A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) found that a surprising number of American voters would support bombing Agrabah.
You know -- that place that doesn't exist outside of the lovely, Disney-fied "Aladdin" universe. Yea, that Agrabah.
Justin Mayhew, a communications specialist at PPP, told MTV News that the group polled 532 people who said they would vote in the Republican primary elections in the two days following the last Republican debate. Toward the end of the survey, which addressed a number of issues, PPP posed the question, "Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?"
The answers were pretty unfortunate: 30 percent of the national respondents said they'd "support bombing Agrabah," 13 percent said they'd "oppose bombing Agrabah" and 57 percent said they were "not sure."
To be fair, there was no option to say hey, wait, that's not a real place. Mayhew also said the survey did have a 4.3 percent margin of error: "That’s always important to report. We do take that into account that maybe someone didn’t hear it or thought we were talking about someone or something else or just wanted to be silly."
The survey also took note of which candidates each of the respondents were supporting (giving them a chance to rank their number one picks for the primaries) and the data also showed that fans of Donald Trump were the most likely to support bombing the fictional Disney country (at 41 percent), while John Kasich's supporters were the least likely to be in favor of this reality-defying military strike (at 11 percent).
Mayhew said that this question was inspired by the "extreme rhetoric" GOP candidates have been owning in both the media and during debates. It demonstrates how dangerous fear-mongering hate-speech (rooted in Islamophobia) can be.
"If we asked this question outside the election you’d get slightly less enthusiasm because people aren’t familiar with that area," Mayhew said. "But anything that sounds Arab might make these [respondents] think of people who might associate with terrorism. It also relates to the fear people are feeling and it speaks to the fear that the right is playing to with their campaigns. There’s obviously been a lot of radical rhetoric about Islam and a lot of proposals about how to fight ISIS that involve carpet bombing, like Ted Cruz proposed, or overly aggressive tactics that might involve [civilian] causalities."
The PPP also asked this question to Democrats, who were more heavily opposed to bombing the fictional land (with 36 percent against it), while 19 percent were in favor.
While this is probably a real good indicator that we need to step up our geography game over here in the U.S. (and that, somewhere, Mrs.Butler from fourth grade Social Studies is crying into an atlas), there's something way more insidious under the laughs. When you remember the deadly realities of war, even one person willing to bomb a country that they (obviously) can't find on a map is one too many.