The Knox Report
From the Firearms Coalition
Ignorance is Bliss — Until the Pain Begins
By Jeff Knox
(November 20, 2008) The reality of the November 4 elections is beginning to settle in and the more people learn about the choices they’ve made, the more concerned they become. It turns out that the McCain campaign’s “Celebrity” commercial was spot-on; Barack Obama was famous for being famous and the masses failed to look behind the curtain or into the promises. What Alan Korwin calls the “lame-stream media” was complicit in the charade as they fawned over Obama and the Democrats while trashing McCain, Palin, the Republicans in Congress, and George W. Bush. The two major parties were also complicit as they have locked up the election process and locked out many highly qualified and worthwhile candidates and ideas. But in the end, it all comes down to the American people and how much attention and consideration they are giving to the health of The Republic.
The simple fact is that the vast majority of citizens pay absolutely no attention to matters of politics and a good percentage of the rest pay only superficial attention. Gunowners turn out for elections at about the same rate as non-gunowners and often have little or no idea about the candidates’ positions on firearms issues. While millions of serious “gun-people” buy Shotgun News and other gun publications almost religiously, many of them never even look at the “political columns” like this one and choose to remain oblivious to the erosion of their rights and the threats certain political philosophies represent.
A documentary filmmaker, exploring the impact of media coverage of the campaigns, took his cameras to a polling place to get a feel for just what Obama voters had learned from the media leading up to the elections. His findings were disturbing. He then commissioned the Zogby polling organization to conduct a poll of Obama voters to determine whether the sample of voters interviewed were representative of the broader, Obama voter universe. The results of this national, scientific poll were nothing short of staggering.
Participants in the interview and the poll were asked 12 simple questions about issues in the campaigns. I haven’t seen the actual poll questions, but here are 9 questions that I know were in the poll; see how many you know:
1. Which political Party currently (at the time of the election) controls the Congress?
2. Which candidate dropped out of a previous bid for President because they were caught plagiarizing?
3. Which candidate has a pregnant teenage daughter?
4. Which candidate stated that their own policy would bankrupt the coal industry and drive up energy rates?
5. Which candidate was supplied with $150,000 worth of clothes from campaign funds?
6. Which candidate couldn’t remember how many homes they owned?
7. Which candidate won their first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot?
8. Which candidate said; “You can see Russia from my house?”
9. Which candidate claimed to have campaigned in 57 states?
Other questions in the interviews asked participants to identify individual people in the news including Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, and Bill Ayers.
Though 97% of respondents were high school graduates and over half graduated from college, only 2.4% got at least 11 questions correct and only .5% correctly answered all 12. (That includes the freebie question about seeing Russia. It was actually Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin who made that claim so, “None of the above” was the right answer, but participants were given credit if they said Palin.) Most knew the answers to negative questions about McCain and Palin, but were completely oblivious to negative issues regarding Obama and Biden. More than half couldn’t identify which party currently controls Congress.
Whether this truly is evidence of the effects of media bias or simply that Obama voters were not paying attention to anything beyond what would help their candidate to be elected, it’s disconcerting either way.
Demonstrating what I consider to be a related phenomenon; the pro-rights site “Sportsmen for Obama? ” noticed that thousands of visitors stopped by looking for information about Obama’s position on guns and gun control – on the day after the election! The traffic pattern leading up to the election was pretty predictable with increased traffic as the election grew closer. The number hovered between 700 and 1,000 until November 3 when it went up to 1,370. Then on November 4, Election Day, it peaked at 1,901. We can give those people the benefit of the doubt and assume they were investigating before they voted, but then on November 5, there were 2,415 visitors – almost a 50% increase over the previous day’s high. This indicates to me that there were a lot of people trying to figure out what they were in for after it was too late to do anything about it.
Unfortunately, the only thing that is likely to cure the apathy is pain and that can only come from our opponents. Let’s hope that it comes in a form that will jolt our fellows out of their slumber and into the fight before it’s too late.
Answers to the survey questions: 1. Democrats 2. Biden 3. Palin 4. Obama 5. Palin 6. McCain 7. Obama 8. Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live impersonating Palin who actually commented that you can see Russia from places in Alaska. 9. Obama
Other questions mentioned in the interviews and web site: Bill Ayers was a domestic terrorist who, along with his wife Bernadine Dorhn directed and participated in the bombing of police stations, the homes of judges, and the Pentagon.
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the Speaker of the House, the Highest ranking member of the House of Representatives.
Harry Reid (D-NV) is the Senate Majority Leader.
Barny Frank (D-MA) is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee – the folks who could have avoided the mortgage melt-down.
There was also a question about wo stated that the next President was going to face a serious international crisis within the first 6 months in office; that was Joe Biden – let's hope he was wrong.
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©Copyright 2008 Neal Knox Associates