Kos has conducted a poll of self-identified Republicans, and it has confirmed his theory that most of them are insane. I think they're pretty nuts myself, but I have some problems with his methodology all the same. For example:
Do you believe your state should secede from the United States?Kos claims that this means "42 percent of Republicans aren't really patriotic...these traitors don't believe in democracy, in our nation's founding ideals, or in our flag." Perhaps this is a joke. If not, it seems like a bit of a stretch, especially since we don't know how many people answered "not sure" simply because they don't know what "secede" means. As someone who used to work in the business, I can say that drawing grandiose conclusions from noncommittal or uncomprehending answers is usually a bad idea.
Not Sure 19
Also, I suspect you could find left-leaning respondents, especially in California and the PNW, who wouldn't be entirely averse to secession, so I'm not convinced this is strictly a right-wing phenomenon.
Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world?This question is badly conceived and written. Some people might answer "yes" simply because this is a basic point of cultural literacy. Since there's no follow-up question about whether evolution should be taught, I guess we're supposed to jump to the conclusion that learning what Genesis says is tantamount to rejecting science, or smashing the barrier between church and state, or whatever. Honestly, this isn't much better than the loaded poll questions Lou Dobbs used to post. I'd rather not see people on "my" side embracing these tactics.
Not Sure 8
Are marrigiages equal partnerships, or are men the leaders of their households?Interestingly, the option of female leadership is left out: either men are leaders, or men and women are equals. I'm hoping this is simply a matter of assuming a priori that all Republicans everywhere are much too regressive to consider women "leaders." Otherwise, it could be taken as evidence that the Left occasionally has its own blind spots when it comes to taking women seriously.
Not Sure 11
This stuff irritates me. I've been known to call people names and caricature them and heap scorn on their heads. But I don't approve of using dubious statistics to give this abuse a pseudoscientific veneer. Outside of encouraging the sort of dehumanization that Kos objects to elsewhere, I really don't know what purpose this survey is supposed to serve.
And just for the record, I'm less worried about what Republicans believe than I am about the unexamined assumptions the right and left tend to share. The problem, as I see it, is that Americans agree on far too much.
But that's a rant for another day.
(Image via Media Matters.)