Original Oratory on the Way People Perceive America Essay

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Is America as Dumb as they Say? We all know that America is getting dumber, right? We are inundated by examples. We have the success of the show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, which has adult contestants who embarrass themselves because they can’t answer simple questions like how many times the letter “E” appears in the word Speech. We have YouTube videos such as the infamous video last year of Miss Teen America contestant from South Carolina, Caitlin Upton. She was asked why she thinks a fifth of Americans can’t locate America on the Map. She responded with some gibberish. From this video we get the idea that 20% of Americans are so stupid that they can’t find on a map their own country, you know, the one that is usually fairly large . . . the one that says AMERICA really really big. Think about it, this means 1 out of every 5 people you meet in this country can’t locate our country on the map. That means at least one of us in this room can’t locate America on a map. And I hate to break it to you, I can. So someone else will have to fess up. If that statistic is too outrageous to believe, it might be because it is not true. According to a 2006 National Geographic study, only 6% of Americans can’t locate America on a map. Now that is only 6 out of 100 people who cannot locate America, not 20 out of 100. Yes, everyone should know how to locate their own country on a map, but according to that same study, which was conducted in 1988, 2002, and in 2006, more people now can locate their own country than ever before. So we aren’t getting stupider. We are actually getting smarter. The problem is that the media tells us we are getting stupider and we believe that we are. We ignore our progress and pass on chances of improving ourselves. First, let’s look at the reasons why this attitude is problematic. Then, we will look at some possible causes of this

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