The Polls Say Dem Voters Want Someone Other Then Biden. Or Do They?
I like calamari. AlthoughI like it better as food than as a social companion.
When calamari is on the menu at a restaurant, I often order it. However, if someone asked me in a poll if I’d rather have Calamari or any other food in the world, I’m afraid I’d have to kneel down and say adieu to those sweet golden tentacles, which now that I write it, does seem like a weird ritual.
But the point remains that while I like fried squid a lot, it is not my absolute favorite food of all foods in the world and I can certainly conjure up other foods which I’d clearly prefer. Kohlrabi for example.
My Parable of the Kohlrabi (trademark protected) illustrates the problem we see with the recent stories accompanying Joe Biden’s re-election announcement. Inevitably the coverage of the campaign kick-off is accompanied by a poll. And while there is dubious value to a poll about a race that isn’t fully formed where the first votes won’t be cast for almost a year, they always include one question that would be dumb no matter when it was asked. It is always a version of “Would you like to see an alternative to the candidate we are polling about run?” Or, in Biden’s case, “Are you happy with Biden being the nominee or would you like to see somebody else?
Why is this question so awful? Let me count the ways.
This question is essentially an invitation to take an imperfect human being and ask if you would prefer a perfect human being instead. Not a specific perfect human being, because of course, such a thing doesn’t exist, except of course Anita, who turned me town for my high school senior prom. Why Anita! WHY???
In any event, the question would make some sense if the pollster asked if you are happy with Joe Biden or would you prefer Marianne Williamson, or Robert Kennedy Jr., the only announced other candidates for the Democratic nomination. At least then it would be a fair comparison between Biden’s known strengths and flaws versus the known strengths and flaws of the alternatives. You could say “Well, Biden is slow on reversing Trump’s immigration policies, but RFK thinks that Bill Gates is putting a microchip in my arm that will enable me to fly”, and make an informed choice.