Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Hunting the Single-Issue Voter

I received an interesting phone call a couple of days ago. It was a political survey with only two rather unusual questions.
  1. Are you opposed to abortion in every case, except to save the life of the mother?
  2. Are you opposed to gun control of any kind, including handgun registration?
I didn't have the presence of mind to ask who was conducting the survey, though I doubt that I would have gotten an honest or meaningful answer in any case. I was struck by the strangeness of these questions - I mean, what is the point of such a survey?

Then it struck me.

It's the Hunt for the Single-Issue Voter. The Republicans are trying to assess what percentage of the population they can sucker to vote for them based upon a single emotional issue. This is the group of people that they can count on to go to the polls and vote Republican with no thought whatsoever. Forget about democracy or representing the views of the people - this is a purely cynical and systematic manipulation of a segment of the population for political power. These issues, gun control and abortion, are not things that would even come up in everyday conversation among the electorate were it not for the continual reminders from the conservative media that these are the things that their voters should care about, to the exclusion of everything else. By manipulating the emotions of a group of people ill-equipped to defend themselves with reason, the Republicans work to expand their personal power.

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