Pollsters find that Bush supporters are reality immune.

In a study released last Thursday researchers with the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes found that supporters of President Bush “suppress awareness of unsettling information” so they can continue to feel justified in their support for President Bush.

The study found that Bush supporters “continue to believe that Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction (47 percent) or a major program to develop them (25 percent)” despite the release of official findings to the contrary. In addition a whopping 75 percent still believe that “Saddam Hussein provided substantial support to al-Qaeda or was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks” with 56 percent of them claiming that “the Sept. 11 Commission found such ties.”

Steven Kull, program director, said that Bush supporters’ “resistance to information” on several fronts reflected a powerful bond with the president formed after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the perception – shared by Kerry supporters – that Bush still asserts that Iraq had WMD.

In recent months, Bush has said he was “disappointed” that such weapons were not found, that the search continued and that it was important to “disarm” Hussein.

There may be another reason, Kull said. Asked whether U.S. forces should have invaded Iraq if U.S. intelligence had concluded that Iraq was not making WMD or providing support to al-Qaeda, 58 percent of Bush supporters said no.

“To support the president and to accept that he took the United States to war based on mistaken assumptions is difficult to bear, especially in light of the continuing costs in terms of lives and money,” Kull said.

“Apparently, to avoid this cognitive dissonance, Bush supporters suppress awareness of unsettling information.”

In other words, almost half of Bush supporters would rather lie to themselves than admit that President Bush is anything less than the messiah returned to save us all. They’re so enraptured with him that they can ignore anything that would suggest he’s anything less than the greatest President of all time and will swallow whatever bullshit he tosses their way as the gospel truth. Wait, it gets better:

The survey also found that Bush supporters have “numerous misperceptions” about the president’s positions. Majorities incorrectly believe that Bush backs the Kyoto global-warming treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the International Criminal Court, and the treaty banning land mines.

A majority of Bush backers (57 percent) also believe most people in the world favor Bush’s re-election, contrary to the findings of several polls.

Kerry supporters have a more accurate perception of their candidate’s positions, and the gulf between Kerry and Bush supporters is large, the survey found.

Or, in other words, people who support Kerry aren’t immune to reality the way most Bush supporters are. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s always disheartening to have my cynicisms about my fellow Americans confirmed.

Link found via Boing Boing.

29 thoughts on “Pollsters find that Bush supporters are reality immune.

  1. You know, I really wonder whether Bush would have half the support he has if he weren’t so overtly religious.  Maybe that’s the linchpin that keeps it all together.  I mean, he’s not a statesman; he doesn’t have any overarching vision that people could get behind; and he’s made mistake after mistake.  I suspect that many people are thinking to themselves, “Well, at least he’ll keep promoting our Christian values, so we’d better stick by him.”

  2. You’re correct about it not being a surprise. Bush supporters are simply using the same brain-bypassing skills that allow them to be good god-fearing christians.

    The majority of them are blissfully unaware that they’re even doing it.


  3. Thanks Les. I heard about this survey but didn’t know where to find a write up.

    “If you’re ignorant of the issues don’t vote” was the title of Mona Charen’s column in today’s paper. I feel momentum building for a letter to the editor.

  4. While Les was writing his timely and astute piece I was reading an entry on another blog and was considering an entry here highlighting it. Since Les covered the description of the phenomenon, I think it would be interesting to pass on the excellenttonypierce.com + busblog October 24th entry:

    matt welch wants us to give an endorsement to a presidential candidate, but first i want to give credit to the republican party

    who waved their hand in front of the face of america and said

    you will forget about that prison in iraq

    you will even forget the reasons we told you why we should go there.

    you dont care about bush’s missing military records, you dont care that he was hiding out to avoid failing a drug test, you dont care that he was the slipperly little cunt thirty years ago that he is today

    you dont care about the deficit, or that your kids – your little angels that you protect from janet jacksons nipple – will have to try to pay it off.

