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The Majority of Americans Are...

What do you think?

  • I'm smarter than most Americans

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • I'm not smarter than most Americans

    Votes: 1 2.8%
  • Most Americans don't have enough knowledge to justify their opinions

    Votes: 20 55.6%
  • Most Americans do have enough knowledge

    Votes: 3 8.3%

  • Total voters
    36

Wiseone

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This is a poll about your opinion on other Americans in general, do you think that you as an individual are smarter in the sense that you understand government better and have or support a better plan or direction for American government and the country as a whole?

I decided to have this poll because I notice a trend amongst all posters, including myself, that when an issue presents itself or a new topic is made almost everyone has an opinion and almost everyone thinks they understand the issue perfectly and everyone else is a complete dunce.

Personally I'm of the opinion that almost every American has way more opinion than they have knowledge, and that most people who think they know whats best when facing a certain issue don't have the knowledge they'd truly need to justify such a strong opinion. I try to avoid this most of the time, but of course no one is perfect, and simply analyze but even my analysis suffers due to my lack of knowledge in many areas. So the problem remains.

So the questions are do you think you're smarter than the average American in this broad context and do you think most Americans don't have the knowledge necessary to justify the certainty of their opinions.

Edit: So I goofed on the Poll, you should be able to pick more than one option, perhaps a mod could fix that?
 
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Kandahar

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The average American doesn't know much about politics to have an informed opinion...but not necessarily because they're stupid. If a person isn't inherently interested in politics, the cost of learning about the issues outweighs the benefit.
 

The_Patriot

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Most Americans are ignorant and stupid when it comes to politics due to the failure of our schools when it comes to teaching government and politics along with the rest of the subjects they teach.
 

soccerboy22

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Most Americans are ignorant and stupid when it comes to politics due to the failure of our schools when it comes to teaching government and politics along with the rest of the subjects they teach.

OR it has to do more with people don't want to waste their time researching about politics and look for shortcuts to do it for them.
 

FilmFestGuy

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OR it has to do more with people don't want to waste their time researching about politics and look for shortcuts to do it for them.

Most people, regardless of political stripe prefer being told what to think and then follow along.
 

The Giant Noodle

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Most Americans are ignorant and stupid when it comes to politics due to the failure of our schools when it comes to teaching government and politics along with the rest of the subjects they teach.

Agreed! The republicans and democrats relly need to LEARN what this Country is all about instead of constantly screwing this Nation!
 

samsmart

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Most Americans are ignorant and stupid when it comes to politics due to the failure of our schools when it comes to teaching government and politics along with the rest of the subjects they teach.

This is because both sides have allowed education to become so politicized.
 

BCR

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when it comes to politics your average American does not have enough knowledge to justify their opinions..Not necessarily because they are stupid but because they don't care.
 

samsmart

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when it comes to politics your average American does not have enough knowledge to justify their opinions..Not necessarily because they are stupid but because they don't care.

I don't think it's because they don't care, I think it's more because they don't care to consider the full political spectrum of an issue. There's many sides to a cause, and it can be tough to find all the information on one.
 

Goshin

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I didn't participate in the poll because I don't think it is quite that simple.

I talk politics with people quite a lot.
Some are intelligent but politically uninformed.
--- sometimes this is due to a lack of intrest. Sometimes they know they are uninformed. Sometimes they don't.
Some are not especially intelligent, but possess considerable information about political issues... which they often mis-analyze or mis-characterize.
Some are smart and well-informed, and these come in all idelogical flavors.

I think it is very hard to nail down what the "Average" American is like, in terms of intellect and political knowlege. I've met janitors who could have an hour-long discussion of politics and bring informed insight to the conversation. I've met university professors who were ignorant of politics yet held arrogantly stubborn positions that had no basis in reality.
 

Wiseone

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Im not trying to define "average American" or "Americans in general" intentionally, because the idea is for the person reading the question to use their own definition. I expected results similar to when people are asked if they think they are a better than average driver, to which the large majority will say yes I'm a better driver than most.

I think there's a trend in Americans, and perhaps people in general, where they tend to have a superiority complex to some degree or another. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit thats not true for me as well. But in my opinion and view it seems like for whatever reasons, perhaps its more self-gratifying or perhaps they can't handle the truth, most people view themselves as smarter than most everyone else. Especially when it comes to issues or things they are passionate about, again for whatever reason.

For example if I started a topic about the vastly complex US tax code, I'd imagine I'd get a lot of responses from people who don't truely understand it in its entirely, if thats even possible for a single person to accomplish, but would have extremely strong opinions about it. And those opinions would probably be summed up in a sentence or two or perhaps a short paragraph. And on top that they'd be sure their simple explanation is entirely sufficient to justify their stance, and extremely unwavering in that stance.
 

Goshin

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Im not trying to define "average American" or "Americans in general" intentionally, because the idea is for the person reading the question to use their own definition. I expected results similar to when people are asked if they think they are a better than average driver, to which the large majority will say yes I'm a better driver than most.

I think there's a trend in Americans, and perhaps people in general, where they tend to have a superiority complex to some degree or another. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit thats not true for me as well. But in my opinion and view it seems like for whatever reasons, perhaps its more self-gratifying or perhaps they can't handle the truth, most people view themselves as smarter than most everyone else. Especially when it comes to issues or things they are passionate about, again for whatever reason.

