“Americans are often misinformed, occasionally downright dumb, and easily misled by juicy-sounding rumors,” Alternet writes. “But while the right wing is taking full advantage of this reality, the Left worries that calling out lies is ‘rude.'”
“We’ve gone far beyond Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” into a more “truth-be-damned” environment; what Rick Perlstein described in the Daily Beast as a “mendocracy. As in, rule by liars.”
The article, with links to the supporting documentation, is here.
Here are some examples, according to Alternet.
•Polling data during and after last week’s midterm elections suggested that many Americans genuinely believe President Obama has raised their taxes — even though the reality is that our president actually lowered them for most of us.
•Half of new Congressmen don’t believe in the reality of global warming.
•”The new Congress will probably try to restore millions of dollars of funding for scientifically inaccurate, largely disastrous abstinence-only curriculum in schools, many of which have been shown to spread lies like ‘condoms don’t work’ and ‘abortion causes cancer.'”
•Nearly one-fifth of Americans think Obama is a Muslim.
•One quarter of Americans “don’t believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution while less than 40 percent do.”
•”Earlier this year, nearly 40 percent of Americans still believed the Sarah Palin-supported lie about “death panels” being included in health care reform.
•”As of just a few years ago, about half of Americans still suspected a connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of Sept. 11, a lie that was reinforced by none opther than Dick Chaney.”
•”A majority of ‘young Americans’ cannot identify Iraq or Afghanistan — the places their peers are fighting and dying — on a map.”
•”Two out of five Americans, despite the whole separation of church and state being a foundation of our democracy thing, think teachers should be able to lead prayer in classrooms.”
•”Many Americans still believe in witchcraft, ESP and other supernatural phenomena. Does that explain why Christine O’Donnell was so quick to deny her ‘dabbling?'”
•Twenty percent of Americans still believed that the sun revolves around the earth. “That’s just sad, considering that even the Vatican has let Galileo off the hook for being right,” Alternet writes.
•”Only about half of Americans realize that Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions. Other examples of wild misunderstanding about religion and the separation of church and state can be found in this fall’s Pew survey on Americans’ religious knowledge.”
• “In 2006 more Americans were able to name two of the ‘seven dwarves’ than two of the Supreme Court justices. And that was before Kagan and Sotomayor showed up.”