Sorry for the thread Necro, but this just reminded me of an article that no longer appears to be online…
BY BOB HARRIS – an excerpt from his posts at www.thismodernworld.com
Only 22 percent think Saddam used WMDs?
By now you’ve seen the recent poll which finds that a third of Americans mistakenly believe that WMDs were found in Iraq, and about 22 percent think Iraq actually used WMDs during the war.
Sounds bad, right? But let’s put these figures in perspective, courtesy a quick visit over to PollingReport.com , where I pulled out a few numbers, all from recent major polls, just for fun:
Of American adults, at least 18 years of age…
- 65% couldn’t describe the basic facts about Watergate
- 56% think media should never question the government in wartime
- 48% say the news media acted responsibly during the Clinton Wars
- 45% characterized Watergate was “just politics”
- 43% attended religious services in the previous 7 days
- 40% believe the media was biased in favor of Bill Clinton
- 35% say the government should not fund stem cell research
- 34% think Rock and Roll has been bad for America
- 33% believe a wife should “submit herself graciously” to a husband
- 30% say the Bible is the “actual word of God” to be taken literally
- 29% think people will be “more likely” to afford college in 2020
- 28% disapprove of labor unions on principle
- 28% say the government should have the right to control news reports
- 27% believe divorce is “morally wrong”
- 26% thought various natural disasters “foreshadow the wrath of God”
- 26% think grade-school teachers should be allowed to spank their kids
- 24% describe themselves as interested in what celebrities think
- 21% admitted to a pollster that they had cheated in a relationship
- 21% say justice was served in the O.J. Simpson case
- 20% approve of the how the Catholic Church handles pedophilia
- 20% believe that the killing of civilians in Vietnam was “relatively rare”
- 15% were upset at Diana Spencer’s death like “someone you knew”
- 12% think the United States should have a British-style royal family
- 11% stockpiled food and water in advance of Y2K
- 11% think “Titanic” was the best American movie of the 20th century
- 10% would eat a rat or an insect on a “reality” TV show
- 10% think it’s advantageous to be a woman in American society
- 10% believe Oswald acted alone
- 10% say they are “very likely” to become rich someday
- 8% could not name a single TV network
- 8% fear they are “very likely” to be shot or badly hurt by a stranger
- 7% think Elvis is possibly still alive
- 6% say Garth Brooks is the best male singer of the 20th century
- 5% are ?very afraid? of thunder and lightning
- 5% would be “more likely” to buy food labeled as genetically modified
- 3% wanted to see the questions on “Millionaire” become less difficult
So… what to make of all this?
A measurable percentage of Americans will say pretty much any damn thing you can imagine.
Looking at the other opinions floating around 20 percent, I’d say that the extent of lunatic public perception of WMDs is, if anything, surprisingly low , given the constant drumbeat of bullshit coming out of the White House and megaphoned by the press for much of the past year.
About the same number of people who think it’s an advantage to be a woman in America would eat a rat on live TV. Clearly, we’ve got some work to do on the whole gender-equality thing.
Speaking of social progress, there sure seems to be a remarkably consistent hardcore of about 25-30 percent who seem to be living sometime in the late 19th century at best. Beatings as a form of education? Wives submitting graciously? Vengeful gods screwing with the weather?
Gallup really ought to quiz these people in a little more detail; after all, there’s a lot we still don’t know the Spanish menace in Cuba, how to handle an acute case of quinsy, and this Tennessee schoolteacher concocting folderol about our forefathers descending from monkeys.
So one-third of Americans mistakenly think we found WMDs? Great. We can work with that. After looking at these numbers, I’m just relieved 30 percent don’t think Saddam’s disembodied wraith is looming in a vengeful stormfront, ready to deflower the womenfolk, lead our children into Satan’s bosom, and force the men to read science books.