    you dont care that the price of gasoline for a normal car has gone up $10 a tankful, not just 40 cents a gallon, as saying gasoline rose 40 cents a gallon is like saying the price of m&ms went up a penny an m.

    you will just sit there and pretend that, seriously, bush can bring democracy and freedom to iraq, but has absolutely no influence on gasoline prices, and its just a really unlucky coincidence that gasoline prices jumped when he got in office and stayed up there and have only risen over the last few months of his term.

    you dont care that we’re short two world trade centers, several thousand innocent americans, and the nerve to look saudi arabia directly in the eye and say hand over bin laden or else.

    you dont care that there are fewer jobs today than four years ago

    you dont care that they found no weapons of mass destruction, that iraq hadnt been making any for over a decade, or that waging war for no good reason is slightly worse than getting blown in the oval office

    you dont care that the president is a retard, and a pussy, and a dumbass, and a bumblefuck

    you dont care that the vice president knows less about the internet than he does about when he met john edwards, and not only do you not care that he tried to pull a constitutional cockblock on the most important lesbian in his life – his daughter – but you will be more outraged if kerry or edwards mentions the fact that she likes the ladies

    you dont care that the president didnt want the 9/11 commision, you dont care that he tried to get kissinger to head it, you dont care that the president didnt want to testify under oath, or testify alone. you dont care that he tried to stop condi rice from testifying. you dont care that he was successful in keeping private his testimony, and you wont consider him a slippery little prick who obviously has something to hide.

    you dont care that he read that goat book after learning that the nation was under attack, you dont care that by sitting in that classroom he was putting those kids at risk as a plane could have been headed at whereever the president was, you dont care that many will wish him re-elected because hes so fucking “strong” even though we all see what hes like under pressure and its so sad you almost want to feel sorry for him until you remember that he couldnt give a flying fuck about your lame ass because you dont belong to upper one percent and at this rate you never will

    the fact that this race is even close is a testament to the republican party who took the pathetic mound of shit that they were handed and convinced everyone that it was gourmet free-range fertilizer absolutely necessary for a prosperous future.

    theyve made scaring the public trendy and being a pussy ass bitch cool.

    therefore im voting for nader, who hasnt flip flopped, has stayed the course, and no matter what you think couldnt do worse than the fucktard we’ve been patient with for the last four years.

    Except for the Nader part, I only wish I could have said it better myself. I can’t help but wonder what our newest commenter and prayer broker, Rick Brady, would have to say about this piece. He LOVES him some Bush.

  5. I think I just figured it out……

    Darth Vader Karl Rove recieved a doctorate in Jedi mind tricks before going to the dark side of the Force….

    “……these are not the two droids you are looking for…..”

  6. Nice trick if you can learn it eh, Queen?

    If I thought the Twilight Zone really existed, I would guess we are living within it.

  7. Brock:  Kudos to you for putting line breaks in the damned thing.  You made the ghost of a 7-year-old e. e. cummings proud.  Oy.  smile

  8. First of all, in addition to Les I am a huge Brock fan.

    Even though I am deeply disturbed by the seemingly mindless Bush support, I understand it to some degree. I found myself after 9/11 behind Bush and supported our collective righteous rage at the fanatical Islamic madmen that attacked our country and murdered innocents that were just going to work that day in New York. However, I quickly got past that mindset when I started reading and Bush Inc. started to get outrageous in its words and actions.

    I actually started to watch Scarborough Country until my wife told me that she didn’t like the sound of it. Anyway, I got past the whole Bush is okay because he is tough on terror, warrior president thing. Unfortunately many have not gotten past that point and the study referenced in this post confirms what I have experienced personally in my own family. I have a very intelligent libertarian leaning brother-in-law who I really like and respect. He is stuck in the mindset I rather quickly left behind me. My theory on the reason: right-wing radio, he listens to it all day long because he sees it as interesting and it relieves the tedium of working from home. So bascially he has been brainwashed. To hear him spout right-wing propaganda as if it newly revealed ‘truth’ has frankly scared the shit out of me on several occasions and we have agreed that political discussions are off limits.

