Sunday, August 22, 2010

Now Fewer Americans Than Ever Believe in Facts

Just when I think we can't get any dumber.

I had always thought that polls were supposed to be about people's opinions. I mean, they used to call them, more descriptively, opinion polls. "Who do you think should be president?" "What do you think about the bottle bill?" "Who's hotter, Megan Fox or Newt Gingrich?"

Apparently, we've added a new subsection of polling...fact polling. We ask people if they believe if something factual is actually factual. No, I'm not talking about asking whether people believe in God. I'm talking about this poll.

Holy crap.

We have reduced facts to nothing more than one more thing we can have opinions about. "Is the president a muslim? What's your opinion?"

The only value a poll like this has is to show just how fucking stupid we are. What's possibly worse than the 18% of people who believe (based on what?) that Obama is a muslim is the 43% of people who "don't know", more than the number who think he's a christian. This could just be chalked up to inattention. I mean, I don't know what religion some people are. (But we're usually not talking about the president of a religion-obsessed nation here.) But the same poll last year showed only 34% who didn't know. Huh? Did they forget? Or did they get stupider?

Let's have some more polls, shall we?

"Is Dick Cheney bald? What's your opinion?"

"Do the New York Yankees play in Yankee Stadium? What's your opinion?"

"Is the moon orbiting the earth? What's your opinion?"

"What's the name of that thing pumping blood through your body right now? What's your opinion?"

"Does the F train stop at Broadway-Lafayette? What's your opinion?"

Next week, only 53% of Americans think that the "heart" is what pumps their blood, down from 57% last year.


Mrs. Chili said...

What I want to know is, WHO are they asking? No one's called me with these dumbass questions...

Kizz said...

OK no one ever really knows if the F train is going to stop at B'way-Lafayette, that's a terrible example. Have you seen how fucked up the MTA is right now?

I do so enjoy how we're going to keep yanking money from education despite the fact that our citizens are getting dumber by the moment.

Shannon Wagner said...

How about this "poll" from my favorite vendor of opinion and hearsay?

"Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll."

Okay - I guess the "fear" part is "poll-ish"..

MAB said...

I get your point, Kizz, but the question is does the F train stop there, not will the F train stop there. A subtle but important difference.

Kizz said...

That's true. You should write the polls.