won’t be. ‘ISI, a conservative non-profit educational organization, has recently published the results of this sweeping survey in a 32-page report entitled ‘The Shaping of the American Mind: The Diverging Influences of the College Degree and Civic Learning on American Beliefs.’ … Here are a few frightening figures certain to keep you up at night: * 71% of Americans failed the civics knowledge test; * 51% of Americans could not name the three branches of government; * The average score for college seniors on the civics knowledge test was 54.2% (an ‘F’ by any standard); * The average student’s test score improved only 3.8 points from freshman to senior year; * Freshmen at Cornell, Yale, Princeton, and Duke scored better than seniors on the civics knowledge test. * 79% of elected officials that took the civics knowledge quiz did not know the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits the government from establishing a religion.’ Seventy-nine percent!
‘30% of office holders did not know that ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence,’ and I wonder how many of them know what ‘inalienable’ means. Snerdley, what does ‘inalienable’ mean? (laughing) Brian, what does ‘inalienable’ mean? ‘We are all endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights, among them are…’ What does ‘inalienable’ mean? (interruption) No. ‘Can’t be taken away.’ Exactly right. H.R., with the answer. They can’t be taken away. It’s not the immigration bill. They can’t be taken away. ‘27% of politicians could not name even one right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. * 43% did not know the purpose of the Electoral College. * 39% of lawmakers believe the power of declaring war belongs to the president,’ and it goes on and on and on — and then here is a companion story.
You combine this college civics disaster story with Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty’s plea for cap and tax based on the feeling… Listen to this. Graham explains, ‘I have been to enough college campuses to know if at that if you’re 30 or younger, this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment and the world will be better off for it. They’re not brainwashed.’ From a Republican. They are. It’s a hoax, Senator! So you combine the basic ignorance of so many college students with the fact that they do believe that global warming isn’t a hoax — they have been brainwashed — and you find out why it is that so many Democrats and others going to youth vote to try to get them on their side because they’re easy. They don’t know anything. They haven’t been taught properly.
RUSH: Jan in Bakersfield, California, hi and welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: Hi. I have a comment about what you were saying about kids in college and what they don’t know about the First Amendment, what they don’t know about government, and what they don’t know about politics. Now I’m 56 years old, Rush. When I was 25, 30 years old, say 20, I didn’t go to college. But I can tell you that the First Amendment and what the First Amendment said wasn’t at the top of my list of what I thought I needed to know. What I needed to know is how to work, how to survive, how to take care of a family. I have friends that went to college. I have friends who have PhD. That wasn’t… I only think if you’re taking political science or you’re that involved in politics or under your family’s influence —
RUSH: You — you — Wait a minute. (crosstalk) No, no. Wait a minute. Are you calling after being referred to us by the Obama seminar caller website?
CALLER: Oh, gosh, no, Rush. I’m a hundred percent behind you. I’m a hundred percent. I am a conservative. So what I’m saying is in the real world, look what it costs for kids to even go to college nowadays. They are more concerned — and at the top of their list isn’t even how much taxes they’re paying —
CALLER: — or what this health care is going to cost them.
CALLER: It’s about the moment. We live in the moment. .
CALLER: And I don’t think until you get older do you even get that involved in what’s going on. Now, I’m a big fan of yours, Rush. I’ve only been listening for three months. My husband’s listened to you forever. And you know what I used to say? ‘Will you turn that off because that is so negative.’ But now, I see why you’re there and what you’re trying to tell us and how you educate us, Rush. No, that’s my opponent. But in the reality of a child’s world, that’s where they’re at.
RUSH: Well, if that’s true, we are in greater jeopardy and peril than I even thought.
CALLER: We are, Rush. We are. We have a 40-year-old daughter and a 32-year-old daughter.
RUSH: Because what we’re talking about here is not politics. We’re talking about understanding the root of our freedom. If we lose that, we lose the country.
