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The 2012 Republican Presidential Platform Survey

All registered Republican voters have just received yet another survey from the party leaders, along with a request for donations of course. It is difficult to answer many of the survey questions as they contain assumptions that bias your answer – if you can answer at all. Below are some of the worst examples; please see how you fare in answering them.
3. How important is it to voters in your state to have candidates give attention to the following issues during the 2012 campaign?

        (d)Exposing Obama’s radical left-wing policies

              ( ) Very important    ( ) Somewhat important    ( ) Not important

 8. Do you support a federal balanced-budget amendment to the US Constitution to stop deficit spending in Washington

                                                    ( )  Yes   ( ) No

 16. Do you believe Obama’s strategy of treating all countries as equals to the United States has strengthened our security and weaken the resolve of our enemies?

                                                     ( )  Yes  ( )   No

29. Do you believe the Republican Party needs to do a better job of exposing the Obama record and his radical liberal agenda?

                                                     ( )  Yes  ( ) No

30. Are you committed to helping ensure that in 2012 the Obama era policy of radical liberalism reckless spending and embarrassing foreign-policy comes to an end?

                                                       ( )  Yes   ( ) No

The questions above are from the 2012 Presidential Platform Survey sent out by the Republican Party to registered Republican voters. This is better than some of the surveys received under Michael Steele, where we also received his four-page letters telling us how to answer. Still, many of the questions are biased to get a particular answer – and are also designed to send a message rather than ask the constituent’s opinion.

For instance:

 Question 3. No matter what you answer, you are accepting the assumption that President Obama’s policies are radical and left-wing. His policies are considered to be slightly right of center and many of them were proposed in the past by Republicans.

 Question 8. Is cutting spending the only way to balance the budget? The budget could also be balanced by raising taxes to pay for our debts and our wars.

 Question 16. To answer it you must accept the assumption that Obama has a strategy of treating all countries equal. Does that mean “equal” as in treating them all with respect, which might lessen tensions and make them less likely to behave as our enemies?

 Question 29. In case you missed the inferences of Question 3., here president Obama’s agenda is called “radical liberal” to make sure you don’t miss it again. Wink, wink.

 Question 30. Repetition, repetition, repetition. That is the key to teaching slow learners, which is how the Republican leadership seems to see their constituency. To answer this question, you must not only buy into the “radical liberalism” label, but also into assumptions about “reckless spending” and “embarrassing foreign-policy”. How can you answer the question if you disagree? Oh, you are supposed to be a good “Stepford” Republican and not disagree.

If this survey is any indication, Republican leaders seem to be more interested in defeating Obama than they are in governing responsibly. It is more likely that those who agree with the biased assumptions will fill out and send in the survey, further biasing the results. I would hope that the party can develop a reasonable platform that traditional Republicans can support. My concern is that the Republican leaders will use the results of these biased surveys to try to whip into line the candidates who might object by telling them, “This is what the Republican voters want.” But is it really?

Note added on July 30, 2012: I received another Republican Presidential Platform Survey last week. Interestingly, it was almost identical to the one received  less than 2 months ago – and it did not mention the results of that survey. Perhaps it doesn’t matter what the results were because the surveys main purpose seems to be to provide propaganda and to request donations. It contained all the questions listed above above, but there was another section that is noteworthy. The section entitled “Values Issues” had 4 questions, and 3 of them were about the abortion issue. Are there no other values issues that should go into the Republican platform?

(c)2012  J.C. Moore

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