What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
I came across the following post on Democratic Underground, where one user relates his experience with a research organization conducting a (no doubt “scientific”) poll:
My New Hampshire phone rings (caller ID 000-000-0000 WTF?) and I pick it up out of curiosity. “This is (talking like a magpie so I haven’t got a clue what the name of the company is)Research. Would you like to be part of a poll for the Democratic presidential primary candidate?” I agree and the woman rapidly reads the list of candidates. “Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Biden and Richardson.” I say, “Kucinich.” The woman on the phone says “Who?” I say, “Kucinich. Dennis Kucinich.” I hear coaching in the background – apparently the call is being monitored. “I’m sorry, but Dennis Kucinich is not on our list. Is there anyone on the list I gave you who you would vote for?”
Media-anointed mainstream politicians are given the limelight time and again, while so-called “sideline” candidates, including Ron Paul, are unfairly treated. And then the “official”, “scientific” polling shows them with small numbers. If this user’s experience is reflective of what occurs with other research companies and polling inquiries, one wonders why the polls are to be trusted at all!
I think many people will be surprised come election time to see how disparate the results are from the predictions shown by polling.