Why Progressives Should Stop Watching Opinion Polls

Opinion polls are the political equivalent of shiny objects in the distance. If you scour the internet long enough, you will find more than a few polls which aggravate you and a handful more which please you. A lesson one should extrapolate from recent political history at home and abroad is that while an opinion poll helps to take the “temperature” of the current political atmosphere, it is little more than an educated guess about what will happen when the only real poll which matters takes place at the time that we cast our ballots. The past few months since the announcements for President began have had many ups and downs for progressives in the polls, and the latest “bombshell” announcement with former Vice-President Joe Biden entering the race has only served to further rock the proverbial boat.

Let’s dispense for a moment with the assertions that one poll or another is “rigged” for or against any particular candidates. Forget the assessments of these polls by establishment poll-watchers like Nate Silver and even Steve Kornacki. The fact of the matter is that it is too early to get excited or infuriated about any polls. Voters won’t start making their final decisions in the primaries for another 8 months, so we have plenty of time to canvass, phone-bank, and otherwise spread the word on this second wind of OUR revolution. Besides, it is a waste of our precious time to sit and argue about corporate-funded and published opinion polls.

Think of opinion polls as an old window screen which is badly covered in muck collected from years of dust and other things blowing towards your house throughout the years. On the other side of that screen is the real world, but the screen is so old that it fails to let you see the full picture. Is that some stranger walking in your yard uninvited? Or is it a family member inspecting the grounds to pick up trash and toys before mowing? Do you make a decision about calling the police to deal with the suspected intruder based on the images obfuscated by your screen? Or, do you attempt to take a closer look so as to make a fully informed decision? I would like to think that we progressives prefer the latter approach.

Opinion polls serve no purpose other than to entertain us. They aid in the profit-seeking narratives of a media corrupted by the pursuit of the almighty dollar. After all, there is no “horse race” to talk about and captivate the audience without a degree of manufactured uncertainty. The media bosses are laughing all the way to the banks as we tear each other apart over our interpretation of the numbers they want us to see. Debating poll numbers is tantamount to arguing with a toddler about whether or not you saw them take the cookie out of the jar. It is a waste of time and a distraction from what really matters.

Do the revolution a favor and ignore the damn polls. Even when the primaries are upon us, these polls don’t matter. Regardless of whether the polls show us that Bernie is stomping his competition or getting trounced himself, we expend too much energy on this useless charade produced by the same wealthy interests we are attempting to topple. It is time to play the game of politics on our terms, not theirs. When we remember that the goal is to achieve meaningful change for all while recognizing the truth of that old expression, “the revolution will not be televised”, then we will see how easy it is to win.

Onward to victory!

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Daniel H. Crawford III

Daniel Crawford is the proud father of Austin (born in 2006) and Madison (born in 2008), uncle to seven nieces and nephews, brother to three younger siblings, and the surviving son of his late-mother – Starla Kay Hunter -, whom passed away at the age of 49 in 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Government with Minor Degrees in History and Public Administration in 2013 from Ashford University. A long-time activist, Daniel first got involved in politics when he was 18 in 2003 by frequently contributing to a progressive blog called Democrats.com under the pseudonym “dem4christ04”. In 2005, he created his own blog through Xanga at http://democratforchrist2020.xanga.com/ and still contributes to such from time to time. In 2004, Daniel began volunteering with his local Democratic Party in Licking County, Ohio and soon thereafter helped to build the Licking County Democratic Club; in which he later served as the Club’s Second Vice President in 2016. From 2006-2008, Daniel was a vocal advocate for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for their numerous offenses, giving numerous, lengthy speeches at his local City Council meetings in promoting a resolution to pressure his members of Congress to hold the administration accountable. In 2014, Daniel again saw the need to advocate for impeachment, but this time for President Obama, for his overreaching use of executive powers, as well as a perceived continuation of many abuses under George W. Bush, warning that the continued circumvention of Congress – regardless of the intent - was a usurpation of legislative powers and a dangerous precedent for the separation of powers. In 2011, Daniel formed a local chapter of “Occupy” called the “99% of Newark and East Central Ohio”. The group’s members came together for numerous reasons, but soon concentrated on the issue of money in politics as the foundational issue which needed to be addressed first. From 2014 through 2016, the group’s small membership managed to make history in Newark by successfully placing a citizen’s initiative on the ballot to create an educational event – called “Democracy Day” - centered around the money in politics issue with special emphasis on the Citizens United ruling. The initiative – which narrowly failed, sadly – would have created this event and would have demanded that our members of Congress support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United. In 2017, despite the failure of that initiative, the group – which became a subgroup of the Licking County Progressives, an organization formed in the wake of the 2016 Election – hosted our first “Democracy Day” event, seeing that we needed to do more to educate the public on the matter. Also in 2016, Daniel was appointed to the Board of the Freedom School of Licking County – a nonprofit which promotes education for the purpose of empowering average Americans in society and the workplace -, and was elected to a term as its Chairman that summer. Daniel has also authored a number of books – created and published through an Amazon service called “CreateSpace” -: a manifesto entitled “The Pillars of Unitism” and a novel entitled “The Politician: Crisis” (the latter is the first part of a planned trilogy). His undying devotion to the cause of empowering the people via a strengthened democracy is what drives him each and every day. While his children inspire the bulk of his determination to build a better world, he learned to be indiscriminately compassionate from his mother, as she sought – through to her dying day – to see every mouth fed, every back clothed, and everybody housed…so long as she could help it. Why – it must be asked – is this compassionate vision for the world so controversial in the first place? In Daniel’s mind, challenging the status quo of rugged individualism and inspiring the rejuvenation of a collective spirit is his life’s work.