Monday, October 30, 2006

Push polled

I keep trying to listen to one of these automated push polls all the way through to the end, but I always get mad and hang up. It happened again Saturday. The poll asked if I intended to vote for Tester. Then it asked if I intended to vote for Burns. Then it asked if I would prefer lower or higher taxes.

OK so far. But the next question got to me. It was, approximately: "Do you believe that terrorists should have the same constitutional rights as American citizens?" (If anybody else who was called got the question down more exactly, please let me know.)

I said, "What do you mean?"

Of course, the automaton on the other end couldn't handle that. It said that the call would be terminated unless I answered "yes" or "no."

I shouted into the phone.

"Good!" I said. "Then stop asking such moronic questions."

So I never got to hear the rest of the poll. But what the heck? Suspected terrorists who are Americans obviously have the same constitutional rights as other Americans. You can't deprive someone of constitutional rights simply by hanging on a label. Only Americans who have been caught actually carrying out or plotting acts of terror, or who have actively taken up arms against the country, lose any constitutional rights.

Terrorists who aren't Americans don't have the same constitutional rights as American citizens, but then neither does, say, Tony Blair. So what's the point of the question?

Sounds to me like a subtle way of asking if I'm OK with torturing terror suspects and eliminating habeas corpus and locking people away forever with no charges, no trial and no lawyer. And no, I'm not OK with that. On that point, the push-poll recording was as dense as the president.


Pete Hansen said...

Memo to all candidates....Save some money BY NOT calling my house with your B.S. polls and your glossy attack mailings. Or, you constant clowish and self defeating attach ads on TV. I have a quick remote trigger finger with a red mute button. None of these has swayed me either way in the way I've already voted absentee! By the way, "opinion" polls that are thinly disguised partisan polls, whether automated or not, I hang up on all of them. If you really want my opinion, mail me non candidate specific questions with a selfe addressed postage already paid envelope and I'll be happy to respond.

Ed Kemmick said...

David, my recollection of the question was pretty close to yours, and I had a similar reaction. I answered, "Hell,no!" just to sound like a good patriot, and so I could hear the rest of the spiel.

Todd said...

Jeez, David, how are they ever gonna conduct a decent knee-jerk push poll if you're gonna mess things up by tossing in your silly logic? If you continue to think clearly and independently, this call will be terminated.