Lazy Afternoon Reruns: “Thinking One Way, Voting Another”

The Spring 2017 Alabama Public Opinion Survey, conducted by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), shows some disturbing conclusions about the political ideas in my home state. Hardest to swallow are two graphs on page 23, which explain that 63% of the people polled “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” that they “Have No Say in What the Government in Montgomery Does” and a whopping 69% “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” that “Officials in Montgomery Don’t Care What People Like Me Think.” The polling from 2007 through 2017 shows that roughly half to two-thirds of Alabamians feel that way consistently.

Likewise, a few pages ahead of those disconcerting line graphs, we see a bar graph that explains how 76.7% of Alabamians polled answered “Yes” when asked, “Do you think the level of school funding makes a difference in the quality of education?” (Somehow, 17.3% of respondents answered “No,” and I’d be curious about how they came to that conclusion.) About three-quarters of Alabamians, then, believe the old adage that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to our education system.

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