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How to conduct a fraudulent “poll”

Timothy Kincaid

August 13th, 2010

Hello, my name is Timothy and I’m from Fraudulent Polling, Inc., a national polling agency. Can I ask you a few questions about issues that you will face in the upcoming election? Thank you.

First I’d like to get your views on some general subjects. Please answer yes or no to the following:

* Do you kill and eat little frisky puppies and fluffy kittens?

* Do you think that those who eat little frisky puppies and fluffy kittens should be entitled to special rights?

* Do you think that people should be forced at gunpoint to kill and eat little frisky puppies and fluffy kittens?

* Do you agree that an important role of government is to protect the weak from those who are depraved and a threat to others?

* Do you agree that inhumanity to little frisky puppies and fluffy kittens shows true depravity of character?

* Would you mostly support, completely support, or overwhelmingly support legislators who want to ban the slaughter and eating of puppies and kittens by passing the new Healthy Nutrition Act?

Press Release: A new poll found that by a huge majority, Americans support the Healthy Nutrition Act, a vegan-only bill which would charge anyone who engaged in the eating of any meat or any animal-based product with first degree murder.

————-

Of course that is silliness. But it isn’t that far off the mark of what some unscrupulous characters do to try and convince others that their unpopular views have support. And they don’t get much more unscrupulous than Elaine Donnelly, the extremely wacky president of the anti-gay Center for Military Readiness.

Elaine has commissioned and released a new “poll” that claims that Americans oppose the overturn of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And it’s a doozie. In fact, it’s nearly a case-study of how to conduct a fraudulent “poll”.

And here are a few of the very obvious reasons why.

First, we checked to see who conducted the “research”. The political association of a pollster does not automatically disqualify their findings, but if there is strong ideological bent then one must question whether the poll is legitimate or simply propaganda.

In this case it is some outfit called “the polling company inc. / WomanTrend”. Sounds good, right? Sure, until you realize that the group is headed by conservative strategist Kellyanne Conway (whose husband was heavily involved in efforts to impeach Bill Clinton) and conducts “research” for the Heritage Foundation and other such organizations. Red flag, number one.

Then we looked at the options for answers. Rather than give a range of possibilities, most included only variations of the answers that supported Donnelly’s agenda. In some cases “I don’t know” or “neither” were not provided as an option, cuing the participant to instead select between choices that might not be optimal.

Then we inspected at the language and found it deceptive and dishonest. For example, look at this little phrase in the summary of the “poll”,

Respondents were informed at the beginning of the survey, “Throughout this survey, “gay or lesbian” and “homosexual” are used interchangeably.” Numerous questions throughout this poll employed the words “lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons”—terms that are used by leading advocates of overturning the law.

Well, that’s interesting. While it is true that “leading advocates” do use the term “lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons”, it is a complete lie that they use it in context of this law. Because while “transgenders in the barracks” may frighten the horses, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell does not impact transgender people one way or the other.

Finally we analyzed the order of the questions to see if they “push” the participants towards a mindset or a viewpoint before the big question is asked. And Conway and Donnelly’s questions were about the most blatant that I’ve ever seen.

We aren’t provided with the exactly language of the script but it appears that the following questions were asked in this order:

1. In 1993 Congress passed a law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. Please tell me whether you (ROTATE) agree or disagree with the following findings that are in the current law.

1.a. One finding says, QUOTE “The primary purpose of the armed forces is to prepare for and to prevail in combat should the need arise.” END QUOTE

1.b. One finding says, QUOTE “The military is a specialized society…that is characterized by its own laws, rules, customs, and traditions.” END QUOTE

OK, most everyone agreed to those two statements. These are not, of themselves, egregious questions, but they do set the tone and suggest that “the current law” has the right priorities. Let’s go on.

2. I will now read to you the opinions of two people. Please tell me which comes closest to your own view:
(ROTATED PERSON 1/PERSON 2)

Person 1: In considering this issue, Congress should listen mostly to advocates who want to overturn the law and to require the armed forces to accept professed lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in the military.

Person 2: In considering this issue, Congress should listen mostly to the four chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, who have expressed concerns about overturning the current law.

This question pits “advocates who want to require transgender persons” against “the chiefs of staff who have expressed concern”. A completely false dichotomy. (Amusingly, in the footnotes they praise themselves for not using the phrase “gay activist group”). Not only is this not about transgender persons, but there is no mention that the repeal is supported by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Yet, surprisingly, the support for person two was only 48% to 41%. Those pesky “advocates” and their transgender folk have more support than Conway and Donnelly like. So it’s time to smear the President.

3. In his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama promised that if he was elected President, he would seek to repeal, or overturn, the law regarding homosexuals in the military, often called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the law in 1993. Do you believe he is assigning high priority to this issue (ROTATED) mostly out of principle or mostly for political reasons?

