The NY Daily News is titled "Blame US for 911 Idiots in Majority". The story by Andy Soltis, reports Scripps-Howard/Ohio University poll results showing that "nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them".
Some will shake their head in sad resignation, others in vigorous agreement with those particular figures. However, what is really interesting to those who fret about the U.S. becoming "Jerry Springer Nation" was at the end of the story.
In the latest Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll, 811 US adults were interviewed Sept. 24 to Oct. 10. Among the findings:And some finding from the same poll in 2006.
* 42 percent believe the federal government knew in advance of the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy, compared with 40 percent who call that theory "not likely."
* 37 percent believe UFOs are real and that the feds have been hiding the truth about them.
The 2006 poll found 36 percent believed the government was also hiding proof that intelligent life exists on other planets.
* Eight out of 10 Americans suspect oil companies are conspiring to keep fuel prices high and 50 percent said a conspiracy is "very likely." Only 14 percent felt it was unlikely.
In that (2006) poll, 16 percent said the Twin Towers might have collapsed because of secretly planted explosives - not hijacked passenger jets flown into them.
And what hit the Pentagon? Twelve percent figured it was a US cruise missile.
Anger at the federal government and skepticism in general by younger Americans is fueling the popularity of crackpot conspiracy theories.
Only 12 percent of Americans expressed anger at the government following the 2001 terrorist attack, but that grew steadily and reached 54 percent last year.
Most young adults give some credence to a conspiracy theory, while seniors are the least likely to believe in one, pollsters found.
Is the whole country populated by kooks?
These poll results might be used to illustrate almost any point one is trying to make: that U.S. education is failing miserably to teach students critical thinking skills; that video games are the ruination of the Republic; that lunacy loves company; that the system works; or, that the "truth" is getting out.
Soltis' point is a good one: anger and mistrust at the federal government has clouded the judgment of many Americans participating in polls.
Once, only Democrats had to worry about feeling the wrath of that mistrust.
Now Republicans, once the party of limited government and lassez faire are known for 'compassionate conservatism', and other fuzzy re-labeling of federal government expansion.
The frenzy of Republican-controlled Congressional earmarks further alienated conservative voters.
Any presidential candidate need only look at these poll results to see, come next November, which side to be on.
& Little Baby Ginn
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.