Polls, Politics and God

Random Lengths News | October 15, 2004
Most of the people I talk to look at political polling with some form of instinctual skepticism. How is it, they ask, can you get an accurate sample of how voters are actually going to vote by questioning one thousand likely voters nationwide out of the millions who actually will vote November 2? My editor, Mr. Rosenberg, and I have a long running debate over the accuracy of political polling, statistical analysis and exactly what it reflects. Needless to say, I tend to be on the more populist side of the argument that holds some great apprehension towards political polling that comes with the wisdom that the only poll that really counts is the election box—that is if the GOP hasn’t rigged the electronic voting machines, tampered with voter rolls (like they did in Florida in 2000), or fraudulently tampered with voter registration in the key “battle ground states.” There should be some federal standards set by which all political polling is done such as a minimum number of voters polled in each state by party affiliation that reflects the actual number of electors from that state. But there is still the question of what these polling wizards ask and how they ask it.

For instance instead of asking “who are you most likely to vote for this November?” the real question is “who are you actually going to vote against.” Now that’s a horse of a different color isn’t it? Yes living in California as we do, it is hard to imagine that anyone with half a brain living in Ohio, Iowa or New Mexico could actually conceive of giving this born-again moron George Bush a second stab at screwing things up more than he already has. It seems incredible that this state with the largest number of electors and voters in the entire nation has to basically sit on the sidelines and watch the future of this nation get decided by a group of people who call themselves Buckeyes or Corn Huskers. This is why a small legion of activists and ILWU members have headed to the Midwest to work for the Kerry campaign.

While most American voters adhere to the concept that presidential elections are contests between the “lesser of two evils”—or as I have often re-coined the phrase the “evil of two lessers”—what the debates have clearly defined this season is that the evil two lessers are both on the GOP ticket– Bush and Cheney.

Now if you add Ashcroft and Rumsfeld to the mix, you’ve got yourself quite a foursome on the political golf course. They’re in the rough domestically, and in a sandtrap abroad. Everything they hit slices wildly to the right. If you ran a poll asking the American people whether this foursome should be given another tee time, the answer just might come back as impeachment not reelection!

Surely when you add up all the abuses of power of all four of these men over the course of Bush’s first term, even if you overlook the lies about WMDs, which is hard to do, we still end up with grounds for impeachment and conviction on bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors. This must be pursued as viable political action regardless of who is elected. And if team Bush is reelected who is going to believe that they didn’t steal this one too? Bush’s legitimacy has been in question ever since the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount and only becomes more illegitimate as he continues in power and the war in Iraq presses on with fatal consequences.

John Kerry, on the other hand, for all of his alleged “flip-flopping” and accusations of him being “too liberal,” has adhered to a quite moderate if not centrist Democratic position. He has appeared in two of the three debates as being above the lesser level of both Bush and Cheney and even more importantly in his campaign shown a willingness and ability to change when things don’t work. This is in sharp contrast to Bush who is so convinced that he is right that he only talked to God when he decided to go to war in Iraq (ignoring his own father’s advice) and for all we know is still on the hot-line to heaven receiving his orders.

Perhaps the only polling question at this point is which side God is really on… or whether He or perhaps She has a good connection to the Oval office. “Hello, George… are you still listening? it’s time for you to go back to Crawford.”

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Founded in 1979 as a counterbalance to the conservative, corporate- owned daily paper, Random Lengths News draws on the rich history of the Los Angeles Harbor Area. The name harkens back to a description of the lumber that used to...
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