Polls make my head want to explode

Aug 6, 2006 at 11:47 PM
Hi. Today I got opinion polled. I always get pissed off when I get polled. Not because the issues anger me, but because the questions do.

For instance, they always start out with :
(drum roll please)



(Uhm, it's an OPINION poll, right? Well, let's just get past this crap to the real questions.)

What's your race?
White ___
Black ___
Hispanic ___
Asian ___
Mixed ___

(If you choose mixed, they ask for you to simply check ALL that apply from their list).

That's just ridiculous. What if someone is Moorish-Irish-Vietnamese-Egyptian-Russian-Brazilian-French-Laotian.

What is that person supposed to check off?

That's serious. I met that person at a coffee house in (I think it was) San Antonio last year. He was born in Arabia, but lives in and loves Texas. He speaks eight languages. He looks like a sepia plate, all shades of light-golden-brown. It's a very becoming mix. I hope he never tries to fill out a poll!

Back to the point. It is an opinion poll, Right? So, why are they asking so much about my body? I despise the assumption-by-inference that race has any fraction to do with my opinions. It's an ignorant assumption to make -- that the body I am in has ANYTHING to do with my mind, my essence, the goals and purposes or passions of my existence. You know, me.

But in spite of getting off on the wrong foot with me, the questions keep coming. I keep filling out the poll.

Next it's religious peghole questions. OK. Well I don't fit into any of their neat little packages and they don't include any philosophies on the list. So I check the "Other" box.

Why are they asking how often I pray? There's an oddball one. I'm sure the assumptions behind their reasons for asking it are positively mind-numbing.

Ugh. Then came the political affiliation question. Why is it assumed everyone is political? Can't anyone just BE without being labeled?

Since I check the "independent" box when they asked my political party, I got about ten pages of questions obviously aimed at deciding what my REAL political party is, because I couldn't possibly be an actual free thinker.

They couldn't peg me in the first seven pages of questions. Good. My first monkey wrench in the system.

One of the questions asked me whether I listened to Rush Limbaugh. Couldn't they just have said "Are you sure you're not just pretending not to be Republican?".

I just can't listen to him. He is so condescending to women, even the ones who aren't feminists. I'm not a feminist, I'm a strong female -- and there is a massive difference that Rush doesn't get. It is obvious from the slower, more exasperated tone he takes on when having a dialog with a woman on any subject. And the responses he gives. If a man disagrees with him and uses the word "feel", Rush lets it slide. If a woman disagrees with him and uses it, Rush starts out with
"I know you're guided by your (pregnant pause) 'feelings', but..."

He just lacks class. Why waste my time? Even when in agreement with him, you've got to ask yourself "Why am I bothering to listen to him rehash my own thoughts, but with less tact and too much fervor?"

As if the world could be evenly split down the center between REPUBLICAN and DEMOCRAT. What if I think both parties have it dead-ass-backward-wrong? But in any case, even if I sometimes end up listening to the guy, I'm not republican, and I know that's what that question means. So I lie and say "No".

More about Rush: I think anyone with an IQ lower than, say, 129 should be MADE to listen sometimes. Why? Well. I'd place him in the high 130s IQ-wise, but let's give my assessment a margin for error. 129 and below crowd will be given a swift kick in the ass toward learning to think for themselves by listening to Rush. They'd get something from it. He seems to be operating on steam these days, though: repeating himself, using common phrases too often, repeating himself, repeating himself too many times. So maybe we should make that 125 and below.

Next question tried it again. It asks me if I listen to either "All Things Considered" or "Sean Hannity". I listen to both, equally often (which is sometimes). I think the former has intelligence, wit and poignancy, and the latter show's host has a good heart, honor and brilliant reasoning.

I listen to radio to exercise my mental chops, not to think political PR campaigns are truth. Radio's been a PR tool since invention. Who's fool enough to think you're going to get truth from someone who has put in the time and energy, the blood sweat and tears, that it requires to get their voices heard on to the radio? They're gonna put their own spin on what they say.

You don't make it to Broadway with minimalist acting.

You don't get into radio with simple truth.

So, they couldn't peg me with that question, because I don't form opinions when I'm one of X number of "millions of daily listeners". I form them when confronting truth. Recognizable truth.

I think Oprah and Bill O'Reilly are BOTH really good people in different ways, so that question was moot. They were really stretching to figure out my political affiliation asking me that one.

I don't watch ANY of the network news shows, so their questions were nullified there. I don't watch TV and you can't make me.

I got TEN PAGES of questions trying to force the round me into the square hole of political affiliation.

I'm pretty much a Libertarian. I agree with anything that leaves the lawful alone to pursue happiness as they see fit.

Sometimes that means I agree with Republicans. Rarely that means I agree with Democrats. I'm a literal LIBERTarian. It's about liberty for me. I register as whatever box I feel like checking when I register. I probably confuse the hell out of the registration office.

But since people who think in terms of DEMOCRAT or REPUBLICAN write the questions, I was doomed from the get go.

The final peg-hole question was whether I had a gun in my house or not. Since I said "Yes," that must have made them decide I was Republican. I assumed this because the "real" questions that started after that weren't about my gun (and because Democrats are not known for their beautiful gun collections).

