Please stop asking me trick questions with an overloaded intent just because I live in the South. We are back home in the South since my husband’s retirement from the Air Force. My husband and I lived for several years at both West Point, New York and The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Students at those military academies are the top 10% in the nation who in great percentages aced their SAT’s. We entertained those cadets on a pretty regular basis.
My husband was a cadet squadron commander at both academies and one of our jobs was to help them with their social skills. It was never in any way intended to direct them on their political views. The truth be told I was the one learning. They were so amazing. I absolutely love young people and their fresh ideas.
Have you ever spoken to someone extremely intelligent? Like a person who doesn’t have to tell you they are smart cause you experience it on every level of communication with them. They have great eye contact, confident body language, and simple hand gestures. Their vocabulary is more than they will need in a lifetime.
Professors who teach at these academies are not allowed to phrase questions that are grey, back ended, negative, or misleading. The military needs them to communicate effectively and topic specific. When you talk with a cadet, he will most likely do more listening than talking. He is taking his/her time examining your take on the issue. They are also forming every possible angle of the topic. Most importantly they are gathering facts.
A cadet’s response will almost always make you say—hey, I never thought of it that way before. They are taught that we are all team members working toward the same goals. They go through repeated exercises learning teamwork until it becomes second nature. They make excellent politicians. They bridge gaps and unite. They leave no one behind and their conversation reflects that.
One reason they are able to be so articulate is found in the the way they file information. Importantly they will detect if you are asking a question or making a statement. We sometimes wrongly answer a statement which will cause the conversation to take a negative turn. You may offend the person making the statement. There are tactful was to explore a conversation like this without being offensive. MrD, my husband, is very direct. If I make a statement, he won’t usually respond as he thinks I’m expressing myself. If I want conversation, I have to ask him a direct question. He does business that way also and is very successful because he doesn’t get emotionally involved with your statements.
Professors at the academies giving test and exams are not allowed to ask a question in a way that it is received negatively. Negatively means you are doomed if you do answer and doomed if you don’t. Here is an example for you. If I grow a Japanese maple in full sun will it thrive? Too many variables right? But you are only allowed to answer yes or no. What are you going to do? Wouldn’t you prefer the question to be; In what condition does a Bloodgood Japanese maple grow the best? or stated more efficiently; Please tell me the best growing conditions for a Bloodgood Japanese maple?
Which of those questions is the easiest to answer? If you are trying to relay information correctly and that is your objective, you will ask in what conditions does the plant perform the best. But if you are trying to make it possible for the tree to grow in any location and that is your objective, you will ask if a Japanese Maple will thrive in full sun. Why would you ask such a broad question. You would ask it negatively because you really wanted it to grow in full sun. You weren’t worried about killing the tree. You didn’t want to be a Japanese maple tree expert.
On Inaugural day, I received a poll question from an unknown. I don’t answer my phone unless I know the number but made the mistake that day. She was nice and had a pleasant voice. I told her I would answer her survey questions if she wasn’t trying to sell me anything. She informed me that I could only answer yes or no. Her first question right out of the gate was……Do you think president Obama is doing a good job.
Mr President Obama had been in office about 5 minutes. I told her that I had not formed an opinion on that. She pressed me to state my feelings and they will rate my feelings and give the appropriate response on the form. I told her to go on to the next question. Here is where you could tell what kind of answers they were aiming to direct. She ask me if I was pleased with the job Pelosi was doing. Again, you could only answer yes or no. I’m not going to judge somone in such a broad sense. It’s like asking a gardener if their rows have always been straight. I might plow crooked every now and then if I’m thinking about MrD.
It wouldn’t do any good to give this woman a speech and it wouldn’t do any good to be mad at her. I politely let her move on to the next victim. We need an across the board rule book on how poll and survey questions should be ask. No one should ask a question that comes in and out the back/same door. There should be one way in and one way out so it will allow you to express your thoughts and not direct your thoughts. It should flow and not be circular reasoning. You can go where ever you wish once you are out the door. Most pollsters come in the back door and go out the back door. Don’t you agree.
Did you know that most arguments and misunderstandings occur because people never meet and never walk where the other person has been. If you enter and exit through the same door, you never meet or pass the other person. All you did was keep going in and out the same door. Some one is always using the front door and another is always using the back. It’s just preference.
You can still get to the kitchen from either direction. One day you should pass all the way through to the other side and see what is out there. I know at my house there are more flowers out back than in the front. The conditions are different. You need to try and see how the other side grows their stuff. You may be one of the plants all us gardeners love who can grow in any condition. They are rare aren’t they?
Poll and survey reports are announced on all the different networks and you’ll get a typical response depending on who is asking the question. Pollsters will also navigate the maps of the region being polled and make it racially driven. We Southerners are so ready to let the whole race issue go to the compost bin and have good stuff added to it so it comes out nutritious for everyone.
I hung up on one pollster recently who ask me if I would vote for a white or black president. I do loads of genealogy research and can most assuredly promise you that we are a great melting pot. I’ve met people with my last name who were obviously a different skin tone. Thank goodness they were attractive;)
Historically speaking, the South is stereotyped to vote in one direction. I don’t even have to tell you do I? In fact, we are stereotyped to vote based on being in the bible belt and racially because of the history that has been played out in the South.
The South is still front porches, magnolia breezes, fried chicken, and melodic with our slow drawn out words. We aren’t the South of a generation ago. I am a conservative Republican just to the right of the middle. One of my best friends is registered just to the left of the middle Democrat. In the South, there isn’t a hair’s difference between the two.
I can tell you that none of us wants to answer negatively driven questions or answer racially steered content. Get off that soap box and find the more current means of communication. The internet now allows you to read my weblog and my Charlotte Historical Examiner site. You can ask me directly any questions you have and I’ll give an honest opinion. We will be opposites on some issues and we’ll be connected on others. What we WILL NOT be is misguided. I am sick and tired of the media telling you what I think because they polled me with the intent of making their point.