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JeffSingleton - Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 3:31 P
Exciting New Poll
Ever wonder why the results of public opinion polls look so, well, stupid? The conventional wisdom is that the polls themselves are somehow inaccurate as in "I don't believe in polls." But could it be that the American people, or a sizable minority of them, are stupid?

Here we have a new poll where a plurality of Americans disapprove of Obama's policy in the Ukraine. Yet a majority support sanctions against Russia... which of course is Obama's policy in the Ukraine.


Now there are of course other possible explanations for this seeming contradiction. The CBS poll seems to have asked those being polled if they approved of Obama's "handling of the Ukraine." Maybe there are many extremely subtle and perceptive Americans who approve his basic policy (sanctions) but don't like his "handling" of the former Soviet Republic. Perhaps these people, having read too many books about the Crimean War, are thinking too hard.


A better explanation might be found in the theory of the liberal, nerdy elitist Michael Kinsley. Kinsley argued in an article entitled "The Intellectual Free Lunch" that Americans feel they have the constitutional right to express opinions about things they know virtually nothing about. They pay their ticket in the form of taxes so they get to have an opinion He has given the example of foreign aid, which Americans overwhelmingly oppose as too expensive. But when asked how much aid would be reasonable they tend to give estimates double or more of what we actually spend.


I am not trying to make fun of "the American people." Just trying to understand these strange polls.
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