blog Time Hath Found Us: David Hill: "Filibuster polls bias empty heads"

May 14, 2005

David Hill: "Filibuster polls bias empty heads"

GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The MSM mavens of popular culture, whose expiration date passed somewhere in the 1970's, heavily rely on public opinion polls in order to generate news where there is no news and to justify their pathetic east-of-the-Hudson-River views of America. Polls, they say, are an accurate reflection of the beliefs of our society. Oh really?

David Hill has written a scathing article for The Hill in which he blasts the recent filibuster polls so adored by the party of NO.

Reading the latest public polling on filibusters convinces me that media polling is becoming something like blogging, only without the wit and delightful cynicism.

Public polls and political blogs both purport to be about facts and information, but they're mainly editorials. I was reminded of these thoughts this week when reading Dr. Frank Newport's dismal treatise "Public Favors Keeping Filibuster Rule in U.S. Senate: Majority of Americans not Following Issue Closely, However."


The only point that Newport makes convincingly is that Americans consistently oppose changing the filibuster as described by pollsters. The problem with his analysis is that the pollsters' descriptions are hopelessly inadequate and often biased in favor of the filibuster. By inadequate, I mean that polls try to explain "filibusters" in 50 words or fewer to people who are generally uninformed and disinterested.

The phrase: "people who are generally uninformed and disinterested" oozes with deep ramifications. Polls have come to be used by politicians as a primary source upon which to base important policy decisions. Witness the entire left wing of congress. Such behavior should be considered shameful. As I mentioned in my last post about polls (about which I really do hate posting,) we live in a constitutional republic not a democracy. Our representatives have the responsibility to study the issues of state and make informed decisions based on facts, not on the zephyrs of uninformed public opinion.

The MSM which commission such polls should be equally ashamed. What kind of world view must rely on deceit, misdirection and Clintonesque parsing of common words to advance itself? It is certainly not the world view held by most Americans or, for that matter, most of the population of the planet.

Polls can be useful tools but like other useful tools, such as the Constitution, they can be twisted and misused to advance subversive ideologies -- GIGO.

As the mantra says, read the whole thing.

Update: Here is an apropos quote from a letter by Thomas Jefferson written in 1787: "...the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army ...European gov'ts have divided their nations into wolves and sheep. ...Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. ...If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and congress and Assemblies, Judges and governors, shall all become wolves."