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Open Thread 62.25

This is the twice-weekly hidden open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever.

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937 Responses to Open Thread 62.25

  1. Wrong Species says:

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2016/11/trump-winning-rises-falls-status.html

    Trump winning: who rises and falls in status?

    Rise

    Peter Thiel

    Scott Adams

    Steve Sailer

    Nate Silver

    Critics of Obamacare, especially those such as Megan McArdle who said it was a huge mistake to proceed with zero Republican votes

    Brexiters and Ukip

    Ray Fair

    Jonathan Haidt

    Baskets

    Those who pushed for market circuit-breakers

    Martin Gurri

    Donald Trump

    Fall

    Most intellectuals and academics

    Pollsters

    Economists

    Progressives who suggested Hillary Clinton shouldn’t compromise with Republicans or reach out to them with significant policy concessions

    Lots of other people too

    People who denied the “backlash” worry about high levels of immigration

    Ruth Ginsburg

    The media, in multiple ways

    Yet even more people

    People

    • Wrong Species says:

      There were a lot of us who never thought Trump had a chance. This election has been humbling.

      • Wrong Species says:

        I’ll say this though. Trump and his supporters kept telling us the election was rigged. The more conspiracy minded people kept telling us that Trump didn’t have a chance because the establishment would keep him from winning. Well, that didn’t happen. Hillary may have won the popular vote(I’m not sure on that yet), but Trump won in the states that matter. It wasn’t because of any secret smoke filled rooms where a bunch of oligarchs got together and decided the outcome. It wasn’t because the Media went out and collectively brainwashed people in to a certain outcome. It was because when it came to the states that mattered, the people voted against everything that Clinton stands for.

        • hlynkacg says:

          Good point,

          FWIW a Trump win is pretty strong evidence against widespread insider vote rigging. It will be interesting to see if it gets used as such.

          • James Miller says:

            A student failing an exam is proof that she didn’t successfully cheat a lot, but she certainly could have cheated a little. In this video Obama seems to be encouraging illegal aliens to vote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfgEvgVC6Qs

          • Earthly Knight says:

            In this video Obama seems to be encouraging illegal aliens to vote:

            You must have posted the wrong link, at no point in that video does Obama say anything that could possibly be construed as encouraging illegal aliens to vote.

          • ChetC3 says:

            How is evidence relevant to an article of faith?

          • Rowan says:

            @Earthly Knight

            I can’t see any possible meaning for “undocumented, uh, citizens – and I call them citizens, because they contribute to this country” that isn’t “illegal aliens (but with positive emotional valence)”.

            So, he’s asked “illegal aliens are scared that if they turn up to vote, they’ll be deported – should I be worried about that?”

            Not mentioning the fact that illegal aliens shouldn’t be voting in the first place is implicitly condoning it.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            The interviewer introduced a weird, stipulative definition of “citizen” that includes non-citizens and then asked Obama if “citizens” would risk deportation for themselves and their families by voting. Obama answered that no citizen risks deportation for herself or her family if she votes because voting is absolutely confidential. It is not clear whether Obama understood the strange redefinition of “citizen” the interviewer was proposing (perhaps he decided just to ignore it, because it made no difference to his point in any case), and there is no indication that he was using the word this way in his response. Additionally, at no point in the clip does Obama encourage anyone to do anything, so it is definitely false that he was “encouraging illegal aliens to vote.”

          • Randy M says:

            Between this and “Trump wants to give Iran nukes” from a few threads ago, I think we need to have a better class of interviewer. Or, since perfection in spontaneous communication is a high bar to pass, more grace on all sides.

          • The Nybbler says:

            There was evidence of tomfoolery in Broward County, and in Philadelphia.

        • YehoshuaK says:

          I don’t fully agree. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Trump received 59,857,777 votes, 98% of Mr. Romney’s 2012 total of 60,933,504. A decline in popular votes compared to the previous Republican nominee does not suggest an outpouring of popular support–more like an “eh, he’ll do.”

          Mrs. Clinton received 60,215,267 votes, 91% of Mr. Obamas 2012 total of 65,915,795. A decline of 9%, that’s serious. Maybe it’s that Mr. Obama was unusually good at getting people to vote for him, maybe Mrs. Clinton was unusually bad at it, or maybe a little of both, but that’s a serious drop off.

          To be blunt, if Mrs. Clinton had gotten the same votes as Obama, not one more, she would have won in a landslide.

          By the way, the popular vote totals differ by only a little over 350,000. Basically, Mrs. Clinton received 0.6% more popular votes than Mr. Trump. Now, I’m not a statistical expert, but that strikes me as a trivial difference–effectively a tie in the popular vote. Comments invited from anyone who knows the math to check me on this.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            Not all the votes are counted yet. There are still a few million out there that won’t decide any race but are still being tallied for accuracy’s sake.

      • Deiseach says:

        Yeah, I have to say, I was hugely (or should that be “yugely”) surprised by the result. I was sure Hillary would win because I didn’t think Trump could pull it off. He did better all along than anyone expected, but nobody could really see him winning.

        Well, we were all wrong. The popular vote was incredibly close, but how he managed to win the states he needed (like Florida) was amazing.

        I suppose the analysis now – once everyone has picked their jaws up off the floor – will be along the lines of “Did Trump win or did Clinton lose?” because, from my uneducated and preliminary impression, it looks like they took the black/minorities vote a bit too much for granted – after all, were black people really going to vote for “Endorsed by the KKK” Trump? and forgot that the large turnout was for Obama, the first black president. Hillary is white and she ain’t Bill, so the black voter turnout was always going to ebb. They took a bit too much for granted, reached out to the wrong people (I think the “I love real billionaires” and “basket of deplorables” remarks did hurt her, because if you’re trying to scoop up Sanders’ younger voters, brown-nosing the very very rich may be pragmatic for fund-raising but doesn’t go down well with millenials sunk in college debt) and, much as they may squeal about Comey and the FBI being Republican partisan mooks, the emails leaks didn’t help and that was really them shooting themselves in the foot.

        • Aapje says:

          I think that some politicians have such huge anti-crowd charisma that they almost can’t win a popular election. Shimon Peres and Hillary Clinton are examples of this. Note that these people tend to be have very good 1-on-1 charisma, which is why they do get a shot.

        • Matt M says:

          Based on a quick look at the vote totals and exit polling data, it looks like the GOP basically got the same amount of votes from basically the same people as they did in 2012, but the Democrats lost massive amounts across the board. Suggests huge lack of enthusiasm for Hillary – her “base” simply didn’t bother to show up.

          • Mark V Anderson says:

            Your theory sounds credible except I heard that voting levels were way up. The usual axiom is that increased voting participation helps the Dems. Not this time.

          • andrewflicker says:

            I’m afraid you’ve heard wrong, Mark. 2004, 2008, and 2012 were all over 54% turnout. 2016 looks like it will be just under 49%.

          • Matt M says:

            I’m seeing less totals across the board. Both Trump and Clinton got less votes than both Romney and Obama did in 2012. So much for THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIMES

          • Mark V Anderson says:

            This is the link I read. Maybe it was just preliminary, but I wonder. Everyone keeps talking about the lower totals for Hillary and Trump, but that could be because of third party voters. I think third party votes were about 5% this time, when usually it is only 1-2%.

            Does someone have the total votes in 2016 vs 2012?

    • Whatever Happened To Anonymous says:

      I’ve certainly updated my prior on Peter Thiel being a time traveler from the future.

      • moridinamael says:

        This is certainly at least weak evidence that Scott Adams and Peter Thiel have some ideas worth paying attention to.

        In retrospect, maybe we should have put more weight on the predictions of the guy who runs an organization called Palantir.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Thiel yes, Adams, not really. Trump lost Illinois, he lost New York, he lost California. He came nowhere near a Reagan-style landslide. If he took even one solid blue state I was ready to all hail the Master Persuader, but he just won an ordinary-looking 21st century election.

          • James Miller says:

            Trump won despite his Access Hollywood tape, something only a Master Persuader could likely have accomplished.

