To Poll or Not To Poll

By Phil Erwin

Polls. You can’t live with ’em, and the Media can’t bamboozle you without ’em.

If you take polls at face value – which is what the Media want – you would think you know everything you need to know about public opinion.

But scratch the surface of that face, and you’ll find out just how little value polls really have. And just how little influence they should have over public policy.

Consider the most obvious recent polling failures: Britain would not be Brexiting the EU, and Trump would not be Presidenting our nation, if the polls had their way. Which would make the Liberal crowds on both continents very happy.

But that raises a very serious question: If the Media are almost exclusively Left-leaning concerns (which they demonstrably are,) and if polls are almost exclusively designed, financed, run and published by and for the Media (also true, with a few noteworthy exceptions,) then why should we expect that polls would ever, ever tell us anything other than what the Liberal Media want us to believe?

Why, indeed.

Polls are an incredibly inaccurate and unreliable way to understand public sentiment. Really, polls are nothing more than formalized versions of the “Man-On-The-Street” interviews that have been such a staple of televised comedy shows for at least two decades. The reason for that popularity is, of course, that the interviewees tend to come off on camera as ill-informed idiots: Fun to watch; not exactly stellar voices of governing reason. Americans on most streets prove to know pretty much nothing about anything, except perhaps for what the Kardashians are up to, and where the next Trekkie or Cosplay convention will be held.

All of which suggests polls to be an invalid, unwise, even dangerous way to drive public policy. And in truth, polls are often designed, not to reveal public sentiment, but to influence it.

Let’s take a single current example and consider just what it shows us about how “useful” polls really are.

In a new poll out last weekend, people were asked whether an “independent commission or special prosecutor” was needed to investigate Russian interference in last year’s Presidential election. 78% preferred an independent entity.

Wow! Four-fifths of those responding believe an “independent commission or special prosecutor” is needed to investigate… something.

That’s about a close as you’re ever gonna get to “Everybody thinks so!

And now we do have an “independent counsel.” Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been universally acclaimed as The Guy to head up the “investigation.” (I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of hearing the word, “investigation.”)

Did the public’s overwhelming desire for an “independent” lead investigator make the difference? Is that why the new Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, pulled the trigger?

Well, I’m sure it had something to do with it. I’m also sure Rosenstein realized it was the only way to sweep the incessant babble about a “special prosecutor” off the nation’s news waves. You know – calm the hordes. Beat back the rabble (meaning the Dim-Damn-Democrats.)

So the Dim-ocrats got what they want (or at least, they think they did.) But was it the right thing to do? After all, they even threatened governmental extortion over it – “No FBI Director, Mr. President, until you give us our Special Prosecutor!” Should we be rewarding that kind of anti-governance, anti-patriotic vitriol on the part of our elected officials?

Personally, I don’t approve; but I’m not sure the Administration had any other choice.

And if you think such poll-driven, hysterical carping doesn’t actually affect the nation’s governance, think again: A reporter in the Monday Briefing asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer why the Administration was not naming a Special Prosecutor, exclaiming “We just saw a poll this weekend that… 80% of the people want a Special Prosecutor!”

The implication being, obviously, that the American people know what should happen, so why isn’t the Administration doing it?

But if you examine the poll just a trifle more carefully – which is to say, if you read it (which you can do here, see Q15) rather than trusting the Media to read it for you, what you will find is that the fundamental opinion of those responding was not, in fact, accurately portrayed by the Media reports. (Gee! What a surprise!)

The question the poll actually asked was: “When it comes to an investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 Presidential election, would you rather see an investigation led by Congress, or by an independent counsel or special prosecutor?”

Only 15% trusted Congress to investigate.

So you see, what the poll actually revealed was that the public does not trust the Congress to handle the investigation. Yet, wherever this poll was quoted, the implication was always that it proved the public does not trust the Trump Administration.

The poll says it’s Congress that the public doesn’t trust. But the Media coverage strenuously, and fraudulently, implies it’s the President the People don’t trust, and the Special Prosecutor is the appropriate “remedy” for that.

Clearly, it is the Lamestream Media, their problematic polls, and their fraudulent coverage that you cannot trust.

Forget the polls. Most tell you little to nothing of value. And forget the Lamestream Media, and all Social Media discussions that arise from it. They are a waste of space, time and brainpower. The “Fake News” outlets make frequent use of their deliberately fraudulent poll “statistics.” And the more attention you pay them, the less prepared you are to engage in honest, useful public discourse, and participate in driving effective, reasonable public policy.

Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park.  He would like to support some Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies (and is highly suspicious of Statistics.)  That pretty much eliminates supporting most Democrats, and a bunch of Republicans to boot.


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