Trump Supporters Freaked When NPR Tweeted The Declaration Of Independence

by John Haltiwanger
David McNew/Getty Images

On July 4, NPR commemorated the birthday of the United States by tweeting out the Declaration of Independence, line by line.

In spite of being such star-spangled patriots, Trump supporters apparently did not recognize the words and thought NPR was fomenting rebellion against their beloved president.

This is why we can't have nice things, America.

Analyses of the 2016 presidential election do show Trump voters, overall, were less educated (college graduates backed Clinton by a nine-point margin, 52 percent to 43 percent).

So, perhaps we shouldn't be all that surprised. At the same time, this level of ignorance is a little scary.

Somehow, it was controversial to tweet out the Declaration of Independence on the anniversary of the date it was adopted.

To be fair, the language of this founding American document does pertain to a revolution. So out of context, it could be viewed as inciting some sort of violent rebellion. But come on people, learn your own history!

Make America Great Again by teaching its citizens basic U.S. history.

American schools are clearly failing.

One Twitter user did end up recognizing and admitting his mistake.

It's difficult to admit when you're wrong, especially when it happens so publicly. Respect to this man.

He said,

I took NPR out of context. ...and had a stupid moment. Never underestimate one's capacity to learn. Sometimes it's painful. But it's valuable above pride.

If only President Donald Trump had the same attitude. Just saying.

To be fair, ignorance of U.S. history does not seem to be unique to Trump supporters on Twitter — it's a nationwide problem.

In 2008, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute surveyed more than 2,500 Americans and found fewer than half could name the three branches of government.

The 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report showed only 23 percent of 8th graders were proficient in civics, and just 18 percent were proficient in U.S. history.

Somewhat relatedly, in 2017, President Donald Trump seemed to suggest Frederick Douglass was still alive. He also made some confusing remarks about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War.

Perhaps there's a link between the public not knowing a great deal about its country's government and history, and the fact a man who is seemingly ignorant of U.S. history was elected president.

But I digress...

Why does this matter?

The health of any democracy depends greatly on maintaining an informed citizenry.

In other words, when people don't know basic things about America's history, it can translate into a very weak political system.

A country is like a person. You can't understand who someone is in the present without understanding how they were brought up and major events that impacted their character.

Long story short, if we want to grasp what defines America, and be in the best position to help it progress moving forward, we need to understand its history.