Monday, October 15, 2012

Is the Country Headed in the Wrong Direction?

 No pollster has ever called me on the phone to ask me whether I think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
If they did, I would hesitate and ask them "What exactly do you mean by that question?"  I think it is a meaningless, ambiguous, poorly worded question.

You hear the question quoted in polling reports: "X% of those polled believe the country is headed in the wrong direction."  What does that mean?

Purportedly it is some indication of where the leadership is moving the country's politics, culture, economy, values, consciousness.  Or where the leadership is failing to move the country.  Or how closely we are to paradise or hell in a hand-basket.

But what leadership?  The President?  The Congress?  The Churches?  Hollywood?  The Courts?  The Corporations?  The Financial Gurus?  The data are easily used to support anyone's bias.
The "wrong direction" in my opinion might be the "right direction" in your opinion.  Or both.  At the same time.  Maybe I agree  that we are moving in the right direction toward a more equitable society as more states legalize same-gender civil marriage, but in the wrong direction as more conservative anti-gay, pro-DOMA congresspersons get elected.  Maybe I agree that we are moving in the right direction with the Affordable Care Act - but in the wrong direction for not adopting Universal Health Care.
Or, maybe I don't think the country is moving in any direction - that it is stagnant and caught-up in a quagmire of rhetoric and imploding from the weight of concrete ideologies.

So why do they keep asking people this stupid question?


Bob said...

I think they keep asking because it makes for a good sound bite, or else, we've run out of questions to ask.

Russ Manley said...

It sells papers without any real work or mental effort required. What a racket.


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