Obama Derangement Syndrome—pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism—has infected the Republican Party. Here’s new data to prove it:
- 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.
- 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
- 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
- 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
- Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
The poll, which surveyed 2,230 people right at the height of the health-care reform debate, also clearly shows that education is a barrier to extremism. Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped. It’s a reminder of what the 19th-century educator Horace Mann once too-loftily said: “Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.”