Public Opinion Essay

1399 words - 6 pages

In today's society, public opinion polls are used to defend and argue against almost every imaginable issue. They are used to determine who is the leading candidate in elections, if the people support those they do elect, if movies, television and other media products are any good, or at least desirable and they determine what kind of products we as consumers want to purchase, also to determine the presidential approval rating. The only problem with these polls is that they don't always express the public's true opinion. That is one of the many argument that Carl Cannon makes. Today more than ever the government has been relying on polls taken by the people to run the country. In Carl M. Cannon's article called Hooked on Polls, he writes about the concerns he has for today's government and how it runs. He believes that public opinion polls are dominating issues for our country. Which means that the government is relying on public opinion polls way too much. The number of polls used by politicians is very high, which are used to run our government, and the effects from it can be very negative.The government that we have right now is a representative democracy where elected officials govern the people and the people do not directly vote on the issues. The elected officials decide and vote on issues and will hopefully represent the people in which he or she was elected to represent. By having the people vote on every single topic, our government would be a direct democracy. This is exactly what the Framers of the Constitution did not want. They believed that the public was not smart enough to vote on every issue. The problem that arises from this is that the people are not educated enough to take on the responsibility. The people cannot and should not vote on issues such as foreign policy, where the people may not know enough knowledge about the issue to make a good and educated decision on it. The reason our government is set up the way it is, is because that our country is can be ran by smart elected people who have good knowledge about a certain issue and will able to lead our country into success by making smart decisions. By making decisions solely based on public opinion polls, the popular vote will be of a biases and uneducated common person. The ineffectiveness of public opinion polls were shown in 1990 when Iraqi tanks overran Kuwait and public opinion showed that American people were strongly against the idea of sending in troops. But President Bush still sent in US troops, even though the majority of the American public was against it. We can only imagine what would have happened if Bush did not send in US troops to Iraq, but a month after the ordeal, President Bush's approval rating was a record high, also was the support of the war. Our country depends on people to represent us through difficult issues and not by majority rule from public opinion polls. By having polls run what our government does, turns our nation's politicians into...

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