Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Think that the most extreme views of President Obama are confined to tea partiers, militia members and hosts of right-wing talk radio and Fox News? Think again. Wingnut fever is a contagion among Republicans. Here are the findings of a recent Harris Poll:
Majorities of Republicans believe that President Obama:
Is a socialist (67%)
Wants to take away Americans' right to own guns (61%)
Is a Muslim (57%)
Wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government (51%); and
Has done many things that are unconstitutional (55%).
Also large numbers of Republicans also believe that President Obama:
Resents America's heritage (47%)
Does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do (40%)
Was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (45%)
Is the "domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitution speaks of" (45%)
Is a racist (42%)
Want to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers (41%)
Is doing many of the things that Hitler did (38%).
Even more remarkable perhaps, fully 24% of Republicans believe that "he may be the Anti-Christ" and 22% believe "he wants the terrorists to win."
The book "Wingnuts" by John Avlon examines these beliefs; regarding this poll, the author said, "These new numbers are shocking but not surprising – they detail the extent to which Wingnuts are hijacking our politics. This poll should be a wake-up call to all Americans about the real costs of using fear and hate to pump up hyper-partisanship. We are playing with dynamite by demonizing our president and dividing our country in the process. Americans need to remember the perspective that Wingnuts always forget – patriotism is more important than partisanship."