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Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

A Column by the Editor

web posted March 2, 2007

COLUMN – Publishing EdgefieldDaily.com six days a week leaves very little time to watch television. I never have been a big fan of sitting on the couch and watching hours of TV anyway, so I have that working for me. My wife, on the other hand, loves a new show on FOX called “Are you smarter than a fifth grader”. It sounds simple enough, answer a series of questions from grades first through fifth and win a million dollars.

On the show are four or five elementary students that the contestant has to match wits with and can cheat from if they do not know the answer. So far no contestant has won the million dollars and most do not make it very far on the money chart.

As sad as that is, many of the contestants hold high paying jobs or management positions and all end up saying, when they “drop out,” that they are not as smart as a fifth grader.

My wife and children enjoy laughing at the contestants when they lose to the children. It makes me sad. While talking about the show with my wife I made the comment that to me it shows how poorly the government education is in America.

Worst of all, the people who cannot win the game no doubt vote, and then I wonder just how many thousands of people who could not qualify for the show also vote. Having people that cannot pass a second grade test question really should not be allowed to vote. Think about it, the reason the voting age is eighteen is to make sure the voter has at least twelve years of education in order to make a responsible and informed decision in an election.

I have been at voting polls and spoke to people after they voted asking whom they voted for in certain congressional office races. A majority could not tell me the name of the candidate or the office they were running to hold.

And people wonder why our government is so screwed up?

I have a firm belief that at least twenty percent of voters, if not more, do not have the IQ of a gnat. Common sense would then dictate that at least twenty percent of our elected leaders must not have an IQ much higher than a barn fly, but that is enough to outsmart the gnat-brained voter.

When I put my theory to a practical test, say the Edgefield County Council, it is justified. I tried it with the members of the County Planning Commission and again justified my theory. I tested it again with the Edgefield Town Council and found it still held true. I must be on to something I thought to myself.

Looking at the Edgefield County School Board refuted my theory, but only in that the percentage was higher, and even higher percentages were found using the Fox Creek Charter School Board members.

I started looking at state and national elections but figured I would get depressed and might have to be prescribed Prozac or some other mind-altering drug to make it through the day and gave up.

I did cheer myself up by imagining our local elected leaders going to the show as contestants. That would be one show I would stop working long enough to watch. I think I will start sending applications in on their behalf starting with long time teacher and County Councilman Norman Dorn. I would pay money to see that show.

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