The Evidence is in

With all the bad wingnut craziness that’s been going on in the states the last little while, it’s occasionally pointed out that US conservatives seem to have totally lost their grip on reality and gone stark raving apeshit bonkers.  Going on the defense, they typically fire back that “both sides have their nut fringe”.  And while that’s true enough in a general sense, the amount of batshit on the right seems disproportionately high.   But who knows?

Until now.  Thanks to Pollster, we now have the definitive answer to the question of  who has the most crazy:

"truther" poll_1253858401453

Suck it up, wingnutters, the pinch is in.  And by the way, that 64%?  Not fringe.

UPDATE: Well well well, Peter in the comments insists on keeping me honest, so I feel compelled to add one last observation to this post:

Dems: one-third is nothing to write home about either.  WTF?  (I wonder how many believe Dick Cheney is the Antichrist?)

13 Responses to “The Evidence is in”


  1. 1 Peter Friday, September 25, 2009 at 4:08 am

    You are celebrating the fact that just under half of the Dems are as nutty as over 60% of the GOP? When is the party? Sounds like a great slogan for 2012: “Vote Democrat–The Party with 50% Fewer Loons”.

    JJ, I’ll spare you the arguments on why giving credence to the notion that the President aided and abetted a murderous foreign attack is perhaps different in kind from believing in the mother of all electoral frauds. Let’s just agree they have all parked their critican judgement somewhere. As anyone familiar with bestselling thrillers knows, Americans can be addicted to conspiracy theories and, indeed, they seem to be part and parcel of their political culture. This is something Canadians have a hard time digesting, both as to why they surface and gain traction, and how seriously to take proclamations of belief in them. We do accusations of stupidity, patronage, lying and corruption, but can can you imagine anybody up here suggesting there was an inside government plot to subvert the B.N.A. Act?

    Both sides do it. FDR was supposed to have orchestrated Pearl Harbour, Eisenhower was a commie, Nixon and Bush were planning camps for progressive dissidents, yada, yada. I’ve seen very intelligent and apparently well-grounded bloggers on both sides suddenly slip into, not fullblown conspiracies, but musings about how something dark and menacing may be going on behind the scenes. Weird.

  2. 2 Bina Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:56 am

    First false equivalence argument of the day.

    FAIL. 🙄

  3. 3 JJ Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Bina – No, he’s got a good point 😆 As bad as 64% is, over one-third isn’t any great shakes either.

    What really surprised me was that over 20% of Dems aren’t sure if Obama is a citizen 😯

  4. 4 JJ Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Peter

    Sounds like a great slogan for 2012: “Vote Democrat–The Party with 50% Fewer Loons”.

    Okay, okay… 😆

    Believe it or not, I had been about to type one last bracketed sentence in that post which would have gone something like: “And Dems — 40%??? WTF?” But then I thought “NAHHHHH!” 😆 Damn you, keeping me honest! 😉

    They do seem to love their conspiracy theories down there… by this poll, it looks like over half of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, believe in some kind of conspiracy theory or other. That’s incredible. We have nothing comparable to it up here. Maybe it’s because so many of their politicos are preachers and used car salesmen, and ours are all lawyers 😛

  5. 5 Dr. Prole Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Admittedly there are crazies on both sides of the spectrum (PETA comes to mind, probably making up the 20% who aren’t sure if Obama is a citizen). But I’m guessing this poll was taken after GWB and Cheney (who shot an old man in the face) were proven to be torture-loving war criminals who at the very least ignored the warnings about the 9/11 attacks, all the better to give them a good excuse to invade and occupy Iraq, which they were planning anyway. If the same question was taken on 9/12/01, the number of Dems thinking Bush/Cheney were complicit would have been far FAR lower.

    Mother of all electoral frauds. O rly? That’s fuckin’ hilarious. Really the mother of all electoral frauds was when GWB was appointed POTUS. But did we start teabagging and fisting in the streets and threaten to bring our big manly guns next time? Nah, we built the party and trounced the GOP 8 years later with majorities in both houses of congress and put a black man in the white house. IN YOUR FACE, SUCKERS!

    Oh we did protest the war, in numbers far larger than the teabaggers, but the traditional “liberal” media ignored all that.

    Anyway, yep, lunacy abounds in the USA.

  6. 6 JJ Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Dr.Prole

    PETA comes to mind, probably making up the 20% who aren’t sure if Obama is a citizen

    Would that many Democrats belong to PETA? 😯 I’m thinking there are some in this 20% who aren’t sure but don’t give a shit, ie. even if he was born in Kenya (and I can’t believe I just typed that), they’re okay with him being pres because he’s been a citizen in the USA most of his life.

    But getting away from the poll questions into more general nutter territory, we pretty well know who all the right-wing nutters are, so who are all the left-wing nutters? Troofers, PETA, Earth First & other misc environmental extremists… who else? I’m seriously curious.

    Then again, I guess nutterism is in the eye of the beholder, to some extent. I’m sure a lot of right-wingers consider NOW a “pro-abortion extremist” group.

  7. 7 Dr. Prole Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:41 am

    JJ, I don’t really know to tell you the truth. There’s ELF, they’re fairly insane but you don’t hear too much about them lately, certainly not like the teabaggers and fisters. Greenpeace? Maybe there is some fringe group of communists or anarchists or something? Small groups, loosely organized with no leadership and no Glenn Beck of their own to whip them into a frothing frenzy of fanaticism. I don’t personally know any though. All the Dems/progressives that I know are pretty level headed and sane, compassionate, etc. I do know a few fairly militant vegans but nobody who would bring a gun to a presidential speech or bomb a veal farm.

