In America, where we only seem to know our rights when we wanna sue somebody, a sobering new study proves we don't know our amendments from a hole in the ground.
In fact, the poll showed Americans know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment, on which our entire values are based. Or was that Duff Beer?
Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.
The study was done by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum. It found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.
It gets worse, according to the Associated Press. More people could name the three "American Idol" judges than could identify three basic First Amendment rights. Advertising slogans were more recognizable than freedom of speech or religion.
Worse still, the survey found about one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination (the Fifth Amendment) was a First Amendment guarantee.
OK, I won't even get into the recent survey in which 90-plus percent of Americans believed their free speech should be totally unregulated by government ... but two-thirds of them believed the government should regulate OTHER peoples' free speech.
Are we really so self-absorbed in this country that TV shows are more important to us than our fundamental beliefs? Next thing you know, they'll tell us more Americans can quote Paris Hilton than Ben Franklin. Shoot me now.