Tales of a Push Pollster

I usually avoid posts on US politics, it’s far too depressing, I’d much rather blog about cheerier subjects like the Opium War and the Great Leap Forward…but this article from Mother Jones on push polling and the GOP was just too fascinating to pass up.

“It starts with one of those cheery robo-voices asking if you’ll participate in a 45-second survey. If you don’t slam the phone down at that point, you’ll soon get to a question like this one: ‘In America when a person dies, the IRS can take up to 55 percent of the inheritance left for family and friends. Do you want Congress to permanently eliminate this unfair tax?’ Next, you’ll be told that the Democrat running for Congress in your district “voted to keep the death tax in place and refused to vote to make permanent the tax cuts that have caused record economic growth in 2001.”

Claiming to reach more people than television, radio, and print combined in a single day, Gabriel Joseph III’s FreeEats Advertising can lay claim to such high water marks of political discourse as the anti-Kerry swiftboat campaign. His automated calling banks are in high gear for this campaign season on such issues as gay marriage and the above mentioned death tax. And I thought that the CCP was in love with their propaganda machine…they’re babes in arms compared to this guy.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 4 Comments

This is so sleazy but so commonplace, I can’t even get mad at it anymore. The Republicans of today are masters at dirty tricks, from jamming the phone lines of their opponents to making false threats to naturalized US citizens that they could be arrested and deported if they go to vote. This is what today’s grand old party stands for – fear. Fear over phantom threats that they know are bogus. That’s all they can offer us.

October 31, 2006 @ 10:53 am | Comment

If enough Americans are stupid enough to fall for this shite so that it tips the balance in elections, then America deserves what’s going to happen to it. I just wish they wouldn’t drag my intelligent friends back there down with them.

In the 1950s and 60s, Southerners used to have “intelligence tests” with impossibly difficult questions aimed at blacks. If they couldn’t answer, they couldn’t vote. Good liberals scorned that then. I wish for it now. Something simple, on the order of “If you can’t name your current U.S. Congressman and Senators, you can’t vote in their election.” Put down that stupid juice, America!

October 31, 2006 @ 11:53 am | Comment

As the great Will Rogers once said, no one ever lost any money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

October 31, 2006 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

@Bukko: But does the rest of the world deserve it?

October 31, 2006 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

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