Study shows Bush supporters aren't living in the real world

Thomas Veil

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Feb 14, 2004
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OBJECTIVE reality
...as if we needed any confirmation... :rolleyes:


A new report, "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters" from the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, finds that a majority of Bush supporters believe things about the world that are objectively untrue while the views of a majority of Kerry supporters are grounded in reality.

"For example," the report says, "Bush backers largely think that the president and his policies are popular internationally. Seventy-five percent believe that Iraq was providing 'substantial' aid to al-Qaida, and 63 percent say clear evidence of this has been found." If any one of those is true, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he can find no evidence to back it up.

An overwhelming 82 percent of Bush supporters - encouraged in their beliefs by the Bush administration itself - think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a major WMD program before the United States and its allies invaded.

It is natural for citizens to support their country in war, but the researchers found the magnitude of the reality gap extraordinary in this case. The report concludes that "Bush supporters have succeeded in suppressing awareness of the findings of a whole series of high-profile reports about pre-war Iraq that have been blazoned across the headlines of newspapers throughout the world and prompted extensive, high-profile and agonizing reflection."

Writing in the online magazine Salon ("The Blind Leading the Blind," Oct. 21, 2004) Michelle Goldberg says that the roots of this denial may lie in the trauma of 9/11 and "people's desire to hold on to their image of Bush as a capable protector. It offers no guidance, though, on how ordinary Republicans might be coaxed back to reality."

The article ends with this chilling thought:

"And while 'The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters' may be perversely satisfying to Democrats in its confirmation of blue-state prejudices, it carries a pretty disturbing question for all rational Americans: How can arguments based on fact prevail in a nation where so many people know so little?"
Article

Study

That last question actually is quite disturbing. When I hear Bush supporters talking, some of what they say sounds so uninformed that I can't help feeling a guilty twinge of intellectual elitism. But this study seems to show that they frequently don't know what they're talking about.

I guess that's why this willful ignorance of reality is just so frustrating and crazy-making. I mean, cripes, people make Jimmy Carter out to be the biggest screw-up president ever. Bush, on the other hand, is such a f***-up that it's just unbelievable, and yet he stands an even shot at being re-elected.
 

Desertrat

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Jul 4, 2003
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I find it hard to believe that, given the amount of commentary about Bush not being popular outside the US, his backers really believe that hs policies ARE popular.

Same for the WMD: There's reasonable evidence to support the notion that Saddam had programs, and it's fact that he had used chemical WMD stuff.

This sort of "study" is too much like the TV interviews after a tornado. 1. Find a mobile home park. 2. Find the fat woman with the muumuu and the pink hair curlers. 3. Ask her what she thinks about the whole deal.

What the heck. Kerry supporters seem to think he'll end out-sourcing, restore the world community's regard for us, and pacify the terrorists so they won't do Bad Things...

:), 'Rat
 

toontra

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Feb 6, 2003
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This has been evident for a long time. Polls have consistently shown that about 50% of US citizens think WMD have been found and a considerable number think Iraq was responsible for 9/11.

I guess what's new is that this survey indicates that most of these people are likely Bush voters. I guess that also makes sense - these are the people most likely to believe the intentionally misleading b.s. that comes out of the Whitehouse.

Doesn't make it any less depressing, though.
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
Same for the WMD: There's reasonable evidence to support the notion that Saddam had programs, and it's fact that he had used chemical WMD stuff.
Holy **** I can't believe we have to go through this again.

Saddam had chemical and biological weapon programmes like South Africa has nuclear weapons. It was a reversed, dead system with no cache and no immediate chance of revival.

Iraq and Iran used chemical weapons against each other in a particularly vicious war that took place from 1980-88.

It's 2003 when we invade.
 

blackfox

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Feb 18, 2003
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Desertrat said:
I find it hard to believe that, given the amount of commentary about Bush not being popular outside the US, his backers really believe that hs policies ARE popular.

Same for the WMD: There's reasonable evidence to support the notion that Saddam had programs, and it's fact that he had used chemical WMD stuff.

This sort of "study" is too much like the TV interviews after a tornado. 1. Find a mobile home park. 2. Find the fat woman with the muumuu and the pink hair curlers. 3. Ask her what she thinks about the whole deal.

