(Welcome, libra, to the front page! - promoted by kindler)
And this time it was "for real"; a real, live, responsive young lady, with a long list of cunningly skewed questions, not some robocall telling me to "press one".
As often happens, my husband and I answered the phone at the same time, in different parts of the house. Neither one of us caught much of the introductory palaver -- other than: "we're not selling anything" -- so I still don't know who conducted the poll, though I have a good idea of who paid for it. Once the young lady asked for me by name, my husband hung up and I was on my own.
The beginning was, I think, pretty standard...
|Would I say that, in the past, I've voted in all, most, some, or none elections? And would I say that I was a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent (that question went through several variants/angles, including leanings, past performance, etc). Was I very interested, somewhat interested, not interested at all in VA politics...
And then came a question that, to, me -- a Deeds supporter -- sounded pretty ominous: "If the elections were tomorrow, would I vote for McDonnell or McAuliffe". Say what? The primaries aren't over; the fat lady hasn't sung yet. I settled for "undecided", in retaliation for that presumption. I also began to wonder which of the two candidates was testing the waters; this wasn't coming from some disinterested, objective observer.
And then came a slew of questions which were as obvious in their bias as they were convoluted in their formulation. "Some people would say that...A, while other people would say that...B; which is the closer to your own opinion?" What's wrong with just the question, without the "some people say" bit? And the questions themselves...
How do vague "family values" compare, as issues of importance, with solid things like "jobs", "healthcare" and "education" (not to mention a slightly fuzzy "environment")? My BS antennae went up in a hurry, but I was still unsure; the questions jumped from subject to subject, all over the place. One minute it was issues, the next she wanted to know my position on abortion and gay marriage, then my level of education, then it was "would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate, if you heard that...", then how often I went to church, back to trying to manipulate (would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who was endorsed by...).
The penny dropped with the "...if you heard that a candidate..." question. It was a straightforward smear against McAuliffe, with a teeny seed of truth in it and a whole bush of weeds growing out of it. So I asked her if she were polling for McDonnell.
"No ma'am; we're an independent firm". "Because," I said "your question attacks McAuliffe with something that's not, exactly, true". "It's a hypothetical question, ma'am" she said. At which point my evil, warped, sense of humour kicked in. "Do you have a comparable hypothetical question, attacking McDonnell?" "No ma'am".
From then on, it was all fun; where before I tried to give honest, moderate and well-balanced answers (in line with my zodiac sign), now I went hog-wild; listened to the questions just carefully enough to detect the desired skew and let fly in the opposite direction. Taxes, taxes, I want more taxes; on general population, and on businesses, with no respite; don't even think of taking a penny from any of the existing programs. You bet I feel strongly about card check and don't talk to me about that misleading canard about the "right to work". Lots of gun regulation, absolutely. What? Yeah, sure, we have guns in my family; for hunting; don't need an AK-47, do I?
Only once did I bit my tongue a little. When she asked how much weight -- on a scale of zero to 100 -- I'd attach to an endorsement from Roberts (Robertson? The Regents school of law?), I just said "zero" instead of "they let that blond bimbo, Monica Goodling, graduate; that's all I need to know about their level of intellect". For all I know, the young lady is a blonde herself, and working her way through Regents; why gratuitously hurt her feelings?
We ended with her -- quite heartfelt -- "thank you for your time, ma'am; have a blessed day", to which I responded "thank you, and the same to you", which, in turn, wrung a startled "thank you!" from her.
What a wonderful way to start a weekend; haven't had that much fun in months :)