I get to catch Rush Limbaugh maybe once a month, usually for about five or ten minutes as I’m going to some noon-time appointment or another. 

Yesterday, I tuned in to the sound of Limbaugh citing a story from the Jamestown Sun, the daily newspaper in my hometown, about a North Dakota legislative proposal to require high school kids to pass the same test new immigrants must pass to become Americans


The bill is part of the national Civics Education Initiative, an affiliate of the Joe Foss Institute. Foss, a former South Dakota governor and Marine Corps pilot who received the Congressional Medal of Honor, started the nonprofit to enlist veterans to teach young people about the value of their freedoms. He died in 2003.

The effort counts among its supporters former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day Sandra Day O’Connor, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein and actor Joe Mantegna.

A similar legislative effort was announced in September in South Dakota with support from former U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, former Citibank president Ron Williamson and former Sioux Falls mayor Dave Munson, among others.

[NoDak governor Jack] Dalrymple said the goal nationally is to have all 50 states adopt the civics test requirement by Sept. 17, 2017, the 230th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

The state’s education commissioner notes that students can retake the test as many times as they need to get to 60% – which, I think, is the right idea; the point is that they learn the stuff. 

So – how would you do if you took the test?

4 thoughts on “Citizenship

  1. Anybody who paid even the slightest bit of attention in Civics class in High School can pass the test.

    Which is exactly why less than 20% of the country can do it.

  2. I dispute Question 49: name one responsibility reserved solely for US citizens. The answer given is “voting” which might be theoretically true in election law but is plainly untrue in the election booth. And not one single question on “Name something the federal government does that is NOT authorized by the Constitution but they do it anyway.” Why are we testing immigrants on hypothetical and imaginary concepts of law instead of everyday Know Your Rights stuff?

  3. It is said democracy is the worst foemail of.government except all others tried

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