So I just spent a rather pleasant hour talking with a census taker. She showed up here a few weeks back when I was out, and left a card wanting me to call. I forgot to, but that’s ok because she came by today to see me. She was very nice, very polite, and seemed quite taken aback that I was actually enthusiastic about participating.
You see, I understand the point of the census. It isn’t just to count how many people there are. It also yields valuable demographic information about our nation and the people who live here. I understand that the census is part of the Constitution, and that it really matters to our country. I understand that it is a civic duty to participate, and no, I’m not typing that sarcastically, ironically, or in any fashion other than totally sincere.
The questions she asked were a bit lengthy and I’m sure some would find them intrusive. Some might also wonder why, for example, the government needs to know how much credit card debt you have, or if you’ve gone hungry in the past year. But both those things are actually important. The credit card debt can provide the government with information needed to strengthen consumer protections, and if people have been going hungry, perhaps the food stamp program needs to be expanded (as opposed to cut back, which it totally has been). Certainly questions about medical coverage are important in making future adjustments to the ACA.
So I answered all these questions honestly and proudly; pleased that I was able to participate in one of the most important parts of American civic life. Not just a duty, but a privilege.