Not too surprisingly, 57% found that Obama’s imagined motivations for “assigning high priority” are the same as the same reasons that our community suspects for his doing damn well little on the matter.

But now that they’ve introduced sinister motivation, they now need to imply a threat:

4. Please tell me which comes closest to your own view:
(ROTATED PERSON 1/PERSON 2)

Person 1: If the current law is overturned, the military should attempt to change personal attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality and impose “zero tolerance” career penalties on anyone who disagrees for any reason, including religious convictions.

Person 2: Even if the current law is overturned, the military should not attempt to change personal attitudes and feelings toward human sexuality. Imposing career penalties on anyone who disagrees would discriminate against military personnel and chaplains who do not support homosexuality.

Ookie spookie. Those advocates want to engage in mind control and court martial those who go to church. Good wholesome Christian kids will be stockaded and chaplains will be beaten if they don’t endorse the radical militant homosexual agenda.

Scared enough yet? Oh, but there’s more. You knew it was coming…

5. The military should modify training programs to promote acceptance of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in all military colleges, training programs, and schools run by the U.S. Defense Department.

Oh Noes! The children! They’re coming after the children!

6. Over the next six months, what should be the number one priority for Congress and the President?
(READ AND ROTATED. ACCEPTED ONLY ONE.)

Creating jobs
Reducing Government spending/the deficit
Plugging the oil leak in the Gulf/cleaning up the oil spill
Winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Changing the law to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the Military

Well gosh, that proves that our legislators are Wasting! their Time! on these nefarious schemes because they can only do one thing at a time. And if DADT is overturned, jobs will be lost and pelicans will die.

And now, now that you know that it’s transgender advocates who are going against the most important purposes of the military and who are ignoring the concerns of military leaders so that they can push this unwanted effort to jail Christians and brainwash children, all of which is motivated by political cynicism, now let’s get your opinion.

7. Would you prefer that your elected representatives in Washington, DC (ROTATED) vote to overturn the 1993 law and allow homosexual persons to serve openly in the military, OR vote to keep the law as it is?

48% VOTE TO KEEP IT AS IT IS
45% VOTE TO OVERTURN
7% DO NOT KNOW/DEPENDS (VOLUNTEERED)
1% REFUSED (VOLUNTEERED)

And that’s how your conduct a completely fraudulent poll. It’s almost surprising that there weren’t questions about slaughtering puppies and kittens.

And amusingly, even after pushing the participants as hard as possible, less than half opposed repealing DADT. And even after trying to scare them with career penalties and brainwashed children, 34% of military members polled supported overturning DADT and enacting a “zero-tolerance” policy.

This is just downright funny. But what do you bet that John McCain ends up waiving it around in Washington.

Comments

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Lindoro Almaviva
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Why are Transgendered people 1. used as the boogie monster in this “study”? (rhetorical)

and

the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell does not impact transgender people one way or the other.

2. Why are we being so insensitive towards them? To say they are not affected by DADT is a misrepresentation, an error in the very least, given how many transgendered females who are veterans say that they joined the military to silence their bodies and to prove they were indeed not female.

We do not know how many transgendered people are in the military. I know of at least 1 transgendered male who is being forced to wear female clothing in the military. he will be affected by the repeal of this law, so to say transgendered soldiers will not be affected is a gross misrepresentation of their past, present and future involvement in our military services.

And now, now that you know that it’s transgender advocates who are going against the most important purposes of the military and who are ignoring the concerns of military leaders

If you look closely at point no. 6 you will find that transgendered people are not used as a scare tactic, so why do we? I know it is commentary, I know THEY will use this stuff but why do I feel that transgendered people are being made fun, even if it is not explicitly, in this commentary?

I’m sorry, I might be reading things wrong. I’m gonna stew on this, have a beer and come back to see how I read it in a couple of hours. While not transgendered myself, I do confess I have somewhat of a chip on my shoulder when the topic is approached with carelessness. Transgendered people have to go through hell to get wherever they get, so I don’t take their journey lightly.

Jose S.
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

DADT does not apply to “transgendereds” and is expressly focused on homosexual orientation (which is not to be the subject of inquiry) and conduct (which is a basis for discharge). It has nothing to do with guys who want to be women or guys who want to wear dresses on or off base. After DADT is repealed, the military will still be able to enforce its dress code and every gay person should support that.

Although the above poll is deceptive, I can’t blame them for exploiting the confusion over “LGBT”. Our mindless leaders and gay bloggers use that fraudulent, made-up term b/c political correctness is more important than gay equality. Well, when you describe yourself as being in the same definitional bucket as drag queens and transsexuals and hermaphrodites, don’t be surprised if that doesn’t get used by your opponents.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 13th, 2010 | LINK


DADT does not apply to “transgendereds” and is expressly focused on homosexual orientation (which is not to be the subject of inquiry) and conduct (which is a basis for discharge). It has nothing to do with guys who want to be women or guys who want to wear dresses on or off base. After DADT is repealed, the military will still be able to enforce its dress code and every gay person should support that.

