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Nicholas Kristof had an op-ed in the Times a few days ago. In it, he wrote that:
Almost half of young Americans said in a 2006 poll that it was not necessary to know the locations of countries where important news was made.There goes my last glimmer of hope for that state capitols thing.
He also points out that:
We can’t solve our educational challenges when, according to polls, Americans are approximately as likely to believe in flying saucers as in evolution, and when one-fifth of Americans believe that the sun orbits the Earth.Yes, but...
The actual piece is about the fact that America has elected an intellectual. He writes:
Mr. Obama, unlike most politicians near a microphone, exults in complexity. He doesn’t condescend or oversimplify nearly as much as politicians often do, and he speaks in paragraphs rather than sound bites. Global Language Monitor, which follows linguistic issues, reports that in the final debate, Mr. Obama spoke at a ninth-grade reading level, while John McCain spoke at a seventh-grade level.He ends with:
[A]s Mr. Obama goes to Washington, I’m hopeful that his fertile mind will set a new tone for our country. Maybe someday soon our leaders no longer will have to shuffle in shame when they’re caught with brains in their heads.You can only imagine how much I hope he is correct.