Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Suspicious Minds: Birthers, Truthers, and Blind Faith

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Suspicious Minds: Birthers, Truthers, and Blind Faith

Article excerpt

Before President Obama released his long-form birth certificate in April, polls found that nearly half of Republicans believed that he had been born outside the United States. But the Right doesn't hold a monopoly on wacky conspiracy theories, Ben Smith writes in Politico. To an extent, the 9/11 "truthers" among Democrats mirror the Obama "birthers" among Republicans.

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In 2006, Scripps Howard and Ohio University asked Americans, "How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?" Nearly 23 percent of Democrats called that scenario very likely, and another 28 percent called it somewhat likely. So, writes Smith, more than half of Democrats considered it at least plausible that 9/11 stemmed from a conspiracy within the U.S. government. (For the nation as a whole, 16 percent said it was very likely and 20 percent said it was somewhat likely. …

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