Wow. I encountered something like this at school on e. We were doing a class debate on the pros and cons of communism, and I was debating for the 'cons' team. I mentioned Soviet Russia in my case, and one of the girls on the opposite team thought I had made a point in THEIR favor! She DID NOT know what Soviet Russia was! I was flabbergastered. There is little you can do in the face of such abject ignorance.