By Ned Cantwell: CNJ Columnist
Major political parties send out questionnaires to get a handle on how their members feel about certain issues.
They are rigged, of course, the questions phrased in such a way as to invite only one response.
Here’s an actual question from a list recently sent to Republican Party members: Do you support the election of Republican candidates across the country and the rebuilding of our majorities over the next 10 years? Yes. No. Undecided. (Shoot no. Let’s all of us Republicans get behind Ralph Nader.)
It is worrisome the party hierarchy considers the rank and file so dumb they can’t recognize a set up that ends with this question: Will you join the Republican National Committee by making a contribution today? Yes. (I thought you’d never ask!) No. (Reckon I’ll send my money to Hillary.)
Democrats are no better. Major political parties and most of their marquee elected celebrities are shameless, intent only on amassing power and wealth.
However, this technique of asking loaded questions in order to build support for projects or policies could catch on. Here are some we might see coming down the pike in New Mexico.
From the office of Gov. Bill Richardson: Do you think it would be good for the state of New Mexico to adopt a health insurance program that would guarantee all citizens needed medical care and would ultimately save thousands of lives? Yes. (I have compassion for my fellow New Mexicans) No. (I hate my neighbors.)
From the office of Senate Republican Leader Stuart Ingle: Are you in favor of a state health insurance reform program likely to gobble up our financial reserves and drain money from your paycheck in the form of new taxes? Yes. (I think Karl Marx had it right). No. (Hey, man, I want everyone to be healthy, but I got my own problems.)
From the office of Lt. Gov. Diane Denish: When the governor is traipsing around the country kissing up to party bigwigs and I am left here busting my butt doing all the things he is supposed to be doing, and considering the fact a whole bunch of nuts flew over the cuckoo’s nest and they all landed in Taos, don’t you think I should get the same state police protection he gets? Yes. (You go, girl!) No. (You little ladies shouldn’t be in politics no how, you should be home making babies and baking cookies, ’cause that’s the way God meant it to be, by golly.)
From the State Transportation Department: Are you in favor of a Rail Runner system that efficiently and inexpensively transports New Mexicans from Belen to Santa Fe, thus reducing traffic congestion and cutting pollution? You Bet! No. (We should not make it easier to get to Santa Fe. Good things do not happen in Santa Fe.)
From the office of conservative Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming: Do you favor a train powered by millions of taxpayer dollars that would otherwise fund needed road repair? Yes. (I also think we should give free rides at the new Spaceport!) No. (I live in Farmington. When do I get to ride the train?) Undecided. (I can’t answer right now. My car just fell into a pot hole and I am trying to climb out.)
From Gov. Richardson: Aren’t you proud I vetoed 7 million bucks worth of programs that just so happened were projects promoted by legislators who didn’t play ball with me?
You go, guy!
The writer — ncantwell@ beyondbb.com — is going to ride that train one day and tell you all about it. Probably several times.