In the article linked above, the ‘ground zero mosque’ is compared to…
- a Disney theme park next to Manasass battlefield
- a viewing tower next to Gettysburg
- a convent at Auschwitz
…but it is not much like any of these. The proposed location is not vacant. This is not about saving a spacious, open sanctuary from desecration. This is not about the perversion of a spot with great historical significance. That place is down the street. This is about replacing a Burlington Coat Factory with a cultural center.
This is about private property and religious freedom, not some kind of Us versus Them crusade.
(BCF src: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/11/stewart-takes-on-ground-z_n_678224.html)
good interesting quote from Newt:
“The depth and length of this recession is at risk of creating a permanent pool of unemployed Americans, who get so used to being unproductive that they are willing to accept welfare indefinitely instead of taking a job.”
This is called the Fundamental Attributional Error, in which individuals are seen as responsible (due to their personal failings, e.g. ‘lack of discipline’) for a situational or systemic problem.
Conservatives frequently blame individuals as a way of minimizing problems at hand, or to misdirect. The problem isn’t that the unemployed have sub-par dispositions. It’s that they’re unemployed. See the misdirection? It hides the fact that Newt Gingrich has a sub-par disposition.
(see Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect for more on dispositional vs situational vs systemic causation)
Question 41 reads:
“As you may know, a group of Muslims in the U.S. plan to build a mosque two blocks from the site in New York City where the World Trade Center used to stand. Do you favor or oppose this plan?”
Well, that’s one way to frame it. People who don’t know about the issue will hear the question and many will react with a negative attitude toward the plan as described.
For a case like this I think favor/oppose is a tricky approach to use in writing poll questions. And CNN’s doing it in a way that favors the “oppose” response. Maybe I’m crazy, but I bet a lot of people hear the phrase, “a group of Muslims in the U.S. plan to…” and think of terrorism. Negative emotions, immediate opposition.
Let’s consider a different framing. How about a yes/no?
“Should a group be allowed to build a mosque on their property if it would be located two blocks from where the World Trade Center used to stand in New York City?”
It may be positively loaded with “on their property” but it’s better than unnecessarily evoking subconscious fear in people and then trying to measure their opinion. Increased fear correlates to an increased conservative response. Lots of research backs this up. If you make people think about scary things and then ask them a question, they’ll give you a more conservative answer than if you made them think about something neutral. It’s certainly easier to give a “yes” response to the above than a “favor” response to CNN’s.
Here is an outline in progress. Give it a second to load, then use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out:
My first letter will probably be about reason as defined during the Enlightenment, the Rational Action theories of behavior that grew out of it, why they are fundamentally wrong, and how they affect society today.
Dear Obama Generation,
This blog will contain a series of letters about the politics, values, and perspectives that will shape tomorrow’s Progressive movement. I know a lot of you don’t care about politics. I understand. Just give me a chance.