Larry Jordan

Everyone is related, and everything is connected.

How Many People Believe...?

Aug 04, 2022 by Larry Jordan, in Politics
The other day, an elected official told me that 30% of the electorate will vote for a dead guy. Later, a medical doctor told me that 30% of medical professionals will not get a vaccine. Today, the pollsters are reporting that 30% of Americans still support Donald Trump.

If I google "how many people believe..." about 30% support even the most unpopular claims:
"...the earth is flat?" About 30%
"...the Holocaust never happened? About 30%
"...the 9/11 attack was an inside job?" About 30%

Hmm, how could someone vote for a dead guy?
Maybe they didn't know.
Maybe they pulled a name out of a hat.
Maybe they voted against the live guy.
Maybe they voted straight party.
Maybe they were joking or protesting.
I could go on, but you get the idea.

Look, I have some extreme beliefs myself:
"...there is no Hell?" About 30%
"...God/Source/Universe is an impersonal spiritual force or power?" About 30%
I could go on, but you get the idea.

(I would like to think that I have a more open mind or that I looked harder at the question, but that's what everyone thinks.)

There are really two points to the post. One is that even when we are looking at facts, not beliefs, such as whether the earth is flat or whether the Holocaust happened, the 30% threshold is fairly immovable. The other is that when we are looking at beliefs, not facts, like whether Trump was a good President or whether there is a Hell, if we are among the 30% with extreme views, we are in "flat-earther" or "Holocaust-denier" territory.

We can hold extreme beliefs, as long as we recognize that they are extreme and as long as we have a little humility -- we may be wrong, and lots of smart people disagree with us. I know that the conventional wisdom is not always right (and that the extreme view is often right) but when I find myself in "flat earth" territory, maybe I need to have some humility and to try to understand why so many smart people disagree with me.