This made me want to cry

By kate on September 13th, 2007

“According to a new survey… fully a quarter of Americans believe the First Amendment’goes too far’ in its provision of rights and freedoms. It gets worse from there…”

Go read the linked blog post, then come back. I’ll wait.

These survey results depressed me so much that I followed the link to the survey and scrutinized the methodology, hoping to find some way to make the results seem less true. Here is the relevant bit: “The 2007 national survey of 1,003 respondents was conducted by telephone between Aug. 16 and Aug. 26.” Follow along as I grasp at straws and try to convince myself that our country isn’t doomed to idiocy.

Telephone surveys. Who do you think responds to those these days? Well, first you have to have a telephone. More and more young people are ditching the landline and going cell-only, or maybe VoIP. So that demographic is not included. Second, you need to be home to answer the phone. That makes it much less likely that the survey respondents were busy people, or even employed. Finally, even if they are home, many people will not take the time for a survey, especially one of this length. This rules out busy people (again), most parents, and anyone who is generally suspicious of unsolicited phone calls (in other words, people who think critically).

To continue my broad generalization, that leaves retirees, unemployed bums, the mentally defective, and cranks. It’s no surprise they come across as closed-minded.

Filed under: current events, justice
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One Response to “This made me want to cry”

  1. Meredith Says:

    That’s horrifying.

    It’s too bad they don’t go into more detail about the methodology — the response rate would be good to know here (is the 29% number the refusal rate?), as well as the reasons for declining to take the survey. I wonder if an online survey would return the same results.

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