RUSH: I really don’t want to embarrass our previous caller, but to say, ‘Ah, it’s not important to kids about the Bill of Rights and what the freedoms in the Bill of Rights are. That’s not their world right now.’ Well, you know, my dog doesn’t like eating the dog food, either, but I cram it down its throat. Your kids don’t like milk, but you make ’em drink it — and, for crying out loud, you’re supposed to learn this stuff in junior high school! You’re supposed to learn this stuff in elementary school, for crying out loud. All it is is understanding the foundation of our country and why it works and that you have the freedom to not be concerned with anything except being first in line at Blockbuster on Friday.
Over half the people in this survey, these kids, did not know when the War of 1812 was fought, much less who was in it! They didn’t even ask them who was in it when they found out half of them didn’t even know when the War of 1812 was fought. This is not minor stuff. It is evidence of the dumbing down of the country at the youngest ages so that liberalism, socialism, and the Democrat Party can wreak havoc in this country with impunity because half of the people are too stupid or ignorant to know the damage they are causing. And when the Democrat Party screws up it’s not violating the Constitution. It’s when they finally try to force things down people’s throat that they instinctively don’t want, which is what’s happening now.
RUSH: Ashley, 23 years old from Gainesville, Florida. Nice to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush! I was calling because I had a comment. You were talking about the civics classes and how so many college students couldn’t answer the questions and didn’t know anything about the Bill of Rights. For one of my classes, a comparative politics class, one of our assignments was to create a new Bill of Rights, and being an online class we get to look at the discussions, and most of the class put that health care would be included in the Bill of Rights, because health care is a right to all citizens as well as a good education. Most of them wanted a college education to be something everyone has and it’s free.
RUSH: Well, this pretty much confirms the ignorance of the civics test.
CALLER: Yes. Pretty much. Just wanted to tell you.
RUSH: Health care should be free, huh?
CALLER: Yeah, health care and education. Everyone should have a college education.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, where do we stop there? Everybody should have a car, right?
RUSH: Yeah. And everybody should have two houses: One for the wintertime and one for the summer. It’s only fair.
CALLER: A lot of people were quoting FDR’s addition to the Bill of Rights where everyone should be entitled to a decent house and a good education —
CALLER: — health care and a job.
RUSH: Right. Yeah. Yeah, and it all ought to be free.
CALLER: Yes, everyone should be given it. It’s a right. It’s not just free, it’s a right.
RUSH: It’s a right, and everybody should earn minimum $150,000 a year.
RUSH: Yeah, it sounds wonderful. You know, it’s only been tried about a gazillion times in human history and it just has led to poverty.
RUSH: Stupidity, ignorance, and scientists who forecast tsunamis that don’t exist.
RUSH: So how do you feel about this when you’re in there taking this class?
CALLER: Oh, it’s really frustrating to me. I read all these responses, and I just don’t understand how people think that’s a right. I don’t think they understand what the Bill of Rights is or what —
RUSH: It’s because they haven’t been taught what the first Bill of Rights really means. They haven’t been taught anything about capitalism.
RUSH: They’re being brainwashed by a bunch of liberal professors and so forth.
CALLER: Oh, yeah. It’s pretty frustrating when I’m on the other side of what all these people are wanting and having and I’m the only one in the class that has the opposite opinion. So…
RUSH: Do you discuss it with them?
CALLER: Well, it’s an online class so we do forums so we get to read, but I always comment on them, and ask them what do they consider a decent home, when my decent home could be just a little random little house and theirs might be a mansion on the beach. Who’s to decide what that is? But I never get any responses back. (chuckles)
RUSH: Yeah, well, you probably won’t.
RUSH: But at some point they’ll say government.
RUSH: Or it should be whatever I want.
CALLER: Mmm-hmm. But how do you set the standard? I just don’t think they realize the whole Constitution is to protect us from the government, and they want the government to do everything for us.
RUSH: Right. That’s what FDR’s second Bill of Rights was all about.
