Despite media claims, the country is not split down the middle when it comes to social, political and economic issues
If you pick up a newspaper, read a blog, watch a TV newscast or listen to talk radio, you get the impression that people in the U.S. are divided on everything from social issues and politics to healthcare and economics; but there is no evidence whatsoever to support this assertion by the media. Say what?
As hard as this is to believe, it all goes back to polling -- the same kind of polling that showed Hillary Clinton was so far ahead of Donald Trump in the Electoral College votes, and that the election was over a week before the voting started. We saw how that turned out.
But this is not another Trump v. Clinton essay; it's just a short ditty on how we are being deceived by the media and pollsters to believe things that simply are not true.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's "Population Clock" there are 324.5 million people living in this country -- that looks like this: 324,500,000. One percent (1%) of that number would be 3,245,000 and 10% would be 32,450,000. You'll want to refer back to these numbers in a moment.
A recent Washington Post article had a headline, "A majority of Americans are embarrassed by President Trump." Now whether that applies to you or not, that is not the question here. The question is, how did they arrive at this conclusion? The answer is, they used the results from a poll. This particular poll only questioned 1,073 people. That's right. That's not one percent of the population, or a tenth of a percent of the population, not 1/100th of a percent of the population or even 1/1000th or 1/10,000th of a percent of the population; it's actually less than 1/100,000th of a percent. In other words you'd have to multiple the amount of people by 300,000 (1,073 x 300,000 = 321,900,000) to get the U.S. population.
Another story in USA Today, on the same day, quoted a different poll (on a totally different subject) and they only asked 1,323 people.
The point is, these polling numbers are so very, very, VERY small; that even with the most sophisticated scientific methods employed, the results of these numbers don't even approach (by tens of thousands) what is referred to as "the margin of error." Put simply, the polls and their results are statistically useless and could not be used to factually gauge anything whatsoever.
The question then comes to mind, why do major media outlets intentionally mislead their readers/viewers? Here's were it gets interesting... Actually, they are giving their readers exactly what they want. For example, in the case of cable news networks, the combined ratings of FOX, CNN and MSNBC account for less than 10% of the U.S. population -- even when you include online viewing (see chart below):
Therefore, when you hear or read something that says that this country is divided on an issue, it's not the 324 million people who are divided; rather, it is the 10% of news-junkies that disagree with each another. You can't even use the Presidential election as an example, since only 57.9 Percent of eligible voters actually voted in November 2016. That leaves over 42% (or over 92,000,000+) people in this country of whom we have no idea of which (if any) candidate they supported. Even the winner of the popular vote in Presidential Elections is elected by only a little more than 26% of the eligible voters (and way less of the total population).
This brings me to a quote a salesman told me many years ago, "figures lie and liars figure."
The next time you read a headline, watch some newscast or read a Tweet or post, remember that while you may agree with, or think the statement or opinion carries weight with the majority of people, in reality, it's more than likely only a majority of the people who watch or read or Tweet or post. The same goes for protest rallies. You can have a million people in the streets -- even three million people nationwide protesting; but that still would only represent less than one percent (1%) of the population. Less than 1%!
I personally do not believe that this country is divided. I think most people want the same things for themselves and their families and loved ones. They want to struggle less to pay their rent and bills. They want less debt and lower interest rates on their credit cards and loans. They want lower insurance premiums and co-pays; safer neighborhoods, better roads and bridges, and a job that pays a decent wage. People are tired of being stressed out and depressed. Sure they're concerned about social issues and what's going on in the world; but first and foremost, the average American just wants to be happy and healthy.
I believe it is the media that wants to divide us. Division keeps people glued to their TV shows and blogs -- both of which have ads that rake in billions of dollars for the handful of media companies that own most of the major news outlets in this country. The reporters and announcers pretend that they have our best interests at heart, but they know nothing about the average everyday citizen. How could they? They make millions of dollars and live in beautiful neighborhoods and have everything they want and could ever need.
Yes, I'm afraid we are being played by the media and the politicians; and the polls are just another example of how they twist and spin things to manipulate us.
The truth is, we don't need them anymore. In this age of live feeds, you can see what's happening in real time, or hear a politician's speech while he or she is making it. We don't need to have our "news" filtered by a commercial entity whose primary interest is in increasing the value of their shareholders stock and salaries of their writers or reporters.
As I've said hundreds of times, "everything you think you know is (probably) wrong!"
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