          • ChetC3 says:

            His losses were the result of media bias and voter fraud campaigns, so they don’t count. It’s only in the southern and heartland states that the playing field was level enough for his Persuasion Mastery to work its magic.

          • suntzuanime says:

            Trump won despite running against Hillary Clinton, something only a dead housecat could likely have accomplished.

          • Deiseach says:

            Yeah, but did anyone expect Trump to win California? Or even New York? Illinois I was a bit surprised, but then again, Chicago is steady blue by this map and if it’s Obama’s old stomping ground, were they really going to go against the Democrat candidate?

            He may have “just won an ordinary-looking 21st century election” but remember, comedians were making jokes about encouraging him to run back at the very start, everyone considered him the joke candidate, and when he bulldozed through, there were still articles about “he’s blown his wad, he’s going to run out of money for the campaign, Hillary can eat him alive when it comes to getting donors” etc. The day before the election, every poll had the vote split two-thirds to one-third in Clinton’s favour.

            “Just” winning the election was probably the biggest damn surprise of the year, apart from Brexit (another “it can’t possibly happ- oh, crap” moment).

          • suntzuanime says:

            Adams predicted a massive landslide in Trump’s favor. I did not think this was likely, but if it had happened, I would have had to admit that Adams saw something I did not. It did not happen. Saying that of course it didn’t happen, it was obviously impossible, that’s sort of my point. When someone predicts the obviously impossible, I will only give them credit for it if the obviously impossible occurs.

          • JayT says:

            I agree that Adams was way off as far as his landslide prediction goes, but Trump won several hard-blue states. Michigan and Pennsylvania hadn’t gone Republican since 1988, and Wisconsin hadn’t voted that way since 1984.

          • suntzuanime says:

            You mean that it went that way 6 times in a row. Even a completely 50/50 swing state would have about a 2% chance of doing that, not enough to call it “hard blue”. You need to talk vote margins and polls and whatnot, and by those standards, they were in play. None of them was won by 10 percentage points or more in 2012.

          • JayT says:

            Six elections in a row is really long time as far as these kinds of things go. Since the last time a Republican won any of those three states the vote difference has gone:
            Pennsylvania has been between 2.5% (2004) – 10.3% (2008) with an average of almost 7% Democrat lead.

            Michigan has been between 3.4% (2004) and 16.4 (2008) with an average over 9%.

            Wisconsin has had the closest elections with W Bush getting within a percentage both times, but then Obama won it by 14% and 7% the last two elections. Clinton won it by 4% and 10.3%.

            As far as polls go, they had Wisconsin and Pennsylvania at a 4% Clinton lead, and Michigan around 3%. Almost nobody was calling those states for Trump, and coming into the election I don’t think anyone was thinking the Republicans would take any of those states, much less all three.

        • Whatever Happened To Anonymous says:

          Nothing against the creator of the best office comic, but his only-kind-of-accurate predictions netted him some extra twitter followers and the chance to say “I told you so” to a bunch of people in the internet.

          Thiel’s have gotten him billions of dollars, a place in the board of the most important social network, and now probably a fuckton of political influence.

        • ShemTealeaf says:

          Adams’s predictions about the general election were wildly overconfident and ended up being wrong (unless someone can make a case for a narrow loss in the popular vote being remotely equivalent to a landslide victory for Trump).

          He’s vacillated and hedged so many times that he’s basically admitted that his model doesn’t have much predictive power. At some point, he decided that Clinton was also being advised by a ‘master persuader’, allowing him to consider virtually any outcome a success for his model.

          Furthermore, he predicts fairly outlandish things with extreme confidence and then turns around and admits that his model has basically no tolerance for unexpected events. From his own post on 10/13 (http://blog.dilbert.com/post/151737656851/the-era-of-women):

          If Clinton wins, you’ll wonder if this invalidates the Master Persuader Hypothesis. The short answer is no, because the concept doesn’t account for unknowns of this magnitude. If a meteor had struck Trump a day before election day, it wouldn’t say much about his skill as a persuader. The Master Persuasion Hypothesis worked splendidly until the double-whammy of the Access Hollywood tape and the “octopus” meteor.

          Trump could still win, but only if some new and unexpected meteor strikes Clinton.

          This is on top of the fact that his writing is deliberately disingenuous, to the point that the leading theory among Adams’s own readers was that he is essentially just a troll.

          I gave Adams some credit for his prediction of Trump winning the nomination, although I think that can be adequately explained without hypnosis or superhuman persuasion abilities. However, I think his outlandish predictions since then have pretty much cancelled out the credit from his original success.

    • Cheese says:

      That specific list aside, one name that really sticks out to me post-election is Michael Moore.

      Not only did he correctly call the Trump win, he called which states (and the *why* of those states moving) would tip him over in the EC and he called the drop in the Democratic voter turnout being a key factor (and again the why of it – although less points for that given its obviousness).

      I’ve always admired Moore even though he’s too culture-war-ish for me. I especially liked he was willing to back down on his non-Hillary voting promise; I hope it shows he’s learned from his 2000-election obstinate absolutism (although I think the extent to which his Nader endorsement mattered is debatable). It’ll be interesting to see to what extent his ideas about where the democratic party should go are borne out. Anyway.

      • qwints says:

        Partially agree on Moore – he took a lot of flack from fellow people on the left for his position. I remember him on Bill Maher’s show where MSNBC commentator Joy Reid basically responded to his prediction by saying he was forgetting about Black people.

        On the other hand, it’s pretty likely a big part of the motivation for his prediction was to boost Democratic turnout. On that show, he and Bill Maher both were clearly more focused on campaigning than on accurately predicting. In addition, he made a very similar prediction about Romney in 2012.

  2. Anonymous Bosch says:

    Brief attempt at a neoliberal / leftish-libertarian autopsy from someone who was doubly disappointed by last night’s results (thought Hillary was the lesser evil, really wanted Gary to get 5%).

    Western liberalism is lazy, content to sit on its laurels after pretty much sweeping the 20th century, treating ideologies as discredited rather than defeated. And for a long time, they were. The tactic of discrediting concept X by linking it to some form of -ism (fascism, racism, etc.) paid considerable dividends, and reactionaries had to concede some fundamental defeats and fight rear-guard actions with Lee Atwater type double-talk.

    It’s pointless argue to what extent this tactic was justified; you can’t quantify every argument ever made. Let’s just stipulate that many of the links were legitimate and many of them weren’t. But what I don’t think was obvious to many until now is that legitimate or not, that sort of tactic relies on an exhaustible resource: popular memory.

    Liberalism’s great victories of the 20th century are fading. Boomers don’t remember WW2 and were very young during the civil rights movement, and it gets dimmer from there. Hitler is no longer a real figure who had real policies of ethnic nationalism and contempt for democracy. He’s just shorthand for “evil.” Same with the KKK, etc.

    And when that resource is exhausted, a couple of things happen. Newer reactionaries think “well, if being fascist pisses off liberals so much, it must be awesome” and abandon their double-talk. And uninformed average voters think “well, Hitler was evil, and this stuff Trump’s talking about doesn’t seem evil, so liberals must be full of shit.”

    The end result was the desultory Hillary campaign, particularly ill-equipped to handle this sort of shift, because Hillary declined to address her own unfavorables head-on and doubled down on simply attacking Trump through linking him to negative concepts and relied on demographics (which aren’t there yet) and the media (who mostly just did the same thing) to carry her over the finish line.

    As a capitalist, I probably agreed with Hillary more than Bernie, but even at the time, I was hoping for them to put forth Bernie because it was obvious he could’ve articulated a positive vision with a lot more force and credibility. Biden would have been ideal, but sadly I think he was spent after his son died.

    Trump’s celebrity was probably an ace in the hole too. It gave him a captive audience from start to finish, and knowing as we do that voters are incredibly ignorant and under-informed, I do wonder how many percentage points can be attributed solely to name recognition. (Ignorant voter: “hey, Successful Business Guy! He’ll probably do a good job.”)

