Unlike many of my more tolerant fellow citizens, I possess no confidence in the ability of the American electorate to make sensible decisions. I have reached this conclusion based on an incontrovertible truth: You people will believe anything.
This reality confronts me daily, as I am bombarded with fiercely stupid conspiracy theories from the exceptionally unwell. Worse, even people I once respected -- folks with intellects and accomplishments that soar above my own -- confidently will explain that the economy actually is controlled by a half-dozen shadowy individuals and Barack Obama has a birth certificate from Bangladesh stuffed in a bedside Quran.
I fear for my children's future, not because I spy the occasional "Bush Knew!" bumper sticker in the neighborhood but because, according to a 2006 Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll, a full third of you believe that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job.
Now, why would an Islamic radical group want to deploy a massive terror attack on the United States' financial capital? It's gotta be someone else.
And am I the only one appalled that one-third of Americans (and, Lord Zeus, please let it be the same third who claim that 9/11 was fixed) believe that UFOs exist? A Newsweek poll says the number of believers is up 15 percent since the 1980s, so apparently we're trending dimwit.
A new Harris poll finds that 28 percent of you believe in witches, and 40 percent of the public -- including 46 percent of women -- believes that ghosts are hovering in the so-called "real" world. More than 20 percent of you have claimed you actually have witnessed a poltergeist.
I, too, may believe in miracles (like 73 percent of you) to rationalize the haphazard existence of mankind. I may believe in Beelzebub (61 percent) because human cruelty never could go on without supernatural prodding. And I believe in hell (59 percent) because some people deserve to fry. I get it.
I get it because I was born under the 11th astrological sign in the zodiac: Aquarius. According to experts, Aquarians are, among many other wonderful things, "tolerant," "opinionated," "farsighted," "revolutionary" and so on. Our character and personality quirks are predetermined by a study of random stars and planets that happen to be detectable from Earth.
Believe it or not, 20 percent of the American public believes in this gibberish. And trust me; they will not rest until Dennis Kucinich is president.
In fact, with troubling economic times upon us, conspiracy theories, peculiar beliefs and harebrained philosophies will only flourish.