So why don't we develop a written test for our prospective political leaders? Since our national politicians want to test our students and teachers why don't we give a test to our incumbents and candidates? We could call it our "No Member of Congress/Senator Left Behind" test.
They would have to take and pass this test before they can run for office or reelection.
This would be a simple test about our Constitution, our representative republic form of government, and historic events or people that have influenced us.
THE TEST (25 questions) 1.
Discuss how The Bible and Judeo-Christian morals influenced the founding fathers.
Discuss any other religious influences that you think may have influenced them.
Discuss how the "petty republics" of Ancient Greece influenced the founding fathers and western civilization.
Start with: A) Democracy B) Law C) Theatre and Arts 4.
Discuss how the Roman Empire influenced our founding fathers and western civilization.
Start with: A) Central system of laws B) Civil Service C) Democratic government D) Professional army 5.
Discuss the Magna Carta.
Discuss the Mayflower compact.
Discuss the Articles of Confederation (Articles I-XIII).
Discuss the Continental Congress.
A) 1st Continental Congress B) 2nd Continental Congress C) The Congress of the Confederation 9.
Explain in detail each part of our Declaration of Independence.
A) Introduction B) Preamble C) Indictment D) Denunciation E) Conclusion 10.
Explain in detail each part of our Constitution.
A) Preamble B) Articles I-VII C) Amendments I-XXVII 11.
Compare and contrast the Declaration of Independence (a document that seeks to limits government) with the Constitution (a document that empowers government).
Explain the Electoral College and why it was enacted.
Discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
Discuss each of the Federalist Papers (1-85).
Discuss the Anti Federalist Papers.
Compare and contrast the Federalist Papers and the Anti Federalist papers.
Discuss the Northwest Ordinance and how it affected later expansion of the country and the admission of new states.
Discuss the Connecticut Compromise and why it was enacted.
What was Shays Rebellion? Discuss its influence on our early government.
What was the Whiskey Rebellion? Discuss its influence on our early government.
Discuss some of the events the led up to the Civil War.
A) The Missouri Compromise B) The Kansas Nebraska Act C) The Birth of Republican Party 21.
Discuss how each of these events impacted on the growth of the federal government.
A) The Civil War B) The Great Depression C) WW II D) WW III (The Cold War) E) WW IV (The Global War on Terrorism) 22.
Justify each of the cabinet positions and their bureaucracies.
A) Secretary of State B) Treasury C) Defense D) Interior E) Agriculture F) Commerce G) Labor H) Health and Human Services I) Housing and Urban Development J) Transportation K) Energy L) Education M) Veterans Affairs N) Homeland Security 23.
Discuss how each of the following individuals influenced our government.
A) John Locke B) Charles Montesquieu C) David Hume D) Adam Smith E) William Blackstone F) Edmund Burke G) Thomas Paine H) John C.
Calhoun I) Alexis de Tocqueville J) Herbert Croly 24.
Discuss campaign finance reform and term limits.
Why has campaign finance reform failed? What recommendations would you make? Discuss the pros and cons of term limits.
Discuss a topic or person of your choice that was influential in the development of our government.
BONUS QUESTION: If you can find the concept of "the separation of church and state," or the "right to privacy" in the Constitution you will be awarded 200 bonus points.
NOTE: These are essay questions.
You will be graded on how well you develop and share cogent ideas and viewpoints.
We are not looking for rote answers from a textbook.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation will be graded.
You will not be allowed any reference material during the test.
The test may be completed in handwriting or on a computer.
The computer will not have spelling and grammar programs that might assist you.
YOUR SCORE: The grade will be similar to an SAT score.
Scores will range from 400-1600.
They will be published online, in newspapers and magazines, and broadcasted on television and radio.
Your score will also be written down next to your name on the ballot.
And should you get elected, it will become part of your tag line (Sen Joe Smith, Dem, GA, 900).
I'm sure I have omitted some important person, place, or thing.
But this is a start.
Part II of the test would deal with simple economics and taxation since taxation is the greatest power our legislators yield.
I might start by asking them to compare competing economic schools of thought such as Ludwig von Mises/Friedrich Hayek vs.
Karl Marx/John Maynard Keynes.
I will try to develop that test at a later date.