RUSH: And Obama looks at it that way, too. There is a line of thinking that’s been around a long time that views the Constitution as a ‘negative’ set of liberties, which statists and big government people would only naturally see the Constitution in a negative light. Because the Constitution tells statists and big government people what they cannot do, by design. That’s why and how we were founded. But they don’t like that, because they want a new Bill of Rights, to basically say what they can do — and they keep saying ‘for’ us, but it’s ‘to’ us. They’re just power zealots and so forth. Well, I appreciate you hanging in there on this because I can imagine how frustrating it is. You ought to try laughing at them in your replies, ridicule. You know, go Saul Alinsky on them. Just ridicule them. Just say that you’re having the most fun reading some of these posts that you’ve had since you listened to me that day. That will really set ’em off. ‘You know, I haven’t had this much fun since I was listening to, Rush, today. You people make my day. Do you honestly believe this?’
And just get out of the way for the next set of responses and whatever they are, just fire back with some more laughter. ‘Oh, you’re kidding, right? You’re just trying to pollute the message boards, right? You don’t really believe this.’ Say stuff like that at them. Don’t argue with them. They’re not smart enough to be persuadable. These people have been brainwashed. Their minds are ‘right.’ You have to ridicule them and shame ’em and have them realize that they’ve been had and that they’ve been stupid. Since nobody wants to believe they’re stupid — you ever heard anybody admit it? ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m stupid.’ Nobody admits it, ’cause they don’t want to feel it. So you have to make them feel stupid, and you can have fun doing it. That’s what I do with the liberals that call here, and wherever I run into them. They last about 30 seconds and then they start personal insults and all that. So hang in there, Ashley, and have fun with that.
RUSH: Evelyn in Texarkana. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Oh, thank you! It’s just an honor to talk to you. I can’t believe it. (giggles)
RUSH: I’m glad you got through.
CALLER: Oh, I tried so many times over the years and this is the first time. But anyway I’m calling about this dumbing down of America thing that you’ve been talking about with different people. I teach remedial math at a local community college, and in the class I teach they’re not allowed to use calculators, and you would be surprised (or probably you would be surprised) how many cannot add, subtract, multiply, and divide without a calculator. It’s just been mind-boggling to me to realize the degree of ignorance. I mean, it’s not just about the Constitution; it’s about everything. I also work in the testing center, and when they come in there, they have to look up at an analog clock and write down the time, and you would be surprised how many cannot read an analog clock.
RUSH: You. Are. Kidding. Me.
CALLER: No. No, I’m not.
RUSH: You mean —
CALLER: I wish I was.
RUSH: — you have to tell ’em when the big hand is on the six —
RUSH: — and the little hand is on the two, then it’s 2:30?
CALLER: Yeah. They look up there and they don’t have a clue, and we have finally put a little digital clock there about the sign-in thing because they can’t read the analog clock.
CALLER: That’s how bad it is.
RUSH: Well, look, there’s certain aspect of the digital age, calculators and so forth.
RUSH: I can understand that.
RUSH: But when you say you’re teaching remedial math, what are you trying to remedy besides the calculator usage?
CALLER: Okay. Well, the math I’m teaching is call ‘prealgebra,’ and they have to come up to speed before they can take a college level course.
RUSH: I misread the clock. Hang on.
RUSH: Evelyn, I’m really sorry about that. I was using a digital clock, and I screwed up. I have no problem with analogs, but digitals sometimes give me a problem. We have both here. I wanted to give you a chance to conclude what you’re saying.
CALLER: Oh, that’s all. You know, the math that I teach is basic. These are high school graduates wanting to begin college, and the math I teach is middle school. It’s basically middle school math.
RUSH: To high school graduates?
CALLER: Yeah. Right.
RUSH: Right. Okay.
CALLER: But, anyway, I just wanted you to know that it just amazed me.
RUSH: How the hell did they graduate?
CALLER: I don’t know. That’s what I want to know. Yeah, really.
RUSH: Well, it’s a good thing they didn’t or you would have a job.
CALLER: Yes, exactly. (laughing)
RUSH: So you bank on stupidity in order to work.
