A friend of ours is working on becoming a U.S. citizen. We were out to lunch with her and had fun reviewing the citizenship exam questions over lunch. However, it did occur to us as we were reviewing the questions for the exam that most American citizens could probably not answer most of them. This idea is intended to ensure the citizens of our democracy are more actively engaged with their government, and better equipped to be informed voters, as opposed to mindlessly absorbing the nonsense spouted from for-profit “news” agencies.
The Idea: When registering and renewing a driver’s license, the written driving test would include a random selection of questions from the citizenship exam. This would be true for even those not yet old enough to vote in an effort to get them thinking about their government and their role in their government before they can start to vote. When discussing this over lunch, there was some debate as to whether or not failure to pass the citizenship questions would merit a failure on the driver’s exam, for which I hold no strong opinion. Maybe those questions could be weighted to be ½ the weight of the other questions, or something like that?
Why: Democracy is not easy government. It demands a lot from its citizens; first and foremost is to be an informed voter. The educational system doesn’t stand a chance against the onslaught of for-profit media that drones on throughout the election season. The hope is to reinvigorate the voting masses to remind them of how lucky they are to have the right to vote and of the enormity of that responsibility.