The national media does our country a great disservice by insisting on reporting polling data before elections.  Living in a democratic age (lowercase D), in a democratic country, people tend to believe polls and to take them to be morally or practically meaningful.  In this way, polls can encourage or discourage folks from voting.  A number of people may see a poll and think, "gee, well if the majority of people think this way, maybe I should think this way too!"  This can go so far as to sway elections and sway voter turnout.  In short, in reporting questionable polling data prematurely and frequently, the media can and actually does shape the turnout in elections. 

The only way to avoid this is to ignore the media.  It's possible for folks who think for themselves and whose sources of political knowledge are not limited to FOX NEWS and CNN, but the number of people who fall into this category is very small.  And hey, most people don't have time - I can certainly understand that.  It's also true that our educational institutes have given up on creating liberally minded people, who understand logic and truth and so have the faculty to judge political things. 

Education is the answer to this problem and in the circumstance we are in now, we work one person at a time, one classroom at a time, one town at a time, one city at a time.  When we get our smaller communities in order, our national conversation will make much more sense and be more fruitful for all of us.  We have to learn to be proactive - this is our country and we get what we deserve. 

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