Originally Posted by DroidFTW
Much like the posters citing references like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, reality television and daily talk shows, your link only shows ignorance on your part if you think that's an accurate representation of Americans.
While it's true that all of these TV bits edit out the smart people and only show the dumb ones, because people who actually know the answers aren't very funny, it's also true that Americans are notoriously ill-informed about things that matter. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of idiots in every country in the world, but we're supposed to be the "most powerful nation on earth". I've posted this before, but:
In 2011, Newsweek gave a "Citizenship Test" to 1000 Americans and 38% failed. 29% couldn't name the Vice-President. (I pray none of these people vote.)
88% could not name one writer of the Federalist papers.
80% could not name the President during World War I (Wilson)
40% could not correctly name who we fought in WWII. (Japan, Germany and Italy)
73% could not correctly name "Communism" as our main concern during the Cold War.
81% could not name a power of the Federal Government.
43% did not know that the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights.
70% did not know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
Ask people what happened to Justin Bieber recently and I bet 90% know the answer to that. Ask them to name the House Majority Leader and I bet not more than 20% know that answer. But it doesn't just have to be about Government or politics: ask people to name five elements on the periodic table, to name three classic American authors, to name the approximate years of the Civil War or even Word War II, to solve 3x + 4 = 13 or whether the earth is billions or 5000 years old, or even how many feet there are in a mile and see what kind of answers you get. And you don't get much better results asking college grads than you do asking less formally educated people.
It shouldn't be surprising when we live in a society where we judge success only by financial parameters, where sports dominate, where much of the country is comprised almost entirely of strip malls, banks and gas stations and where intelligence is frowned upon unless it makes one money. We care almost nothing about history, architecture or culture.
This is why it's not surprising that in 2012, a poll claimed that 17% of registered voters thought Obama is a Muslim who was born outside of the United States.