Reading over my comments from earlier columns, itâ€™s clear that thereâ€™s a dependency on polls to explain this countryâ€™s vast opinion. The polls have infiltrated Americaâ€™s voting minds. Instead of truly grasping concepts, an illiterate voting body has formed â€“â€“ and no, Iâ€™m not insulting Tea Partiers.
Truly conceptualizing politics is difficult. Pollsters have stepped in to fill the void. Theyâ€™re doctoring public opinion.
The average American has little time or interest for politics. Inherently, that naivetÃ© leads to a reliance on polls. The brilliance of the plutocracy is in controlling the masses.
Weâ€™re pawns for our employers â€“â€“ a full-time job traps the worker in 40-plus hour weeks. Come home, and whatever leftover energy you have quickly evaporates. The â€œextraâ€ time is spent caring for kids, cleaning, bills and other stuff.
Meanwhile, a quick glance at your local paper or online bombards you with senseless numbers, like they represent your opinion. A poll number shouldnâ€™t influence you or make you vote one way or another.Â The dead peasant laborer knows what help they need and what would benefit their family most.
The travesty is that families arenâ€™t voting for what they need. The trust in polls and politicians is leading to a stratified schema that is leading to a dichotomou â€“â€“ yes or no â€“â€“ country.
Fortunately, there is a gray area. The world doesnâ€™t operate in black and whites, and itâ€™s illusory to believe otherwise. The exploitation of citizens by pollsters must be examined.
Right-wing conservative pollster Frank Luntz is famous for fashioning loaded poll questions. In fact, Republicans often credit Luntz for his ability to persuade average people not to vote for their needs.
A hypothetical question: â€œIs Obamaâ€™s government mandated health insurance a step toward socialism?â€ Poll after poll showed respondents that were terrified and overwhelmingly said yes.
Unfortunately, the preceding question along with many others has an inherent bias. Those questions incite a worry â€“â€“ the government mandate.
Try separating the individual changes present in our current health bill. â€œDo you believe preexisting conditions should prevent Americans from receiving health insurance?â€ No.
â€œDo you think Americans should pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses?â€ No. â€œDo you (students) want to renounce your parentsâ€™ coverage before 26?â€ No. â€œDo you want to be discriminated against because youâ€™re a woman?â€ No. â€œWould you like an annual cap or lifetime coverage limit to the amount of treatment you can receive?â€ No.
All of the former questions were solved with the passing of the health bill.
Nonetheless, propagandist polling is continuous. Youâ€™ll read things like, â€œShould illegal immigrants qualify for coverage under Obamaâ€™s health plan?â€ No. â€œDo you want to have a choice of health coverage?â€ Yes. â€œShould health care cost more under Obamaâ€™s plan?â€ No.
Then, the ultimate conclusion is that those polled arenâ€™t really reading and donâ€™t know enough about the bill in the first place to make these judgments. And why should they? They arenâ€™t doing this for a living and have better things to worry about â€“â€“ like putting food on the table.
How many are polled? Whatâ€™s their education level? These questions are never divulged for the confidentiality and sanctity of the partisan message.
On top of everything else, polls are self-reported. While being a necessary survey element, fact-checking isnâ€™t completed.
We want to know everything that a pollster is asking us. But those polled may be uninformed about their answers. An all-or-nothing mentality runs rampant. Survey-takers would rather pretend to know what theyâ€™re taking about than admit ignorance.
Should we be exploring for oil? Yeah, we need it. Should we be pillaging the worldâ€™s natural resources for a minimally efficient and unsustainable way of life? No way. Itâ€™s a brilliant wordplay.
Once a measure, itâ€™s now become the focus of political debate. Instead of understanding an idea, we lazily glance at a poll.
We must not vote against our own beliefs, causes and needs. Throw away numbers and intelligently explain what you believe in.
Samuel Lustgarten is a junior psychology major. His column appears weekly in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.