Recently, we received a questionnaire from the National Republican Congressional Committee. I have no idea why. We are not registered Republicans. We have never sent them money. We have given them no encouragement whatsoever. My wife’s from Chicago. She’s never even seen a Republican.
Perhaps the National Republican Congressional Committee has been following my blog. A while back, I came out as a conservative, though not as a today-type conservative, but as a conservative reminiscent of the conservatives of the eighteenth century. I identify with the historical conservatives’ cautious and deliberative approach to things.
The National Republican Congressional Committee may have confused my enthusiasm for historical conservatives with an enthusiasm for today’s conservatives. There is no connection. Today’s conservatives are different.
As are today’s Republicans.
Richard Nixon was a Republican president in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies, at which point, he resigned, before he was booted out for breaking the law. Prior to that, however, Nixon, exhibited some distinct moderate proclivities, opening up relations with Communist China, and presiding over the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
I note these accomplishments not to praise Nixon, but to demonstrate the difference between the Republicans of one generation earlier and the Republicans of today. It’s unlikely I would ever have been a Republican. It’s a certainty that I couldn’t be one today.
And yet, they sent me a questionnaire. Along with an appeal for money.
I am focusing on the Republican questionnaire only because the Republicans sent me one, and the Democrats didn’t. Having not received a Democratic questionnaire, I cannot make any comparisons. I imagine, however, that a Democratic questionnaire would lean as partisanly in a Democratic direction as the Republican questionnaire leans in the Republican direction. A Democratic questionnaire may not lean at all; it may lean more; it may lean less. I couldn’t say for sure, because I’ve never seen one.
My interest, in any case, is in the “leaning.”
Used correctly, the questionnaire process is an evidence-gathering technique, through which researchers gather honest responses to, as best as the researcher can construct them, unbiased questions.
Though packaged as one, the questionnaire distributed by the National Republican Congressional Committee is not really a questionnaire at all. It’s a pep rally on paper. The give-away is the manipulative way in which the questions have been designed.
Consider, choosing randomly, Question One:
Do you believe the Obama Administration and Nancy Pelosi’s soft-on-defence, reckless spending, higher taxes, and expansive Big Government policies are the right leadership for America?
Before I can respond, I need some help understanding the question. When you say, “soft-on-defence”, what exactly do you mean by that?
“Reckless spending”? Define “reckless.”
“Higher taxes.” Remind me. Are the Democrats proposing to raise everyone’s taxes or just the taxes of a small percentage of people who earn more than a certain amount of money?
“Expansive Big Government policies.” This one confuses me. If the Republicans hadn’t opposed the Democrats’ proposal for increased regulation, would “expansive Big Government policies” have even been necessary?
I apologize for my pickiness, but unless I’m clear on the question, I can’t make a reasonable judgment on what’s “the right leadership for America.”
Should House Republicans fight to curb spending and oppose the Democrats’ wasteful pork projects, like the $30 million for salt marsh harvest mice in Nancy Pelosi’s hometown of San Francisco?”
Help me out here. Is it only Democrats who promote “pork projects”, or do both parties do that?
If it’s a common practice, is there any reason for singling out Nancy Pelosi, and her “hometown of San Francisco?”
Also, I’d really like to know more about this “salt marsh harvest mice” situation. Does the money go directly to the mice? If it does, I would definitely be against it. Even if it doesn’t, you know, there are people whose continued unemployment benefits are being threatened, I believe by Republicans. All things being equal, I’d prefer them to get the money than a rodent study project.
I may be confusing things here. “Curbing spending on the unemployed” is nowhere mentioned in the questionnaire.
Do you believe Nancy Pelosi’s reckless accusations against the CIA have damaged our counter-terrorism capabilities?
It’s hard to believe that anyone other than a terrorist would deliberately want to damage our “counter-terrorism capabilities.” Does that mean Nancy Pelosi is a terrorist? Of course, my question becomes meaningless if it turns out Pelosi’s “accusations” were not really that “reckless.”
Are you against relocating suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay prison into the United States?
I’m definitely against it, if they want to “relocate” them in my house. But if it’s in, say, a Maximum Security Prison that nobody has ever broken out of – that would be different.
I guess I just need some clarification.
My point, possibly belabored, is this. Republicans have a right to their positions. And they have a right to raise money in support of those positions. But if they’re trying to win over someone who has an open mind but who finds partisanly-biased fake questionnaires personally offensive, I truly believe they are damaging their cause.
The explanation for such actions, as I’ve written about elsewhere, is that the National Republican Congressional Committee is not talking to me.
In which case, why did they send me this questionnaire?