NH 2020 survey scary
This letter is not intended to either support or oppose NH 2020. But controversial issues often reveal a great deal about how people make their decisions as voters. Inspired by the NH 2020 controversy, I decided to conduct a survey. Even though the results of my little survey do not qualify as a statistically valid representative sample, they are somewhat revealing.
I sought out 25 people who claimed to be opposed to NH 2020. I was interested in learning how some of our county residents arrived at their conclusion to oppose the issue. Admittedly, there’s a good chance that a survey of those who support the issue might have produced similar results. Nevertheless, of the 25 people I surveyed, only two (8 percent) had actually read the complete proposal. One had read “some” of the proposal; three more had read an “analysis” of the proposal. Well, at least 24 percent of my sample seemed reasonably well informed. However, of the remaining 19 people, 17 had read only biased position reports or newspaper accounts of the controversy. Two people (shame on you) had gotten their information from friends and acquaintances. One of the people I talked with, a strong supporter of the individual property rights, owns property bordering on “federally owned” land. When I asked what he would do if the government decided to sell the land for development, he said he would “sue their pants off.” Apparently, his rights as a land owner are superior to those of his neighbors. Another person said she believed that NH 2020 would empower the “environmental police” to enter her property at will and “confiscate” whatever portion of it they chose. Still another individual was opposed to NH 2020 because “(a certain county supervisor) is in favor of it, and I’m against anything he’s in favor of.”
So, what conclusions did I draw from this survey? Seventy-six percent of the people I surveyed will make their ballot decision on the basis of emotion or, at best, something less than complete information. It scares the heck out of me that these people vote on anything.
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“There is a cult of ignorance in this country … nurtured by the false notion that ‘my ignorance is as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov, 1980.