AUTHOR: Will Bunch at The Huffington Post
THESIS: "26 percent of America ... is totally bat-guano out-of-their-freakin'-minds crazy"
HOW MANY PEOPLE THAT IS: "one out of every four people you see walking down the street, plus someone else's right ankle"
EVIDENCE: 26% of respondents in a new poll believed that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Barack Obama
CURIOUS COINCIDENCE: 26% of respondants in another poll believe it is "never appropriate" for a president to bow to a foreign leader
AUTHOR'S CONCLUSION: These are the same people
OTHER PLACES THIS 26% APPEARS: Those saying they want no health care bill at all; those saying Palin "could be an effective president"; those opposing U.S. participation in the Kyoto treaty; and those, during the Bush years, approving of the president's job performance
WHAT THIS NUMBER REPRESENTS: "enough folks to fill 1,000 Citizen Bank Parks with roughly 6 or 7 million more people to spare. Enough to put on a fairly impressive rally on the Mall in Washington if just a tiny percentage of them turned out"
WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE: Folks who "might as well walk the earth in a bubble made of plastic and little speakers blaring Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh 24 hours a day"
WHAT THEY'RE LIKE: "Easily distracted" by "shiny object[s]"
THE LAST WORD:
But there's another way to express 26 percent, and that would be as "Not 74 Percent," the too-silent majority group in this country that's a bit more inclined towards real commonsense solutions, to use a term that's been misappropriated by a former Alaska governor ... It's true--as more and more conservatives started pointing out around, oh, around 2006 or so, that this nation is a republic and not a straight democracy. Legislators are elected to weigh what's most popular along with what is legal and also with what they think is morally right.
But when all is said and done, we need leaders who will fight like hell for the dreams of the 74 percent of America, not ones who kowtow to the sometimes paranoid fears of the 26 percent. That would be what I would call our 26 Percent Solution.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.