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.