Obama As Antichrist & Other Modern Myths
Fond as I am of The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby and other such devil movies, I can’t claim any great expertise on the question of who may—or may not—be a likely antichrist. On the whole, I don’t think that Obama is a terribly plausible suspect.
But if those who believe that the current inhabitant of the Oval Office is the antichrist are lost in one myth, those who believe that large numbers of Americans think just that are spreading another. This barely less idiotic legend cropped up during the 2008 election, and I blogged about it over at the Corner at the time. Sadly, it has now risen its horned head again, only to be nicely debunked by ABC’s Gary Langer here:
Whatever profoundly negative things people might think about Barack Obama, a new poll out today demonstrates splendidly how not to measure them.
It nails the negativity, all right; this project purports to tote up responses to a list of harsh criticisms of the president – e.g., that he’s “anti-American,” “a racist,” “wants… an excuse to take dictatorial powers,” “is doing many of the things that Hitler did” and “may be the Antichrist.”
Hot words, those. The survey, done by Harris Interactive, apparently was designed to test the theories in a book claiming the “lunatic fringe is hijacking America.” The purpose seems to have been to see how many people the pollsters could get to agree to pejorative statements about Obama. Quite a few, it turns out – but with what I see as a highly manipulative approach to questionnaire design.
I’ll lay off the sampling, though this survey was done among people who sign up to click through questionnaires via the Internet in exchange for points redeemable for cash and gifts – not a probability sample. Been there before. This time let’s just look at what it asked.
Go and look for yourselves. The results are fascinating.