Why Do Republicans Seem So Stupid? Well... Because They Are
In fact, a more productive question might be to ask why stupid people are attracted to conservatism and to the Republican Party. Digital Journal released the results of a four year study of the Republican base-- Fox News viewers-- and they found exactly what anyone who has spent any time talking to one of them would expect: they're really stupid. Not just ignorant-- which, of course, they are-- not, far worse, incapable of processing abstract thought.
The results of a 4 year study show that Americans who obtain their news from Fox News channel have an average IQ of 80, which represents a 20 point deficit when compared to the U.S. national average of 100. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is the international standard of assessing intelligence.Last year and again last spring researchers at Farleigh Dickinson University came to the conclusion that people who watch Fox News are the least informed of all TV viewers. If you have a brother-in-law anything like mine, you know that doesn't stop them from loudly and incessantly repeating the nonsense propaganda absorbed by their dull malleable brains. Fox viewers were compared with people who watch no TV, people who watch only The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, people who watch the Sunday morning talk shows and people who get their news and information from NPR. All categories were significantly more knowledgeable about current news events than Fox viewers, including people who watch no TV at all.
Researchers at The Intelligence Institute, a conservative non-profit group, tested 5,000 people using a series of tests that measure everything from cognitive aptitude to common sense and found that people who identified themselves as Fox News viewers and 'conservative' had, on average, significantly lower intelligent quotients. Fox Viewers represented 2,650 members of the test group.
One test involved showing subjects a series of images and measuring their vitals, namely pulse rate and blood pressure. The self-identified conservatives' vitals increased over 35% when shown complex or shocking images. The image that caused the most stress was a poorly edited picture of President Obama standing next to a "ghostly" image of a child holding a tarantula.
Test subjects who received their news from other outlets or reported they do not watch the news scored an average IQ of 104, compared to 80 for Fox News viewers.
Lead researcher, P. Nichols, explains, "Less intelligent animals rely on instinct when confronted by something which they do not understand. This is an ancient survival reaction all animals, including humans, exhibit. It's a very simple phenomenon, really; think about a dog being afraid of a vacuum cleaner. He doesn't know what a vacuum is or if it may harm him, so he becomes agitated and barks at it. Less intelligent humans do the same thing. Concepts that are too complex for them to understand, may frighten or anger them."
He continues, "Fox News' content is presented at an elementary school level and plays directly into the fears of the less educated and less intelligent."
The researchers said that an IQ of 80 is well above the score of 70, which is where psychiatrists diagnose mental retardation. P. Nichols says an IQ of 80 will not limit anyone's ability to lead happy, fulfilling lives.
The study did not conclude if Fox News contributed to lowering IQ or if it attracts less intelligent humans.
P. Nichols concludes that he wasn't shocked by the studies' results, rather how dramatic their range. "Several previous studies show that self-identified conservatives are less intelligent than self-identified moderates. We have never seen such a homogeneous group teetering so close to special needs levels."
Fox News hit out at Farleigh Dickinson. A spokesperson for the network told the Hollywood Reporter, "Considering FDU’s undergraduate school is ranked as one of the worst in the country, we suggest the school invest in improving its weak academic program instead of spending money on frivolous polling-- their student body does not deserve to be so ill-informed."
Although he never mentions how the right-wing army is hollow, lame and incredibly dumb, Bill Kristol does mention in the new issue of The Weekly Standard that the conservative movement's "deep disarray" can be traced directly to the huckerism at its heart-- implying there are sheep too dumb to know they're being shorn over and over and over again.
Reading about some conservative organizations and Republican campaigns these days, one is reminded of Eric Hoffer’s remark, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” It may be that major parts of American conservatism have become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary.Yeah-- and with better followers.
The Fox News study part of this post was an elaborate, albeit easy to believe, ruse. Everything else was real.