I will ignore the use of quotations when you wrote transgendered, not amusing.

Second, there is a difference between a transgendered person and a transvestite. Not all transvestites are transgendered and not all transgendered are transvestite, although a transgendered woman will have to wear at one point or another female clothes while still being biologically a male.

Third, while not specifically covering transgendered issues, DADT COULD be used to deal with a transgendered person because 1. most people are not well informed and they see it as one and the same, 2. a person’s gender has nothing to do with their sexual preference and 3. the spirit of the law is to insert the military into the bedrooms of those who are seeing as deviating from “normal” sexual Conuct (and in this context, normal will mean men and women engaging in intercourse with each other). Transsexuals, by the nature of who they are, fall in this category and thus they could be dismissed under DADT.

Lastly, if it was as simple as dress code, a transsexual person would not have to go through years of therapy and expensive surgery to have their bodies match their minds, so please treat them with a little more respect than that.

Rebecca
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Seconding the Count here. DADT absolutely affects trans soldiers – you think that a law from which the “don’t ask” has been completely scrubbed out would hesitate before a trans soldier?

Lindoro Almaviva
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Well, when you describe yourself as being in the same definitional bucket as drag queens and transsexuals and hermaphrodites, don’t be surprised if that doesn’t get used by your opponents.

And here I thought that in the gay community we had better standards. Not only that, I thought we were better educated. I see we are not immune of falling into the same language, attitudes and bigotry that is used against us; and directed at members of the community no less.

The fact that you are happy with your gender, or that somehow you think your d1ck is something that should be worshiped does not give you the right to demean other people based on your insecurities, or a misguided sense that because you are not transgendered somehow you were born better.

This is the same kind of attitude that when directed at us we find offensive and bigoted.

Noah S.
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

If you wanna see even more fraudulent polling check out this poll on Fox’s site about Judge Walker’s decision: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/08/04/decide-gay-marriage-judge-ruling-proposition-decision/

Noah S.
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

The great part is that about 75% of the people support his decision.

Jaft
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Thank you, Lindoro (third comment); you beat me to it.

Jaft
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Oh, and your second comment; I guess I missed it because that self-righteous quip/suggestion about how we should kick the T out of our community astounded me more than I’ve been in a while.

Ryan
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Noah, what’s wrong with that Fox poll? It was just a straightforward question.

Ryan
August 13th, 2010 | LINK

Lindoro, I’m not really understanding your argument. How will trans people be affected by DADT repeal, exactly? You said you have a transgendered male friend in the military who if “being forced to wear female clothing”. I don’t really understand. Are you describing someone who is biologically female, but identifies as male. Or has this person had an operation and been legally declared a male? And how does DADT repeal affect him?

Ryan
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Sorry, for the multiple posts, but one more thing: transgendered women joined the military to silence their bodies and prove they’re not female? I can’t make heads or tails out of that sentence. Don’t transgendered women want to be considered female? And again, how does this relate to DADT?

Ben Mathis
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Wow, insensitivity abounds here.

In one way DADT doesn’t necessarily affect Transgenders because you can be straight and a transperson, it’s not indicative of being gay or lesbian. However just because that’s a fact on paper doesn’t mean it won’t be lumped in by lugheads used to abuse the most often trashed members of LGBT.

But really the insults and misunderstanding of most of the posts so far directed toward our trans brethren is pretty sickening.

Ryan
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

I count one insulting post, by Jose. I made damn sure mine weren’t insulting, I honestly wanted to understand what Lindoro was saying. I’m not sure how anything I said could be construed as “sickening”.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 14th, 2010 | LINK


I’m not really understanding your argument. How will trans people be affected by DADT repeal, exactly?

I think you misunderstood me. I am saying that DADT IS affecting Transgendered people right now and if it is not repealed it will continue to do so. It was argued earlier that DADT does not affect Trans people and therefore its repeal (or not) would not affect them.


You said you have a transgendered male friend in the military who if “being forced to wear female clothing”. I don’t really understand. Are you describing someone who is biologically female, but identifies as male. Or has this person had an operation and been legally declared a male? And how does DADT repeal affect him?

OK, first of all let’s get the “labels” defined and determined:

When you say “a Transgendered [insert gender here], the gender you mentioned is the gender they are transitioning TO. therefore:

1. A transgendered male is someone who was born biologically female (as in the case of my friend) and identifies as male (whether they have started or ended the transition is irrelevant since they ALREADY identify with the gender)

2. A transgendered female is someone who was born biologically male but identifies as female. Again, whether they have started to take hormones or not it irrelevant.

