A study conducted by Ivy League political scientists has yielded some intriguing results. Kyle Dropp, Joshua D. Kertzer, and Thomas Zeitzoff surveyed 2,066 Americans to decide what role the U.S. should play in Ukraine’s current crisis. Additionally, they were asked to locate Ukraine on a map. The survey was designed to test the correlation between foreign policy views and geographical knowledge, as the latter contributes to the former.
Here’s where it gets interesting: Only 16 percent of those surveyed could correctly locate Ukraine, and the farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they thought the U.S. military should use force and intervene.
Most of the Americans taking the survey guessed that Ukraine was located somewhere in Europe or Asia, and clicked on the map accordingly. Although the accuracy varied across the different groups that were asked, younger people generally performed better. 27 percent of 18-24 year olds knew where Ukraine was located, compared to 14 percent of people over the age of 65.
Self-identified Independents also did well, beating both Democrats and Republicans in accuracy. Disturbingly, members of military families were no more likely to locate Ukraine correctly than their civilian counterparts.
The survey’s architects strongly believe that one’s knowledge of foreign issues impacts how people formulate the decisions they’d like to see their leaders carry out. Most Americans are advocating for less costly means of dealing with the Ukraine crisis. 45 percent of Americans supported boycotting the G8 summit as opposed to the 13 percent of Americans who supported using force.
In that 13 percent are people who cannot even locate Ukraine, yet think that US military force is the answer. With a 95 percent confidence level, they supported American boots on the ground to battle the imminent threat from Russia.
Power is only given, and the most ignorant among us are giving it away freely.
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