    Going forward, I think liberalism must accept that some moral and political axioms will have to be re-litigated (some of them going all the way back to the 19th century, such as Trump’s staunch mercantilism). It won’t be enough to simply call something fascist or racist. In fact, at this point it’s counterproductive from a persuasion standpoint. Be willing and able to argue from first principles and not get thrown off by “actually, racism is good, u mad?” I actually suspect this will come easier to Bernie-style leftists than to Clinton-style centrists, and this is why I think liberalism in the future will be more substantively leftist.

    There will also be a need to create new institutions; I have no idea what these will be, but I do know that the current ones are doomed. Big media will be increasingly worthless as liberal consensus declines, because they ultimately need to profit and it’s becoming more profitable to exploit the reactionary niche. Unions are probably done; a lot of the interplay between Trump and Congress will be uncertain but I think you can definitely expect a national right-to-work law. Academia might be salvageable if they can get on board with the previous paragraph rather than huffing and puffing to themselves in the Journal Of Linking To Bad Thingology. What replaces them? I’m open to suggestions.

    • Randy M says:

      You (liberal thought leaders) haven’t actually sold the case that “Racism is prejudice plus power” or “All white people are privileged.” When people perceived you as saying “Your preferences are wicked, but theirs are justified” you lost credibility to shame them.

      • The original Mr. X says:

        Yeah, those kinds of double standards are quite annoying.

        It’s like the people saying that the only ethnic group which voted for Trump overall were whites, as if this somehow makes Trump, or whites, or America bad. Somehow if the situation had been reversed and Hillary had got in on the back of ethnic minority votes, I doubt the same people would be complaining about how this was awful, how white voters had someone they didn’t want foisted on them, etc.

        • Deiseach says:

          It’s like the New Yorker attributing more men voting for Trump than women to sexism, while more women voting for Hillary than men is perfectly fine and natural and normal:

          Fourth, and this cannot be avoided, men were primarily responsible for Trump’s triumph. Over-all, according to the exit poll, women voted for Clinton by a margin of twelve percentage points, fifty-four per cent to forty-two per cent. Men voted for Trump by the same twelve-point margin, fifty-three per cent to forty-one per cent. The exit polls don’t explain this split—but sexism surely played some role.

          54% of X voting for X candidate is not sexism, 53% of Y voting for Y candidate is sexism? One gender preferring a candidate of their own gender rather than a candidate of the opposite gender should be sexism or not sexism, not “it’s sexism if you do it but not if we do it”.

          • Matt M says:

            Men also voted for Romney over Obama at a margin of 52 to 45. Were Romney voters also evil horrible misogynists?

          • Mark V Anderson says:

            Yes, the New Yorker was brandishing its leftist brand right there. A great example of tribalism over rationalism.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            man, that slate article.

            That right there is a perfect example of why Social Justice is a problem in the real world, not just on Tumblr.

            [EDIT] – Meanwhile, the view from the other side.

          • Deiseach says:

            Were Romney voters also evil horrible misogynists?

            Now Matt M, you know that in that case they were evil horrible racists. Keep up with the various kinds of bigotry on display, remember Hillary’s handy little list to tick them off: “Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”

            We’ve had the racists (anyone who voted against Obama) and sexists (anyone who voted against Hillary). Just need to wait for a gay Muslim immigrant to run for President to collect the full set!

          • The Nybbler says:

            Just need to wait for a gay Muslim immigrant to run for President to collect the full set!

            Xe would be ineligible, but that’s because of that nasty racist sexist Constitution which was created only to uphold slavery.

          • Deiseach says:

            The Nybbler, you are right and I should correct myself. The differently-abled American-born gay trans child of Muslim immigrants, I should have said!

            You’re not joking about the reasons for the Constitution; I’m seeing a lot of some clip from “Fresh Off The Boat” where the kid explains that the Electoral College was created to uphold the interests of slaveholders:

            The Electoral College violates the rule of “one person, one vote.” It was made to benefit slave-owners by distributing votes. That means the candidate who wins the popular vote can still lose the election. And that is extremely undemocratic.

            Why do I get the feeling that had it been Trump who won the popular vote 48% to 46% but lost the Electoral College votes, we wouldn’t be hearing anything about the undemocratic and should be abolished Electoral College and that Hillary was not legitimately president because she wasn’t the democratic choice?

          • Stefan Drinic says:

            Because, again, you’re on freaking tumblr, and it’s a terrible place to be for most anything.

    • Earthly Knight says:

      An autopsy is an attempt to reconstruct the causal factors which led to a given non-repeatable occurrence. In the case of a post-election autopsy, you are trying to infer the existence of and dynamics among a dizzying number of invisible sociological forces from a single event. This is an exercise in futility, and no conclusions reached on this basis should ever be considered more than tentative hypotheses. It is possible that Hillary lost because the social justice warriors were too quick to label their opponents racists and fascists, but for all we can know, it may be that Hillary would have won had they been less tolerant still. Which conjecture you find plausible probably says more about your psychology than about the forces actually at work in the world.

      • Anonymous Bosch says:

        In the case of a post-election autopsy, you are trying to infer the existence of and dynamics among a dizzying number of invisible sociological forces from a single event. This is an exercise in futility, and no conclusions reached on this basis should ever be considered more than tentative hypotheses.

        I don’t necessarily think it’s futile (one has to start somewhere), but I agree that they’re tentative hypotheses. It’s the start of the analysis, not the end.

        • Earthly Knight says:

          “Start of the analysis” implies that we have some way of fruitfully proceeding, collecting evidence for and against competing hypotheses and coming to a decision on the basis of that evidence. We do not. All we really have is a bottomless well of speculation and just-so stories that make us feel like the world is more intelligible than it actually is. We cannot even accurately predict the behavior of large groups of people by explicitly asking them what they plan to do, as the polling error in this election has reminded us. What hope do we have, then, of uncovering the hidden forces animating that behavior?

          • Mark V Anderson says:

            I would really like to understand the demographics of the race. The pundits were pretty well convinced that Trump couldn’t win, because he really only had the strong support of White men, and even there only the non college graduates. Even if he got the vast majority of such votes, I agree he couldn’t win if the rest of the electorate overwhelmingly went for Hillary. Obviously that didn’t happen. I’d like to understand where this thinking broke down. This objective information won’t tell us why various groups went for Trump or Hillary, but which groups voted how is worth finding out.

          • sflicht says:

            @Mark, AFAICT the conventional narrative seems to be correct in terms of which groups voted how, but pundits (/ polls) were incorrect about the intensity of those patterns.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Earthly Knight – ““Start of the analysis” implies that we have some way of fruitfully proceeding, collecting evidence for and against competing hypotheses and coming to a decision on the basis of that evidence. We do not. ”

            The reactions of Hillary’s supporters seem like a fairly good piece of evidence, as do popular statements from Trump’s supporters.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @FacelessCraven

            This assumes that people have transparent access to their own motivations and the underlying causes of those motivations, but there’s no particular reason to think that’s true.

    • Alex Zavoluk says:

      This comment seems to smack of Ozy’s “amateur sociology.” I agree with that, say, calling stuff racist is no longer a viable strategy because it’s been overused, but I’m also not sure to what extent that explains the results of this election. For example, Trump got more Hispanic and Black votes than Romney, while Clinton got fewer than Obama.

      “Going forward, I think liberalism must accept that some moral and political axioms will have to be re-litigated (some of them going all the way back to the 19th century, such as Trump’s staunch mercantilism). ”

      Trump is far from the only mercantilist politician; “basic economics” is a fight we’re still fighting on lots of fronts.

      • Edward Scizorhands says:

        Clinton not getting as much of the black vote as Obama is explainable by Obama being black.

        The latino vote is something else, though. See jaimeastorga2000’s comment for a good theory.

      • Sandy says:

        Did Trump get a higher percentage of black and Hispanic votes or actually more votes total?

        I’m not sure calling things racist is no longer a viable strategy — everyone seems to be doing it. Twitter is filled with people shrieking that Trump only won because the electoral college is skewed towards slaveholding states. I woke up a few hours ago and Arthur “Not in Favor of Community, Niceness and Civilization” Chu is already arguing that this shows he was right all along to hate white people and root for their destruction.

