Maybe the problem is your poll, not the people who answered it

These people are all living on borrowed time

Earlier today, this hit lefty Twitter:

HAHAHAHA, Jesus, what a bunch of blockheads, am I right? People immediately started having fun with this tidbit of information, and I’m sure there are 1500 word thinkpieces being typed up even now. Yours truly got in on the act, wondering what would happen to all the Disney characters under a Republican government (short answer: the cars from Cars are OK, but Bambi is riddled with .308 rounds and Nemo’s coral reef is dying thanks to climate change). Then PPP dropped this:

So, you know, 19% of Democrats also support bombing a place that doesn’t exist. So now this seems more serious–not in an “oh my God even the Democrats” way (hey, plenty of Democrats believe some pretty dumb stuff), but rather because 30% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats adds up to about 15% of the general public, and if you figure that independents are somewhere in the middle when it comes to blowing up cartoon Arab lands, then you’re looking at about 25% of the US electorate who are prepared to order airstrikes anytime they hear a word that sounds remotely “Muslim.” That’s goddamn terrifying, to be perfectly honest. As one sage mind put it:

But the more I thought about this, the more I couldn’t decide how I’d have answered a question that is fundamentally intended to highlight stupid people so that the rest of us (who are obviously not stupid, just ask us) can all have a good laugh ridiculing them. Is a non-stupid person supposed to answer “no,” or “not sure”? Does either answer actually tell us whether or not the respondent thinks Agrabah is a real place? How many of the people who said they would bomb Agrabah were laughing as they said it? PPP said they were just trying to have a little pre-holiday fun, and I’m all about fun, but to me this was so badly executed that it really stops being funny and kind of gets a bit aggravating.

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2 thoughts on “Maybe the problem is your poll, not the people who answered it

  1. The Kung Fu Monkey addressed this issue exactly ten years ago:

    27% of the electorate in Illinois voted for Alan Keyes over Barack Obama, in a race from which most of the usual confounding factors had been neutralized, thus giving us a solid handle on the fraction of irreconcilable crazies in this land. Hofstadter wrote about the Paranoid Style in American Politics purely as a critique of the Right, but that was half a century ago and I am not surprised to see the phenomenon seeping into the Left as well – just look at how the Sanderistas freak out over every little thing, seeing DNC conspiracies around every corner.

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