Who would be the better commander-in-chief to have presiding over our army of drones in the event of an alien invasion? This is a not-real question that we are not-really asking ourselves all the time these days.
But, given the fact that we now celebrate President Abraham Lincoln as the original vampire slayer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now asked to account for its strategies for a zombie rampage, it seems natural that the folks at the National Geographic Channel would poll Americans on their feelings about extraterrestrial enemies ahead of the debut of their new "Chasing UFOs."
(Premiering this Friday, "Chasing UFOs" follows three UFO hunters, proving once again how extraordinary the United States is, considering that in a period of economic downturn, three people can still do UFO chasing as their actual job.)
What have National Geographic's polling exploits discovered? First of all, lots of people believe in extraterrestrial life: "More than 80 million Americans are certain that UFOs exist." What's more is that most of these citizens are predisposed to believe that the aliens mean us no harm, despite the fact that Stephen Hawking has warned that this is not likely.
According to National Geographic, "most citizens would not mind a minor alien invasion, because they expect these space-age visitors to be friendly -- like the lovable character depicted in Steven Spielberg's popular film 'E.T.'"
What is a "minor invasion," anyway? Probably the interplanetary version of the Iraq war, in which Lrrr of the planet Omicron Persei Eight tells his people that conquering Earth will be a cakewalk, only to discover how easy it is to get bogged down in all the ensuing sectarian violence. Don't worry, Lrrr! "Counterinsurgency strategy" will probably prove to be feasible, one of these days!
The poll also found good news for President Barack Obama, I guess!
In regards to national security, nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans think Barack Obama would be better suited than fellow presidential candidate Mitt Romney to handle an alien invasion. In fact, more than two in three (68%) women say that Obama would be more adept at dealing with an alien invasion than Romney, vs. 61 percent of men. And more younger citizens, ages 18 to 64 years, than those aged 65+ (68% vs. 50%) think Romney would not be as well-suited as Obama to handle an alien invasion.
It's interesting that the male-female "gender gap" in most of 2012's polling doesn't show up as strongly in the event of an alien invasion, so perhaps this could be the inspiration for the most awesome "October surprise" in the history of the country.
The topic of alien life doesn't often come up during the presidential cycle, but it's worth recalling that during the 2008 campaign, Congressman Dennis Kucinich was forced to answer questions about a claim he made about seeing a UFO while in the company of Shirley MacLaine. That question was put to Kucinich at a presidential debate by Tim Russert, a celebrated professional journalist.
(The "UFO Lobby," which is a thing that exists in America, told our own Sam Stein that it preferred a Hillary Clinton-Bill Richardson presidential ticket, despite Kucinich's vital experience with their issues.)
On "The Daily Show," John Oliver asked former presidential contender Herman Cain to "role-play" what he would say to the American people if he, as president, had to address the populace from "the smouldering remains of what used to be the Oval Office." Cain was really, really good!
Cain responds to the aliens question at the 4:58 mark.
National Geographic also learned that in the event of an alien invasion, the poll's respondents would probably seek assistance from the Hulk, instead of Batman or Spiderman. This demonstrates that the simplicity of the Hulk's messaging ("Smash!") has broader populist appeal than that of the rest of the Avengers, who largely approach national security emergencies by having a lengthy, internecine debate over leadership and the nature of power sharing.
What would happen if friendly aliens arrived, bearing the gift of universal health care? This is not something that National Geographic polled, but I think it's pretty certain that should that scenario arise, powerful health care lobbies would team up and murder all of the ETs.
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