Who's Paying the Bill?
"Sure", I replied, "but first I have a question for you. Who's paying for this survey?"
*I don't know. I just work in a call center."
I wasn't pleased to participate in a survey without knowing who was paying the bill and the reason for the survey. However, I agreed to proceed out of curiosity and irritation.
The first question pertained to my opinion (Fair, Good or Excellent or some other scale) of the performance of Janet Napolitano, governor of Arizona. I responded that I didn't have an opinion which was an honest answer. (This question increased my curiosity. Recently I phoned the governor's office and left a message requesting that she sign the legislation that would exclude Arizona from the national ID system. Did my call cause me to be included in this survey?)
The second question related to my attitude about abortion. This question raised a flag that was large and bright red. I chose to be honest without revealing my attitude which is vague, ill formed and not consciously known to me. "I'm a male and I don't have a right to an opinion about abortion and women's rights." At this point in my life that was an honest answer but not one of the choices given me.
This response elicited a quick "thank you" before the young lady terminated the call.
I assume my refusal to respond to her questions by choosing one the choices given me caused her to abort the survey prematurely.
A few weeks ago Julie answered the phone and was asked if she would support a candidate who aligned himself with the president or distanced himself from the president.
Who's paying for these surveys? Candidates trying to determine how to mold and market themselves to win an election? Or, candidates who are looking for ways to illustrate their opponent at a bad choice and by default illustrate themselves as the only option.
I enjoy reading social research and the results of serious academic surveys but I'm irritated, offended and cynical when confronted with election surveys, political pundits and articles analyzing candidates. It would be unethical for me to be used and manipulated by participating in these surveys. Give me the candidates! Give me their books, articles and speeches. I want the full text without edits or commentary.
I'll invest my time. I'll listen, read, think and reach my own decisions. I'm paying the bill.