This morning’s reason to want to stay in bed

A new book, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America by John Avlon describes the large numbers of Americans who hold extreme views of President Obama. This Harris Poll seeks to measure how many people are involved. It finds that 40% of adults believe he is a socialist. More than 30% think he wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns and that he is a Muslim. More than 25% believe he wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a world government, has done many things that are unconstitutional, that he resents America’s heritage, and that he does what Wall Street tells him to do.

More than 20% believe he was not born in the United States, that he is “the domestic enemy the U.S. Constitution speaks of,” that he is racist and anti-American, and that he “wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers.” Fully 20% think he is “doing many of the things that Hitler did,” while 14% believe “he may be the anti-Christ” and 13% think “he wants the terrorists to win.”

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,320 adults surveyed online between March 1 and 8, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

The actual percentages of adults who believe these things are true are as follows:

  • He is a socialist (40%)
  • He wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns (38%)
  • He is a Muslim (32%)
  • He wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government (29%)
  • He has done many things that are unconstitutional (29%)
  • He resents America’s heritage (27%)
  • He does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do (27%)
  • He was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (25%)
  • He is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of (25%)
  • He is a racist (23%)
  • He is anti-American (23%)
  • He wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers (23%)
  • He is doing many of the things that Hitler did (20%)
  • He may be the Anti-Christ (14%)
  • He wants the terrorists to win (13%)

It gets even crazier when you look at the folks who self-identify as Republicans. 67% say he’s a socialist. 61% say he wants to take away the right to own a gun. Fifty-seven percent say he’s a Muslim. And fully 1/4 of Americans think he was born outside the US and isn’t eligible to be President.

The numbers get truly terrifying when you start looking a educational differences, not just in how high they are when correlated with low education, but how high they are when correlated with greater educational level.

We are well and truly fucked.