Against my better judgement, took a phone poll from Research!America, the caller for which claimed Research!America is an independent non-partisan research group.

This claim of neutrality might be somewhat less than completely accurate:

Research!America is the nation’s largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. We urge Congress and the administration to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) at levels that keep pace with scientific opportunity. We also advocate for federal funding for global health research and a legislative and regulatory climate that stimulates growth in industry research and development.

Maybe it’s just me and my pesky reliance on logic and English, but ‘advocacy’ and ‘neutrality’ are pretty much mutually exclusive in this space-time continuum.

The questions themselves bore my suspicions out. Seems the state of California has passed a bunch of legislation intended to “fight climate change,” and the poll was intended to frog march me to the right conclusion – that anyone who cares about THE CHILDREN!!! must support the efforts of Comrade Brown and his Lysenko-ite hench-minions to have California lead the way in Stopping Climate Change!

I was asked to give my opinion on various statements that, when boiled down, took the form of ‘do you support the efforts of all right-thinking people to SAVE THE CHILDREN AND THE PLANET or are you a greedy, callous SOB who probably works for the oil companies and would just as soon inflict fatal asthma on babies as say hello?’

More or less. Mostly more.

(This is certainly an appealingly simple way to view reality. None of those pesky details or facts or trade-offs need trouble the serene innocence of one’s mind.)

Maybe one of these days, I’ll turn down a pollster’s request, on the invariably confirmed premise that it’s just playing into the whole puritanical elitist drive to lead us little people to the correct positions that we, poor dears, can’t be trusted to reach on our own.  For now, I’ve contented myself with trying to get the pollster off script and rolling my eyes *hard*. It’s some small comfort.


Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

4 thoughts on “Research!America”

  1. Hrmm… Research!America. In many (not all) computer languages ! translates as an inversion or ‘not’, which seems rather fitting considering what they are attempting.

    A few elections ago, when we still had a genuine twisted-pair landline telephone service, a pollster called and I answered… and I took the poll for a while. And then cut it off, telling the pollster I had NO interest in thinly disguised campaign propaganda and I’d had quite enough of the ‘push poll’. There was denial, of course, but the slant was glaring.

    1. Showing an odd sort of wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing honesty? Like the Fabian Society? Anyone who wants to can read the stated purposes of this and various other groups who push these agendas, yet so few do as to make it safe for pollsters to just assume they can get away with it. Must feed that feeling of intellectual superiority so evident in these exercises to know that you’ve told people what you’re up to and they just don’t care to notice or find out.

  2. It is funny, isn’t it, how “non-partisan” means “pushes a solidly left-wing agenda but doesn’t isn’t in support of the party or candidate” but “partisan” means “mostly sides with the right or against the left, even though they’re strictly focused on the specific agenda in the name.”

    1. Yea, hilarious. Sort of like how ‘moderate’ means ‘agreeing with us, but being a little less than full throated in their support’ and all those swear words like ‘conservative’ or ‘reactionary’ or ‘right wing’ merely mean ‘actually disagree with us’. They can’t face the horror of the possibility that another human being might not think what they think.

      I’m hopeful that current events are showing that more and more people aren’t buying this. I’m a gullible optimist that way.

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