February 10th, 2014

Ethical Quandary

So I got this piece of junk mail addressed to someone else and I opened it.  That's not what I have qualms about, though -- it was one of those questionnaire/fund-raising things that no one ever really looks at, and if I delivered it to the right address the person there would probably look at me in disbelief and throw it straight into the garbage.

I opened it because it said it contained a questionnaire about "ObamaCare" -- their word -- and I was curious to see the sort of questions people were asking.  Once I saw it, though, I realized I'd found the mother lode of rightwing nut-jobs.  Question 7 is:  How serious a threat do you think ObamaCare is to the survival of America as the "land of the free?"  (Mark as many answers as reflect your viewpoint.)  A: ObamaCare is a greater threat to liberty in America than Nazi Germany in World War II.  B:  ObamaCare is a greater threat to liberty in America that the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  C:  ObamaCare is not as great a threat to liberty as those listed above, but is still an enormous threat to liberty.  D:  ObamaCare is not a threat to liberty.  E:  Not Sure.  F:  Other.

Well, after I saw this I knew I had to answer the whole thing.  I filled in "D" and continued gleefully on.  Question 10 was:  What do you think is President Obama's true political ideology? and I skipped over "Socialist" and "Communist" and "Fascist" to land on "Moderate."  For Question 3 in the second part, which solemnly explained in the summary that "the death rate from breast cancer is 52 percent higher in Germany than in America, and 88 percent higher in Great Britain," I filled in Other and wrote, "The statistics are untrue."  For Question 2 in the third part, which purported to give the facts on the increased cost of healthcare, I decided I had to be firmer and wrote "These statistics are false."

There was a section labeled "ObamaCare's War on Christianity and Traditional Moral Values," and at this point I stopped and looked at the return address.  The questionnaire turned out to be from Ralph Reed, "Faith & Freedom Coalition." I thought about adding something about Christians not bearing false witness, but I couldn't find a place to put it.

Finally I turned the last page, and saw that it contained the name of the person the questionnaire was addressed to.  I stopped, chagrined.  I'd thought the answers would be anonymous, but now I wondered if I'd get one of my neighbors in trouble if I continued.  (It also asked for a donation from him -- presumably by this time he'd be so outraged at these "statistics" that he'd empty out his bank account.)  I'd still like to send the questionnaire in, if only to show that not everyone in the United States can be brainwashed.  (I can't just delete the last page, unfortunately -- it's part of the questionnaire.)

So, in the spirit of open inquiry, I thought I'd put the problem in the form of a poll.

What should I do about this questionnaire?

Sending it is unethical and would probably get your neighbor in trouble.
It wouldn't get your neighbor in trouble, but it's still unethical.
Oh, go ahead.
Ralph Reed is worse than Hitler!!1!!