CALLER: I love what I do. It’s just a shame that there’s so many that need what I do, you know what I mean?
RUSH: I do. It’s important to love what you do. I’ve heard every pole dancer say that as well. It’s true of every profession. Thanks, Evelyn, very much.
I had a verbal faux pas a moment ago when discussing negative and positive rights versus the Bill of Rights. It is our side, the good guys, who believe the Constitution is a document of negative rights, that is, the government has limited authority, not that we do. Our rights don’t come from the Constitution. They come from God. The Constitution limits government authority. It does not create rights like the right to health care. The left means positive rights because they mean that it creates material rights for people which the government is to provide, and that’s what they want to do with the Second Bill of Rights. Okay, now… (sigh) I promised I’m going to get into this Global Warming Stack, and I’m going to get into it in a minute. I’m putting it off for as long as I can. But I’m going to do it. But first, back to St. Louis and Annette. I’m glad you called. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Rush, I am so honored to speak with you. I’m afraid I’m going to trip over my tongue. I am calling about the —
RUSH: I’d like to see that.
CALLER: (chuckles) What?
RUSH: I’d like to see that.
CALLER: Oh, yeah. Well, I’m nervous. I am so honored and you’re a patriot. I listen to you all the time. I’m also a member. I’m calling about the education problem. Last week you had a caller, a teacher from Kansas, and she said that history would no longer be taught in the schools. I am your age. My parents moved around a lot when I was little and I had the Missouri Constitution and the United States Constitution four times in four different schools, both private and public. In none of those classes was it taught that this would be important to us in our future. It was all dry facts. So if that many years ago it was so deteriorated, what do you think is happening now? It’s not being taught at all, I fear.
RUSH: It’s not, and I’ll tell you why it’s not. It’s not being taught now because the left does not want young people to learn of socialism’s failures. They do not want young kids to learn of communism’s failures. They do not want the young to learn anything about the positive nature of capitalism, the great success brought about by the Reagan years and so forth. They don’t want to teach it. So they lie about what really happened in the eighties and so forth and so on. It’s a hideous thing. It’s not about leadership. It’s purely and simply about control. But Snerdley had an interesting observation about the woman — what was her name, I’m having a mental block — Jan that called last hour. She said that it wasn’t important. They’re not interested in the Constitution right now. That will happen when they get older.
Snerdley said, ‘You were so immersed in that point that you missed a biggie that she made.’
I said, ‘What was that?’ ‘Cause I very seldom miss anything.
He said, ‘You didn’t hear her say that, up until three months ago, she made her husband turn the radio off when you were on because all you were was negative, negative, negative, and she didn’t want to hear it. And then all of a sudden three months ago, when everything started to fall apart in the country, she started listening to you, and now you are teaching her and you are informing her?’
‘Oh, yeah. I heard her say that.’
‘Well, it didn’t make a big deal to you because that happens all the time but imagine a Democrat listening to that from their point of view. That is scary, because they think all kinds of people hate you and think you’re a maniac and what not. Now people who used to think that are getting their information from you, and that’s gotta be blowing their minds and probably is one of the reasons why Obama set up that spam website, WhiteHouse.gov.’
So I said, ‘Well, are you getting a lot of calls like these?’
‘Oh, yeah. They’re flooding in here. I don’t put nearly as many up as I could because that’s all there would be.’ He said, ‘I limit calls praising you to no more than ten an hour. Any more than that and I think the people get tired of it.’
I said, ‘Well, that’s pretty good judgment on your part. Try to keep it at ten an hour. Anything beyond that probably would rub people the wrong way.’
Anyway, I thought Snerdley had an excellent point. She said she was oblivious. She didn’t like hearing about politics because it was all argument, it was all confrontation. She did not even like hearing about it. It was all negative. She made her husband turn the radio off. She was just oblivious to it, didn’t matter. But now it’s important — and that’s happening, I think, all over the country in many ways. In that regard, it’s worse for the Democrats than they even know, electorally. But again they don’t care when it comes to health. They do not care.