I remember reading your election stuff in 2012, and remember your Kermit day references. I also remember your longstanding disdain for Nate Silver. It should probably bring you no small satisfaction to see him being utterly skewered in the comments section of his website right now. They are utterly thrashing him. “Professional polling” is dead after this election.
I have you to thank for being able to understand and anticipate what was truly going on during this election cycle. It also made it easier to suss out who to pay attention to and who to ignore. I had a friend of mine who passed away earlier this year who was a Korean War vet, from Pennsylvania, but also a longtime resident of Florida, both of which went to Trump. If he were alive today he’d probably be laughing his ass off. But you were right, the Rust Belt broke for Trump. Sir, you may have ate crow the last few elections, but not this time, this time you were dead-on while everyone else looks like clowns. And as a fellow Star Trek nut, live long, and prosper.
I don’t think I was right. I think the only thing, perhaps, was the re-aligning of the Rust Belt. The process of a state in re-alignment becomes a battleground state. Battleground states are states that are re-aligning. For example, Texas was a battleground state in the 1950s and 1960s. Hard to believe, but it was! I think the Rust Belt states are re-aligning to Republican, but several states are re-aligning to Democrats too. This is normal part of American political history. Things change.
The reason why I so despise Nate Silver has nothing to do with his statistical model (which is incorrect because it accounts for probability and not certainty). It has everything to do with throwing political science under the bus. The political scientists who came out with their own models this cycle that said, “Based on these factors, Trump wins,” were right. People do not believe it, but there is a science to all this. There is SO MUCH DATA, how do you quantify it all? Economic data. Historical data. It is so much!
This ‘polls in your face’ mentality of the last three presidential cycles needs to end. I despise Nate Silver not because of his model but because he is using it to get money and fame. He is busy trying to save his ass by saying the polls were more accurate than Brexit, blah blah blah, etc. His 15 minutes are up.
The Nate Silver way removes critical thinking from the political discussion and excludes much useful data. Such useful data would be, say, historical patterns. One historical pattern is that a party doesn’t tend to hold the presidency for more than two cycles. In other words, the longer one party holds it, the larger pressure is built up against it. Eventually, it blows. One can also look at voter enthusiasm due to the primaries. One can also observe a pattern that in open presidential elections, the outsider wins (every open modern presidential election has the ‘outsider’ candidate winning).
From a political science perspective, politics is a fun puzzle. Political scientists, even though most are very liberal, are actually professional about it.
Presidential elections were far more intellectual in the past before ‘polls-in-your-face’ became the standard. Let polls be a supplement to a news story or editorial, they shouldn’t BE the news.
AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT LET YOUR STATE OF HAPPINESS BE CONTROLLED BY POLLS. Or by what goes on in Washington.
If your state of happiness depends on what goes on in Washington, you need psychological help. (Being happy or sad based on an election). And yes, I do think most political junkies need psychological help. There is something lacking in their lives which is why they keep thinking some distant political power will shape their lives.
Do not give politicians that power. The most important thing about being free and happy is not to let anyone make you feel unfree and unhappy.
But yeah, I never want to hear about Nate Silver again. He did make one accurate prediction: “The cubs have as remote chance of winning the World Series as Trump does in becoming President.” The cubs did win the World Series!
It is not that Nate Silver said wrong things. It is that Nate Silver made a ton of money and reputation doing so.
I read through some of the sad posts in the Poligaf thread on Neogaf. I don’t take joy in people’s suffering. And you know what, neither should the reader. Schadenfreude is for losers. It is saying: “In order for me to win, YOU MUST FAIL.”
I hope if 2016 tells us anything is not to attack people for having a different opinion on what will happen during an election. These are your fellow citizens, brothers and sisters. Here is what I see: politicians and media types who have no true worth to society, no true job skills, but do nothing but feast financially off of stemming hatred off of the ‘other party’. In the Poligaf thread, there were many people salivating over the ‘inevitable’ Clinton win so they could laugh and mock the sorrow of the other party. I ask: “Why are you such a cruel person?”
This is why I don’t do Kermit Day. There has been too much pain and suffering. When 2020 or another presidential cycle comes, I hope those who are in pain will remember this day. And I hope they will not inflict harm on their fellow citizen simply because that person has a different vote.