Polls Ought to Be Polled for Accuracy
By Noel Raskin, M.D.
Noel Raskin, M.D.
“The press, my Lords, is one of our great sentries; if we remove it, if we hoodwink it, if we throw it in fetters, the enemy may surprise us.” —Thomas Erskine at the trial of Thomas Paine.
I offer this quote about our “great sentry” the press—now grown homogeneously into “The Media”—to consider into what fickle fetters it often seems to wander.
We are regaled with polls to take the nation’s or the people’s pulse or temperature and tell us what we think, at least at this moment. Tomorrow or next week...well, there’s always another poll.
Thus, political leaders fortunes rise and fall precipitously. President Obama, dogged by discouraging unemployment figures, languishes at a polls approval rating of about 45 percent until Navy Seals flit in and kill Osama Bin Laden. The polls applaud him up to a 60 percent approval.
Well, we all applaud that justice has been done, but may not notice that Bin Laden’s demise did not somehow elevate that unemployment problem that the polls were about. When Osama is old news and the lack of jobs is still in full force, we may expect the fickle polls to dump him again.
The Yay-Boos of the polls rise and fall and our fortunes soar or plummet daily, it seems, without making any difference except to offer false hope or false gloom.
But as spurts of cheer or blame from Bin Laden victories come and go, unemployment does not...Read More