Thursday, September 14, 2006

Poll dancing

Tonight, for the first time, a national polling organization called me to get my opinions on the upcoming elections. I spent about 10 minutes talking to a "researcher" who seemed to have some difficulty in reading the words on her question sheet....

The process explained a lot.

For example, the questions tend to ask "will you support x or y for the office of z?" No room, therefore, for someone like me to say: "I will vote for x, because y makes me want to vomit."

Yes, there were follow-up questions meant to measure what I think about the way x, the incumbent, is functioning. Explaining how one feels about the incompetence of said individual takes much more than "agree strongly, agree, disagree, disagree strongly." The word "f*ckw*t" wasn't heard once, alas.

Or consider bond issues, which seem to intrigue the poll-takers. I am against bond issues on principle; we pay plenty of taxes as it is, so if the crooks in Sacramento (or Washington) can't manage on what they already extort from us, why should I give them more and put myself, not to mention future generations, deeper into debt? It has nothing to do with whether I feel children should have health care, damnit!

Likewise, one of the issues here is Indian gambling. I am in favor of the tribes getting a fair shake. But giving them casinos, which in reality enrich a few while the rest go on as miserably as before, isn't the answer. I am not against the tribes; I simply do not want gambling parlors strewn about the countryside. No matter who runs them.

Somehow, I suspect I came out as wanting children to die of loathsome diseases while Indians starve along the roadsides.

If they would break the questions down into smaller, more digestible chunks, they might get a better picture of what people really think. I consider myself conservative in some ways, liberal in others, and moderate in the rest. So don't ask me if I am one of the three in general as if it defines me; it depends on the issue.

But never mind that. If you see an answer to a poll question that indicates 89% of white Californians feel that oppressed minorities should be chained to walls and tortured, know that the question is the culprit, not the people who answered it.

And what is this "identify your race" crap, anyway? Mainly, I'm white, but if you analyze the blood you'll find other races -- including at least one Indian tribe -- represented.

P.S. I said "other." As they say in Noo Yawk, "skroom!"

I will never respect a poll again. They say more about those who write the questions than those who answer them.

And if you ever see a poll in which 78% of those polled thought a is a miserable, incompetent *ssh*l* whose only chance of winning is that he/she is running against worthless sack of sh*t b, you'll know I got fed up and started my own polling organization.

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