The most egregious offenses in the envelope are in the fourth question of the “QUESTIONAIRE.” It asks, “How important are each of the following issues when deciding how to vote this November?” There are six listed. The first “issue” is stated as, “Economic issues like jobs,” and they all include that problematic preposition, "like." Unbelievable! (You can see it below.)
I don’t immediately think of any economic issues that are exactly “like jobs,” and I’m confused because I’m trying to reconcile “are” with “each,” and because I was all set up by the instructions to expect a list of single issues and now am being asked to rule on a whole, poorly defined, category of issues. I’m also confused about whether jobs is an issue, jobs are an issue, or jobs are issues. And, finally, I’m just assuming they are talking about importance to me about my vote rather than about general importance to the election, though that is not obvious from the wording of the question. William F. Buckley must be sad, even in Heaven, or in purgatory, at this continuing grammatical deterioration.
I often face uncertainty, when writing, about the correct grammar, syntax, and word choice for making a particular point or statement, and always take the cowardly way out, choosing the simple and non-controversial. Had I been asked to edit this RNC document, retaining as much of their wording as possible, I would have avoided the word “issues” entirely and would have eliminated all noun-verb agreement questions, uncertainty about whose decision is at stake, and misuse of “like” as follows:
Please rate the importance to your November voting decision of candidate positions on each of the following:
A. Economic concerns including Jobs
B. Government spending, deficits, debt, and taxes
C. Living expenses including the cost of gasoline and housing
D. Social concerns including abortion and gay marriage
E. National security including the war in Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear capability
F. Personal freedom including gun rights and constitutional limits on government power
I probably would have responded to, instead of trashing, such a question, and, just in case you are wondering, would have given B, E, and F ratings of “10 – Extremely Important,” A and C ratings of “1 – Not at all Important,” and would have left D blank. Getting B right will help solve the problems with A and C, assuring national security (E) and guaranteeing personal freedom (F) are clearly unique responsibilities of the federal government, and abortion and gay marriage (D) aren’t even in the same category. There is nothing “social” about abortion. Let me hasten to say that these importance ratings say nothing at all about what specific actions I hope the next administration will take.
As far as I know, I am not a registered Republican though party declaration might have been a requirement for primary voting in one of the states we lived in and I might have chosen GOP at such a time. It is certainly not a hot button now as a resident of South Carolina, and I am a bit concerned that this mailing identified me with a “MEMBER NUMBER.” So, I am just going to maintain a low profile and shred this thing before my number gets misplaced. Then I won’t have to figure out if there are any “social media like Facebook” in order to be able to answer Question 8. And, I won’t have to ignore Question 11 about a donation (that would forever be associated with my “MEMBER NUMBER”) to the Republican National Committee.
In case you can’t tell, I do support Governor Romney as the better choice in the upcoming election. I don’t expect miracles from him and certainly don't see him as a "The One," but believe he will get to work "right away," a favorite phrase of President Obama, on Item B, will get a good team in place on Item E, and will back off on the expansion of federal power threatening Item F. To those who say he is a RINO, Republican in Name Only, given my opinion of these Republican mailings, I say, “Hooray.” If you would like to do your own re-write of Question 4 or try to answer the questions or just see what the Republican National Committee thinks we have on our minds, here it is.