It’s simple, really, how nearly all people with political opinions are herded like sheep into two monolithic sets of views known as “Democrat” and Republican.” Anything else would require some critical thinking ability, and it is shocking how little of that people truly possess.
To prove how little people think about the views they support, myself and two fellow members of Young Americans for Liberty conducted a brief social experiment in a busy central area of Rutgers University. We spent just under 90 minutes asking people to sign a petition for a federal ban on the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide,” more commonly known as H2O, or water. We came equipped with a flyer full of facts about this chemical, for example that “it is found in some of our most polluted lakes and rivers” and that “powerful special interests want it around for their own benefit.” Sadly, of the 60 people who stopped and listened when we greeted them, 52 signed our petition to ban water, and most signed immediately without even looking at our fact sheet, or even asking why the chemical should be banned. Of the 8 people who refused to sign, 5 did so because they correctly identified dihydrogen monoxide as water. This leaves 3; yes, 3; people who refused to sign because they weren’t ready to support a ban on a chemical just because someone told them to. Compared to 52 who were.
Next time you’re wondering why Libertarian viewpoints are not all that mainstream, just remember that it’s not because those ideas are bad or unappealing; it’s because the mob hasn’t swung that way.
By the way, in case you’re curious, we’re far from the first to conduct an experiment like this and get such results.Published in