There’s a neat article over on Newsweek about the dumb things American’s believe. A sampling: 1 out of 5 Americans think Obama is a Muslim. Apparently the same people who didn’t quite remember the whole Reverend Wright flap during the campaign. 40% of Americans still believe that the healthcare reform bill has “death panels” in it. It doesn’t. In 2007, 41% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11. Half of Americans believed that we found WMD’s in Iraq. A quarter of Democrats in 2009 thought that Bush had something to do with 9/11. 20% of Americans think the Sun revolves around the Earth. 1/3’rd of Americans don’t think that the First Amendment right to freedom of religion applies to extreme or fringe groups. What’s not in the article is that 1 in 4 believe President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, a lot of people believe that vaccines cause autism, and that climate change is a myth.
All of them are dumb. Why? Because they’re not true. 60% can’t identify the three branches of government. It’s a sad commentary, and something that one would think in today’s information capability would have solved. A quick search and the correct information pops up. The problem is that most people like to believe what they hear, particularly if it’s repeated on mainstream media and it slots neatly into their personal beliefs.
Ignorance is different. Everyone is ignorant about something, or even a lot of things. It’s correctable. You find out the facts, you learn something new, and you’re not ignorant anymore. Stupid is when the facts are laid out for you, and you refuse to believe them. Looking at those polls, it’s apparent that there’s a lot of it going around at the moment. There have always been people like that, but it seems to be pretty rampant. If you think I’m talking about you, well, if you believe anything in first paragraph and you haven’t changed your mind yet, then yes, yes I am. I’d also like to talk to you about an economic opportunity. You see, I’ve run into some financial trouble, and I need to sell off this old family property. It’s got potential to be a moneymaker, and I’m absolutely certain you’re the right person to take advantage of this offer.