Are Americans Really That Stupid?By
Talk of American stupidity is nothing new. When I took my first big world trip in 1994, Europeans loved to bring up, for no reason whatsoever, how dumb Americans are. After George W. Bush was elected, twice, the subject of American intelligence was ripe for more potshots . Jay Leno, the talk show host, regularly mocks American stupidity. He has an unscripted segment called “Jaywalking” talking to ‘everyday’ Americans, asking exceptionally simple questions that the respondents answer incorrectly. On his Fourth of July segment, he posed questions like “Who did America gain its independence from?”
The European slams, the Jaywalking segments, and even the simplified American worldview map above are not very thorough justifications for American stupidity. The United States is a large country. Most Americans have neither the time nor the money to venture off their home continent and obtain a broader view of the world. These are the people European travelers to America encounter. The Jaywalking segments document some serious idiocy, to be sure, but it’s being played for comedy. Any people providing Leno with correct answers aren’t shown on the segment.
It wouldn’t be very difficult for me to amass video footage of French or German or Spanish ignoramuses failing to answer easy questions about their home countries; data on low IQ elected European politicians; or produce North American and Asian maps in which European schoolchildren cannot ascribe the proper state or country names.
[Click the picture to read the rest of this splendiferous article, my man]