The Washington Post reports that, following the release of the president’s “long-form” birth certificate last week, fully 70% of Americans are now convinced that Obama was born in Hawaii, up from just 48% a year ago.
Which raises the question, what of the other 30%? Are they insane? Delusional? Hopped up on fairy dust and pharmaceutical-grade unicorn powder?
Are they redeemable?
No, for they have always been with us.
Kung Fu Monkey addressed this exact question way back in 2005 during some of the darkest days of the Bush Administration with one of the greatest blog posts of all time, The Crazification Factor, which attempted to put a hard number on the percentage of the US population that is, for all intents and purposes, insane. And their number came awfully close to the 30% of Americans who remain unconvinced that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.
The key passage:
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —
John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?
Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.
John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?
Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?
John: … a bit low, actually.