On the Fourth of July, NPR tweeted a bunch of anti-American gibberish on social media. Or at least some thought the 100-plus tweets were anti-American.
Of course the people responded.
“This is why you’re going to get defunded.”
“So, NPR is calling for a revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound ‘patriotic.’ Your implications are clear.”
“Glad you are being defunded. You have never been balanced on your show.”
One person even called the tweets “trash.”
It was the Declaration of Independence. Those who follow NPR know the organization does an annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. This year, they took the reading to Twitter.
The backlash comes after a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that shows a concerning lack of knowledge among many Americans when it comes to our country’s history.
Just 77 percent of Americans surveyed can tell you from whom the U.S. declared its independence in 1776. Fifteen percent were unsure and 8 percent mentioned another country.
When asked, “In what year did the United States declare its independence?” just 69 percent of adults correctly answered 1776. Nineteen percent were unsure and 11 percent mentioned other dates.
Only 66 percent of those surveyed in the Midwest know the U.S. declared its independence in 1776 — the worst of any region. The south — at 75 percent — was the weakest region in the country in answering the country question, but the ignorance is spread far and wide.
In a separate NPR/ PBS NewsHour/Marist poll also released July 3, it showed Americans don’t have a lot of faith in democratic institutions. Some interesting observations include:
— The majority of those surveyed — 58 percent — don’t have much trust in the media. Sixty-eight percent don’t have much trust in Congress, while 61 percent don’t have much trust in the Trump administration.
— Republicans — 42 percent of them — believe there is too much freedom of the press, compared with 32 percent of Democrats thinking it has been restricted too much.
— Most Americans agree freedom of religion is fine as things are. However, slightly more Republicans and independents feel it has been too restricted (including 34 percent of President Trump supporters).
— Fifty-two percent think the right to protest the government is fine as it is now, though 41 percent of Republicans think it’s been expanded too much. Just 7 percent of Democrats feel that way.
— Democrats — 44 percent of them — think the right to vote has been too restricted. However, 25 percent of Republicans think the right to vote has been expanded too much.
And we wonder why we are at a standstill in this country.
Perhaps we all need to take a step back and think about what it was like when King George III reigned. That is — if that name rings a bell with any of us.