If I somehow twisted the arm of a politician to stand up in front of microphones or on the House floor to say that elephants are really Martians, the media would find some way to turn that into a headline which said "Are Elephants Martians? Experts Weigh In." The experts would then parade across the screen, but because the Martian-Elephant Liberty Think Tank (MELTT) already had white papers written which proved that Martians do indeed exist and fuzzy images seem to indicate there might be some resemblance to elephants, that expert would also take his seat at the pundits' table and so it would come to pass that we all be asked to accept as fact that it is not entirely insane to believe that elephants are Martians.
Next, they would commission a poll to see how people feel about elephants being Martians so they could get some experts to come on television and tell you why they're Martians.
Oh, the Sacred Polls, how we do worship them.
Just as opinions are placed into the mainstream via the highest, holiest institutions of thought -- think tanks -- so too are those opinions hardened by the pollsters, who in some cases, admit they use their data-gathering efforts to shape ideas. Instead of asking questions which then elicit responses, they take data and form a narrative, which is then pushed along by the linguists and thinkers, while some pollsters then convert the poll itself into the narrative.
This is how it works. Don't believe me? I swear to you this headline actually exists on a mainstream newspaper website: A third of Earthlings believe in UFOs, would befriend aliens.
Not only does it exist on that major website, it was a trending item on Memeorandum's Political News Page. No lie, and look where it is:
Yes, that's right. An article was placed (presumably by a human editor but perhaps not) about people's belief in UFOs as a related article to a poll showing President Obama pulling into the lead in Florida and Pennsylvania. What's wrong with that, you say? Nothing, if you're one of the many in this country who believes our President is an alien. Or if you don't believe aliens should be President. Or something.
The article explains that National Geographic wanted the "pulse on people's opinions" with regard to UFOs, so they commissioned a poll. 17 percent don't believe they exist; 36 percent think they do; and 48 percent aren't sure.
A Call to Action
My friends, it's time to create the UFO Institute for Studies of Liberty in Space. The UFOISOLIS will dedicate itself to scholarly studies of UFOs, including how many have been seen, whether they flew the American flag upon entry into the atmosphere, whether they believe in free commerce and the right to carry guns, and what sort of breakfast food they most particularly prefer. Are inhabitants of UFOs white? Black? Are they Christians or pagans?
Studies will be undertaken. Serious, serious studies. When those serious studies conclude, breathless headlines will greet us shouting in 50 point type that THERE REALLY ARE UFOs. Drudge will report an exclusive interview showing that aliens are conservative libertarians and immediately thereafter, a social media campaign will be undertaken immediately with a lovely likeable Facebook page and legions of Twitterbots telling us to +1 their Important New Study on Google+. Email campaigns will commence as well, with scary headlines, and Congressmen will stand up and pound the lectern as they remind us all that Our. Liberties. Are. At. Stake.
The Foundation for Legal Defenses of Alien Rights (FLDAR) will propose legislation and reach out to constituent state legislators to begin their next term campaign based upon the Very Righteous Legislation before them, guaranteeing Earth's Sovereignty Leads Unidentified Things (ESLUT).
Thus shall it become immutable fact that elephants are aliens who arrived in UFOs from Mars. I suppose that's all right as long as they don't run for President.
Then again, the Republicans would immediately declare war on the Martian Elephants while Democrats take polls that show Americans trust President Obama to lead the nation's defense against aliens more effectively than they do Mitt Romney.
Footnote: That last question is real. WHO THINKS OF QUESTIONS LIKE THAT? Answer? National Geographic, which is why that poll article got tied into the larger news of swing states leaning toward the President.