  9. Wow, thanks Eggman. I don’t know what I did right but it feels really good to know I have a fan. *grin* goo goo ga joob goo goo ga joob!

    I think this blog has many good writers and thinkers and I’m constantly beating down the fear of being processed cheese in a buffet of Camembert. If I could “speak” about the issues I confront the way some do, I would be content. But at least I never stop learning and thinking by coming here.

    Don’t feel bad though, Eggman. I supported the Iraq war originally, though it was a brief position for me as well.

    On a separate note; is it true no airplane wreckage was photographed (seen) at the Pentagon 9/11 site and if so, how could there be none?

  10. Brock, as flattered as I am that you think this is a buffet of Camembert, I have to admit that I’ve often thought most of what I write is cheez-wiz where your processed cheese would often be a step up. grin

  11. The only thing I could think about after reading this is how some of the conspiracy theory are going to proclaim that mind control rays are being used lol.

    On a side note, if Karl is Darth Vader, does that make Bush Darth Avoider? Dick could be Darth F’You.

  12. On a separate note; is it true no airplane wreckage was photographed (seen) at the Pentagon 9/11 site and if so, how could there be none?

    Brock, I have heard this one too. I could very well be wrong on this, but I lived in the DC area at the time. I recall the news reports of the time saying that an Arlington County Fire Company diverted to the Pentagon after seeing the plane go in(?) or after seeing the explosion(?). We do know that American 77 was hijacked, and that air controllers at Dulles and Reagan National reported an unknown aircraft headed toward the DC area. (9/11 Commission Report, p9.) If AA77 didn’t crash into the Pentagon, where did it go?

  13. “no airplane wreckage”

    People’s expectations of plane crashes are conditioned by automobile crashes and the wreckage of Pan Am flight 103 which fell from the sky at a much lower speed because it was not under power at the time of the crash.

    This has given rise to a lot of grassy-knoll talk but when a plane crashes at high speed and under full power, it pretty much disintegrates.  Some people thought the WTC planes must have been full of explosives but if you watch the videos, the ball of flame expands at a pretty measured rate.  It wasn’t an invisible shockwave like high explosives create.

    When that Value-Jet crashed at speed into the Everglades, there was no visible plane, no visible bodies.  Everything just broke apart.

    I once saw an ultra-high-speed video of a jet fighter crashing into a concrete barrier, and while the wall was unmoved the fighter just seemed to disappear into it.

    I’m sure they found some very sturdy/strong parts but no visible part of the whole structure would remain.

  14. Here are some eyewitness/earwitness accounts to go along with DOF’s physics lesson. I found these two AP stories in the archives at Fierhouse.com.

    The first story was filed at 2:56 PM.

    “I saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big noise when it hit the building,” said Oscar Martinez, who witnessed the attack.

    Authorities have not described the plane that hit the Pentagon, although eyewitnesses said it was clearly a big commercial jet.
    . . .
    The Pentagon was hit a short while after the World Trade Center was struck. a plane, described by witnesses as a jetliner, made impact in the portion of the building on side opposite from where Rumsfeld’s office are located.

    Paul Begala, a Democratic consultant, said he witnessed an explosion near the Pentagon, saying it sent a huge, orange fireball skyward.

    AP reporter Dave Winslow also saw the crash. He said, “I saw the tail of a large airliner. … It plowed right into the Pentagon.’‘

    The second at 8:52 pm.

    On a house porch a little more than a mile away, Ralph Banton, 79, was enjoying a crystal-clear morning.

    Then Banton heard a jet flying directly overhead, very low.

    “It sounded like it was jetting instead of slowing down,” he said.
    . . .
    Outside, Alan Wallace, one of three firefighters to be regularly assigned to the Pentagon, saw the airplane approaching and dived beneath a van for protection. Then he began working to help get people from the building.

    His fire truck was on fire.

  15. I’m so glad I never buy into any of these conspiracy theories. I’m like am immovable object that way: you just can’t fool me. The only time you’ll catch me with egg on my face is when I’m getting an egg and milk facial.