What the heck. Kerry supporters seem to think he'll end out-sourcing, restore the world community's regard for us, and pacify the terrorists so they won't do Bad Things...

:), 'Rat
My parents are quite normal and intelligent people. My father started and ran two businesses and my mother raised four children pretty well. They are both college-educated. They volunteer in the community now that they are retired and genuinely appreciate America for allowing them the life they have. They are also Republican.

At their house when I visit, they always have FOX news on, and they believe that Clinton was a disgrace as a President and that Bush shows the proper leadership skills in dealing with a restless world. They hate Kerry.

Now, what would make two otherwise reasonable and intelligent people believe this, with substantial evidence to the contrary? Well, I specualate the following:

1. My parents are both in their mid-sixties and perhaps still believe that the News is impartial and truthful, at least to the degree it was several decades ago. In some ways they do not understand modern America any better than they understand how to program a VCR.

2. My parents have always been Republicans and they are straight-forward people. They enjoy tax-cuts and agree with much of traditional conservative ideology. They loved Reagan because he was so likeable, but didn't live here for his terms to feel any effects of his policies. I believe they like Bush for the same reason and do not feel the effects of his policies either, or blame them on the Democrats. As my parents came from working-class families, they have always had a certain distrust/dislike of Intellectual/Liberal types, although I cannot comment on the psychology there.

3. As Republicans, I feel they have no choice but to follow Bush, because the alternative would be Kerry. I beleive the desire to not vote Democratic trumps any legitimate criticism of Bush in their minds. See cognitive dissonance. For people like my parents who have had the same ideology/partisanship for decades, I beleive it is too difficult for them to realize that an individual under the banner of their Party might be a poor performer and deserves to be replaced by someone else of another Party. They will use any amount of rationalization to keep from admitting that the man they chose is doing a poor job and how that might threaten their ideological underpinnings.

This is all speculation, of two people I intimately know and by-and-large respect. They are not analgous to trailer park denizens with rollers, I beleive they are analgous to a much broader-spectrum of the American Public. I wrote this out in an attempt to explain the reasons why there is such a disconnect between reality and politics for many people and why I believe the validity of the study posted.
 

davecuse

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Feb 20, 2004
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I've gotten into a few political discussions lately with friends who plan to vote for Bush, mainly because I just wanted to know why the hell they would want to do that. I thought that the most interesting question that came out of the talk was, "if Bush wins, what do you envision the end game being in the whole mess we have gotten ourselves into in Iraq". The two who gave me responses both fully believe that we need to continue our efforts in the middle east and go into Iran.

I was pretty shocked by this view, as it's one I do not agree with at all, and these are pretty well educated guys. I don't know if they are living in a different world... but they certainly do have a different idea of how to go about things than I do.
 

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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well, for anyone who believes the best thing to do in the ME is for the US to take the countries out one by one, bush is their guy. wolfowitz is their guy, actually, but he's part of the bush administration.

those guys might get their wish. somehow i doubt, in the end, it's really what they want...
 

pseudobrit

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zimv20 said:
well, for anyone who believes the best thing to do in the ME is for the US to take the countries out one by one, bush is their guy. wolfowitz is their guy, actually, but he's part of the bush administration.

those guys might get their wish. somehow i doubt, in the end, it's really what they want...
I feel sick and tired of feeling like the only one who has a grasp on how awful war is, how stupid it is to attempt colonisation of the Middle East, how ugly the American Pride movement is, how easy it is for racist ideologies to slip into mainstream thought... ad naseum.

I'm so fed up that I'm willing to just sit back and say "**** 'em." If the American people want to be so ****ing stupid, arrogant and hateful as to cheerfully and boastfully go down the avenue of everything Christ taught against, let 'em live with the clouds they're seeding when it's a ********* raining down upon their pride.

We deserve who we elect. If Bush is what the American people want, let 'em have the *******.

I'll move to a country that doesn't think the Christian equivalent of the Taliban should rule them.
 

Ugg

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zimv20 said:
those guys might get their wish. somehow i doubt, in the end, it's really what they want...
It's what they want until they or their child/niece or nephew/neighbor comes back in a body bag.

The only hope is to get out as soon as possible and let the Iraqis choose their own future. Isn't that what freedom is all about?
 

