Since I will not be completing your questionnaire, I want to share some thoughts directly so that neither you nor your readers misconstrue my noncompliance. I am not trying to hide or obscure my beliefs and values and I certainly do not want to give the impression that I am detached or indifferent to the concerns of my potential constituents. Far from it. I have been abundantly descriptive of my plan to restore the economic fabric of America through a detailed blueprint for fiscal responsibility and political reform as described on my issues page at www.SupportScott2010.com. I have also been interviewed on these topics at length, in addition to providing a running commentary on topical issues via press releases. Make no mistake, I have chosen to run for Congress to tighten the connection between the values of America and the way America is governed.
Since I announced my candidacy, I have received dozens of questionnaires from all sorts of well-meaning organizations. While these surveys take different approaches and cover a wide range of topics, the ultimate aim of each is similar: to distill the answers to complex questions into short sound-bite responses. After some reflection on the matter, I have concluded that it would neither be in the voter's interest nor in my interest to participate in this form of democracy by questionnaire. Here is my logic:
1. These surveys encourage pandering and political expediency. Is there any evidence that the answers you receive from the candidates have any truthful connection to the candidate's actual values? Wouldn't it be more meaningful and instructive for you to research and analyze the way each candidate has lived their life, in fact as opposed to in theory?
2. These surveys level the playing field between candidates with entirely different sets of experience and qualifications. Would you choose between, say, candidate Theodore Roosevelt and candidate Spiro T. Agnew based on the check mark responses to a questionnaire? Where does the evaluation of competence come in?
3. These surveys oversimplify complex questions into sound bite answers. Other than perhaps arming opponents with ammunition to use in attack ads for a general election campaign, it would not appear that these types of surveys enhance any candidate's ability to provide persuasive and thoughtful responses to address the nation's most pressing problems (which by their nature are complex).
4. My consistent position is that Washington is full of professional politicians who are meek and cowering in the face of special interests and party bosses. So focused on getting re-elected, these careerists work hard to ensure that they do not anger any single targeted voting bloc by tripping up on one of their litmus tests. So in the end, we are governed by politicians so intent to please that they fail to find the courage to serve the over-arching needs of the country. How else to explain the disgraceful economic condition of America despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans describe themselves as fiscally conservative?
Thank you for considering my position on this matter.