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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Willful ignorance or stupidity?

A lot of polls (as mentioned in this Boston Globe article) show that Bush supporters and facts just do not mix. A large majority of Bush voters believe that Iraq had WMDs, that Saddam helped al-Qaeda, there were Iraqis among the 9/11, or that Saddam provided help on 9/11. Of course, many, many investigations have shown that not one of these allegations are true, and yet upwards of 70% of Republicans still believe these things.

What does this mean? First, I think this is an indictment of conservative news outlets such as Fox News. For such a large number of people to be so ignorant of reality means that these news outlets, which Republicans seem to love, simply aren't peddling facts. Furthermore, a democracy requires an educated populace. Without one, it simply is not a democracy. How can voters make informed choices when they aren't informed?

By and large, Kerry voters know Kerry's stands and what is going on in the world. Bush voters do not (a majority of Bush supporters believe that Bush supports the Kyoto Protocol and the Land Mine treaty, even though he does not). A large number of people would rather not seek out the truth, it appears, and our country suffers because of it.

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