I have read and heard so many explanations for why the polls never quite come up to snuff, an odd phrase at best that dates back to tobacco usage. And perhaps that’s apt: we keep relying on old models and ignore how they have been corrupted. Intentionally corrupted. Intentionally corrupted: poisoned if you wish like a tobacco addict poisons himself.
This is important, especially if the blue wave is a mere ripple after Tuesday, or the undertow takes us away to drown us in the depths of autocracy, plutocracy, oligarchy, and/or fascism. For without a strong check on the one party pushing for a one party system: with the mere facade of two, that is what we will surely have… abandoning what little freedom that came from what our forefathers gave us.
It should go without saying, without typing, that if there is a “big blue wave” Tuesday will just be the start. Please don’t expect puppies, kittens, rainbows and everything to be copacetic: palatable, satisfactory, ducky, hunky-dory. The first shot will have been fired in what may become a very hot war. They will not quit, they will not stop, they will not concede, no compromise: no matter what the electorate says. Every election since at least 92 has proven that.
But let’s get back to all the angst over how unreliable the polls are. Having done survey work, studied such as a part of my Communication courses, taking statistics I know something has to be unreliable about our samples or sampling process. The standard answers: people lying, unwilling to admit, poor sampling all have some validity. Yet I think something else is going on here.
The one unspoken fact never factored in is all the variations on whose votes won’t be counted. That can go from caging, to being knocked off the rolls for partisan purposes, placebo (provisional) ballots the never get counted or only get counted when it suits partisan purposes… in Georgia, Kansas and other states there can be no denying that partisanship plays a strong role, even up to those who are running for office being in control of who votes, or not.
How many people tell pollsters who they voted for but their vote was never counted: will NEVER be counted? How many thought they voted but they really didn’t? How secure are the machines? Did you know the frequency of machines flipping a voter’s votes rightward no is anomaly, leftward: though it happens, is an anomaly? Who, or what, counts the votes and what’s the nature of that proprietary programming. It goes without saying, and almost without typing, that the nature of the proprietary programming in the machines matters.
Fixing our various, unequal protection-based, voting systems must come first: even before any perceived crimes of the current administration. This is why; more than many other reasons, our polls are so off: dance away from their results. The actual vote is never counted, and never taken. And a lot of these efforts amount to polls taxes, and taxing politically inconvenient voters.
Vote: PLEASE VOTE. But if it goes south Election Day remember Republicans have been gaming the system for more than a score. Please don ‘t come back with, “But Democrats…” There simply is NO comparison. Republicans have gotten really, really good at it, and out in the open. Consider Georgia. Meanwhile we fight each other, and they use that against us.
If there is some huge wave don’t be complacent. The war has just begun.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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