        • Randy M says:

          I’m not sure calling things racist is no longer a viable strategy — everyone seems to be doing it.

          Your evidence seems to be answering a different question.

          • Sandy says:

            Sorry, I mean the losing side now seems to believe that they didn’t call everything racist enough — that they didn’t impress upon the blacks and Latinos who didn’t turn out what a Nazi KKK Birch Society gathering Trump’s supporters were.

          • John Schilling says:

            And so this morning they are calling everything racist a few more times just to be safe and, gosh, you know, it looks like they are still the losers.

            The bit where this points to “viable strategy”, escapes me.

          • Randy M says:

            Yes, obviously, in the same way that a little more stimulus would have been enough to fix the economy, but liberals have need to be more courageous and less nice, etc. etc.

        • suntzuanime says:

          If the election has proven anything, it’s that just because Democrats are doing it doesn’t mean it’s a viable strategy.

        • Deiseach says:

          What is a source of grim amusement to me is seeing the allies turning on each other over this; I’m seeing non-white people blaming not alone white men but white women for voting for Trump and saying that their whiteness was more important to them. The rifts and splits are forming very fast amongst the adherents of the “party of diversity and inclusion”.

          Older ones are blaming the younger ones (they’re quoting poll figures about 18-29 year old voters going for Trump), the race card is being played, accusations of sexism are being thrown around like snuff at a wake, and they’re getting ready to rend each other over who is to blame for this. Hillary was insufficiently left and progressive! Hillary was too left! The third party voters are to blame! The apathetic young voters are to blame! White women are to blame! The straights and the cis are to blame! Everyone but me is to blame!

        • Alex Zavoluk says:

          “Did Trump get a higher percentage of black and Hispanic votes or actually more votes total?”

          A higher percentage.

        • Matt M says:

          Exit polling suggests that Trump got a higher share of black and hispanic voters than Romney did – but actual vote #s suggest that he basically just held the votes Romney had, while a bunch of people who previously voted for Obama didn’t bother showing up for HRC.

        • The Nybbler says:

          They’re trapped in a positive feedback loop. Win or lose, their answer would be to hate white people more and root for their destruction. Just before the election there were articles about how they had to absolutely crush Trump supporters once they won.

        • YehoshuaK says:

          I don’t do Twitter. Is it really filled with people who think that slaveholding states exist, that the concept even makes sense? Astonishing.

          Slavery’s been gone from America a long time, everyone who was alive then is dead, and lots of people have moved around in the century and a half since the Civil War.

          • brentdax says:

            Is it really filled with people who think that slaveholding states exist, that the concept even makes sense? Astonishing.

            I’ve seen the tweets in question; the argument is basically that the Electoral College was put into place to protect the small states, which tended to be slaveholding, and although they no longer have slaves, it’s still protecting them.

            Of course, the problem with this story is that it’s not true. We know the Constitutional Convention’s estimates of state size because they included a temporary allocation of House seats in Article One:

            1 Slave Delaware
            1 Free Rhode Island
            3 Slave Georgia
            3 Free New Hampshire
            4 Free New Jersey
            5 Slave North Carolina
            5 Slave South Carolina
            -- Half of states above this line
            6 Free Connecticut
            6 Slave Maryland
            -- Half of House seats above this line
            6 Free New York
            8 Free Massachusetts
            8 Free Pennsylvania
            10 Slave Virginia

            (A “slave state” here is one which had not at least begun gradual emancipation by the beginning of the Civil War.)

            It is not the case that the smallest states were slave states; in fact, there seems to be a fairly even mix of slave and free states at all sizes. Therefore, the Electoral College couldn’t have been installed to benefit slave states. I can only assume that the activist in question mixed it up with the Three-Fifths Compromise, which did serve to bias federal power towards slave states until slavery was abolished.

            So yeah, this person is wrong, just not wrong in the way you assumed.

    • Deiseach says:

      The tactic of discrediting concept X by linking it to some form of -ism (fascism, racism, etc.) paid considerable dividends

      Until diminishing returns set in, when everything was “fascist” or “racist” to the point that “fascist” has pretty much lost any meaning other than “you’re mean and I don’t like you!” and “racist” is going the same way.

      It was a successful weapon, but its very success made the left over-use it, so it lost all efficacy. People eventually went “Well, if this means I’m a fascist, then by cracky, I’m a fascist!” and went right ahead with it.

      Hillary declined to address her own unfavorables head-on

      I think this is her biggest weakness: she cannot admit that she has ever been wrong, or mistaken, or made a misjudgement about anything. I know I’m hammering on about the emails, but a little canny humility “Well gosh, I thought it was okay practice because everyone in State was doing it, but I realise now it was a bad idea and I apologise to this great nation” would have saved her a lot of trouble, but the attitude of “I did nothing wrong because I am always right because I am smart and experienced and why are these peasants bothering me with their petty concerns?” certainly didn’t help her any.

      • Aapje says:

        ‘The boy who cried wolf’

        Superweapons diminish in power every time they are abused.

        • YehoshuaK says:

          Some superweapons diminish in value as they’re abused. Imagine that nukes were frequently abused, God forbid. That wouldn’t make them any less scary to those of us still alive (if any). Possibly because they have real power, unlike content-free insult-words like “fascist” and “racist.”

          • John Schilling says:

            If nukes were frequently abused and civilization still existed, that civilization would by process of elimination not be based in densely populated, undefended, aboveground cities. This would render nuclear weapons less powerful in real terms.

            If nukes are abused to the extent that civilization does not exist, maintenance-intensive nuclear weapons would soon not exist either. This also renders nuclear weapons less powerful.

          • Aapje says:

            I think that this has basically become a semantic debate whether it’s appropriate to call an accusation a superweapon.

            It’s really missing the point though.

          • Iain says:

            I’m skeptical of the whole concept of super-weapons, and I’m especially skeptical that unfounded accusations of racism/fascism have ever had the power that people seem to be ascribing them. When has that ever been an effective tactic? “We lost because the other side called us racists” seems like an excuse, not an explanation with any causal power.

          • Aapje says:

            I think that a quite a few people will believe accusations by default*, if such accusations are not too often misapplied.

            * Assuming that they have no reason to side with the target.

      • Iain says:

        Would you find this sufficient?

        “I have been asked many, many questions in the past year about emails, and what I have learned is that when I try to explain what happened, it can sound like I am trying to excuse what I did. And there are no excuses. I want people to know that the decision to have a single account was mine. I take responsibility for it. I apologize for it.”

        Because that is a thing she actually said, which kind of pokes a hole in your theory.

        • Spookykou says:

          I could be totally wrong about this*, but from what I understand the issue is that she tried to play it down for a really long time, tried to ‘get away with it’ and didn’t give that quoted statement until well into the controversy. I think even people in her campaign pleaded with her to just apologies for months.

          *A bit of news I half listened to about that exact quote, the emails, and wiki leaks on what her staffers said.

          • Iain says:

            Your assessment is basically right. The complicated thing is that she was probably correct to do so, both on the merits and tactically.

            On the merits: We talked about this in the previous open thread, and I remain unconvinced that the uproar about Hillary’s emails is anywhere close to proportionate to the size of the mistakes. It’s as if Clinton re-used the same password for multiple accounts in a corporate environment. Yes, it’s against the rules. Yes, it’s a bad idea, and can potentially have negative consequences. But it’s not the sort of thing that an election should turn on, and it is kind of ridiculous to be asked to make a big show of penitence on a national stage for your lax password hygiene. (Disclaimer: this is just a rough metaphor, and I am not interested in arguing the fine points of its applicability.)

            Tactically: Hillary’s people spent a long time convincing her to give the apology. Eventually, she gave the apology. Did it do her any good? Deiseach, and people like Deiseach, had no idea the apology happened. As soon as I brought it to Deiseach’s attention, she immediately started parsing it for ways that she could dismiss it as insufficient. People who are invested in their myth of Hillary Clinton, unapologetic elitist, are not going to have their minds changed by mere words. Meanwhile, low-information voters just see that Hillary Clinton apologized for her emails and assume that there must have been very serious wrongdoing, or else why would she be apologizing?

