A recent survey of 1,200 17-year-old high-school students found that:

  • Nearly a quarter cannot identify Adolf Hitler, with ten percent thinking Hitler was a munitions manufacturer.
  • A third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion.
  • More than a quarter think Christopher Columbus sailed after 1750.
  • Fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century.
  • Half have no idea what the Renaissance was.
  • Nearly half think that The Scarlet Letter was either about a witch trial or a piece of correspondence. Source: Common Core, New York Times.

The fact that many of these kids will be voting in November sends chills down my spine.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."

Maybe that is why we are so willing to give up our civil liberties. We simply don't know any better.