The on-screen news ticker in our mess hall (known to others as the “break room” or the “auditorium”) proclaimed today (among many other things) that Obama had said something about the US not being that divided.
The actual quote, from a video of a 9 July press conference in Poland was, “I firmly believe that America is NOT as divided as some have suggested.”
(The US President, by long tradition, refers to US citizens as “Americans” and the US as “America.”)
So, I thought, how divided is America?
I went about looking up some opinion poll results that might tell me something about this. Most of the polls I found are not that current. Apparently it still takes a good bit of time to create, organize, carry out and report on a large poll across a country or a planet. The sample has to be adequately randomized and all that…
Before I give you any figures, let’s go over some theory.
I suppose that most sociologists think that a person’s opinion about something is determined mostly by 1) his training and education and 2) a set of shared qualities often spoken of as “human nature.”
Point 1 is important without question. But what is point 2, really? You’ll have to figure out the Psychology explanations for yourself. My (far from complete) Scientology training, though, bears mentioning. The model, as you may be already aware, starts with a being. We can suppose that this being started out totally free to be, do and have anything it wanted. What we have today in “human nature” is the result of trillions of years of experience living with other beings, never totally aware of what they were or what oneself was. Humans find themselves today on a Tone Scale, where they are more or less free to move up or down. This scale was derived from observation, not dogma. It is workable when used to predict behavior and attitudes.
From the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation, let’s take column Q, “Command over Environment” where political attitudes are mentioned. At high on the scale, 4.0, we have “dislikes to control people.” At 3.5 we have “Liberal.” At 3.0 we have, “Allows rights to others. Democratic.” At 2.5 we have “Does not desire ownership of much.” At 2.0 we have “Desires command in order to injure.” So at this point the being is taking a turn for the worse.
At 1.5 we have the Fascist. At 1.1 we have the Communist (cold-war style, sneaky, loves hypnotism as a control method, otherwise known as a “true criminal”). And at 0.1 we have the suicide.
When I speak of “suppression” I am referring in particular to one person or group trying to push another person or group DOWN this scale. The 1.1 likes to push people down to 0.1. The 1.5 likes to kill people outright. The 2.0 likes a good fight, content for the adversary to survive for another day. The higher tones are also ready to fight, but with increasing levels of selectivity (and often, effectiveness).
These are the social tones. The being itself, quite normally being unaware of itself, sleeps at a lower tone level. Wake it up, and it can do some very strange things until it gets a grip on its new sense of self-awareness. But for the purposes of this discussion, we are talking about the social tones of humans.
Most of us were raised with a “liberal” education. The majority of us fell lower subsequently, seeing Liberal values as ideals to be worked for. Democracy is seen as a safe, sensible approach to achieving those ideals. However, you have to fight for democracy! Or, do you really have to enforce it? Or, perhaps, trick people into accepting it?
All these attitudes and influences went into the creation and subsequent marketing of our “global government” the United Nations. Included in the marketing plan for this body was a document entitled the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was unveiled 10 December of 1948 in Paris. It is embraced by my church, as the right to worship freely is included in it.
The concept of human rights is not, strictly, “Liberal.” As the history of the subject reflects, human rights can be seen as much as a sensible approach than as pie-in-the-sky idealism. Cyrus the Great – 539 BC – is noted as an early proponent of this approach. However, Cyrus was, first and foremost, an emperor. And, strictly speaking, his empire only lasted 200 years. You can earn the respect of vast populations by respecting them. At least the Emperor should be able to afford to do this!
Be all that as it may, the attitude surveys I found deal mostly with the most basic human rights. These include the old Liberal rights of thought, speech and worship and the newer “socialist” (communist?) rights to food, clothing, shelter, health care, education. It should be noted here that Public Education, and many of these other “humanitarian” programs, are not ancient traditions in most lands of Earth. But on Earth, strong central governments are also a rather recent development, made possible in part by technological progress in fields like communication, transport, agriculture, medicine – oh – and, war.
The bell curve of the tone scale
Does the distribution of tone levels on earth actually fit a “bell” shaped distribution? I have no firm data on this. But imagine for a moment that you were totally free to move around on this scale as you wished and to confront or experience life at the tone that seemed the most appropriate at the time. Where on the scale would you spend most of your time? At the middle, 2.0? Perhaps down below that a bit, in pain? Or above the middle a bit, bored?
Think of all the people you know that spend most of their time somewhere between pain and boredom. Could be quite a few. Or maybe at 1.5 as an angry Fascist? Seems that might shorten one’s life span!
It has been put forward by Hubbard that about 2.5% of the population manage to secretly hang out around 1.1. It would be charitable to put the bulk of the population as high as 3.0 (Conservative), but in the reasonably calm situation of answering opinion poll questions, we can imagine many would try their best to assume that viewpoint, or higher, up into Liberalism, if their education demanded it.
