Reality Distortion Field 2004

Bush supporters are unable to fathom why anybody in their right mind would vote for Kerry. Kerry supporters are unable to fathom why anybody in their rightmind would vote for Bush. How can this be true?

A new study from the University of Maryland may help shed some light on this issue: The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters. It finds that the two groups have fundamentally different beliefs about the facts surrounding matters like the Iraq War and the United States’ international standing.

The major, perhaps unsurprising, finding of the report is that the two groups believe whatever is necessary in order to support their choice of candidate. For example, a majority of Bush supporters continue to believe that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and had WMDs, despite numerous high-level and widely-publicised reports refuting those beliefs. In fact, the report finds that Bush supporters have a greater tendency to believe what the administration continues to assert in the face of the facts; Kerry supporters tend to have their beliefs more closely aligned to reality.

More disturbingly, Bush supporters have mistaken ideas about Bush’s own stance on several issues. On several international issues (such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the treaty banning land mines, the Kyoto treaty, and the International Criminal Court), Bush supports believe Bush supports U.S. participation, when in fact he does not. Kerry supporters are more likely to have accurate beliefs regarding Kerry’s stances.

The danger here, of course, is that the election could well be decided by a group of voters with incorrect beliefs of not only the basic facts surrounding major issues but also their candidate’s own positions. They could very well elect a leader who disagrees with them on a variety of issues without even realizing it.

2 Responses

  1. Man, I remember in high school when this one guy ran for student council president with promises of everyone being able to “party hardy” and a reduction in homework, and did that ever happen? NO!

  2. Your high school STUCO candidates actually had platforms and made promises? That’s more than we ever had.

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