A Gallup survey showing a more even ideological split in the US was a sign of the country’s intellectual decline, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly argued on Wednesday.
“I believe only about 50 percent of the American people take the time to understand important issues,” he said. “Half the country does not; they are simpletons, unwilling and unable to discipline themselves into formulating a philosophy of life.”
As the Washington Post reported, the survey of 1,024 adults showed a tie at 31 percent between respondents identifying themselves as liberals and conservatives — the first of its kind since Gallup began tracking political ideologies in 1999.
O’Reilly blamed the shift on the entertainment industry promoting a “libertine lifestyle” and what he described as a vast majority of progressive sites online
“The stars are lined up in favor of liberal thought, and that is a powerful influence” he said.
Specifically, he blamed shows like Modern Family for “mainstreaming the gay lifestyle,” leading to an uptick in support for same-sex marriage, while opponents have not been able to “vividly articulate” their position.
“Some who support gay marriage have branded the opposition as bigots — a powerful, but unfair, indictment,” he lamented.
At the same time, the survey showed that most respondents still identified themselves as conservative regarding financial matters. O’Reilly said the result showed that most Americans had not “grasped” President Barack Obama’s political philosophy, since they voted him into two terms in office.
“They voted for him because of his charisma and his historic position as the first black man to achieve the White House,” he said.
Watch O’Reilly’s commentary, as aired on Fox News on Wednesday, below.