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Are You Smarter Than An Elected Official?

By Greg L | 14 January 2011 | Uncategorized | 21 Comments

On average you tend to be.  Take the quiz below to find out.


1) What are the three branches of government?
A. executive, legislative, judicial
B. executive, legislative, military
C. bureaucratic, military, industry
D. federal, state, local

2) What part of the government has the power to declare war?
A. Congress
B. the president
C. the Supreme Court
D. the Joint Chiefs of Staff

3) In the area of United States foreign policy, Congress shares power with the:
A. president
B. Supreme Court
C. state governments
D. United Nations

4) The United States Electoral College:
A. trains those aspiring for higher political office
B. was established to supervise the first televised presidential debates
C. is otherwise known as the U.S. Congress
D. is a constitutionally mandated assembly that elects the president
E. was ruled undemocratic by the Supreme Court

5) What impact did the Anti-Federalists have on the United States Constitution?
A. their arguments helped lead to the adoption of the Bill of Rights
B. their arguments helped lead to the abolition of the slave trade
C. their influence ensured that the federal government would maintain a standing army
D. their influence ensured that the federal government would have the power to tax

6) The phrase that in America there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state appears in:
A. George Washington’s Farewell Address
B. the Mayflower Compact
C. the Constitution
D. the Declaration of Independence
E. Thomas Jefferson’s letters

7) The Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits:
A. prayer in public school
B. discrimination based on race, sex, or religion
C. the ownership of guns by private individuals
D. establishing an official religion for the United States
E. the president from vetoing a line item in a spending bill

8: Identify one right or freedom below guaranteed by the first amendment.
A. Right to bear arms
B. Due process
C. Religion
D. Right to counsel

9) Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government listed below?
A. Make treaties
B. Make zoning laws
C. Maintain prisons
D. Establish standards for doctors and lawyers

10) Who is the commander in chief of the U.S. military?
A. Secretary of the army
B. Secretary of state
C. President
D. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Answer key: 1) A; 2) A; 3) A; 4) D; 5) A; 6) E; 7) D; 8: C; 9) A; 10) C

You got all of these right, didn’t you?

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  1. es_la_ley said on 14 Jan 2011 at 10:36 pm:
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    100% here. Too easy! ;-)

  2. AndyH said on 15 Jan 2011 at 8:59 am:
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    Only one I missed was the source of the “Wall of Seperation”…on balance, it’s pretty fundamental stuff….

  3. Ted said on 15 Jan 2011 at 11:25 am:
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    I wonder how this year’s graduating college seniors would do on this quiz?

    I bet the results would be very, very scary.

  4. Cynic said on 15 Jan 2011 at 3:25 pm:
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    There is a statement out there that indicates the general public did better on this test than the elected officials.

    Given the number of illegal and legal immigrants in the general population who would on balance know very little about our Constitution and the huge dumbed down population, what does this say about our elected officials?

    But also, what does it say about the voting population that elects these geniuses?

    Also, these test results indicate - and support the theory - that qualified, smart, uncorrupted, people avoid seeking public office.

    Other than that, everything is just perfect.

  5. AmericaFirst said on 15 Jan 2011 at 5:11 pm:
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    The pols are not stupid - we are. Everytime they piss down our backs and tell us its raining, we let it go.

    They actually have figured out this game pretty well. Consider this. No matter how badly they screw up our country and our economy, politicians have:

    The most benefits
    The best health care
    The best retirement
    The best working conditions
    Free post office supplies
    Free travel
    Free staff
    Free lunches
    Free insider information
    Free stock tips

    Sounds like some pretty smart people, to me. They have this gig gamed out about as far as it can go.

    Oops, I take that back. Soon they will have laws that if there is criticism, they can have the miscreant jailed. If one of the unwashed comes within smelly distance of them -the same. It will only get better for them - and worse for us.

  6. Steve Randolph said on 16 Jan 2011 at 10:54 am:
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    Pop quiz from a test administered by the Hearst Corporation in 1987.

    True or false: The following phrases are found in the U.S. Constitution?

    1) “From each according to his ability, to each according to nis need.”

    2) “The consent of the governed.”

    3) “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    4) “All men are created equal.”

    5) “Of the people, by the people, for the people.”

  7. Greg L said on 16 Jan 2011 at 12:58 pm:
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    Steve, that’s a great list. I have a hard time thinking anyone wouldn’t be able to immediately identify where all of those quotes appear, but then again given the state of civics education we now have perhaps it would be a more difficult quiz than it should be.

    Off the top of my head, 1 is in the Communist Manifesto, 2, 3 and 4 are from the Declaration of Independence, and 5 is from the Gettysburg Address.

