Summary: Scores of posts have documented the difficulty Americans have seeing the world. Of course this affects both Left and Right. But not equally. The Right has more fully exploited the powerful tools of propaganda developed during the past century, both to motivate the faithful and gain support. Unfortunately decades of shifting the Right’s viewpoint has broken its tether to reality, allowing a slide into delusions. Today we see some evidence of this in the polls.
No rejoicing by the Left, please. Schadenfreude, however natural, should be outweighed by the danger this creates for the Republic, that a large fraction of a major party has lost their bearings.
- Poll #1
- Poll #2
- Poll #3
- Other posts about the Right in America
- For More Information
Democrats and Republicans differ on conspiracy theory beliefs, a survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP), 2 April 2013.
Q#1: Do you believe global warming is a hoax? — 58% of GOP say “yes”.
Contrast that with the consensus of climate scientists:
“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”
— conclusion of the IPCC’s AR5 Working Group I. For more about this consensus see these studies.
PPP Question#8: Do you believe President Barack Obama is the anti-Christ? — 20% of the GOP say “yes”.
This is a disturbing next step from the “Is Obama not a US citizen” and “Is Obama a Muslim?” questions, whose weirdness we have become accustomed to.
Q#9: Do you believe the Bush administration intentionally misled the public about the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to promote the Iraq War? — 73% of the GOP say “no”.
Republicans are more likely to subscribe to conspiracy theories about the government, a survey by Public Policy Polling, 2 October 2013.
Q#1: Do you think the Obama Administration is secretly trying to take everyone’s guns away? — 62% of the GOP say “yes”.
Q#9: Do you think that a group of world bankers is slowly eliminating paper currency until most banking is done electronically, and then will cut the power grid so that most citizens will not have access to any money and will be forced into worldwide slavery? — 27% of the GOP say “yes”.
Q#13: Do you think Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia Law in American court systems? — 42% of the GOP say “yes”.
Poll #3 — A reminder that this problem affects the Left as well
Polls tend to focus on the weird beliefs of conservatives. I suspect there is a rich but untapped mine of crazy on the Left. Polling for the Left’s doomster fantasies would be interesting.
Also, the Right’s fondness for creationism has a parallel on the Left, as seen in this from “Who Believes that Astrology is Scientific?“, James Lindgren (Prof Law, Northwestern University – School of Law), 20 February 2014 —
Belief that Astrology is Not Scientific by Party
(4) Other Posts in this series about the Right in America
- The key to modern American politics: the Right-Wing Id Unzipped, 15 February 2012
- A harsh clear look at the history of the Republican Party, 22 September 2013
- Most of what Democrats say is wrong about the Republicans’ recent actions in Congress, 1 October 2013
- What are the odds of violence from the Right in America?, 2 October 2013
- Seeing the world through conservative eyes, 15 February 2014
(5) For More Information
How do people come to believe this incredible things? See the posts listed on the FM Reference Page Information & disinformation
Some posts about successful propaganda:
- Successful propaganda as a characteristic of 21st century America, 1 February 2010
- More propaganda: the eco-fable of Easter Island, 4 February 2010
- Can Obama turn America into something like Zimbabwe?, 22 February 2010
- A note about practical propaganda, 22 March 2010
- About the political significance of the conservatives’ health care propaganda, 23 March 2010
- The similar delusions of America’s Left and Right show our common culture – and weakness, 26 March 2010
- Programs to reshape the American mind, run by the left and right, 2 August 2010
- The easy way to rule: leading a weak people by feeding them disinformation, 13 April 2011
- Facts are an obstacle to the reform of America, 20 October 2011
- Our minds are addled, the result of skillful and expensive propaganda, 28 December 2011
- More use of the big lie: shifting the blame for the housing crisis, 29 December 2011
- Understanding our political system: the how-to guide by its builders, 7 October 2012
- Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?, 25 February 2013
- We can see our true selves in the propaganda used against us, 14 May 2013
- A nation lit only by propaganda, 3 June 2013
- The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions., 24 July 2013