Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All You Need to Know About American Public Opinion: The Facts

1. Americans want to expand health coverage for all, but it must not cost them anything or affect their own coverage negatively.

2. They want to reduce the deficit but such fiscal constraint must not reduce any of their cherished benefits or raise their taxes.

3. They want the unvarnished truth, but they do not want to hear any arguments, facts, or reasons that challenge any of their cherished beliefs.

4. They want to understand issues, but they do not want to spend any time seriously investigating all sides of the issues with open minds.

5. They want bipartisanship as long as that means both parties will accept their own preferred doctrines.

6. Congress stinks, but their own representatives are great as long as they bring federal dollars, jobs, public works, and other goodies to their own area.

7. They are against unnecessary military spending unless the obsolete or unneeded weapon or parts of it are made in their own state or district, in which case it is essential to national security.

8. Wasteful spending is bad, but any benefits that accrue to them are necessary for their survival and well-being and justly deserved.

9. They believe that government is bad except when they want something from it.

10. Above all, they want lower taxes and increased benefits.

11. They are against unnecessary medical treatments, improving efficiency, reducing overall costs, but they want unlimited access for themselves.

12. They want a full understanding, but don't bother them will any hints of complexities, ambiguities, trade-offs regarding public policy, but they know full well that their own personal lives are full of complexities, ambiguities, and trade-offs.

Now you know, so forget about all those public opinion polls.

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