Monday, April 07, 2014

Better education=less war? Maybe. Survey finds that people who don't know where Ukraine is are most eager to bomb it

Americans who don't know where Ukraine is are most eager to bomb it
Daily Kos staff
Apr 07, 2014

...We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

Call it the Palin Doctrine: the less you know about something, the more sure you are that America needs to blow that something up in order to fix it (though fairness requires pointing out the same doctrine is at work in the House Republican response to health reform, in conservative suppositions that various scientific discoveries of the last century are merely plots to be dismantled, and in every George Will column on any subject written in the last fifteen years. It's a small toolbox.)

Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants’ general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests [...]

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