April 18, 2011

Of Polls and Gravy Trains

Tis a truth that can be widely attested: no one likes to feel manipulated. We at least want a wink & a nod from our would-be manipulators when called out on it.

Yesterday received a push poll from the school district, and the caller wouldn't wink, nod or admit it was a push poll despite my asking why the question, "Do you feel property taxes are too high?" wasn't included (she said now that would be a push poll.) All the "questions" were heavy-handed groaners about the goodness and belt-tightening of the district. Given my smugness of seeing through it, I expected to be praised for my astuteness, which shows how much "astute" I lack. I loathe these sorts of tactics and told them that this call will make me LESS likely to vote for the levy.

Of course they wouldn't tell me who funded this "survey" but gave me a number to call. Which told me all I needed to know. The "survey" is a way to get their message out without our realizing they’re getting their message out. Despite the propaganda sent in the mail and columns from the superintendent in the newspaper, we need to be further edumacated.

I sense a bit of vindictiveness in my desiring to see the teachers’ gravy train end. I don’t have it hard enough, personally, to not let them live in their faux world, a world of artificially high wages and small class sizes created by the all powerful union and threat of strike or the pulling of sports. Why begrudge someone a good gig if you can afford it? And I can. Teachers in our district make surprisingly good money and unparalleled job security. Sure they’re overdue for a comeuppance, for a brush with reality. But aren’t we all, in the spiritual world if not material? Where’s the mercy, not justice?

“Charity,” said Chesterton, “isn’t charity if it’s deserving,” or words to that effect. I’m too much the conservative, which leaves me slightly uneasy.

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