There are a lot of rational, good people out there that believe in some pretty crazy things: Birthers, 9/11 truthers, flat-earthers, and those who believe Ozzie Guillen isn’t a good baseball manager. One of the weird things the press seems to be emphasizing lately is that 18% of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim. For the record, President Obama was born to a Muslim father but is undoubtedly a practicing Christian right now.
Marc Thiessen over at the Washington Post makes some good points regarding all this hub-ub over the widespread misinformation. Finding an issue where nearly a fifth of people are convinced of something concretely untrue isn’t that hard to come by. Another poll done by Pew showed some weird things:
It turns out that 36 percent of Democrats claim to have communed with the dead, and that 19 percent believe in casting a curse on someone using the “evil eye.” Think about that: According Pew, more Democrats believe in the “evil eye” than Americans believe Obama is a Muslim.
The incorrect belief of Obama’s Islamic-ness is wrong, of course. But people believe in all sorts of kooky things, so let’s try to put it into perspective. I mean, look at how many people don’t love free markets!