Thursday, January 31, 2008

Right track, wrong track

A new poll out today shows 75% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

This right track, wrong track question has been a staple of pollsters for many years and eagerly reported in the news. But I think the analysis of the results is flawed.

For several years I was a regular participant in a national poll and that question was present in nearly every questionnaire. I can't recall ever answering it with "right track." And every time I would see pundits analyse the numbers they would use the "wrong track" result to bludgeon Bush. But that was never my interpretation of the question.
I viewed the question more broadly than just Presidential approval (which has its own question) or the economy (ditto). To me it was an evaluation of where America is headed in general. I considered the direction of our moral compass and culture, the deterioration of the level of education of our population, and the loss of individual liberty. When I considered politics I thought about the future, not the people in power today. Unfortunately, for the reasons stated above, I think today's politicians are the best I will see in my lifetime. One only need look at the current Presidential primaries for evidence of deterioration. The level of race-baiting and naked pandering is stunning.

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