  8. Steve Randolph said on 16 Jan 2011 at 2:28 pm:
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    Greg, you are right. None of those phrases are in the Constitution.

    According to the Hearst folks, eight in ten Americans believed that
    “all men are created equal” was in the Constitution. (It is in the
    second sentence of the Declaration of Independence).

    Even more thought that “of the people, by the people,
    for the people” was in the Constitution.(Lincoln, Gettsburg Address, 1863).

    And a real kicker, nearly five in ten thought “From each according to
    his ability, to each according to his need” was in the U.S. Constitution.
    (Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto, 1875).

  9. Steve Randolph said on 16 Jan 2011 at 4:28 pm:
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    Are any of us as smart as an eight grader in 1954?

  10. Steve Randolph said on 16 Jan 2011 at 4:36 pm:
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  11. Patty said on 16 Jan 2011 at 5:19 pm:
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    Steve Randolph said on 16 Jan 2011 at 4:28 pm:

    “Are any of us as smart as an eight grader in 1954?”

    Yes, homeschoolers.

    AndyH said on 15 Jan 2011 at 8:59 am:

    “Only one I missed was the source of the “Wall of Seperation”…on balance, it’s pretty fundamental stuff….”

    Your response Mr. Harrover is typical of many elected officials. It explains why there is an anti-Christian bias in the public sector.

    I truly believe the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence should be read by our elected representatives at all levels of government on the first session of the new year.

    I also believe that anyone running for an elected office should at least pass a test on the Constitution. That is my personal opinion.

  12. Patty said on 16 Jan 2011 at 5:43 pm:
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    By the way Mr. Harrover, the U.S. Constitution does mention God:

    “done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names”(emphasis mine)…


    You might want to mention that to the other City Council members.

  13. AndyH said on 16 Jan 2011 at 6:24 pm:
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    Patty, I’m kinda lost…I didn’t know where that phrase came from. I think it’s a quantum leap over a giant chasm to get to “anti-christian bias”. I think you’re bringing a lot to the table here.

  14. Steve Randolph said on 17 Jan 2011 at 9:42 am:
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  15. Patty said on 17 Jan 2011 at 9:48 am:
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    It is not a quantuam leap. If you read the original article on which this thread was based most elected officials believed that the phrase “wall of seperation” was actually in the constitution.

    It wasn’t that long ago that prayers were offered during school sporting events. It wasn’t that long ago that pastors prayed for graduates during commencment. It wasn’t long ago that the Bible was read in school. I could go on with examples.

    These were challenged by the notion of the “wall of seperation” which is not in the constitution. It seems the no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof is ignored.

    Our founding fathers did not want the government to establish a religion like the Church of England where the Queen was head of the church.

    I propose to you that the founding fathers desired their Christian religion to be a part of public life. There are many examples of this throughout our history. The Declaration of Independence is one. In fact, the founding fathers Christian beliefs helped construct the form of government we have today.

    No sir, it is not a quantum leap. The burden is on you to prove that it is a quantum leap.

  16. Patty said on 17 Jan 2011 at 9:54 am:
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    Thank you Mr. Randolph for providing a link to the article.

  17. Steve Randolph said on 17 Jan 2011 at 12:57 pm:
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    Some of you might find this of interest.

  18. Patty said on 17 Jan 2011 at 4:00 pm:
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    Fact is, Thomas Jefferson was not involved in the drafting of the Constitution. He did not attend the Constitutional Convention. He was in Paris, France at the time.

    He also had a biased view of Christianity. He obviously did not believe in the Diety of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote his own version of the Bible without the miracles. It is called the Jefferson Bible.

    Here is an interesting court case: Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States. Can anyone state Justice David Brewer’s conclusion?

  19. Steve Randolph said on 17 Jan 2011 at 9:33 pm:
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  20. Patty said on 18 Jan 2011 at 8:43 am:
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    Mr. Randolph,

    Surely that is an interesting link. Not only does it speak about Christianity but it also touches on topics directly or indirectly of concern today, especially in our community: Illegal immigration and sex businesses (sex shops as in KKs).

  21. Sanford D. Horn said on 18 Jan 2011 at 2:01 pm:
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    Steve, I knew the answers Greg posted, but I have come late to this party. On the 10 question quiz, I scored 100 percent (10-10). I posted the link to Facebook with the encouragement that once people have taken the quiz, they contact their Representatives and Senators to encourage them that the opening day of each Congressional session commence with the reading of the Constitution. It was shocking, but not too terribly surprising to learn that it had not been done before this year. It is NOT surprising that the average American outscored the average member of Congress.

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