About Bush backers
Dear Editor:Last May I vowed to stop writing about the Bush administration’s policies because I felt the facts were speaking for themselves. But today I learned something so disturbing, so devastating in its implications, that it demands to be exposed.Apparently, the facts don’t speak for themselves. Most Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had WMD even after the Duelfer report to Congress concluded that it did not. They also erroneously believe that Iraq was providing support to al-Qaeda and incorrectly assume that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Most Bush supporters don’t recognize that the majority of people in the world oppose the U.S. having gone to war with Iraq.These are some of the findings of a new study of Bush and Kerry supporters, conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes. The results show that while a majority of Kerry supporters actually know the truth about this administration’s policies, a majority of Bush supporters think they know, but are in reality completely wrong!Steven Kull, director of PIPA explains, “To accept that [the president] took the U.S. to war based on mistaken assumptions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance, and leads Bush supporters to suppress awareness of unsettling information about prewar Iraq.”Kerry supporters are much more accurate than Bush supporters in their perceptions of the facts about the Iraq war as well as Bush’s international policies. A majority of Bush supporters incorrectly assume Bush favors U.S. participation in the Kyoto Treaty to prevent global warming, supports the treaty banning land mines and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. On all these issues that they think Bush supports, majorities of Bush supporters favor the policies that he actually opposes!According to Kull, the roots of the Bush supporters’ “resistance to information” lie in an idealized image of the president that makes it difficult for them to imagine that he could have made incorrect judgments before the war, or that the president could hold foreign policy positions that are at odds with their own beliefs.The disturbing conclusion is that the decision on who to vote for on Nov. 2 is going to be made on the basis of what we believe and what we think we know. Most Kerry supporters are well informed and therefore able to make an intelligent decision. The fact that most Bush supporters are self-deluded means that they are going to vote for a man whose policies are exactly opposite of what they think they are and opposite of what they want them to be!If you are a Bush supporter who thinks you know the truth, think again. Anyone who plans to vote for Bush because they believe they agree with his policies should review the findings at http://www.pipa.org. If you know someone who is determined to vote for Bush based on erroneous perceptions, please refer them to this study.Sue GrayCarbondale
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