Not that I plan on doing much commenting on the Casey Anthony case, but an offshoot of that trial and its verdict has prompted a similar thought into my brain. It is all because of a comment from a “local” here in Oklahoma City who uttered the generality, “But EVERYONE knows that she is guilty!”
So it is that generalities can serve to dissuade the uninformed and make it appear that one’s opinion is shared by the “vast majority” of others. It is not always a true statement, and I can certainly demonstrate one generality in politics that is untrue.
To give a lead-up, Bernard Goldberg in this book, “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News”, wrote of how it was that the CBS anchors and reporters and other news media personnel had the tendency to believe that they were the “norm” for the country. After all, they all worked in the same places, shared the same restaurants, lived in the same area of the country (New York), and of course all had the same political mindset. To them, everyone else was the extremes.
Belonging to the “Big Group” will lead one to believe that their ideas and philosophies are the correct ones to have. I think those in every political philosophical category tend to follow suit. But, there is a source of information that has for some time provided a perspective that many miss, even those that are among that “Big Group.”
There is a non-partisan polling group made up of both Republicans and Democrats that are making up the questions for what is known as “The Battleground Poll.” In their polls over the last several years, one question has always remained and pretty much with the exact same wording. It is question D3. It is one asking for the respondent’s voting tendencies. The question and its choices are as such:
"When thinking about politics and government, do you consider yourself to be...
Surprisingly, over the years, the answers to this question have been consistent. While many put so much faith in the Moderates and really strive hard to attract them, there are far fewer moderates than there are Liberals and Conservatives. From an article by Bruce Walker in the American Thinker:
“In August 2008, Americans answered that question this way: (1) 20% of Americans considered themselves to be very conservative; (2) 40% of Americans considered themselves to be somewhat conservative; (3) 2% of Americans considered themselves to be moderate; (4) 27% of Americans considered themselves to be somewhat liberal; (5) 9% of Americans considered themselves to be very liberal; and (6) 3% of Americans did not know or refused to answer.”
From those numbers, 60 percent are very or somewhat conservative, only 2 percent consider themselves to be moderate, and only 36 percent think of themselves as liberal or somewhat liberal. The astonishing thing is that some look to voter registration and say, “But there are more Democrats than Republicans.” That is certainly true in many states, but consider the following.
In the last two presidential elections, 2004 and 2008, Oklahoma has been one of only two states where EVERY county in the state voted for the Republican; George W. Bush in 2004 and John McCain in 2008. Yet, Oklahoma has more Democrats than Republicans. The difference is that a lot of the Democrats in Oklahoma are conservative in their philosophies. While some statewide and Congressional elections have yielded Democrat winners, the Presidential choices have been overwhelmingly for the Republican in most election years.
Being a Democrat or Republican is not as important as being liberal or conservative. Here is another consideration for you to ponder upon. Over the years, when a Republican ran for President with his campaign being based on conservative ideals, those candidates have won their election.
If they ran on moderate ideals, or “I’m going to get along”, or I’ll reach out to Democrats, they tended to lose the election. Most notably, those “moderate” candidates were Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, and John McCain. Those who ran on more conservative ideals were Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. (Granted, George H.W. Bush lost re-election, but it was because of the reversal on “Read my lips…no new taxes.” Also, both George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole had to deal with votes from their base going to Ross Perot.)
Now, let’s get back to the Battleground Poll for more results. From an April 2010 article, again by Bruce Walker:
“Since June 2002, the Battleground Poll has asked this same question in its demographics section, and in fifteen consecutive polls, the answer has always been the same. Americans overwhelmingly describe themselves as conservative. What does "overwhelming" mean in this context? The percentage of Americans who call themselves conservative in these polls has never been less than 58%. ... There has been a remarkable consistency in the responses to this question. Over the course of these polls, 60.2% of Americans, on average, call themselves conservative.
The results of the April 2010 Battleground Poll show that nothing has changed. Fifty-nine percent of Americans in the latest Battleground Poll call themselves conservative; two percent of Americans call themselves moderate; thirty-four percent call themselves liberal; and five percent were either unsure or refused to answer. ... Stories from the establishment media, like USA Today and the L.A. Times, conveniently miss the underlying story about the April 2010 Battleground Poll.”
Now, from the American Thinker in July of 2011, there is more from Bruce Walker.
“I have been writing for over a decade about the most consistent datum in the last twenty consecutive Battleground Polls: the overwhelming conservative majority in America. The Battleground Poll just published confirmed that persistent statistic. When asked to define their own ideological position, 57% called themselves "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative," while 37% called themselves "very liberal" or "somewhat liberal." The tiny smidgen of Americans who were either "unsure" or "moderate" or "refused to answer" was 5%.”
Links to the full stories from which I have pulled the quotes:
So, for those Conservatives out there that feel hammered from all the negative stories from the news media, keep the above statistics in mind that an overwhelming majority of voting Americans are conservative in nature. Since the poll number only slightly vary over the many polls, we can take comfort in that our beliefs are the most prevalent. This information is what helps me to remain as confident as I am, even during the silly season known as elections.
I have long stated to anyone who would listen, and to some who don’t want to, don’t pay a lot of attention to polls reported in the news media. They will invariably search out polls that give the appearance of popularity in their own causes and agendas.
The ONLY REALLY IMPORTANT poll is the one on Election Day when the real respondents cast their votes. Those REAL respondents are the American people. All we need are candidates who are truly conservative.