Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Year + Fun with Polls

Happy New Year! You're obviously reading this, so you survived another New Years Eve. I was watching one of those year-in-review shows the other day on CNN or the Playboy Channel or something, and it's amazing everything that happened in the last year. Given the events of the past year, and the election in particular, it's not suprising that nearly twice as many Americans are fearful (12% for 2004 vs. 30% for 2005) about what the upcoming year holds for them. It also shows that the paranoia machine in the White House is working marvelously. The problem is that people are scared of things they can't do a damned thing about like: terrorism, tsunamis, and clowns.

Now that the Presidential Election has given us another reason to drink and do drugs, The Polling Report continues to provide a variety of interesting and troubling information about the state of public opinion as we start 2005.

Top 5 Reasons for Hope in the American People:
5) Even after he died on the day I got married, only 31-36% of Americans surveyed would support putting Ronald Reagan on US Currency. Last year, only 16% want to replace Franklin Roosevelt on the dime with Reagan. Source
4) Despite the increasing Evangelical leanings of our society, 61% of Americans polled would have pulled the plug on Terri Schiavo last year, given her medical condition. Source
3) Abortion may be very controversial, but 56% of Americans still think abortion should be legal under some circumstances and 50% believe that Roe v. Wade should be upheld. Source
2) Just about as many people think education and health care are as important as terrorism, in terms of what issues our President and Congress need to address in the next year. (86-87% for all three issues) Source .
1)You won't read about it in the mainstream media, but two recent polls showed President Bush's approval rating dipping below 50%. Source Despite the outcome of the Election, it's still good to know that more people question the ability of our President than think he's doing a good job.

And then we have the Top 5 reasons to flee to Canada (aside from the fact that you can get a flu shot):
5) 62% of Americans support the death penalty, even though substantial evidence exists to show that we're not doing it justly. Source
4) A majority of Americans polled are opposed to civil unions for homosexual couples. That is so unbelievably QUEER! Source. One of these days, we'll figure out what equal rights really means.
3) A reason for #4? A whopping 55% of Americans in-general (not just Christians) believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Have these fools read the whole thing? Source. Strangely, 35% of non-Christians also believe Jesus was the son of God.
2) Along similar lines and in spite of a wealth of scientific evidence, 55% of Americans polled believe in Creationism alone, without any scientific explanation. Source. Why haven't we figured out that Religious beliefs are not a substitute for good scientific education? When will we understand that scientific theory and religion are not opposing forces? Obviously, not right now.
1) If you scroll down this page far enough, you will see the results of a Gallup Poll conducted in May 2003. It ranks different acts as being more or less morally acceptable. For example, the survey found that while 66% of people think divorce is morally acceptable, only 14% of those polled feel suicide is morally acceptable. I hate people who place judgement on other people's actions probably more than anything else. Some highlights of this survey:
- 41% think sexual intercourse between unmarried people is not morally acceptable.
-About the same percentage of people think doctor-assisted suicide and homosexuality are morally acceptable.
-Twice as many people think suicide (14%) is morally acceptable than those who think polygamy (7%) is morally acceptable.
-People find polygamy and infidelity to one's spouse almost equally morally repugnant (only about 8% think either is morally acceptable).

I have an idea, let's all make a New Years resolution to not be so damned judgemental. I can hear my critics out there saying: "This website is one giant pool of judgement about other people." That's very true. The difference is that I don't hold other people to any moral standard that I am unable to meet. When I bash Bush for invading Iraq, being a homicidal maniac while Gov. of Texas, running up the deficit, ruining our education and health care systems, among other atrocities, I'm just asking him to live up to his own moral standards, and not be such a hypocrite.

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