            I am not sure there is anything Clinton could have done better during the campaign to make the email issue go away.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            I was aware of the Clinton apology. But it was already expected. The Clinton pattern from the 1990s was to deny-and-counteraccuse for months, then apologize for the initial sin, then go right back to deny-and-counteraccuse.

            As I said before, my view (unlike some others who are critical of her) wasn’t that I thought the email server was, in itself, a blocking factor, or proof of criminal behavior. It was that the old abusive patterns of resisting oversight from the 1990s were still going strong.

          • Iain says:

            Deny-and-counteraccuse isn’t just a Clinton thing. It’s a politician thing. Trump did it all the time too. Just take a look at his apology for the video. You don’t win an election by loudly and continuously proclaiming the depths of your shame. Nobody ever demands ritual self-flagellation from the candidate they support; it’s just a rationale for continuing to oppose somebody you already dislike.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          Iain – “Because that is a thing she actually said, which kind of pokes a hole in your theory.”

          Correct.

          Apologizing was never going to help Clinton, when the whole argument against her was that powerful people shouldn’t be able to get away with felonies by apologizing.

          • Iain says:

            I independently disagree with the notion that Hillary did anything that would have been a felony for a lesser mortal, but we just finished arguing about that in another thread and I don’t think anybody’s mind will be changed if we relitigate it now.

        • Deiseach says:

          Would you find this sufficient?

          Not really, because the first part of it still sounds like “Why are you people too stupid to understand me?” (“what I have learned is that when I try to explain what happened, it can sound like I am trying to excuse what I did”).

          She doesn’t have to mean it but she does have to sound like she means it. Which I agree is tricky, but start with “There are no excuses” before you get into “When I try to explain it” (best of all, leave it out: yes, the public are morons, but you don’t need to tell them you think they’re morons). “It was my decision, I take responsibility, I apologise” – there you go, short, simple, done and dusted.

          I’m willing to accept the FBI decision that there wasn’t a felony, but it was pretty much “breaking the rules because everyone else did it and besides I was the boss”, which does necessitate “oops, mistake, sorry, won’t do it again”. Even if everyone knows damn well you will do it again because it’s your way or the highway 🙂

          • Creutzer says:

            I’m willing to accept the FBI decision that there wasn’t a felony

            There is no such thing. There is a decision (to recommend) not to prosecute, and that’s what it should be called. I’m being nit-picky, I know, but I believe that these distinctions deserve to be upheld especially in the face of the very extensive powers of US law enforcement.

      • james317 says:

        How much of Trump’s victory can really be explained by a reaction to this “-ism” tactic of the Left though? Are Trump voters really that exposed to the sorts of media that employs this tactic (which I have to think is mostly print media and not TV), or is this us projecting what turns US off about the Left onto regular people who aren’t as politically engaged?

    • shakeddown says:

      +1 to this.

  3. odovacer says:

    Going through my Facebook and Twitter feeds this morning show a lot of my acquaintances are very displeased with the Trump victory. Among some positive messages about hope and grumblings about getting rid of the electoral college, I see things posted like:

    “Whatever happens, we have lost. Half this nation voted for white supremacy, sexual assault, and more. The Klan is happy. We should be sad.”

    “We are still the country that produced George Wallace. We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.”

    “What I’ve learned so far tonight: America is WAAAAAAAAY more sexist than it is racist. And it’s pretty fucking racist”

    “Hillary Clinton’s concession is the aggregate pain of every woman who has had no choice but to accept a preference for an inferior man.”

    “It’s not just about Trump for me. What scares me is knowing that I live in a country where the majority is okay with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and sexual assault.”

    “If you voted for Trump Today, make sure to explain to your LGBT+, female, black, laino/a, Muslim friends why they don’t matter to you.”

    And several negative things about cis-het white men.

    Even though those statements imply or outright state that people who supported Trump are terrible, I’m not particularly bothered by this; I understand that people are just venting their frustrations. They didn’t get what they wanted and they are emotional about it. They probably don’t hate Trump supporters, they’re just upset. I’ve been there myself. It reminds me of reading posts and hearing from male acquaintances about their lack of success with women. Such things are documented online at Heartless Bitches International, and Nice Guys of OKCupid. These men would say nasty things about women or life in the moment, but I don’t believe that many if any were misogynists. They were just frustrated about their lack of success in the dating world and were venting about it. It’s a natural human reaction.

    My questions to you are:

    1) In the age of the web and being able to dredge up old posts/emails/etc, are you more guarded with what you say online? Such rants/comments taken out of context could shape people’s perceptions of you, and have as was shown in some high profile cases.

    2) What happened to venting in private, a place where only a few people would hear/listen to you?

    • Rebel with an Uncaused Cause says:

      1) Yes. I only post my political opinions in private messages or pseudonymously. In the rare instance where I discuss politics publicly, I take care to stay close to politically neutral applause lights.
      2) I’ve also noticed the outpouring of complaints on social media. It’s possible that most people on facebook view their friends as relatively like-minded, and thus perceive it as more private. I’m not sure. The only place I typically discuss my full political/religious/philosophical positions is with my wife and a few close friends.

    • Randy M says:

      I don’t think there is much conception of a private/public dichotomy anymore.
      For myself, I think I’ve posted as much on Facebook/twitter/etc. in response to this election as I did the previous two, though I’d have to check to be sure. Nothing. Partly this is out of having friends and family of varied opinion, and partly out of the belief that if anyone cares for my response they will ask for it.

    • John Schilling says:

      2) What happened to venting in private, a place where only a few people would hear/listen to you?

      Most people still do that a lot. In places where you can’t hear them, e.g. meatspace.

      Which means they are invisible to your analysis, leaving you to hear only the minority that does their venting in public.

    • Deiseach says:

      “If you voted for Trump Today, make sure to explain to your LGBT+, female, black, laino/a, Muslim friends why they don’t matter to you.”

      But-but-but – if I’m a racist, sexist, white supremacist, cisheteronormative, religious bigot Trump supporter, surely I don’t have any black/Muslim/latinx/female/trans/LGBT friends! Just me and my buddies hanging out at the Klan meetings! 🙂

      Here is about the only place I reveal that I’m a dirty stinkin’ conservative politically and religiously. I don’t do it on Facebook and I certainly don’t do it on Tumblr or elsewhere, even in Real Life (apart from a few comments somewhere and a family row which got so heated I’ve decided not to discuss politics or religion with my nearest and dearest for the sake of peace). Most of the comments at work today were along the lines of shock and horror over Trump, and I kept my beak shut like a good little person (because it’s not important enough to me to fight over it and really it’s just the kind of unthinking vaguely generally liberalish atmosphere that is all around in Irish society of the moment).

    • The original Mr. X says:

      If you voted for Trump Today, make sure to explain to your LGBT+, female, black, laino/a, Muslim friends why they don’t matter to you

      Oh, that one’s easy: they do matter to me, it’s just that the Democrats seem determined to turn race relations, women’s rights, gay issues, and so forth, into a zero-sum game where no compromise is possible. That being the case, I’m afraid I kind of have to be against the Democrats for self-preservation’s sake.

      • Tracy W says:

        Out of interest, are there particular policies that make you think that? I’m just thinking of what Megan McArdle was saying about the impact of Hobby Lobby and that pizza place on traditional Christians, making them thinking the Democrats were a major threat to their livelihoods.

    • Well... says:

      I’ve been thinking about those questions too. In particular, I’m wondering exactly how controversial my own blog appears to the average reader. If my real name was someday associated with my blog, would it get me into trouble and prevent me from, say, speaking at conferences or getting hired?

      Your (SSC commentariat’s) perspectives are welcome.

      • FacelessCraven says:

        My name should be a clue.

      • sflicht says:

        I guess I have a prior that people vastly overestimate the impact of social desirability bias on their lives, as regards random online communities in which they actually want to participate. Even slightly edgy comments on SSC will not materially come back to bite the commentators, except possibly for the small (but probably nonzero) fraction who aim for a political office subject to Congressional confirmation. In terms of expected political impact, I bet it’s irrational for SSC commenters to worry about being too controversial.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          Go take a nice sample of the reaction to the election results on your preferred platform, and contemplate for a moment that maybe those people actually mean some fraction of what they’re saying.

