To understand the polls you need to go to original motive, which in this case lies with the media. In case you missed it, most media, newspapers in particular, are laying off their reporting staff as fast as they can find syndicated stories to fill the gaping maw of 24-hour news. In place of local and regional stories we now receive extended debates between carefully selected representatives of both sides on any issue, and guest appearances by pollsters, the professionals on whose judgement and metrics the topic is measured. Sometimes they even book several of these worthies to explain the diverging results of their recent eavesdropping on the vox populi. This leaves the average reader or viewer with little or nothing in the way of facts, but buried in opinions of varying believability. There goes the myth of an informed and involved electorate.
I am thoroughly sick of polls and the industry of survey taking at large. Tens of thousands of people are employed by hundreds of polling firms to conduct their research, including semanticists who spend endless hour studying the semantic value of words and phrases to be used in formulating the questions asked of the voluntary victims of opinion pimps. Whether by phone at dinner or by mail from political parties, the whole process is a shuck and a jive.
To begin with, you were not selected as a representative of your community, despite the salutations of the inquisitors. You were actually selected by a computer from the phone listings in the target township or city neighborhood. To believe otherwise is to indulge your ego by concluding that your answers will, somehow, translate into a true picture of the views of whatever group you represent. If you answer their questions you graduate to a higher category in the data base, as a likely respondent and you will get further survey calls in the future. Compliance is its own reward.
There is a cure for this cancerous social malaise. Lying is the answer.
Respond to any and all inquiries. Form your opinion on each topic and then answer the furthest opposite of that allowed in the multiple choice offered. Lie, lie, and lie again. With enough of us lying the poll results will be skewed, if not screwed, and when the smoke clears they will have failed to accurately predict the outcome and never work again in public affairs.
A worthy goal if ever there was one.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.