Photo I.D. and an I.Q. Test

By: Patti Bankson

There’s been a lot of pre-election talk about Republican voters who are discontent. How many of them there are depends on what poll is used to prop up any given “pundit’s” perspective. Whatever their numbers, whatever the poll, the connection between the two can’t be ignored.

When I was a kid my dad teasingly called me “Rudolph”, because I’d always been so inquisitive. That’s why I surprised him one day when I told him that I’d hate to be a person who had to do surveys. He said he thought I’d enjoy asking all those people all those questions. I agreed I’d like asking the questions, but said that what I wouldn’t like about the job would be that it would take forever to talk to every single person in the world! Laughing, he told me that wasn’t how it worked; then he explained it to me. I guess that’s why whenever I see or hear the results of current polls, a couple of things come to mind. One: most people weren’t fortunate enough to have a dad who took the time to explain “how it (whatever ‘it’ was) worked”. Two: most people need to be waaaaaaay more inquisitive than they are. One definition of “inquisitive” may be something like “nosy”, but the first definition of the word is this: “given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious.” Without that intellectual curiosity … that eagerness for knowledge … there’s a lot about the information in polls that can be misunderstood. For instance, only a certain number of people are polled. Thus 51% for or against something simply refers to 51% of the limited number of participants in that particular poll. Another for instance: participants with a “preferred” mindset sometimes (sometimes rather deliberately) outnumber those with the undesired mindset. And here’s the most important “for instance”: poll questions can be skewed to illicit a preferred response.

The importance of savvy voters when it comes to polls and the influence they wield can’t be understated because… well, because of the influence they wield! The importance of the electorate being more savvy about all things politic can’t be understated either. I know, I know… busy lives and all that. But, busy or not, we’d all better understand that what goes on in politics is what goes on in government and what goes on in government today is what goes on in our lives tomorrow.

I’m hoping that those voters who are unhappy with the Republican leadership will come to their senses before they do either of the really stupid things they’re “threatening” to do … either vote for Democratic candidates or not vote at all. Apparently they think that will “teach them a lesson”. Huh??

Arizona is now requiring a photo I.D. before anyone can vote. I think that makes a lot of sense. And the unhappy Republicans’ idea of squandering your vote in order to teach politicians a lesson (which will go right over their heads, anyway!) makes me think an additional requirement makes sense … an I.Q. test!

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