Postpone the poll
It may be politically incorrect to joke about the Poles, but it is politically necessary to examine what the polls really are.
We are fast entering the dark days of campaigning, where every other text message, robocall, junk mail, or spam we receive invites us to take a survey.
Supposedly, these polls measure what we think. More likely, they are tools by which candidates form attitudes through the way they frame questions or identify topics.
The next time a campaign hits like a threatening storm and threatens to inundate you with investigative questions, think about what you’re being asked.
Almost always, you’ll be faced with a series of burning questions that people love to shout slogans about: pro-life or pro-choice, the 2nd amendment, border security, ballot integrity, Christian family values, critical race theory, etc.
If you skip the screening questions, you’ll be told something about each candidate — things like, “Candidate X likes to rip the wings off butterflies. Does that make you more or less likely to support Candidate X? »
Or you’ll be asked whether you love or hate certain past or distant politicians like Donald Trump, Sam Brownback, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer — none of whom (thank goodness) are showing up for anything in Kansas this year.
What pollsters are trying to do is find corner issues that their candidates can become middle-aged cheerleaders for.
By shouting slogans meant to make people as pissed off as possible, they hope not only to get their vote, but also to get them to throw in a few pennies on top of the bags of cash that special interests are contributing.
It’s no wonder the slogan “Survey says. . .” is used by a TV show called “Family Feud”. Political investigations are designed to keep the feuds alive so the Democratic Hatfields and Republican McCoys can continue to tear our neighborhood apart with their endless battles.
Wouldn’t it be nice if at least one or two candidates showed some faith in democracy? When was the last time a politician listened on a “listening” tour and tried to figure out what unique local issues he or she could hope to solve?
In Marion County alone, the issues could fill a debate and leave plenty of room for imaginative future leaders to devise solutions that would allow them to lead rather than follow:
Why didn’t the county request, and did the legislature designate, Remington Rd. of US-56 in Pilsen as a state highway honoring Father Emil Kapaun and encouraging safe pilgrimages? security of thousands of loyal followers of a man universally revered both patriotically and religiously?
Why have we devoted so few resources to researching and addressing the blue-green algae that is strangling Marion Reservoir and Lake Marion County, stifling our county’s ability to capitalize on being a destination for travel ?
Why do court proceedings allow defendants in red-handed and caught red-handed cases to continue shooting at liberty, often for years, while taxpayers shell out huge sums for endless processions of half-employed lawyers for defendants who supposedly can’t afford a lawyer but still seem able to post bail for the serfs?
Why do we have to make engineers, grant writers and others rich by seeking cost-shared help to buy things we don’t really need and often can’t afford to maintain or store? Simply sharing, unconditionally, the revenues that fund such programs would reduce overhead and put control of local improvements back where it belongs – in the hands of voters and local officials.
Why, when Marion County has roads, doesn’t it just get an unlimited siphoning off of fuel taxes instead of funneling that money through a thousand state and federal bureaucracies before a trickle of it does be sent back to his place of origin?
Why, when we think it’s unfair for small schools to compete athletically with big schools, do we consistently impose the same heavy regulations on smaller companies? The mega-corporations simply plug these paperwork requirements into their multi-million dollar supercomputers. Family businesses end up facing death by a thousand paper cuts.
Why, when our cities are overcrowded, don’t we, as a society, create greater incentives for people other than meth users to move to rural areas, where infrastructure is often wasted?
Instead of bragging about the amount of money provided or claimed for COVID relief, how about putting the same amount of energy and pride into figuring out how we’re going to pay for it all? Instead of worrying about who is wearing surgical masks, how about worrying about who is wearing a Hamburglar mask to claim relief that is not really needed and only makes our inflation and debt worse?
These are just some of the issues it would be completely refreshing to hear a candidate address instead of the endless litany of pro-life or pro-choice, the 2nd amendment, border security, ballot integrity , Christian family values, critical race theory, etc.
It’s time for all of us to hang up on the pollsters and instead demand answers from the people asking for our votes. Don’t care about a candidate’s name or affiliation, church affiliation, or profession. Worry about whether he or she is willing to address issues that will actually impact our daily lives in Marion County.
— ERIC MEYER