Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How Differently Do Libs and Cons Think? A Poll

I'm going to link here to a poll - I'd like to check responses from a random sample (here, on Google+, and on Facebook). If you could answer a few questions, I'd appreciate it - it will be anonymous.

This was prompted by an article comparing the starkly different answers to questions about acceptable/unacceptable speech. If the response is good, I may try other polls to get some sense about how differently Americans feel about current issues.

The poll deals with proper responses to school violence.


Bob T. said...

The survey was *much* too simplistic, and I'd bet my next paycheck I'm *far* from unique among the readers of this blog in that assessment. The survey *is*, however, an excellent illustration of how (in my opinion) most of those who *don't* read this blog are looking for the simple quick fix to deep-seated societal rot.

Candidly, I found myself reading the survey questions from a logically negative perspective, i.e., what was not among the causes, and what ought not to be the next step. Those questions are far more likely to have single answers in a reader's mind. As worded, however, I found myself struggling to come up with single "best" answers to the questions posed.

Bob T. said...

It occurs to me I may have closed-out my earlier comment a bit prematurely :-). Let me make a few predictions about the results.

To the extent anyone nominally of leftist persuasion takes the survey, the answers having to do with blaming guns and further regulating them will be disproportionately represented. Here's a more subtle aspect of that... Even if survey respondents are equally represented across the entire spectrum of political thought (as I perceive it, anyway), those two survey answers will be selected more often than any of the others.

Here's a corollary to drive home the point: if you filter based on self-identified political affiliation (no opportunity to do so on the survey, but since the validity of stated affiliation would depend on the respondent's honesty/integrity, that would diminish the value of that information), I predict the following results... From the left side of the spectrum, nearly 100% selection of guns as the cause and further regulation of same as the way forward. From the centrist-to-right side of the spectrum, a much more even distribution of selected causes and "way forward" actions, NOT including anything to do with guns.

Recognizing the difficulty in designing polls and accurately interpreting the results is why I typically run from anyone carrying a clipboard. Telephone surveys are no better, and I don't participate in those either.

At the risk of oversimplifying things, my experience suggests this is why the left has enjoyed considerable success among the non-thinking public. A goal is identified, targeted, and pursued relentlessly using tactics ideally suited to people with short attention spans (sound-bite-sized slogans like "GUNS BAD!! GET RID OF THEM!! FOR THE CHILDREN!!"), all while meticulously ignoring the history of how things turned out the previous time(s) that solution was tried. Conservatives are diffuse in their approach to problem solving, open to considering the possibility of multiple contributing factors, and the need for a multi-pronged approach in addressing them, all while considering the efficacy of "prior art".

This is the essential disadvantage people on my side of the argument must overcome. None of us can make our points without writing an essay, whereas the non-thinking-but-feeling leftist delivers his/her point by chanting a slogan of no more than five syllables that has the additional positive attribute of fitting nicely on a poster that can be carried by one person. Regrettably, I see a time coming where the only point I'll care to make can be delivered with a single application of 55+ grains of lead. As was said better elsewhere, you cannot reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into.

Jerry Romick said...

Question #2 did not have any answer that I could check, needed an "other" option there.

Linda Fox said...

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate your responses - I'm just trying to get a sense of how readers of this blog think, as opposed to those answering other polls.

It's true that many intelligent people have reasoned and thoughtful opinions that cannot be distilled into a simple answer.

What would have been a better idea would have been to take the questions/answers in a widely used poll, and use it to find out how much readers differ from the average respondent. I may do that in the future.

daniel_day said...

Allowing multiple answers would have helped.

NP Difficulty said...

Two additional choices of "Uncertain" and "None of these" would be appropriate options.