The Life As We Blow It Citizenship Test: 10 questions to prove you're an American

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After all, I’m sure the lawmakers we’ve elected to safeguard our way of life wouldn’t hesitate to take the citizenship test every couple of years or so, in the name of solidarity, right?


I grabbed some sample questions from the citizenship test online (thanks, and, given random discussions I’ve had with all manner of U.S. residents over the last few years, I honestly believe that our esteemed congressmen, and the rest of our citizens, stand about the same chance of earning a passing score as a 3-month-old Guatemalan baby. I’m not calling anyone stupid. I’m just saying that sometimes people get too busy having a $1,200 lunch with Big Oil to research who originally said something about the tree of liberty needing to be watered with the blood of patriots.

But if you’re calling for blood to water the tree of liberty, you should probably know who originally uttered the phrase, and in what context, yes?

Plus, our country’s naturalization test doesn’t take any kind of recent cultural watersheds into account. How can you call yourself an American and not know that Lady Gaga is from New York, and sucks?

We should definitely overhaul our citizenship process, but it should apply to everyone, and it should cover more than the birth of our nation and the usual cobwebby questions about the distribution of power. Furthermore, it should apply to every smug-ass U.S. citizen who likes to scream about anchor babies, and all of those who don’t, as well.

The bottom line: If you can’t answer these ten questions, you do not deserve American citizenship. It’s as simple as that.

1. What is Ted Nugent’s nickname?

2. Was Benjamin Franklin the 5th or 6th American president?

3. What was the northernmost state to secede from the union during the Civil War?

4. Who shot J.R.?

5. Which hippie philosopher went out to Walden Pond to tell me some bullshit about how I’m not in touch with nature, or whatever?

6. What is the difference between the NAACP and the ACLU?

7. Which state is the “show-me” state?

8. What is the Bill of Rights?

9. What is the day, month and year of the first Independence Day?

10. Who was Brad Pitt involved with on a long-term basis before Angelina Jolie?

Honestly, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, you don’t deserve American citizenship, because you’re not in touch with what defines the idea of America. And if you’re going to get so uptight about what it means to be an American, shouldn’t you have some idea what the hell you’re talking about? Feel free to forward this quiz to your governmental representatives, and let us know the results — 20 bucks says the men and women that represent you at the highest level of American governmental structure don’t know or care enough to even fire back a Google-fueled response.

So, there’s been a lot of talk lately about anchor babies (20 bucks says that term came from a marketing major) and repealing the 14th Amendment — that’s the one that, among other things, confers automatic citizenship on children born on American soil. And yeah, at its root, it’s exactly the panicked fear-mongering pass-the-buck finger-pointing you suspect it is. In a way, it’s almost admirable in its commitment to absurdity: Hey, unemployed professional, you can’t find work because the Mexicans who do your neighbors' landscaping have stolen all your government’s money!

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Even the cesspool of self-interest that passes for our nation’s legislative tastemakers will occasionally stumble upon something good for the country.

By all means, let’s do away with automatic citizenship.

For everybody.

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