    Still, have you heard the one about the Bush administration’s plans to annex Russia sometime after his re-election? When it happens, just remember I told you about it first.

  16. You say Bush supporters are blissfully unaware of what is going on.  Well, I am one of them and I say the Dems are blissfully unaware.  Look at all the Dems who go by the name of Feminist (you know, the man hating organization).  They believe in a Patriarchy.  The Patriarchy does not exist.  The world was made for women.  Women have all the priviledges, like not getting drafted in most countries, like not taking the dangerous jobs, like not having to support househusbands.  The dems also show they do not live in reality by creating words like Homophobe, which is just dishonest speech since hardly anybody has an irrational fear of homosexuals. They just do not accept it, like many do not accept sex with children.  I could go on, but I have proven my point.  It is the dems who are not living in the real world.

  17. John Smith: The world was made for women.

    Yeah, that’s why women generally receive less pay than men for the same jobs. That’s why women are almost always the victims of sexual violence. That’s why it wasn’t until the 1920s that women in this country received the vote. That’s why it wasn’t until 1984 that women in Liechtenstein and South Africa were granted suffrage. That’s why women in fundamentalist Islamic cultures wear burkas. That’s why girls as young as fourteen are forced into polygamous marraige in fundamentalist Mormon circles. That’s why it wasn’t until the 1960s that women in this culture began to occupy what even resembled an equal social pedestal with men. I could go on…

    I could go on, but I have proven my point.  It is the dems who are not living in the real world.

    You’ve proven that you are bigoted and ignorant by implicitly equating homosexuality with pedophilia. You’ve proven nothing about the “Dems,” however (to whom you apply a uniform worldview). Try again, John.

  18. Sadie, as you’re only a woman, who obviously has it in for all hetro men, you can not possibly understand what Mr Smith is talking about.  This is men’s talk, and far too important for a silly little poppet like you.  Why don’t you do go and think about fluffy little kittens, while those nice republicans get Halliburton to make the world a better place.  A majority of Rep voters think Saddam had WMDs and ordered the planes flown into the pentagon, therefore it must be true.

  19. LH: Sadie, as you’re only a woman, who obviously has it in for all hetro men…

    I especially have it in for our buddy John, the most hetero of them all!  LOL

    Seriously, though, you ought to consider becoming an official SEB member, Hussar. It will increase your life span, improve your short-term memory, and allow you to display a nice photo of yourself. Well, that last one is true, anyway.

  20. They just do not accept it, like many do not accept sex with children. 

    There’s only one reasonable reply to such a comparison, John.

    Go fuck yourself.

  21. KPG: There’s only one reasonable reply to such a comparison, John. Go fuck yourself.

    I read that in the left column and thought – you know, in that nano-second – what the fuck did I do to you, you bastard?
    So here am, MATE, and you were talking about another John. LOL LOL LOL
    Coz, you know, sometimes I write stuff when I’ve had a couple and I cringe when I see it in the morning.
    But back to JOHN SMITH, I go along with anything S-Sadie said.
    JS sounds like a bit of a idiotic drongo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drongo to me. I love tautology.

  22. Go fuck yourself.

    I once read an interview with a pornographer who claimed that he could sodomize himself, and did so regularly, for fun.  Isn’t it a wonderful world, Mr. Smith?

    What Lucky, Sexy, Hussy, and Glovey said.

  23. you ought to consider becoming an official SEB member, Hussar

    Unfortunately I’m on AOL which according to Les hates his guts, and intends to sell him into white slavery.  That’s not actually what he said when he answered my query as to why the sign up proceedure wouldn’t work- he blathered something about incompatibility problems and techie stuff.  However you athiest people haters are all the same, and this conspiracy theory is what he actually meant.

    nice photo of yourself

    You can have a photo of me, or you can have a nice photo- you can’t have both!  My wedding photos have just come back and I have no illusions how I look.

    Why do Fundies like their brides to where white?

    Kitchin appliances always come in white…

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