Oh well.

The next question was about my opinion on ...

The GAY MARRIAGE amendment:

The poll asked whether I felt that

Marriage should be defined in the constitution as being between "a man and a woman"
Gay marriage should be legally sanctioned

Uhm... Neither.

I don't think gay marriage is a government issue. Politically charged, unfortunately. Philosophically and societally charged, yes. But not government-related at all. Why?

Because marriage is something that should not be controlled by a faceless entity that cares not for the outcome of your life, the achievement of your goals. Government cares only for its tax revenue, for its clenched fists of control. How is this entity a good judge for whether a marriage is morally fit?

Another question I just cannot answer!

Obviously, the laws about marriage needing a license were meant to stop people from marrying their cousins, daughters, or farm animals. Probably meant to stop homosexuality, too. Originally. So, if you're trying to keep people moral, let them only have to have the sanction of a chosen minister, or of a ship's captain if they're non-religious (like in the old days). Works better that way. In that way, whatever is morally OK with the people involved will happen.

I have never been harmed because another human being was gay. As a Libertarian, as far as I'm concerned they can do what they want. If Tom and John have community agreement, their minister has agreed to perform the ceremony, and all involved agree their marriage is moral and right, should I have ANY say? No. So, why should a government body have any say if I shouldn't have any say?

What right does the government have to sanction or disallow ANY personal oaths/agreements/choices/vows? If I am married or stay single or sleep with women or sleep alone, no one gets harmed by the outcome? Promiscuity and adultery harm people. But don't regulate marriage. What a fiasco it is to do so.

The more regulations you pass, the more chaos. There's my belief in a nutshell.

Walk up to nearly anybody and say "I'm Libertarian" and they'll wonder if you're still high. I've never taken drugs, and I hate that my party draws in so many druggies trying to get dangerous substances made legal. The idea is that Government has zero right to govern my rights. The idea is that laws should be just, simple and everything else is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Then the poll compounds all this crap by asking me about


The question was about whether

a. I think global warming is real and the world needs to start taking measures to protect the environment.
b. I think global warming is a crock of shit and we can all eff it up to our hearts desire.

(Of course there were some in between choices for those who are less passionate, but they were only shades of grey in this one limited scope.)

How am I supposed to answer this? Argh!

I don't think global warming even exists. It's so obviously a PR campaign, a Machiavellian power grab, that I can't trust any of the supporting Science.

Then again, we'd be absolute stinking idiots not to think that pollution and garbage and litter are bad, and that we should all conserve natural resources in the interest of future generations. Obviously, any sane person takes care of their environment.

So how do I answer that question?

To make matters worse, the questions turned to our world war. Without saying "World War" anywhere.

The questions about my opinion on the war that didn't include the obvious answer I wanted to check off:

"The media coverage of WW III -- all sources -- has been so partial that I can't form a conclusive statement by means of any form of reasoning. Socrates, Plato and Ghandi would all be standing around shrugging right now. Coverage is tainted by half-truths, lies, and opinion to the point where even the ability to form a sane, pan-determined view of anything is completely blocked off because all truth is obfuscated. "

I was so disgusted that I didn't see that choice or anything like it that I chose the next best answer. I don't even know what it was.

I remember I had banal choices on another question about Israel along the line of ...

"Israel rocks, let 'em do their worst"
"Israel is being stubborn and pig-headed"

Where is the in between? Where is the choice...

"I'd like to know more about what really goes on in Lebanon and Israel when you leave the cameras rolling before I decide my opinion. Bring the 'Real World' camera crew in to Lebanese and Israeli military HQ for 24 hour live broadcasts, and then I'll decide."

Do I have to wait for the Tom Clancy Rainbow Six bestseller version of this war to come out before I will understand the truth of what evil is being fought here? What are the real reasons, the real evils, the real question that was answered by such force. What are the truths behind it?

I cannot trust any source to give me truth, so how can I form an opinion?

How can I possibly decide what I believe when the propaganda is so thick? When acceptable viewpoint of discussion is so narrow, and so many slanted words are used to describe everything?

Governments feel that public opinion is a dangerous thing. It must be controlled carefully, truth carefully skewed. Make sutre that the pinpricks in the curtain are in just the right places. We must only see what they want us to see.

I think if I worked in government long enough, borders might seem like real, thick blankets betwen us and them instead of thet arbitrary lines in sand that they are.

Do I have to wait for another disgruntled military man to retire and write a book about the clandestine operations he was on before I will understand what's going on? Why don't we EVER get to see real evil, real statements, real whitehouse memos instead of soundbites and opinion pieces skewed by rambling political bent?

By this time, I'm steaming, because the questions are completely unanswerable unless you're firmly entrenched in a particular "camp".

So, the last question was about improving the poll. Boy, that one was the only one with a comment box. Woo hoo! I let it rip.

These people who write the polls either want to put blinders on me or walk around wearing them because they're fear-driven and afraid of reality. Either way, it is frustrating.

I hate polls. Did I mention that?

1 Responses to Polls make my head want to explode

  1. desi Says:

    That is the longest post in DES-ISTORY.