  8. 8 Peter Friday, September 25, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Left wing nutterism? Oliver Stone, come on down! Seriously, I don’t think “nutterism” in the sense of being mentally challenged is helpful with these numbers. There is a Manichean streak in American politics and culture that divides the world sharply into very, very good and very, very bad guys and which glorifies the heroic warrior battling the forces of darkness. It’s both their glory and their burden. Think of all the one-dimensional, impossibly perfect heros in their police and spy thrillers battling the unspeakably evil dudes who wouldn’t dare be seen petting a dog. When did you last see character complexity in a movie out of Hollywood? They are all still fighting their Revolution and jousting for recognition as faithful heirs to its original promise. I guess a little demonization helps get the juices flowing. After all, St. George didn’t waste a lot of time trying to see the dragon’s point of view.

    As we Canadians often seem to spend 24/7 doing little more in our politics than trying to see one another’s points of view, small wonder we’re bewildered.

  9. 9 RealityBites Friday, September 25, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    JJ I’m sure lots of reasonable and intelligent people would believe Cheney’s the antiChrist if only it didn’t require them to believe in Christ. 😉

  10. 10 JJ Friday, September 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Peter

    As we Canadians often seem to spend 24/7 doing little more in our politics than trying to see one another’s points of view, small wonder we’re bewildered.

    Good points, especially about the extremes. Stateside it seems that everything has to be hot or cold, good or evil, with us or against us. Maybe in a sense they are still fighting a kind of civil war — or culture war, in contemporary terms.

    I think Canadians are guilty of demonization to some degree also, at times, but not like in the states. We have right-wing radio guys (Adler, Green etc.) but their product isn’t even close to the kind of unhinged wingnuttery their talk radio shows deliver down south. I also have yet to see any Canadian speaking in eliminationist terms, which is a really ominous phenomenon that’s come about in the last few years in the states.

    I think we’re just far too polite for all that.

    Left wing nutterism? Oliver Stone, come on down!

    Can’t say I disagree… I like his movies, but he’s a bit of a conspiracy nut, isn’t he.

  11. 11 JJ Friday, September 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    RB – True enough. But I just did a google search on “Is Dick Cheney the Antichrist” and I was surprised to get almost 200,000 hits back 😆

  12. 12 Peter Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 4:58 am

    JJ:

    Just a couple more comments:

    Another example of leftist (or at least Dem constituency) nuttery is the alarmingly high number of black Americans who think AIDS was a U.S. government plot. Plus many on the environmental left have been addicted to doomsday futurism since Erlich warnings about mass starvation in the late 60’s. But most of it is a matter of degree and happens when a combination of ideological fervor and fear of an all-powerful bogeyman (usually with an improbably large coterie of loyal help sworn to secrecy) takes one right out of the realm of reason. It’s one thing to worry about the influence of religion in politics, quite another to convince oneself the “coming theocracy” is nigh. To argue that oil plays too important a role in U.S. foreign policy is one thing; to argue that Iraq was “all about oil” in the sense of being a secret, conscious intent to plunder is pretty nutty and rests on both complete ignorance of how the oil market works and the premise that the conspirators were completely irrational (Why not save money and hassle and just take over Canada, Mexico and Venezeuala?). Of course the same thing happens on the right, as evidenced by the “liberal fascist” meme and Obama’s craftily concealed secret agenda to end run the Founding Fathers.

    BTW, speaking of the right, I think the left is making a big mistake by focusing on the influence of the “religious right” in all this. They may be front and center on abortion and Darwin, but I don’t think on teabagging, anti-Obama stuff. A lot of that is being fueled by diehard libertarians who are often well-educated and anti-religious themselves, but whose quest for ideological purity (and incestuous blogging) is driving them into an abstract world far removed from the reality of what is actually happening out there on the streets. It was a similar and very common problem on the left from the 30’s to the 70’s.
    Marx or Ayn Rand? Decisions, decisions.

  13. 13 JJ Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Peter – Great comment, excellent points.

    But most of it is a matter of degree and happens when a combination of ideological fervor and fear of an all-powerful bogeyman (usually with an improbably large coterie of loyal help sworn to secrecy) takes one right out of the realm of reason.

    Exactly. It doesn’t help when there are elements of truth at the basis of these ideas that just get blown out of proportion or focused on with a kind of ideological tunnel vision.

    Iraq is a good example: there were a lot of reasons for invading Iraq that had nothing to do with oil — I think it was more to establish a permanent presence in the middle east, and hopefully stabilize the region. Lower oil prices are a fringe benefit of a stable middle east. Besides regional stability, there were probably all kinds of other intentions… support for Israel? A buffer between Israel & Iran? Support for Saudi Arabia? Or just being there before Russia or China moved in. To say the war was all about commandeering a few oil fields is a naive oversimplification.

    Not that I didn’t buy into it myself for awhile, until I started seeking out information from both sides of the debate. It was only then that the larger geopolitical considerations became more apparent to me. But this is a lot of work 😉

    BTW, speaking of the right, I think the left is making a big mistake by focusing on the influence of the “religious right” in all this.

    Again, agreed. No Theocracy is imminent in North America, notwithstanding the fantasies of people like Randall Terry. From what I can glean, the main reason the religious right even cares about the teaparty movement is because of the healthcare bill, which they believe funds abortion (it doesn’t). Otherwise, the religious right has no problem overlooking “socialism” — Mike Huckabee is probably fairly representative of the *average* religious right-type person, and he spends like a drunken sailor. In fact he was the runaway winner of the straw poll at the values voters summit. At best, they are just along for the anti-Obama ride in these teabagger parties. They are flirting with libertarianism at the moment, but their big issues are so anti-libertarian that it’s only a matter of time before these two Worlds Collide 😆

    Marx or Ayn Rand? Decisions, decisions.

    😆


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