POLLS – THE TRIUMPH OF IGNORANCE

Ignorance: lack of knowledge, understanding, or information about something;
lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned; …uninformed; unaware…
lack of knowledge, information, or education; the state of being ignorant…
synonyms:  uninstructed, untutored, untaught. Ignorant, illiterate, unlettered,uneducated …
An ignorant person can be dangerous.http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/ignorancehttp://www.dictionary.com/browse/ignorance
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ignorant
 Iran-Contra hearings and polls In 1987, there was furor over whether the Reagan Administration illegally conveyed monies to the Contras in Central America. Hearings were going to  be held and televised, hearings which would attract millions of viewers.  A politician’s dream! Free TV time to tear into ‘guilty’ evasive witnesses and show constituents how fearless is their representative in the pursuit of truth and justice.   The politicians, including Senator Warren Rudman, looked forward to “a turkey shoot” [a situation in which one group is much stronger than another group that it is  competing against]http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/turkey-shoot  Whoops! The unthinkable occurred: one of the turkeys was shooting back! One witness was a U.S. Marine officer, Colonel Oliver North. He appeared in full dress uniform, ramrod straight, good looking, intelligent, poised and, worst of all, articulate!  He was calm and thorough and persuasive as he told the country what was at stake in Central America. And he made an impact that had the politicians on the panel sweating. This was not going the way they expected.  Like millions of Americans, I turned on the hearings when I could.  I was watching when Rudman said words to  this effect:Well, Colonel North, I might agree with you but the polls tell us differently.http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/14/world/iran-contra-hearings-legislators-move-to-take-spotlight-at-iran-hearingshttp://articles.latimes.com/1987-07-14/news/mn-4001_1_contra-hearings/4 I was stunned:  the polls tell us?  Is that how our representatives decide matters? Vote as the polls dictate? Let unknown people decide our country’s positions? We are a republic, not a democracy. Elected representatives were put between the people and the laws. Edmond Burke’s words were known to the drafters of our Constitution: Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.http://www.ireallymissreagan.com/single-post/2016/04/17/Issue-2 Warren Rudman Please forgive this digression.  Warren Rudman illustrates how much damage a politician can do. At the time  of the Iran-Contra hearings, I did not know Warren Rudman, the man who said polls were determinative.  What follows is a fuller picture of the man, including facts which occurred in the years after the hearings. Most politicians are selfish, hypocritical, cynical and devoted, not to the Constitution they swore to support and defend, but to self-aggrandizement.  Warren Rudman was one of the worst.https://www.ireallymissreagan.com/single-post/2017/06/22/THE-SELFISH-77—DEFINITELY-NOT-MAGNIFICENT There is a principle De mortuis nihil nisi bonum  – Of the dead, [speak] nothing unless good. But there is a corollary: De mortuis nil nisi bene [dicendum] -Of the dead, nothing [spoken] unless truthfully. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_mortuis_nil_nisi_bonum  The truth is that New Hampshire “Republican” Senator Warren Rudman was a RINO before the term came into vogue. He was pro abortion, supported the homosexual agenda and opposed voluntary school prayer. In the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, Thomas was subject to a smear campaign rivaling that waged against Judge Bork.  However, unlike Bork, Thomas was confirmed with a 4 vote margin. Later, Rudman explained that he only voted for Thomas when he saw Thomas was going to prevail and that otherwise he would have voted against him: But once it was clear that he would be confirmed, I made a political decision.https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/obituaries/2012/11/20/former-sen-warren-rudman-dies/kEnDt6Cicc9x0jWRNqM45H/amp.html How’s that for integrity? A  tribute to Rudman’s “flexibility” – he was even mentioned as a possible vice president candidate for John Kerry. He did his most harm with an out-and-out lie. The Republicans were seeking a judge for the Supreme Court who would not be an activist, ‘enacting’ the liberal agenda under the guise of ‘interpreting’ the Constitution.   Rudman sabotaged that goal. [He] took pride in recounting how he sold Mr. Souter to gullible White House chief of staff John Sununu as a confirmable conservative. Then they both sold the judge to President Bush, who wanted above all else to avoid a confirmation battle. Rudman wrote in his memoir that he had ‘suspected all along’ that Souter would not ‘overturn activist liberal precedents.’ [Emphasis added]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Rudman Souter was opposed to conservative principles including  states’ rights, prayer in schools, pro-life and  anti–affirmative action; he was a consistently liberal vote.
http://observer.com/2015/07/jeff-greenfield-why-gop-appointed-justices-jilt-conservatives/
http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1900851_1900850_1900845,00.html Constitutional scholar and former Supreme Court clerk, Edward M. Whelan:
Justice Souter has been significant primarily for providing one of the five votes in favor of the “liberal” position on important cases…he, Justice O’Connor and Justice Kennedy co-authored in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. It perpetuated Roe v. Wade’s removal of the issue of abortion policy from the ordinary democratic processes . [Emphasis added.]
https://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/the-judgment-on-justice-souter/
Casey v. Planned Parenthood, 505 U.S. 833 (1992),  was expected to reverse Roe v. Wade (and its companion case Doe v. Bolton,) extreme examples of judges finding rights in the “penumbra” and “emanations” of the Constitution, rights that were never there in any form. Abortion on demand was “enacted” by the Court. With Souter’s help,  abortion on demand was upheld by 5-4 margin.  From Justice Scalia’s dissent:
We should get out of this area, where we have no right to be, and where we do neither ourselves nor the country any good by remaining. 
http://www.ireallymissreagan.com/single-post/2016/04/17/Issue-2 Had Rudman not lied, and had Bush appointed a Judge who followed the Constitution, Casey would have been 5-4, striking down a federally imposed abortion-on-demand.   The Polls Tell Us

