Time to break out the tinfoil hats! The government is trying to read your mind–or so nearly 1 in 6 voters would have you believe.
Public Policy Polling took the time this week to ask voters about 20 popular conspiracy theories, ranging from the political to the extraterrestrial. And the results, they found, reveal a pretty paranoid America–or a pretty hilarious America depending on how you slice it. Here are some standouts.
21% of voters say a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM
In the summer of 1947, an unidentified flying object reportedly crashed just north of the tiny city during a severe thunderstorm. The official word from the U.S. Army was that the object in question was debris from a high-altitude surveillance balloon. But many UFO proponents believe it was an alien spacecraft, and that the government has been engaged in a widespread cover-up. Roswell has its own museum dedicated to “educating the general public on all aspects of the UFO phenomena.” More Romney voters (27%) believe in a UFO cover-up than do Obama voters (16%).
28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order
Popular among militant anti-government right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists, these conspiracy theorists speculate that the global power elite are hell-bent on creating an all-encompassing authoritarian regime to replace the sovereignty of independent nations. Some New World Order theorists believe the one-world government will correspond with the emergence of the antichrist, while others fear the global elite’s agenda could create a Brave New World-like dystopia. A recent Rasmussen poll found that two out of three Americans view their guns rights as protection against the tyranny of government. Once again, a plurality of Romney voters (38%) believe in the New World Order compared to 35% who don’t.
13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ
No stranger to conspiracy theories, the president has elicited a hefty amount of public suspicion–from his religion, to his birthplace, to everything in between. But the antichrist theory really takes the cake, putting him with some pretty impressive company. Pope Benedict XVI, Prince William, and Oprah have all been associated with the messenger of the apocalypse. Twenty-two percent of Romney voters said they believe the Obama anti-Christ theory.
11% of voters believe the U.S. government allowed 9/11 to happen
“Do these people just need an ulcer in their lives?” asked Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead on Hardball Wednesday. “There’s so much to worry about as it is, just being a regular person who thinks sanely. When you have to pile on insanity, I don’t know how you get through the day.” PPP found that the same number of respondents–11 percent–weren’t sure whether the government was involved in a 9/11 plot or not.
15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals (the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd)
I have nothing to add, this one is true. And as a professional member of the media, fully trained in mind-controlling technology, let me say this: hats won’t help you.