IJ Reilly

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To those of us who lived through the Vietnam era, what's happening with public opinion today ain't nothing new. In fact it's depressingly familiar. In 1972 a majority of Americans still believed that Richard Nixon would bring us "peace with honor."
 

IJ Reilly

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solvs

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Desertrat said:
Same for the WMD: There's reasonable evidence to support the notion that Saddam had programs, and it's fact that he had used chemical WMD stuff.
It's a fact that the reason we went into this war was for ties to Al Qaida and WMDs. Neither of which is true. There were tenuous ties to Al Qaida at best, and there was more evidence saying there weren't WMDs than there was enough to wage a war. There are no WMDs. Bush, Cheney, etc. have all said it, yet they have not admitted to a single mistake or to the poor planning. There is no reason for this war. We should have been fighting the terrorists where they were, and that was not Iraq when we invaded. Saddam did not attack us, Bin Laden did, and yet he runs free. Even Rove admits we are creating more terrorists than we are killing.

I was watching a report earlier, and a women said she was voting for Bush because he stopped Saddam from attacking us again. :rolleyes: How do you argue with logic like that?

Kerry supporters seem to think he'll end out-sourcing, restore the world community's regard for us, and pacify the terrorists so they won't do Bad Things...
Some of us are realistic about our expectations about what Kerry can and can't do. That's the thing though, at least we can criticize him when he screws up. Like we did with Clinton. With Bush, it's all or nothing. I choose nothing.

Do you honestly think Bush is doing a good job?
 

Desertrat

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Jul 4, 2003
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With the Bushies and Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton on record after 9/11 about WMDs in Iraq, why wouldn't folks believe? Folks here seem to forget that one reason for all this shakeup in our intel services is the bad info that was given TPTB. I guess it's okay for KK& to misled by bad info, but not Bush?

I have a raised eyebrow about this study BECAUSE of the publicity about other countries not liking Bush's policies. I dunno. I know a fair number of people who are aware but don't give a hoot about the views of such as Germany and France. The G&F views are to be expected; we're messing in their profit-puddle of selling chemical and nuclear technology into the mideast.

'Rat
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
With the Bushies and Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton on record after 9/11 about WMDs in Iraq, why wouldn't folks believe? Folks here seem to forget that one reason for all this shakeup in our intel services is the bad info that was given TPTB. I guess it's okay for KK& to misled by bad info, but not Bush?
Again, I'll have to repeat the facts and logic expressed repeatedly here:

1) Bush & co. selectively gathered, prepared and screened the intel/info that they presented to Congress and the American people.

2) Others were misled by (Bush's) bad info, but Bush was the ultimately the one who insisted upon making the very monumental and unprecendented choice of invading a nation which had done absolutely nothing to us nor had the capabilities of doing us harm.

The G&F views are to be expected; we're messing in their profit-puddle of selling chemical and nuclear technology into the mideast.

'Rat
You really think the general population in any nation gives a **** or even knows about what its private companies do internationally? Did the American people care that Halliburton made deals with the Axis of Evil while the current Vice President of the United States was at the helm?

These sentiments are such piles of crap I don't even know why I'm wasting my time on them; they've been debunked repeatedly on these forums, but just won't die.
 

skunk

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Desertrat said:
With the Bushies and Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton on record after 9/11 about WMDs in Iraq, why wouldn't folks believe? Folks here seem to forget that one reason for all this shakeup in our intel services is the bad info that was given TPTB. I guess it's okay for KK& to misled by bad info, but not Bush?
The problem was not so much the "bad info", more the way the "bad info" was manipulated BEFORE it got to anyone outside the WH. I'm sure that among the info coming in were many unsubstantiated pieces of rubbish, vague rumors and hearsay: it's up to the backroom boys in the WH which pieces of info are given credence.

I have a raised eyebrow about this study BECAUSE of the publicity about other countries not liking Bush's policies. I dunno. I know a fair number of people who are aware but don't give a hoot about the views of such as Germany and France. The G&F views are to be expected; we're messing in their profit-puddle of selling chemical and nuclear technology into the mideast.
Germany and France - your "Axis of Evil" - do not constitute the bulk of opposition to this war: hadn't you noticed? Even in the loyal old UK, we're not exactly blissful. The major entry requirements for the "Iraq was a Good Idea" club seem to be
(a) to be American, preferably Republican,
(b) to be in total denial, and
(c) to be willfully and woefully misinformed.
 