          • sflicht says:

            I don’t trust those people to accurately report the state of objective reality. Should I really trust them to accurate report their own feelings?

          • FacelessCraven says:

            quite a few of them are marching in the street and setting things on fire as we speak. I don’t think there’s really a lot of room for doubt. Obviously they’ll simmer down and go back to chattering about TV shows and pointless bullshit in a few days, but that’s because actually changing society is slow, difficult, and frustrating. Fucking up some poor dweeb’s life because they wandered into the wrong part of the interwebs is easy, fun and signals virtue to the group.

          • Matt M says:

            There are also real examples of lives ruined by Internet mobs. Justine Sacco (who was pretty clearly left-leaning if not full SJW sympathetic) most notably.

        • Well... says:

          I don’t plan on running for office, but I do plan to speak at (more) conferences, to possibly be in a position of looking for a (new) job someday, or one day write a book related to my field, etc…

          We all know what happened to Moldbug, though I don’t think my opinions (the ones I’ve divulged on my blog anyway) are nearly that controversial. But how controversial do they need to be? I’m honestly not sure whether I’m close to the line or over it, or if the latter, how far over it. That’s what I’m asking for help with.

          • YehoshuaK says:

            I think that the line is subject to shift without warning. It can be here today, ten feet to the left tomorrow, and twenty more feet to the left next week. In fact, it probably will be.

          • Well... says:

            That’s a good point.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Your post on consent could readily be interpreted as suggesting that women who have premarital sex are asking for it if they get raped.

          • Well... says:

            @Earthly Knight:

            First let me say thanks for the feedback on my blog post: I agree, I can envision a scenario in which it gets interpreted that way. That would be bad.

            I know in real life I’d probably never get an opportunity to respond to that particular criticism, so I’ll do it here:

            People who work on fishing boats, if I remember right, have some of the highest rates of work-related deaths. Does that mean you’re “asking to die” if you go work on a fishing boat? No, but it does mean it isn’t a smart career choice if you’re someone who cares about not dying as a result of your work environment.

            Edit: Also, my blog post is as much about the risks to men as the risks to women. Casual sex increase’s a man’s risk of being accused of rape!

          • Andrew G. says:

            Something approximating 40% of rapes are perpetrated by a spouse, a relative, or a stranger. This seems to be a fatal flaw to your argument.

          • Well... says:

            40% isn’t even a plurality if the remaining 60% is one category.

            Does “strangers” include people you don’t know well but have spent an evening flirting with? If so, then 40% is too high.

            And then you’re also making a false equivalence: you should be comparing the real chance of being raped by someone you’re casually dating or “hooking up” with vs. the real chance of being raped by a fiance or spouse. Would you seriously argue that the latter is not much smaller than the former, and also much smaller than 13.3% (one third of 40%)?

            Also, for rapes that are perpetrated by a spouse, effectively communicating consent probably isn’t the issue anyway. From across the room, my wife can tell from the way I’m breathing what kind of mood I’m in.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            According to RAINN, around 27% of rapes are committed by long-term partners, 21% by strangers, and 43% by friends or acquaintances. Presumably, most or all of rapes caused by hook-up culture fall into the last category.

            This information helps less than you might think in answering the question we really want to ask here, which is this: is a woman more likely to be raped in the next year, all else being equal, if she is in a committed relationship or if she has a high volume of sexual partners? The reason it doesn’t help is that (a) women spend more of their lives in committed relationships than they do participating in hook-up culture, which means that even if rape by long-term partners is extremely rare, it’s guaranteed to make up a misleadingly large proportion of total rapes; (b) women are more likely to have many partners when they are young, and independently more likely to be raped when they are young, which will distort the statistics in the opposite direction from (a); (c) there are lots of other confounding factors, for instance, poor women are less likely to be in committed relationships and independently more likely to be raped; and (d), RAINN aggregates friend-rape, acquaintance-rape, and date-rape, when we are really only interested in the last.*

            What this means is that we have no frickin’ clue how risky having a large volume of sexual partners is compared to being in a committed relationship so probably you shouldn’t go shooting your mouth off on your blog about the dire consequences of sleeping around.

            *If it matters to you, based on other sources, it looks like about half of rapes in the long-term partner category are committed by spouses, half by boyfriends. This breakdown is also deceptive for reasons (a), (b) and (c).

          • Well... says:

            the question we really want to ask here, which is this: is a woman more likely to be raped in the next year, all else being equal, if she is in a committed relationship or if she has a high volume of sexual partners?

            No, that isn’t the question we want to ask. What we really want to ask is this: is a woman more likely to be raped as a result of consent not being effectively communicated during a romantic encounter in the next year, all else being equal, if she is in a committed relationship or if she has a high volume of sexual partners?

            Remember, I’m responding to the articles I keep seeing about communicating consent. My point is that this “how can the girl let the guy know it’s okay to put it in”/”how can the guy know the girl thinks it’s okay to put it in” issue is substantially reduced if the girl and guy intimately know and trust each other. Marriage is a great proxy for that, and it’s also the logical/traditional endgame of a serious romantic relationship.

            Instead of hand-wringing about consent I’m proposing we should simply encourage that serious long-term commitments be made (i.e. with an eye toward marriage) before sex. For the benefit of both men and women.

          • Andrew G. says:

            @ Well…:

            40% isn’t even a plurality if the remaining 60% is one category.

            It is not. The remaining 60% covers everything from long-term unmarried partners through dates through to acquaintances / colleagues.

            Does “strangers” include people you don’t know well but have spent an evening flirting with? If so, then 40% is too high.

            It does not.

            (Why would 40% be too high?)

            And then you’re also making a false equivalence: you should be comparing the real chance of being raped by someone you’re casually dating or “hooking up” with vs. the real chance of being raped by a fiance or spouse. Would you seriously argue that the latter is not much smaller than the former, and also much smaller than 13.3% (one third of 40%)?

            The breakdown of that 40% is ~18% husband, ~5% relative, ~17% stranger. (This is considering only male-on-female rape.)

            Of the other 60%, only about half is “partner” or “date”. The rest is ex-husband or ex-partner, neighbor, colleague, friend, or other acquaintance.

            So based on the available information, the chance of being raped by a spouse is lower than for a date or unmarried partner, but only by a factor of between 3:2 and 2:1, not by any means an “enough to solve the problem” ratio.

          • Andrew G. says:

            Remember, I’m responding to the articles I keep seeing about communicating consent. My point is that this “how can the girl let the guy know it’s okay to put it in”/”how can the guy know the girl thinks it’s okay to put it in” issue is substantially reduced if the girl and guy intimately know and trust each other. Marriage is a great proxy for that,

            But the statistics seem to at least suggest that marriage is not a good proxy for anything relevant in this context.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            What we really want to ask is this: is a woman more likely to be raped as a result of consent not being effectively communicated during a romantic encounter in the next year, all else being equal, if she is in a committed relationship or if she has a high volume of sexual partners?

            This doesn’t make any sense. If a woman is less likely to be raped because of consent miscommunication if she’s married, but just as likely to be raped overall, how could this possibly be a reason for her to get married?

          • Nancy Lebovitz says:

            There are many reasons to be angry at Social Justice. One of mine is that they don’t quantify. It’s socially impossible to talk about *not* having been abused by the more privileged group if you’re in the relevant unprivileged group.

            We could have gotten at least some information about prevalence of rape and locality of street harassment if it weren’t for that social pressure. Instead, we’re given the impression that everywhere is equally bad.

      • andrewflicker says:

        Read every post on the first page without clicking “Older posts”. Nothing terribly shocking- your Sphere post was somewhat clever and amusing, but basically everything else seemed like a transcription of a somewhat dull twitter feed.

    • The Nybbler says:

      I think you’re mistaken; many of them really do hate Trump supporters for those reasons and it’s not just being upset. (and some of the men bitching about women are misogynists too).

