A number of selected Republican voters have just received a Trump Agenda survey from the party leaders, along with a request for donations of course. This survey is actually less offensive than some of the last ones, but it is still problematic. It is difficult for thoughtful Republicans to answer many of the survey questions as they contain biased assumptions that you must accept if you answer. Below are some of the worst examples from the survey; please see what you think.
Question 2. asks you to rank several agenda items. Among the things you rank are:
- Build the border wall. (Is this really necessary?)
- Reverse Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders. ( Were they really unconstitutional?)
- Re-equip and rebuild our military. (Does our military need rebuilding? We have an excellent military and we now spend 7 times as much as any other nation on defense.)
- Reduce regulations and corporate taxes to get the economy growing. (Reducing regulations will ensure that air and water pollution goes up, but there no evidence that reducing corporate taxes will get the economy growing. It will ensure that our national debt goes up, however.)
- Encourage domestic exploration and production of domestic energy sources. (Does exploration and production sound like it will encourage renewable energy, where much of the job growth has been lately.)
- Reform and simplify the income tax system to make it flatter and more fair. (Taxes are complicated because Congress has written so many special interests and to them, but certainly making the taxes flatter will not make them more fair. Flat tax schemes have always favored transferring wealth to those already wealthy.)
I did not rank the items as I could not figure out how to rank them all last. I added under Other:_ “reducing medical costs and seeing that all Americans have health care – and ranked it as number 1., because it is one of the things that President Trump has promised. Certainly the bills that came out of Congress so far will not even begin to do that.
Question 6. was particularly troublesome as it asks about an executive order to suspend government unions to make it easy to fire government workers. This would remove worker protections against unreasonable terminations, and make them subject to political influence.
Question 8. asked about taking whatever steps necessary to have president Trump’s court appointments approved. We have procedures in place for approving judges, and we should just follow them.
Question 9. asked about whether the Democrats have any intention of working in good faith to address issues pressing our nation. Of course they do, but they may object to the way the problems are addressed, as is their right.
Question 10. asks if we are optimistic that President Trump and Republicans will pass reforms and conservative policies to improve our economy, strengthen our security and protect our freedom. The devil is in the details on those policies, but from what I have seen so far I would answer “No”.
Question 11. asks if we believe that Mainstream Media will give president Trump fair, unbiased coverage of his proposals and leadership. Of course they will, but there is already evidence that the Trump administration is claiming the truth to be unfair.
One problem with the survey is that it is not anonymous. Republican leaders who plan to run for office may refuse to complete the survey for fear that the Republican Party will work against them in the Republican primaries in their next election. It is exactly those leaders whose opinion should carry the most weight.
Another problem with this survey is that it is likely that those who agree with the biased assumptions will send in the survey, while many mainstream Republicans will just ignore the survey, further biasing the results. My concern is that the Republican leaders will use the results of this biased surveys to try to whip into line the candidates who might object by telling them, “This is what the Republican voters want.” But is it really?
I have filled out Republican several surveys like this, but have never seen the results, though I have searched. Perhaps it doesn’t matter what the results were, because the survey’s main purpose seems to be to provide propaganda and to request donations.