Sayhey

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IJ Reilly said:
To those of us who lived through the Vietnam era, what's happening with public opinion today ain't nothing new. In fact it's depressingly familiar. In 1972 a majority of Americans still believed that Richard Nixon would bring us "peace with honor."
IJ, have you heard John Fogerty's new song Deja Vu (All Over Again)? All of this is maddening to those of us who struggled to stop these mistakes 30 plus years ago and see it being replayed before our eyes.
 

takao

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pseudobrit said:
You really think the general population in any nation gives a **** or even knows about what its private companies do internationally?
well after all the people in spain+ italy etc. never really were behind the US ...the politicians were ... i just to ask the italians i know personally from university...the words they are saying about berlusconi are far from 'nice'and the next election is pretty much decided

and those polls are made by normal phones as well so in reality the opposition is much stronger (yes even in poland)
some governments decided like their people wanted (this even includeds our %&/?§ of Chancellor) others didn't
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
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Yeah, I'm sure Richard Clarke works for the French. You'd think the guy who warned us about 9/11 in August while the President was on vacation would be the guy they listened to about the Iraq thing. Too bad they did the exact opposite. Oops. Well, I'm sure it was justified and will turn out ok... Oops again.
 

wwworry

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2002
235
0
Desertrat said:
With the Bushies and Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton on record after 9/11 about WMDs in Iraq, why wouldn't folks believe? Folks here seem to forget that one reason for all this shakeup in our intel services is the bad info that was given TPTB. I guess it's okay for KK& to misled by bad info, but not Bush?

I have a raised eyebrow about this study BECAUSE of the publicity about other countries not liking Bush's policies. I dunno. I know a fair number of people who are aware but don't give a hoot about the views of such as Germany and France. The G&F views are to be expected; we're messing in their profit-puddle of selling chemical and nuclear technology into the mideast.

'Rat
Only GWBush invaded Iraq. The other people were concerned about WMD, rightly so, but did not invade. You can not posit them all as equal. THere were other options besides invasion.

GWBush invaded Iraq. After the invasion 380 tons of high explosives were stolen because the US did not guard the site. They knew about the site but planning was so bad they did nothing. Now new terrorists created by this war have at their disposal 40 tractor trailers of this stuff. One pound can blow up a plane.

Who ivaded Iraq? Who should take some responsibility for their actions? Even if it was an "honest" mistake (which it was not) Bush should still step down.

Thousands dead.
many more thousands maimed
new terrorists created
high exposives released to those terrorists
oil at $55/barrel

bush apologists frantically look for some new reason to justify his mistakes. try to blame anyone else...

It's becoming more clear, by the way, that Clinton's policy of containment was working. Bush's plan of invasion just spawed more terrorists.
 

Sayhey

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May 22, 2003
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Desertrat said:
With the Bushies and Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton on record after 9/11 about WMDs in Iraq, why wouldn't folks believe? Folks here seem to forget that one reason for all this shakeup in our intel services is the bad info that was given TPTB. I guess it's okay for KK& to misled by bad info, but not Bush?
If Bush and the neocons were passive recipients of bad intelligence we could all agree that it was just one big giant failure on the part of the world's spooks. However, the Bushies took the information and actively distorted and highlighted the threat to move the nation to war. It is the hight of hypocrisy on the part of the Bush administration to blame their "mistake" on WMDs and ties to al Qaeda on the same intelligence agencies that, while they over-hyped some of their weapons estimates, cautioned against invasion. KK&C and many other politicians worldwide made the mistake of believing the overestimation of the threat posed by Saddam; only Bush & Blair and their friends lied in order to start a war. A war they had been planning and promoting for over a decade.
 

Steradian

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Dec 3, 2002
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Desertrat said:
I find it hard to believe that, given the amount of commentary about Bush not being popular outside the US, his backers really believe that hs policies ARE popular.

Same for the WMD: There's reasonable evidence to support the notion that Saddam had programs, and it's fact that he had used chemical WMD stuff.

This sort of "study" is too much like the TV interviews after a tornado. 1. Find a mobile home park. 2. Find the fat woman with the muumuu and the pink hair curlers. 3. Ask her what she thinks about the whole deal...


:), 'Rat
That womans vote is as good as mine, or yours, right? (not counting electorial college BS etc etc)