  4. Rebel with an Uncaused Cause says:

    Reminder: there’s a 3-day moratorium on commenting on national tragedies.

    More seriously, I was surprised by how wrong the polls were. I was expecting a Clinton victory with reasonably high confidence, but we all know how it turned out. This made me update slightly in favor of the “the media is biasing the polls” talking point the Trump camp likes to throw about, and strongly against the “the ballot boxes are rigged” one.

    I’m interested in hearing perspectives on why the polls were so wrong. One of the more compelling narratives I’ve heard thus far is that the model for voter turnout was wrong, because of the weirdness of this election. Low overall voter turnout combined with different group representations compared to prior elections would go a long way towards explaining the polling failure. Interestingly, college-educated women went 51/45 for Hillary/Trump, a slimmer margin than I’d expected.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      This made me update slightly in favor of the “the media is biasing the polls” talking point the Trump camp likes to throw about, and strongly against the “the ballot boxes are rigged” one.

      Remember Hanlon’s Razor. The polls were wrong by about the same three-point margin in the opposite direction in 2012 (if you go by the RCP average). As Nate Silver warned us before the election, it was an average polling error. If I’m updating anything, it’s that “likely voter models are incredibly weak.”

      • Rebel with an Uncaused Cause says:

        That’s true, and my model for media bias in the polls is comparatively weak. I’d estimate my credence in it at ~5%, and it would be lower if this election hadn’t provided ample examples of media collaboration. If Silver or someone similarly statistically minded could do an analysis of why our voter models were so far off, I’d be extremely interested in reading it.

        • Wrong Species says:

          Before the election, 538 had this to say:

          There’s also reason to think a polling error is more likely than usual this year, because of the high number of undecided voters. In national polls, Clinton averages about 45 percent of the vote and Trump 42 percent; by comparison, Obama led Mitt Romney roughly 49-48 in national polls at the end of the 2012 campaign. That contributes significantly to uncertainty, since neither candidate has enough votes yet to have the election in the bag.

          To be honest, I’m kind of confused as to why people think it’s heretical for our model to give Trump a 1-in-3 chance — which does make him a fairly significant underdog, after all. There are a lot of ways to build models, and there are lots of factors that a model based on public polling, like ours, doesn’t consider.3 But the public polls — specifically including the highest-quality public polls — show a tight race in which turnout and late-deciding voters will determine the difference between a clear Clinton win, a narrow Clinton win and Trump finding his way to 270 electoral votes.

          So yes, they were wrong, but I wouldn’t say embarrassingly so.

          • YehoshuaK says:

            I’m not even sure 538 was wrong. Maybe if we run that exact same election 299 more times, Trump will win another 99 of them, and Clinton will take 200. Pity the experiment is impossible.

    • Deiseach says:

      I’m interested in hearing perspectives on why the polls were so wrong.

      Mmmm – do pollsters tend to draw from the same old pools all the time? I know they try to be random and geographically diverse, but I also suspect there’s a strong temptation to take the easier approach by selecting a large population centre because you’re sure to have a good pool of respondents.

      Maybe a few “Feck it, I will phone up the sixteen people living in Dogpatch” polling attempts might have broadened their horizons?

      • Iain says:

        I think it’s safe to say that if it’s a tactic for getting more accurate results that you can think of in five minutes, pollsters have probably tried it out to see how it works.

        These people are in a competition to get the most accurate results, because that’s how they demonstrate their prowess, which in turn pulls in the customers for the market research wing of the polling company. In a tumultuous election, the average of the polls was actually closer to the final result than was the case in 2012. They were only off by about 2%; it just so happened that it was the critical 2%.

    • mobile says:

      I thought I saw this on Marginal Revolution and I heard it again today from Rush Limbaugh, but the polls that did relatively well were the ones that framed the question as who do you think your neighbors will vote for?

    • Jacob says:

      I heard (though never confirmed) that the response rate for polls was around 10%. That is, to get 2,000 responses, they needed to ask 20,000 people. This low response rate means any non-random sampling can have a huge impact. I’ve been sold that differential response is the reason for the convention bumps; that is, after the Democratic convention Clinton-voters were more likely to answer the phone survey, and Trump-voters less likely. Probably ditto after the Access Hollywood tape.

      Is this more true now than previously? Was this election a special case or the continuation of a trend? I dunno.

  5. James Miller says:

    My September 13 interview with Dilbert creator Scott Adams on why Trump is a master persuader who is going to win the election: https://soundcloud.com/user-519115521/scott-adams-dilbert-interview

  6. James Miller says:

    How did Trump win a higher percentage of Latino voters than Romney did?

    • hlynkacg says:

      Because distaste for “se cuelan”* aka “queue jumpers” is a thing among latinos even if most won’t advertise it.

      Besides building the wall means lots of construction jobs right?

      ETA:
      *From the Spanish root “colar” wich means “to strain” the literal meaning is essentially “to slip through” but idiomatically it’s closer to the english phrase “pull one over”, and it gets used to describe sneaky / dishonest behavior in general.

    • jaimeastorga2000 says:

      After blacks, latinos who already in the U.S. are the group most exposed to increased workplace competition from any further hispanic immigration. For illegal hispanic immigrants, the increased risk of mass deportations or a crackdown on illegal hiring under a Trump administration would probably outweigh any benefit, but illegal hispanic immigrants can’t vote. Neither can hispanic residents. Hispanic American citizens, the only latinos who can vote, have the least to fear from Trump, and the most to gain by reducing competition from illegal immigrants or potential future legal immigrants.

    • Deiseach says:

      “Latinos” aren’t a monolithic block? I have no idea the make-up of the Latino/Hispanic population(s) in the USA but surely it’s not a huge startling revelation that Mexicans vs Cubans vs Puerto Ricans vs rest of South America/Caribbean are going to be different culturally and may have different views? Floridian Cubans will have a different idea of “illegal immigration” than Californian Mexicans? Being all lumped together as “brown” doesn’t mean they all love one another, and they may have cultural rivalries from The Old Country (e.g. our team can beat you losers in the Copa América) that are still there when they’re all in the USA and second- or third-generation?

      • nancylebovitz says:

        In addition, when they came to the US matters. People whose forebears got here generations ago are more likely to feel that the rules should be followed, recent citizens are more likely to have undocumented relatives.

  7. Humbert McHumbert says:

    Just posted this on the old thread:

    Someone please convince me that it’s safe to have Trump in control of nuclear weapons.

    I know there are intelligent Trump supporters who post here, and I really want to be convinced.

    • jaimeastorga2000 says:

      From “The Nuclear Game” by Stuart Slade:

      Aha, I hear you say what about the mad dictator? Its interesting to note that mad, homicidal aggressive dictators tend to get very tame sane cautious ones as soon as they split atoms. Whatever their motivations and intents, the mechanics of how nuclear weapons work dictate that mad dictators become sane dictators very quickly. After all its not much fun dictating if one’s country is a radioactive trash pile and you’re one of the ashes. China, India and Pakistan are good examples. One of the best examples of this process at work is Mao Tse Tung. Throughout the 1950s he was extraordinarily bellicose and repeatedly tried to bully, cajole or trick Khruschev and his successors into initiating a nuclear exchange with the US on the grounds that world communism would rise from the ashes. Thats what Quemoy and Matsu were all about in the late 1950s. Then China got nuclear weapons. Have you noticed how reticent they are with them? Its sunk in. They can be totally destroyed; will be totally destroyed; in the event of an exchange. A Chinese Officer here once on exchange (billed as a “look what we can do” session it was really a “look what we can do to you” exercise) produced the standard line about how the Chinese could lose 500 million people in a nuclear war and keep going with the survivors. So his hosts got out a demographic map (one that shows population densities rather than topographical data) and got to work with pie-cutters using a few classified tricks – and got virtually the entire population of China using only a small proportion of the US arsenal. The guest stared at the map for a couple of minutes then went and tossed his cookies into the toilet bowl. The only people who mouth off about using nuclear weapons and threaten others with them are those that do not have keys hanging around their necks. The moment they get keys and realize what they’ve let themselves in for, they get to be very quiet and very cautious indeed. Another great – and very recent example – look how circumspect the Indians and Pakistani Governments were in the recent confrontation – lots of words but little or no action to back them and both sides worked very hard not to do anything that could be misunderstood. (When the Pakistani’s did a missile test they actually invited the Indians over to watch in order to ensure there was no ground for misunderstanding. The test itself was another message from both countries to the rest of the world – basically it read “Don’t sweat it, we know the rules”)

      One anayst from The Business was asked what Saddam Hussein would have done if Iraq had possessed nuclear weapons in 1990. He replied that he didn’t know what he would have done but he did know what he would not have done – he would not have invaded Kuwait.