For example if I started a topic about the vastly complex US tax code, I'd imagine I'd get a lot of responses from people who don't truely understand it in its entirely, if thats even possible for a single person to accomplish, but would have extremely strong opinions about it. And those opinions would probably be summed up in a sentence or two or perhaps a short paragraph. And on top that they'd be sure their simple explanation is entirely sufficient to justify their stance, and extremely unwavering in that stance.


It is patently impossible for any individual to understand, in full detail, all aspects of something as complex as our government. Does this mean no one should vote?

Most people are pretty busy earning a living, seeking to advance their career, taking care of their home/spouse/kids, and study politics (if they do) as merely a sideline. Their knowlege is going to necessarily be limited compared to someone whose profession is politics. Should they then not vote?

Knowlege/ability comes in many levels. From professional/mastery to amateur/associate to dilettante/tyro to rank neophyte to utterly ignorant. At what level does someone have a right to an opinion? At what level is their opinion worth listening to? At what level should they be allowed to influence government policy?

Well, legally and Constitutionally, all they have to "be" is 18 and a citizen.
 

Wiseone

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It is patently impossible for any individual to understand, in full detail, all aspects of something as complex as our government. Does this mean no one should vote?

Most people are pretty busy earning a living, seeking to advance their career, taking care of their home/spouse/kids, and study politics (if they do) as merely a sideline. Their knowlege is going to necessarily be limited compared to someone whose profession is politics. Should they then not vote?

Knowlege/ability comes in many levels. From professional/mastery to amateur/associate to dilettante/tyro to rank neophyte to utterly ignorant. At what level does someone have a right to an opinion? At what level is their opinion worth listening to? At what level should they be allowed to influence government policy?

Well, legally and Constitutionally, all they have to "be" is 18 and a citizen.

I'm not suggesting people shouldn't vote, but you made some good points. What I am suggesting is that people should be more comfortable saying "I don't know" when it comes to something they really don't know about and perhaps avoid having an opinion on the matter alltogether if its all possible. But then again there's certain thins like taxes or some laws, which may seem to or perhaps honestly stand in the way of part of a peron's life and therefore there's no reason to not have an opinion.

Now I was just thinking that people should trust their politicans more but thats obviously no solution given what those in control have done thus far, but then again I also hate it when people vote for politicans simply because they think they look trustworthy.

Well I'm going to put my foot where my mouth is and say now I don't know, you stumped me.
 

Goshin

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Well I'm going to put my foot where my mouth is and say now I don't know, you stumped me.


Welcome to the club, I don't know how to fix this mess either. :)

Maybe you don't "fix" democratic republics. Maybe you just accept that a certain level of ongoing chaos is part of liberty, and just ride the tiger.
 

Morality Games

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Here are three suggestions for fixing political polarization in the United States and the policy errors that result from it:

1. Outlaw political parties and overt displays of partisanship.

2. Reform our bicameral legislature into a parliament.

3. Promote a centrist political culture.
 
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Wiseone

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Welcome to the club, I don't know how to fix this mess either. :)

Maybe you don't "fix" democratic republics. Maybe you just accept that a certain level of ongoing chaos is part of liberty, and just ride the tiger.

Hopefully, I know I'm not the first person to look at our democracy and get worried this thing is going to hell. I mean I'm sure some guy long dead thought the same thing and here we still are, and it definably could be worse.
 

Goshin

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Hopefully, I know I'm not the first person to look at our democracy and get worried this thing is going to hell. I mean I'm sure some guy long dead thought the same thing and here we still are, and it definably could be worse.


Probably started about the time George Washington declined to run for a third term as Prez. "Well, the country is going to hell in a handbasket now!" somebody surely said. :mrgreen:
 

Goshin

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Here are three suggestions for fixing political polarization in the United States and the policy errors that result from it:

1. Outlaw political parties and overt displays of partisanship.

2. Reform our bicameral legislature into a parliament.

3. General population consciously decides to no longer be right or left.


These would be difficult to implement, difficult to persuade people to accept, difficult to enforce, and Number Three involves one of those classical political ideology blunders that goes "If people would just behave themselves, then we could..." :)
 

Morality Games

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These would be difficult to implement, difficult to persuade people to accept, difficult to enforce, and Number Three involves one of those classical political ideology blunders that goes "If people would just behave themselves, then we could..." :)

Indeed. Reforming our politics is tantamount to cancelling everybody's favorite soap operas and sports programs.
 

RightinNYC

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Here are three suggestions for fixing political polarization in the United States and the policy errors that result from it:

1. Outlaw political parties and overt displays of partisanship.

2. Reform our bicameral legislature into a parliament.

3. Promote a centrist political culture.

This sounds like one of those cases where the cure would be far worse than the disease.
 

TOJ

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Here are three suggestions for fixing political polarization in the United States and the policy errors that result from it:

1. Outlaw political parties and overt displays of partisanship.
So if a person visits with a couple of neighbors and one decides to run and the others agree to support him, do they all go to prision or just the candidate?

2. Reform our bicameral legislature into a parliament.
Yeah, those countries that have a parliament have done so much better than the USA.

3. Promote a centrist political culture.
Thought police.... another great idea. :roll:

.
 
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