Funny story, but many Bush voters think he's actually a hawkish Democrat. According to a new PIPA survey, Bush's real popularity lies in the fact that Bush supporters don't know what he stands for. Supporters of Bush and Kerry were quizzed about their candidates' positions on 8 issues, and a majority of Bush supporters were wrong about his stand on 6 of them. Solid majorities of Kerry supporters were right about his stand on 7 of the 8 issues.
It seems like the public hasn't really gotten to know this George W. Bush character as well as they might, and certainly not as well as the press seems to think that they do. That works to his advantage. Supporters who incorrectly guessed Bush's positions often simply assumed that he agreed with them.
The issue that the largest number of Bush supporters mistook his stance on was the inclusion of labor and environmental standards in trade laws. Only 13% of his supporters correctly identified Bush as opposing them. Other issues on which these dear voters assumed Bush agreed with them included supporting the nuclear test ban and landmine treaties, working with the Kyoto protocol, participating in the International Criminal Court, and finally, a majority of Bush supporters believe he opposes building a missile defense system right now.
Regarding the rest of the world, Bush supporters were deeply confused regarding how Bush's policies are viewed elsewhere, and just as confused about world opinion regarding his winning a second term in office. 'The world', which is to say the 30 major countries surveyed, is opposed to both by whopping margins.
Therefore, I make this plea to the rest of the planet. (With the caveat that if the Justice Department should happen to be reading this, it's intended purely as satire,* and should in no way be viewed as an intended violation of the Comstock Act. Please don't put me on the no-fly list.)**:
As you can see, it isn't that the American people are as crazy as Bush, it's that many of them don't know how crazy he is.
We've tried to tell them, but you should take a look at the U.S. media. Ask anyone you know who's visited here, it's one of the first things they complain about if they end up staying very long at all. We have an uphill battle even getting the debates factchecked or discussed reasonably, and they were the three most significant televised political events of this election. A politician can't say the word lesbian around our media without causing their heads to nearly explode, unless it's the usual humdrum Republican gay-bashing which everyone is used to by now, let alone expect them to do their jobs while hearing such talk.
Additionally, after all this time, you can hardly expect us to riot in the streets just because some silly election got stolen. Probably not even if it happened twice in a row. Yes we like to talk about revolutionary spirit, but only as it pertains to other people, and you know we all end up using those Bowflex machines as clothesracks anyway. To paraphrase Bush on an issue with which (for once) a majority of Americans agree, it's just hard work paying attention to the machinery of politics and demanding accountability. We're supposed to have people to do that for us, and those people have been busy telling us that everything is just fine for years now.
To sum up: Don't buy our PR. We have marketing flacks, um... I mean news reporters that could run circles around the Soviet propagandists all day long without breaking a sweat. They're so good, they don't know they're even working at it, which is a true sign of natural talent.
So if it should come to that, please forgive us one of these days. A great many of us seem really, truly, to know not what we do.
*If anyone in the rest of the world is actually reading this, I am 100% serious. Just because we might end up with a leader doing his best to revive the spirit of the divine right of kings, please don't treat us like we treated the people of Cuba, Iraq, Nicaragua ... you know, I'm not helping us am I?
** That caveat was itself satirical, because of course the DOJ wouldn't concern itself with something so petty when we have serious issues to deal with in this country. I in no way intended to impugn the seriousness and propriety of John Ashcroft's Justice Department, to create any trouble that would be regarded as an impediment to securing our country, or to give aid and comfort to our enemies. Please don't hold me for years without charges or a lawyer, or exile me to Germany or England, where I'm told the bulk of my immigrant ancestors came from.Posted by natasha at October 22, 2004 01:37 AM | Elections | Technorati links |