I had received a new poll from the GOP today in the mail. In a bright yellow envelope labeled "2009 Obama Agenda Survey", the questionnaire came stacked with such questions like "Do you believe that Barack Obama's nominees for federal courts should be immediately and unquestionable approved for their lifetime appointments by the U.S. Senate?", "Do you support the creation of a national health insurance plan that would be administered by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.?", or "Are you in favor of re-instituting the military draft, as Democrats in Congress have proposed?"
The questions are loaded, and offer no supporting information backing up their claims. As I had mentioned in my prior post about a previous questionnaire I had received, this one came with a donation form and a letter Republican Chairman Michael Steele, in which he makes claims of liberal media, which he calls "ultra-biased". He claims Obama's top priorites will grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, bankrupting Social Security, and nationalize health care.
The survey's questions are blatant misrepresentations of fact. Considering the question regarding the military draft. Doing a quick search to see if there has been any recent discussions about this matter and the most recent date is an article from 6 years ago, on January 6th, 2003, referencing Democratic Representative Charles Rangel, who had proposed reinstating the draft, so that the makeup of the military better represents the economic makeup of America. Rangel's proposal was made before the war against Iraq initiated, which begun in March of that year, and was used as a point to illustrate the possibilities of unilateral military action. Rangel, who voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, proposed the legislation as a way to increase pressure on members of Congress, forcing them to consider the implications military action would place on the communities they represent. The GOP questionnaire also fails to take into consideration actual Republican opinions regarding the draft. When asked at a townhall meeting last year, Senator McCain, who was campaigning for the presidency, took a question from the audience where the questioner stated "If we don't reenact the draft, I don't think we'll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell." McCain's response: "Ma'am, let me say that I don't disagree with anything you said."
Other questions on the survey include the following: "Are you confident that new medicinees and medical treatments will continue to be developed if the federal government controls prescription drug prices and sets profit margins for research and pharmaceutical companies?" A simple comparison would discredit the GOP question altogether. Strict cost controls had actually forced the Japanese to develop more cost effective MRI diagnostic techniques, making their method one-fifteenth the price of the American procedure ($98 compared to $1500), and the Japanese still make a profit.
You can even see the more xenophobic and right-wing elements be adopted by the GOP with this question: "Should English be the official language of the United States?" Although I agree that English should become the official language, I find that the GOP's inclusion of such issues singles out immigrants and ethnic minorities. Considering 96% of the population speaks English "'well" or "very well", versus just 12% speaking Spanish. Considering most states have already adopted English as an official language, every state utilizes English in it's daily functions, and I believe that proposed ammendments to the constitution making English the official language are only made out of fear. The constitution did not include an official langauge when it was drafted, and conservative purists feel the constitution should be strictly adhered to and not amended, that is unless you are against homosexual marriage, or anything else they don't like, in which it is okay to amend.
Another question I disliked, was this one: "Do you believe that the best way to increase the uality and effectiveness of public education in the U.S. is to rapidly expand federal funding while eliminating performance standards and accountability?" Personally, I believe that funding should not be increased and standardized testing should be elliminating. Testing creates a culture in the education system that surrounds around the test, with only test material being taught, while neglecting to create deep seated knowledge in the student. America is not even ranked in the top 25 for reading, math or science, but America continues to increase spending with no significant return. This matter is popular among politicians, because obviously you want to appear to be the candidate for education.
The GOP survey is insulting at best and does little to accurately gauge the true beliefs within the Republican Party regarding President Obama, his administration, or the opposing political party, and I am certain that any response that is contrary to the desired answer would be viewed negatively by the party, as an answer given by a Republican In Name Only (RINO) or proof that their poll was fair, but still demonstrating that they represent the majority. Why give a push poll to the party? Is this only to try and keep the party in line? It would make more sense to distribute this poll to the masses, that way when the responses show in your favor, you can claim superiority. If not, throw them out and make it up as you go along; that's how Fox News does it.
Kevin, before I became disabled, opinion research was my field. The survey you received was designed to elicit a predetermined response... to propagandize rather than poll. You called it exactly right.ReplyDelete
What I don't understand is that it seems the survey is only self fulfilling. I don't see how it benefits anybody outside the party.ReplyDelete
The Washington Post published a story about these polls earlier last month...
From the article:
Surveys designed to persuade rather than survey are a common though dirty tactic in the political arena, the text equivalent of telephone push-polls. The sending of polls for fundraising purposes is also widely considered unethical, a practice known as "frugging" -- fundraising under the guise of research. In August, the RNC suggested in a similarly formatted "Future of American Health Care Survey" that "GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system." Following on outcry from Democrats, a Republican Party spokesperson called that survey "inartfully worded."