Who Is the Bigger Fool? The Fool Or the Pollster Who Polls Him?

This sort of thing makes me doubt the utility of polling on relatively obscure issues:

Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the nation’s founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation and 55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation, according to the “State of the First Amendment 2007” national survey released today by the First Amendment Center.

I bet that if you asked, 60 percent plus of respondents would say that the right to trial and appeal should be dispensed with if a prosecutor certifies that there is “overwhelming evidence” against a criminal defendant, and the judge approves.

Most people just don’t go around thinking about this stuff.  If they were presented with the counterargument, a large number of them would presumably change sides.  In fact, this headline is too harsh— I don’t think that people are fools for not doing so.  I think that pollsters might be fools for polling people about somewhat obscure stuff.

Not that this is good news, I just don’t think it’s hideous, horrifying news.


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