 

What is a poll?a sampling or collection of opinions on a subject, taken from either a selected or a random group of persons, as for the purpose of analysis
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/poll
a study in which people are asked for their opinions about a subject or person:
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/poll
 Think of the myriad decisions we make in our lifetimes:where to go to school,what career to pursue,whether to marry, whom we should marry,whether to have children, how many children, where we should live, what schools for  the children, whether to travel, where to take vacations, whether to change jobs … etc. etc. etc. Would any of us make those decisions based on the opinions of randomly chosen people, none of whom we knew?  Of course not! That would be nuts.   We do not know their intelligence, or judgment, or character, or experience, or ability.  We do not know whether they study a subject before reaching an evaluation, or simply parrot what they gleaned from the media. Yet, every day, we allow those unknown people to influence  our views, and, worse, the view of our representatives. Is that not a triumph of ignorance? The brilliant Glen McCoy sums it up:   If the polls are determinative,  who needs our elected representatives? A computer in each office could weigh Gallup,  Rasmussen, and the other major polls and reach a consensus as to what should be done on each issue. Think of the money that could be saved!   Here’s what our poll checkers cost us.
Salary – base $174,000 ;  leadership positions  $193,400;  Speaker 223,500.
Allowances – House members: more than $900,000 on salaries for up to 18 permanent employees. and about a quarter-million dollars more for office expenses. Senators: an administrative and clerical allowance, a legislative assistance allowance [$500,000 budget to hire up to three] and an official office expense allowance. The total amount depends on the Senator’s state population, but the average amount as of 2013 was $3,209,103.
Offices – one on Capitol Hill, and space in their home districts; for Senators,  up to 8,200 square feet,. no restriction on the number of offices they can open in federal buildings in their home states.
Furniture –  supplied through the Architect of the Capitol; every Senator gets $40,000 — and potentially more — for furniture in their home-state offices
Health plan & Insurance – All members of Congress can sign up for the same health plan and life insurance policy available to other federal workers; and more: Representatives and Senators  can sign up for a 401(k)-style “Thrift Savings Plan,” a tax-deferred investment in which members’ contributions are matched up to 5 percent with taxpayer funds.
Pension – Currently, members of congress are eligible for a pension dependent on the member’s age at retirement, length of service, and salary;  the pension value can be up to 80% of the member’s final salary.
Tax Deduction –  Members of Congress can deduct up to $3,000 for expenses while outside their home districts or states. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate#Salary_and_benefits
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/29/benefits-members-congress-shabby.html
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/080416/how-congress-retirement-pay-compares-overall-average.asp
http://www.ehow.com/info_7898980_united-states-senator-average-salary.html
  Conclusion We need to heed economist Thomas Sowell: Most of the founders of this country had day jobs for years. They were not career politicians. … We need leaders with experience in the real world, not experience in the phony world of politics.
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.
The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.
No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems.  They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2.  Whatever is No. 3 is far behind.  [Emphasis added.] Too many of our representatives seek to achieve No. 1 and No. 2 by currying favor with their voters by acting in accord with the polls. We are fortunate that we do have some who do act to fulfill their oath to support and defend the  Constitution. But, for every Rand Paul and Tom Cotton, there are dozens of Warren Rudmans. Our job is to replace the Selfish Seventy-Seven with more Pauls and Cottons. https://www.ireallymissreagan.com/single-post/2017/06/22/THE-SELFISH-77—DEFINITELY-NOT-MAGNIFICENT. Pray we may do so.

Don’t be afraid to see what you see…. If history teaches anything, it teaches that self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly… Our whole system of government is based on “We the people,” but if we the people don’t pay attention to what’s going on, we have no right to bellyache or squawk when things go wrong….The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things… We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.

– Ronald Reagan    

Dick Coleman

Richard M. Coleman served as National Co-Chair, Lawyers for Reagan-Bush ’84 and really does miss RR. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Dick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of the National Caucus of Metropolitan Bar Leaders. A professor on the faculty of Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for 17 years, he received Pepperdine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He has hosted TV forums on legal and financial topics and written and spoken extensively on political issues.

© Richard M. Coleman 2018