      • bean says:

        That’s also a good point. Not only are nuclear weapons sobering when you actually, really think about using them, but claiming that Trump with the US’s nukes is a greater threat than Kim Jong-Un or Pakistan is pretty ludicrous.

      • YehoshuaK says:

        A piece of counter-evidence. North Korea has achieved nuclear weapons, and does not seem to have become sane as a result.

        • John Schilling says:

          A piece of counter-evidence. North Korea has achieved nuclear weapons, and does not seem to have become sane as a result.

          The supposed insanity of the North Korean leadership is greatly exaggerated. Their policies and actions are for the most part pragmatic, rational, ruthless, and effective in pursuit of their goals. Casually denouncing them as insane is the sort of stupid jingoistic propaganda that, if taken at all seriously, will lead to emotionally driven, irrational, ineffective policies on our own part, so please resist the temptation.

          One might be inclined to suggest the current South Korean leadership of insanity, but I think the weird cult stuff is just an unusually tight friendship formed during an unusually adverse childhood and it’s just coincidence that Park’s BFF’s father is a (likely cynical nonbelieving) cult leader.

    • bean says:

      I wouldn’t classify myself as a Trump supporter (voted for McMullin because I’m nearly as anti-populist as I am anti-Clinton), but I’ll offer a defense. I’ll assume that you’re worried about Trump deciding to randomly nuke someone without provocation. If you’re worried about him deciding to justify it to the public or going off sooner on warning, I really can’t help.
      Trump doesn’t have a remote in his pocket for WOPR. He has to get the football from his aide, then call the relevant authorities and give the order. All of these people will first try to talk him out of it, then indicate that they believe the order to be illegal. While members of the military are duty-bound to obey all legal orders, they are under an obligation to disobey illegal orders. Firing nuclear weapons without provocation is arguably illegal. There has been no determination on this, and almost certainly won’t be, because it would either compromise the deterrent, or compromise the safety of the deterrent. Because of this, the various members of the chain of command are well within their rights to request a JAG determination of the legality of the order. While the JAG is pondering, the 25th Amendment will be invoked, and the problem goes away. JAG then stops pondering because the question is moot.
      Someone gave an analogy to this the last time someone asked this question. If an officer told his men to take rifles and shoot at a crowd outside, it would be obviously illegal. If the crowd was a mob about to break down the door, then it becomes at legal. Trump has no practical ability to order shooting during the first situation, and we want him to be able to shoot fast in the latter.

      • shakeddown says:

        On the subject of the military taking orders more generally: The military command seem to be generally more pragmatic than they’re given credit for. Assuming the view of Trump as capricious and inclined to take unpredicted and unreasonable military action is correct, to what extent can the military/defence department blunt this?

        • bean says:

          Assuming the view of Trump as capricious and inclined to take unpredicted and unreasonable military action is correct, to what extent can the military/defence department blunt this?

          Depends on how much effort Trump is putting into this ‘unpredictable and unreasonable’ military action. Except for firing the ICBMs and SLBMs, the typical lag between order and execution is likely to be at least 6 hours, and probably double or triple that. If he occasionally says “Bomb them!” then comes back an hour later and says “actually, never mind” we’re totally fine. If he occasionally takes approximately as long as the shooting cycle to decide not to shoot, the shooting cycle will be extended by things like making sure that enough planes are under maintenance to delay the strike. If he’s really intent on bombing anyone who looks at us funny (unlikely), he’ll be removed from office one way or another before too long.

        • hlynkacg says:

          If my own experience at the operational level is any indication, pretty well.

          There are a lot of ways to disobey an order or otherwise skate without looking like that’s what you’re doing.

      • Earthly Knight says:

        This is a strawman. No one is worried that Trump is going to up and nuke China for no reason whatsoever, the real concern is that Trump will respond disproportionately to a small provocation, like, say, ordering a nuclear strike on Tehran if Iran shoots down an American warplane. Would it be illegal for Trump to issue that order? Would it be clearly illegal enough that the military personnel involved would refuse to execute it?

        • bean says:

          Would it be illegal for Trump to issue that order?

          Probably not. But it would take time, because everyone will tell him that if he wants to do so, he needs to use bombs. The sort of air campaign necessary to do that doesn’t happen instantly. While they’re getting the bombs out of storage, putting them on the planes, briefing the pilots, etc, word will undoubtedly leak to the various responsible parties under the 25th Amendment. They’ll have to decide if he’s flipped out enough to invoke.
          Also, note Stuart Slade’s point above about the sanity-enhancing effect of nuclear weapons. Is Trump really more likely to fire them over a minor slight than Mao or the various Kims?

    • James Miller says:

      Trump doesn’t drink alcohol, a big plus since alcohol fuels lots of stupid decisions. Trump and Putin will likely get along very well. Even if you think the worst of Trump, I imagine you accept that he greatly cares about his children and buildings, both of which would suffer in a nuclear war. Trump’s impressive victory provides evidence against the lucky idiot thesis in favor of the Trump makes calculated decisions about what to say that just appear reckless because Trump is operating at a few levels of persuasion above you. And last: quantum immortality might be true.

      • caethan says:

        Trump doesn’t drink alcohol, a big plus since alcohol fuels lots of stupid decisions.

        Thank you, sincerely, for letting me know that. I didn’t know it, and it honestly makes me feel a lot less anxious.

      • “Trump’s impressive victory provides evidence against the lucky idiot thesis in favor of the Trump makes calculated decisions about what to say that just appear reckless”

        This is a question I’ve been thinking about since his nomination. One interpretation of the evidence was that he was lucky, his personality just happened to fit into what the Republican electorate wanted. The other was that he was clever. Winning the election is evidence in favor of the the second alternative.

        • Randy M says:

          It is, but not to a great degree, as large portions of the country will vote D or R regardless of who is running. It’s a closely divided country with two major parties that ostensibly stand for quite different policies.

        • johnjohn says:

          “One interpretation of the evidence was that he was lucky, his personality just happened to fit into what the Republican electorate wanted”

          When I look at what happened and see evidence for luck, this is not what I’m talking about. He won the election with what could be seen as record low numbers after all.

          There were so many things out of Trumps control* that probably affected the election to some degree. The DNC leaks, the Podesta leaks, the timing of Comey announcement.
          And on the other side, the things that weren’t leaked, like Trumps tax returns (who knows if there was anything there) and the timing of the “grab her by the pussy” leak (who knows what would have happened if it had been released 5 days before the election?).
          But I think the most important “lucky break” he got was NBCs ability to keep the apprentice tapes under wraps, by most accounts of the people who were on that show he said some nasty things on a daily basis.
          We’re talking thousands of hours of Trump on camera being Trump.
          To be fair, that the tapes were kept under wraps is probably an indicator that Trump is competent and not lucky, but it might also just be Steve Burke that’s the competent one.

          Any of these things might not have been liable to change any voters mind, but they might have affected turnout enough to flip the election.

          *I am not completely disregarding the possibility that Trump had more than zero involvement with these, and if he did then I would have to strongly readjust my view of his capabilities

        • There are other possible hypotheses. The third would be that Populist politics is a drug, that whenever it is offered, will be grabbed, that it is political wireheading.

          That’s a figure-ground inversion…on that view, the question is not how did populism win, but why did the mechanisms that prevent the whole populist package being offered by one party at one time , break down.

    • suntzuanime says:

      People were saying a lot of bad things about Donald Trump which were not totally justified, because they wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election. