The Stupid Country

According to a recent Roper poll, only 13 percent of the college graduating class of '96 could pass a simple quiz on material suitable for elementary school students. Ninety-two percent of those taking this quiz failed to identify the author or the document that is the source of the phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people."

At his "Million Man March," Louis Farrakhan claimed he was beamed up to a spaceship where he was provided with insights about life on earth.

A leading environmentalist said if the Amazon rain forest is destroyed there will be no oxygen left on earth, even though 98 percent of the oxygen is produced at sea.

A Senate committee on agriculture asked Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, and Sissy Spacek to testify because they had appeared in films about farmers.

These items are not offered as definitive proof of social depreciation, but as the authors of the essays in Dumbing Down well realize, they are testimony to the direction we are headed. While this book does not identify a single culprit for our cultural decline, speculations on the passing of civility, on anti-elitism, undifferentiated educational standards, and slovenly speech point to radical egalitarianism as the primary villain. In a remarkable turn of events, equal opportunity has been transmogrified into equality of result, and equality before the law has been translated...

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