Are people this stupid?
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that nearly 20 percent of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim.
That number has increased since Obama’s inauguration in January. And more than a third of conservative Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim. Only 34 percent of survey respondents identified the president –correctly– as a Christian. (Forty-three percent of respondents said they didn’t know what religion the president associates with.)
The “Religion, Politics and the President” survey was conducted before the president made his comments concerning the construction of a controversial Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero.
White House faith adviser Joshua DuBois blamed the survey results on “misinformation campaigns” led by opponents. Of those respondents who identified Obama as a Muslim, 60 percent said that they learned the president’s religion from the media.
I’m guessing that would be the network named after a small, red predator traditionally harassed by British upper-class twits.
So one in five Americans, and over a third of conservative Republicans, are window-lickers. I’d be willing to bet that the correlation between these people and those who were condemning Obama for racism thanks to his (Christian) pastor’s remarks prior to the election is very high.
Who needs a Muslim president? I’d rather have as my president a “Christian” man who divorces his wife on her death bed and then cheats on his second wife with a subordinate at work. Wonder what a guy like that would think about that mosque business at Ground Zero?
It’s “Idiocracy” without the humor. Let us all pray that this 20 percent of Americans don’t vote. These are the kinds of people who step into the voting booth, hand out their pants and ask, “Do you have these in a relaxed-fit?”
Are Americans really this stupid?
If Obama says he’s Christian, his family and friends say he’s Christian and he goes to Christian churches, what’s the discussion about? It’s about lies promulgated by birthers and other conspiracy theorist, and then nurtured by political opportunists. They see that his name isn’t Smith or Jones. Some see black skin (and sorry, but some people do, and that’s their criterion).
These “disseminators” willfully misinform those willing to be misinformed, and for the willfully misinformed, no amount of truth or evidence will sway them. It’s just another example of we “otherize” everything that’s not like “us.” The Republican Party is intent on “otherizing” as many people as possible: Gays and lesbians, Latinos, Muslims, Blacks. Why? Because it’s politically expedient. They know there are stupid people in America, and they’re counting on them being irrational and stupid enough to get scared enough to go out and vote for whoever says the “other” is dangerous.
So are Americans stupid? The answer you’ll get from politicians is, “Thank God they are.” The irony is that if you actually talk to politicians and find out what they think when they’re not being recorded, there’s a good chance you’ll conclude that at least 40 percent of them are non-religious, perhaps even agnostic or atheist, but certainly apathetic.
Of course, admitting that is a political death knell since the non-religious won’t vote for you in enough numbers to offset the votes of conservative Christians. Who was the last national politician who was openly non-religious, Jesse Ventura?
Given Obama’s intellectual background, he might be closer to some sort of deist –like many of our Founding Fathers. To some extent that’s fairly representative of the greater U-S population anyway. You get a person who is a staunch Catholic despite not believing in anything related to the Bible, God, Christ, or really much of any of it other than some vague wish/faith that the universe has meaning. But the person was raised Catholic so he or she insists on expressing this vague feeling by pretending to be Catholic. Or Jewish, or Methodist, or whatever. A lot of religious people take their faith very seriously, but many more of them don’t (even if they think they do).
The president is not a Muslim, but why would it make a difference if he were? Did we ban Muslims from public office at some point? Does being a Muslim disqualify you for citizenship? When did we pass all these laws against being Muslim?
Why do we even give care what religion our presidents practice? Aren’t there more important things to worry about?
Examples of America’s collective IQ:
On the eve of the Iraq War, 69 percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Four years later, 41 percent still did.
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Let’s not forget that in last year’s health care debate, some voters demanded that the government needs to “keep its hands off my Medicare.” Of course, if it did, there’d be no Medicare.
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Polls show that a majority of Americans can’t name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is, and 24 percent can’t name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don’t know what’s in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don’t know what the Food and Drug Administration does.
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Nearly half of Americans don’t know that states have two senators and more than half can’t name their congressman.
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A Gallup poll says 18 percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.
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This same Pew organization did a massive year-long survey on religion in America two years ago and found that only half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity. In other words, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and can’t figure out which one came first.
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And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of policy both foreign and domestic?
The U-S has a long history of being taken in by the erroneous and the irrational: Salem witches, the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, phrenology, McCarthyism and eugenics are just a few choice examples.
The truth is, Americans often approach information with a particular mindset. There is, first, an inexorable desire to seek out information that supports only preexisting assumptions, a behavior psychologists call homophily.
The internet magnifies this echo-chamber effect. “Antirational junk thought has gained social respectability in the United States during the past half century,” writes Susan Jacoby in “The Age of American Unreason. “It has proved resistant to the vast expansion of scientific knowledge that has taken place during the same period.” Jacoby argues that long-standing American values like rugged individualism and the need to question authority have metastasized into reflexive anti-intellectualism and disdain for “eggheads,” “elites,” and pretty much anyone who might be described as credentialed. This irrationalism isn’t just ugly; it’s cancerous.
James Madison echoed the sentiments of the Founding Fathers when he wrote that “pure democracy” doesn’t work because “there is nothing to check… an obnoxious individual.” So far, he hasn’t been proven wrong.