Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Very Good News for Conservatives in the U.K.
The victory of Boris Johnson and “Brexiteers” this week reveals a remarkable win for those who want a return to British sovereignty with leadership that looks to finally move the U.K. forward from the 2016 vote to withdraw from the European Union.
Not claiming any kind of in-depth knowledge of the compound/complex nature of British politics, my purpose here is to simply comment on a related topic: how various polls in the U.K did not predict such an impressive victory and, from this side of the pond, to offer one reason for the failure of political polls everywhere.
A recent article in Politico suggests the problems in the U.K. with not only the polsters’ difficulty but also the complexity of the political system to begin with.
Innumerable recent articles from various sources here in America reveal polling problems of our own kind, though our politics are considerably different.
Problems with the polls?
But why such difficulty in predicting election outcomes considering all the money and media running after voters to disclose their personal choices?
In a nuthsell, here’s one seasoned observation: I wouldn’t trust polls more than I would trust the slick tongue of any politician perched on the fences of opportunity hemming in the halls of power.
I mean, aren’t some of those polls we love to hear about from very presitigious institutions that, at times, are even pretty close to being accurate?
Yes. But we do not live in “normal times”.
If you are not of the political hive mind du jour (which, at this point in history, globally, seems to be leaning so far left as to be in danger of falling off the spectrum altogether aided and abetted by what used to be known as journalism), polls in the U.S. very often result in the very same conclusion as they did this week in Britain.
You might put it this way: What? HOW DID HE WIN WITH SUCH A BIG MARGIN? That’s NOT what the esteemed pollsters predicted!
Consider, however: what with the kind of political vitriol and violence rampant in the world of politics these days, with the global and local far left having become more dangerous by degrees, more and more people who dare buck the collective mind do not participate in polls, or “man in the street” interviews anymore. Nor do they post political signs in their yards and/or sport bumper stickers on their cars so much these days.
I mean, why risk the danger, given the intensity of pushback that has morphed into actual assault, for example, “milkshaking,” over there and the mob violence of Antifa over here along with a seeming complete abandonment of freedoms of speech and assembly in certain arenas?
Not to mention the rising number of far-left proselytes, no matter the intellect or education, who seem to have forsaken reason altogether when one might attempt to engage in civil debate.
And, of course, anybody familiar with how to “frame the argument” so as to “win the debate” (or at least sell the outcome), which is arguably the real stock in trade of most who run the massive and lucrative polling industry, how much can we really trust the average poll?
I mean, why expose oneself to the increasing hate and perhaps even physical assault when, bottom line, all one need really engage in is the most powerful action of all: VOTE.
While insisting on, and working toward voter reform on all levels to avoid the fraud that arguably takes place, the point is, it is still the most powerful freedom we have in the free world (or what’s left of it).
So powerful, in fact, certain politicians cited here, here, here, and here, in the U.S. have openly declared that the current impeachment frenzy is not really about this or that ever-changing cause (indeed, it’s been impossible even for the “best minds” to find one with factual evidence); it’s really about voiding and/or preventing the previous election results and influencing the upcoming election so that the man who won power in our form of governance can be thrown out.
So in the world of politics, it ain’t over until it’s over.
But this goes both ways.
And in my view, the worst thing one can do is to give up on voting because of all the hoopla, hyperbole, and hatred.
The Real Power of the People
Not subscribing to the current hive mind, when I heard the good news from over the pond I recalled one of my favorite little “revolutionary poems,” as I like to call it, written by Sylvia Plath, called “Mushrooms”.
I don’t know what Plath’s politics were, but it really doesn’t matter in my context, here.
The thesis of the poem: infused in a metaphor about, well, how mushrooms, quiety and silently will one day “inherit the earth,” to me speaks very loudly about how all the “little people underfoot,” you might put it, who in this context resist the political power afoot; all the ordinary people deemed lesser, unworthy, “deplorable,” as one politician smirked, but who have power of their own that is the greatest of all (if they exercise it) still have the power to select the leader they so choose.
It always makes me smile when I think about the power, money, and media mongers who try their best to intimidate people by fear and ridicule into doing their will but–though they will rarely admit this–are both flummoxed and fearful of those ordinary, even lesser in their minds, people who quietly and steadfastly continue to speak their own truth to power–in the voting booth.
And who don’t often, if ever, nowadays, participate in exit, let alone entrance, polls.
The truth is, if the masters of the universe, as they might deem themselves, were not very worried that all those voters had and have a LOT more power, collectively, than they do with all their glitz, glamor, and gold, they would not be so vocal–and sling such vitriol…
It’s their dirty little secret–but our powerful one.
So here’s the poem.
Note: it’s well worth the quick read, the encouragement, and the reminder: the loudest is not always the most powerful, nor are the smartest, most well-educated, and richest the ultimate “winners”.
So do not forsake your vote.
In short, and something the polling class often gets very, very wrong: those annoying “little people underfoot,” you might say, in their own quiet, often silent way, still, as we say over here, “get ‘er done”.
To the pollsters and the politicians: underestimate this to your peril.
Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.
Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.
Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,
Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We
We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible,
Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:
We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot’s in the door.
To cite what I regard as a perfect companion poem, Ozymandias, today’s elitists who would rule the entire world will, eventually, crumble and fall over in the sands of this era, toppled by their own hubris.
Or as prophecy scholars and students would describe the ultimate battle ground, for we do seem to be living in the end times, the contest will actually be won in a valley. In the Middle East. Called Armageddon.
But for now, remember to assert your power: vote.
*Plath, Sylvia. The Colossus and Other Poems. “Mushrooms.” Heinemann, 1960. #17.