Oct 18, 2007

Ignorant, Stupid, or Deluded

In a certain context (Which Shall Not Be Named), we often hear that you can't expect to be taken seriously if you assert that a great majority of Americans are ignorant, stupid, or deluded. People seem to assume it just can't be true, and refuse to examine the evidence that it is. But that assumption is wrong, and here is proof, in a different context.

In the Oct 13 LA Times, Jonathan Chait reminded us that
A poll in late 2001 found that 76% of Americans preferred Bush over Gore as a war leader.

Now, is there any way to explain this other than to admit that, in late 2001, 76% of Americans were ignorant, stupid, or deluded?

Oh sure, they could have also been malevolent. But evil doesn't exist as a Platonic form, so malevolence itself requires some explanation, and a reasonably charitable and optimistic first approximation is that it is usually caused by one of that obnoxious trio - ignorance, stupidity, and delusion.

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