Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On the Nature of Polls

When AWR Hawkins, a columnist for Brietbart, sees a poll on background checks showing that 51% of Americans think they wouldn't curb gun violence, he comes to the conclusion that background checks wouldn't curb gun violence. With a more rational and skeptical look at this poll, one would come to a very different conclusion: 51% of Americans think that background checks wouldn't curb gun violence. Hawkins' conclusions speak to a problem among Very Serious People, to them truth is not truth but the most mainstream belief. Of course, this is something they are inconsistent. If the columnists at Brietbart applied this reasoning to other stuff, they'd be in favor of a lot of things they aren't, for example gay marriage, which averages at 51% of people in support with no poll having more opposition to gay marriage than support in 2013. Hypocrisy, folks!

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