Its a full time occupation trying to unravel the reasons Americans remain in the dark. What seems ( to any intelligent outside observer ) like sheer stupidity and arrogance is in reality an almost inescapable indoctrination process that begins before you are born, and ends some time after your dead. It is a system so complex and all encompassing that few can recognize any reality outside of it at all, and that of course is its intended purpose.
Only about a third of American adults can name all three branches of government, and a third can't name any. Fewer than a third of eighth graders could identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Add to that the fact that only 49% of Elected Officials can name the 3 branches of government.
A 2011 poll conducted by CNN found that Americans, on average, think we spend 10 percent of the federal budget on foreign aid, and one in five said we spend 30 percent or more helping others abroad. The actual figure: about one percent.
Widespread ignorance of objective reality poses a genuine threat to democracy. The people of the United States have ignorance in abundance.
The way representative democracy is supposed to work is pretty simple: you protect the fundamental rights of the minority (so it doesn’t become two wolfs and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner), and then the majority of citizens, acting in their own rational self-interest, elect representatives who will pursue the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens.
That’s the theory, but “rational” is a key word in that formulation. What happens when lots of citizens don’t have a solid grasp of what’s going on in the real world?