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Caroline, Polling, and the American Democracy

By       Message sameh abdelaziz     Permalink
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I met Caroline on a recent business trip. She was on her way to Kansas City where she studies to be a teacher.  Although many of us that travel frequently develop advanced techniques to avoid conversations with fellow passengers, this time was different. Caroline was eager to talk and with her innocent young face and beautiful mid-western accent I found myself encouraging her.

Caroline told me that she got married five days earlier. She showed me with lots of pride her small ring and talked for a while about her groom. She said that they decided to get married only three weeks earlier. They knew each other since high school, but they became close after he returned from his first tour of duty in Iraq. They talked frequently about marriage, but there was no need to hurry. They always dreamed of a wedding that families and friends would attend and bless. 

The day he received his second deployment order, they hugged and cried. They decided to hold-off on the marriage project until he came back. After one week of reporting for duty, they both had second thoughts. She flew to New York. He got permission for forty-eight hours of R&R. They got married. He was to ship within few days, while she sat next to me on a flight to Kansas City.

I suspect that Caroline’s story is one of thousands that take place everyday in all little towns around the country. I am confident that there are much more dramatic and sad stories. However, the war is just one of many dimensions that influence the mood of the country.

In fact, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll published on October 2, two-thirds of Americans disapprove the course our country is pursuing. The poll conducted September 27-30, 2007. The results have three points margin of error.                              

                                                         Approve   Disapprove   No Opinion

The situation in Iraq                                   30           69                1

Health care                                               30          63                 7

The federal budget deficit                          27          64                 9

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The economy                                           37          61                  2

The US campaign against terrorism           40           57                  3

With about twice as many Americans registering their disapproval, you must feel confident that change is on the way. America is a democracy and people drive change through elections. Granted it will not happen immediately, but it will certainly happen.

Well, do not be so sure. Let us look at the data in a different light for the sake of argument.

We all know that the media consists of a bunch of liberals. The source of this fact does not really matter. It is common knowledge. Accepting this undisputable truth provided by the White House and some of the major (not liberal) media outlets should help us reject all these nonesensicle statistics. After all, we know that liberals are godless people roaming our blessed land. These liberals have no goal in life other than turning every straight young man gay and every sweet young woman into an abortion clinic client. They are the people that hate the church and the state.

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If this image is not enough to convince the two-thirds, then let us look closer at this suspicious poll.

  1. The situations in Iraq – We did not pick the fight. The terrorists imposed the fight on us. There is progress and less people are killed everyday. The liberals are advocating withdrawal, which is a lingo for defeat.
  2. Health care – This is a call for socialized medicine. It does not matter if all other industrialized capitalist western nations have national health coverage because it is a failure. Even if you cannot afford health care, you should be proud that you are a part of the fight against socialism.
  3. The federal budget deficit is not bad. Even Reagan said so. It is exactly like global warming; big fancy words used by the elites.
  4. The economy – America has low unemployment and enjoys the longest-ever economic expansion. How can you disapprove of this economy?
  5. The US campaign against terrorism – Although the state department and our own CIA reports indicate an increase in terrorist activity worldwide since the invasion of Iraq, it would probably have happened anyway. We are keeping the terrorists busy in Iraq so they do not attack America.

As we approached our destination, Caroline’s story and the poll results kept haunting me. This is when I decided to ask Caroline if she had thoughts concerning the next presidential election. She thought for a few minutes before she said, “I am afraid it will be another Republican. The morality question is important to me.” I pressed ahead fully surprised, and asked what she meant by the morality question. She said “Abortion.”

Democracy is not about constitutions, election cycles, voting and representation. Even Sadam had those. Democracy is about people willing to invest in learning the facts so they can vote their interests.  Will Caroline vote her interest?

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I am an Egyptian American born in Alexandria. I immigrated to the US in the late eighties, during this time lived in many places in US and Europe. I work as an IT manager and love it. I love to travel, it makes me feel young, and it awakes in me (more...)

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