But you can see the problem with these polls, and with Presidential statements regarding “divisions.” Sufficient suppression can plunge a nation down into hatred and war. Sufficient relief can allow it to surge up into a peaceful Liberalism. But real education about real life could in theory stabilize a nation at a high level that it could not be pushed down from. In these polls concerning attitudes, people are not much divided, though their ideas display a range from Liberal on down. In polls concerning things that are theoretically provable certainties, we often see more even splits. Thus, the suppression of the truth has left in question facts that should be totally knowable. This is troubling, as people need certainty, and if the certainty of something is not plain to the face, beliefs and propaganda will be used to fill in the blank spots.
Pew (Pew Research Center) has a project called the Religious Landscape Study. Data points for this study exist for 2007 and 2014. The results for 2014 were published late in 2015.
The Council on Foreign Relations must employ a lot of researchers, because it has published reports on various global studies concerning attitudes on human rights, among other issues. The latest reports I found date from December of 2011.
I fill in some odd bits from other sources.
What we see from these studies is a consistent percentage spread across related issues.
Support for the traditional human rights hovers around 3/4 of those polled, both US and global.
It goes way down for freedom of the press. The press is notorious for its misbehavior. When the question is reworded to ask about the freedom of the press “to report the news truthfully,” support for this concept goes up to 70% in the US, with a low of 41% in India, where “truth” and “the press” are probably seen by most as opposites.
Support for the “socialistic” or “nanny state” human rights of more modern times shows a bit more variation in societies. We can see education and propaganda at work here.
In China 98% support the right to a basic education, with similar numbers for health care and food.
In the US, 83% supported government responsibility for basic education, 77% health care, 74% food and 70% supported government responsibility for taking care of the poor.
These are still large majorities – you could almost say, consensus for all the basic human rights.
Similar support for “Liberal/Democratic” values are seen for questions asking about “equal treatment.”
From the Pew Religions Landscape Study, for example, we find 70% of religious people agreeing that all religions should be tolerated.
Beliefs about “fact”
Now let’s swing over into the subject of belief, and in particular, belief about how things “really are.” We know for a fact (not surveyed, though) that it’s often hard to discern basic, underlying cause. If the cause of an event or situation is a criminal that wants to keep itself a secret, it may very well be successful in doing so.
Spiritual and mental technologies like Remote Viewing and Scientology auditing are beginning to get around those old barriers of perception limitations and uncertainty. But most people still rely on belief, or “someone who knows” for the last word on many “facts.” The Bible, for example, remains a very widely-read book! And it’s not even easy to read (at least I don’t think so).
90% of US adults say they believe in God. That is an amazing consensus from such a diverse country! But of course, by most counts this one doesn’t matter, because this is entirely a question of faith. The implication, though, is that if science or my favorite expert doesn’t have an answer, I’ll take God’s answer.
Here’s an interesting question they asked: Do you feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe? 46% said Yes in the most recent study. What about the others?
Evolutionism versus Creationism was covered in this study, but not well. This is a subject that should be, at some point, 100% knowable. At some point. But only a little over 60% are convinced that “humans” have actually changed that much during their time on earth. This question is still very much up in the air! Only a third of US adults totally believe that Darwinian Natural Selection explains human development on earth. (A testimony to how bad a theory it is!)
Here we have a more recent poll conducted by Ipsos (a European marketing research company) and released on Monday, June 29, 2015: 56% of Americans believe UFOs are real. Good that only leaves 44% to go. But only 45% believe ETs have visited Earth. Oh boy!
79% believe life on other planets is plausible. But that’s a terribly-worded question. Same figures as above for Evolution.
The accuracy of the survey is estimated to be +/- 3.5%.
And here we have a “Conspiracy Theory Poll,” results released April 2, 2013. This is only of US voters. Poorly-worded questions, but:
37% think global warming is a hoax.
21% believe there was a cover-up of the UFO crash at Roswell (an absolute certain fact). This one shows how well certain groups have been able to keep the lid on this data.
44% think Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq (another total fact).
And 25% of US voters still think Oswald acted alone in killing JFK. For all intents and purposes it has been demonstrated that Oswald didn’t even point a gun at the President that day. But the US population is almost evenly divided on this question of fact, per this poll.
So you see that we are divided about facts that should be provable, but have not yet, in many’s eyes, been proven, while we are united in our desire for peace, tolerance, and taking responsibility for those less fortunate.
Where we are really being divided is in our perception of the truth. Suppression has failed almost totally to educate us out of our basic humanity. Though we are told every day that we are just animals, most people around the world believe we were created by the Divine, and probably always will believe so.
Where suppression on earth is working is in disconnecting us from factual data that should make certain truths quite obvious. Amazingly, many have connected with that data anyway. But it is too few!
Obama said nothing profound two days ago. But oh, has he failed to tell us so much that we really do deserve to know! Thus, he will be perceived by most as a liar. Better alive than truthful? I guess each must make that decision for themselves. I hope it is clear what side of that question I favor.