Shirtless Paul Ryan Photo a Political Distraction: Americans Lacking Knowledge? (QUIZ)

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By Brittney R. Villalva , Christian Post Reporter
August 17, 2012|4:20 pm

For some, the only thing as important as knowing about Paul Ryan's political plan is knowing about what he looks like shirtless- and others have huge problem with that.

One of the top searches added to the end of Paul Ryan's name on Google was "Paul Ryan shirtless," which came just after "Paul Ryan budget" and "Paul Ryan Wikipedia," but before any such searches that include questions about his political views. Although some find it a little bit funny, others feel dismayed that so much more attention is being paying to something so trivial.

The issue has become a growing concern for some, who feel that Americans have a lack of knowledge about political candidates before they vote. They may know that Paul Ryan enjoys being fit or partaking in P90 X, but fail to learn the points of his budget plan or his stance on major social issues.

Evidence of American's lacking political background can be seen in the exit polls from those who voted for Obama. Based on exiting poll information provided by blogger Jim Hayek, people who favored less government control and the ability to build their own wealth over wealth distribution still voted for Obama in the 2008 election, even after he promoted plans which were the opposite of that.

A different survey, reported on by USA Today in 2008, also revealed that Americans had more knowledge of "American Idol" than they did of civic documents. The report showed that 56 percent of Americans were aware that Paul Abdul was a judge on "American Idol" verses only 21 percent who knew that the phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people" came from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

"Without knowledge of your country's history, key texts and institutions, you don't have a frame of reference to judge the politics and policies of today," Richard Brake, head of the institute's American Civic Literacy Program, told the news site.

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