Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Can't we do better than this?

I donated to the Democratic Party's vote-for-Kerry effort last fall, so I got on their mailing list, probably forever. I've gotten some interesting stuff from them, with "interesting" applied both positively and negatively. Just last week, I got a mass mailing from the Democrats entitled "2005 Democratic Agenda Survey."

It sounded like a good chance to help the Democrats set their agenda for the 2006 Congressional midterm elections, and maybe on to the 2008 Presidential election. So I grabbed a pen and opened up the booklet, eager to help our party figure out what issues to focus on.

The first thing I noticed was the two-page long letter signed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

Dear Friend,

I know that Democrats like you have a powerful interest in the future direction of our country. And I also know that your active participation in shaping that future is essential to our ability to stand up to George W. Bush and his Republican allies' abuse of power in Congress.

That's why I have sent you this 2005 DEMOCRATIC AGENDA SURVEY.

OK, Slag thinks, it's in all caps, so it must be important. After the page asking people to send contributions along with surveys (with the obligatory "gifts at this level are urgently needed"), I got to the questions. Questions such as:

Sample Question 1. Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been admonished by the House Ethics Committee more than any other U.S. Representative. Do you think Tom DeLay is fit or unfit to retain his post as Majority Leader?

Sample Question 2. Do you support the Republican-led Congress giving President Bush the authorization to increase America's debt levels and run us further into the red?

Sample Question 3. How do you feel about the Bush administration's relaxation of Clean Air Act pollution controls?

More than half the questions are in that general style. Clearly, this is not a survey sent for information, it's a call to rally one's righteous indignation against our opponents. It's a marketing mailing disguised as a survey.

There are lots of good reasons to rally the troops, but I think it's a bad idea to rally the troops under the guise of a scientific survey. If we really are the party of rationality - and spend two minutes talking to a Republican to convince yourself that we are - then we should take seriously our attempts to engage in rational discourse with each other.

I'll be throwing this mailing away, but I hope they send me more mail.


Blogger Drek said...

That ranks right up there with the GOP's last survey:

Question One: Do you support President Bush, or do you support terrorists?

(A) President Bush
(B) Terrorists

Question Two: Complete this sentence- "George Bush is ____"

(A) a Servant of the Lord
(B) a Great President
(C) Very Handsome
(D) Der Fuhrer

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 9:07:00 AM  

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