That being said, my friend is a transgendered male (born female but identifies as male). As a biological female his female body is affected by DADT because he has a girlfriend. As for his Male persona (after all, he identifies as male) is affected because 1. his commend is likely not trained in transgendered issues, so what they see is a lesbian and 2. they are not prepared to deal with a transgendered soldier, so since what they see is a lesbian, he can be discharged as a lesbian.


Sorry, for the multiple posts, but one more thing: transgendered women joined the military to silence their bodies and prove they’re not female? I can’t make heads or tails out of that sentence. Don’t transgendered women want to be considered female? And again, how does this relate to DADT

The journey is not as simple as waking up one day and realizing this and walking to your Dr. and getting the pills. For some people it is a much easier journey, they just do it. But for others it involves years of denial, while their souls are crushed by the conflict of what they feel and what they see.

Some people attempt suicide because of the depression, other seek out very traditional roles in their biological gender to prove themselves that the little voice inside their head is wrong. I have read of transsexual males that live for a long time as very dutiful wives, in a very Stepford Wives (imagine Faith Hill in the movie) environment trying to prove that the feeling that they were born in the wrong body are just crazy thoughts. There are transgendered females that lead very “macho” lives, or seek these very “macho” environments for the same reason. In some cases this involved joining the military (is there anything more manly?), or jumping off planes, or adopting a biker’s persona, or (decades ago when the sport was dominated by males) becoming a race driver (and in this specific case, she confesses to wearing panties under the suit).

As for your question of how does DADT affects these people, well, DADT is all about keeping people in what is perceived as “traditional” gender roles. That means not only to have sex with a person of the opposite gender but also to identify in the gender they were born. The only reason why we do not hear about people being discharged for being transgendered is because most of them, when they realize they can not quiet the voice inside, leave the military and transition outside of it. By the time they transition, they are veterans and their benefits can not be denied. What do you think would happen is a biological male who identifies as female is found out? Do you think this person would not be discharged in a second? Are we that naive?

I take most of you either have never met a transgendered person or have never had an in-depth conversation with one. Time to face your fears, I guarantee you they are not going to bite; hell, most of them are not bitter and for you Alpha males: your penis is not going to shrink if you are seen talking with a transgendered person.

Maybe we would not be this misinformed if we put our fears and sensitivities away for an hour and talk to people who have to go through it.

Timothy (TRiG)
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Opinion Polls: Getting the results you want.

TRiG.

Timothy Kincaid
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Repealing DADT will have no direct effect on military service by transgender people. While it is a worthy goal to instill protections for transgender persons in the Military, it is not a part of the current effort to repeal.

Ryan
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Thank you very much. You cleared a lot of stuff up for me; it makes sense to me why DADT affects transgendered soldiers. I guess my only quibble with what you said is when you said the fact that your transgendered male friend is still biologically female is irrelevant. I agree that in his day-to-day private life its his prerogative to present himself how he wishes; I don’t think its fair to expect the military to abide by that, though. Your friend is legally and biologically still a women. It would be pretty strange and even dangerous for the miltary to have him wear male uniforms and bunk with straight male soldiers. Your friend made a decision to give up some access of his personal life while serving, especially while on duty. And if other military personnel saw him with his girlfriend, I don’t think it would be stupid or ignorant of them to assume he is a lesbian.

Tiff
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

To be clear, transgender are currently discharged from military service under DADT. If DADT is repealed, trans people would still be discharged from military service, but for different reasons. http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/16707/ncte-warns-transgender-servicemembers-regarding-dadt-and-coming-out-trans

Tiff
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

To be clear, transgender people are currently discharged from military service under DADT. If DADT is repealed, trans people would still be discharged from military service, but for different reasons. http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/16707/ncte-warns-transgender-servicemembers-regarding-dadt-and-coming-out-trans

Burr
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

It’s somewhat interesting that we haven’t seen the same level of pressure for trans inclusion on DADT repeal that we saw for ENDA.. Is it because they do think it helps them at least a little?

Jason D
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

just saying:

PROBLEMATIC: “transgendered”
PREFERRED: “transgender”
The word transgender never needs the extraneous “ed” at the end of the word. In fact, such a construction is grammatically incorrect. Only verbs can be transformed into participles by adding “-ed” to the end of the word, and transgender is an adjective, not a verb.

http://www.glaad.org/page.aspx?pid=376

Noah S.
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Ryan: the wording of the poll makes those who are indecisive seem as though they are leaning toward the side of those who are against Judge Walker’s case, and the no side has a much longer and more thorough explanation.

Leonardo Ricardo
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

OFF TOPIC: URGENT CALL and ALERT FOR UGANDA:

Where is ¨gug¨ at Gay Uganda blog?

HERE

Timothy Kincaid
August 14th, 2010 | LINK

Tiff,

Thanks for the link. That is my understanding as well.

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