Outside View: A skunk in the polls
By Herman Cain, Outside View commentator in the Washington Times
I've been bashing polls for ages... my largest complaint being the wording of the questions used.
My second complaint is that I find it so hard to believe that a sampling of 1000 people is indicative of a nation as populated as the US might think. And lest anyone retort "polls have been proven accurate by voting results in the past", I might point out that the polls themselves are used as the centerpiece for formulating voter's opinions. Let me expound...
The wording of questions on polls - or should I say the deliberate language used by pollers to extract a certain outcome - is a dangerous practice. Ideally, the MSM's primary task is to educate Americans to the issues at hand. As part and parcel of that education, these polls are used as proof positive that "the American public" feels such and such on every MSM talking head show, lending credence to whatever slant they are projecting for the news blurb of the day.
In short, the MSM has far overextended their authorities as a government watchdog. Instead, they have proven they have become the dog that needs watching. Too many of the MSM have positioned themselves as the unelected purveyor of the "truth". They have decided they are the ones wise enough to decide what is correct for the nation, and will shove that version of "truth" down our throats using false and manipulated data they created in order to make swallowing easier.
Comes now Social Security. Over and over the MSM pounds into our heads that the American public hates the notion of accounts controlled by the individual, and not blindly handed over an undisciplined Congress to spend at will. Bush could not have explained the dangers of putting cash into the hands of Congress better in his press conference Thursday evening. And we must all remember. While everyone love to blame Bush for big spending, only Congress can authorize the cash layout. So put the blame where it belongs.
Mind you, I didn't think I was alone in whining about the polls on Social Security reform. But I am surprised to see more and more of the MSM jumping on the "that poll just ain't so" bandwagon.
Comes this commentary by Mr. Cain, echoing my sentiments, in a major publication. And I'm glad to see it. In particular, they bash their major competition... the Washington Post, for their touchy-feeling questions about how Bush is "handling" the SS issue.
Handle? He hasn't had a chance to handle whit! How about putting *that* in a poll?He's been publicly begging for bi-partisan ideas and solutions from Dems and Reps alike. And, of course, he's put in the very logical SS accounts on the table as a very do'able and win-win option.
Not only does the economy get a boost for add'l private investments being parlayed into the investment world, but the individual realizes a higher return on his investment, can leave his investment portfolio to his heirs, and can use it to draw for additional investments. All in all, how can anyone see anything wrong with the big picture and it's potential?
Problem is, of course, obstructionist Dems won't play the game unless he agrees to pull the private accounts from the table. And that makes perfect sense... what would Congress do without their cash cow?
We have to remember, as history has shown us, most of the elected ones will never again willingly return to the private sector since they have it so good being on the tax payers dollar. Only if they are voted out will they be forced to join the rest of us poor working schlebs.
Good article by Cain. Pulls no punches and names some of the worst offenders in Congress by name.