Today we wake to this “news“:

More than 80 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the highest such number since the early 1990s, according to a new survey.

The CBS News-New York Times poll released Thursday showed 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”

I’m not sure who ticks me off more — the pollsters asking such a stupid question, or the media reporting it as news. (Maybe it doesn’t matter, since apparently they are the same people.)

So the country is “headed in the wrong direction,” is it? What exactly does that mean? As far as I know, it’s still going from west to east, at roughly one revolution per day.

Oh, I see: the actual statement was that “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” That’s much clearer. The wrong track.

The question is utterly meaningless and entirely open to interpretation; there can be no possible significance to the result, because there’s no way of knowing what any individual respondent thinks it means. More to the point, has there ever been a time in the history of humanity when you couldn’t find a majority of people willing to grumble that the world was going to hell in a handbasket?

I can’t think of any possible reason to ask such a question, and publish the result as “news,” except one: it’s an election year, and we must do everything we can to advocate a platform of Change. Because change is always good, isn’t it?