Let’s Bomb Agrabah!

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Filed under: All About Pranks, Creative Activism, Media Literacy, Political Pranks, Propaganda and Disinformation

A significant portion of the American voting public, particularly from the Republican ranks and particularly among Donald Trump fans, are at least somewhat in favor of bombing Agrabah.


“People Want to Bomb the Fictional Kingdom in Aladdin, But Don’t Panic Yet”
By Ariel Edwards-Levy and Natasha Jackson
Huffington Post
December 18, 2015

jafarvsaladdin“Americans are deeply divided over whether to bomb the kingdom of Agrabah, according to a new poll, with Republicans more likely to be in favor and Democrats tending to be opposed.

But here’s the problem: “Agrabah” happens to be the fictional home of Aladdin.

Public Policy Polling, a prominent Democratic-leaning polling firm, included the question in its most recent national poll. (Let’s not forget that this is the same firm that listed “Deez Nuts” as a candidate on a North Carolina poll.)

Over half of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans answered the Agrabah question. Thirty percent of Republican primary voters were in favor of bombing the fictional location, while 13 percent were opposed. Among Democrats, 19 percent were in favor and 36 percent were opposed.

Obviously, it’s both funny and a little worrisome to see so many people taking a stance on military action against Disney villains — although, hey, Jafar is pretty evil. Some people polled might have recognized the fictional name and answered in jest, but most likely did not. Either way, they only had the option of replying that they supported, opposed, or were “not sure” about bombing Agrabah, and the majority of respondents said they weren’t sure.

The poll also asked questions about actual policies toward Muslims — including whether they should be registered in the United States and whether mosques should be shut down. Respondents were also asked if they supported or opposed the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II in retrospect.

What PPP is demonstrating with this question is that people often respond to polls without knowing much, or anything, about a topic. And pollsters often ask about specific policy questions that Americans haven’t given much thought to.

Yet many respondents feel as though they should have an answer, either because they don’t want to seem uninformed or because they’re trying to do a good job of completing the poll. So they end up trying to parse out an answer in good faith, relying on whatever clues the question offers, whether it’s a general sentiment (if you think the U.S. should be more militarily aggressive in general, you’re more likely to back a planned bombing campaign) or a partisan cue (if the politicians you like support something, you’re likely to think it’s a good idea as well.)

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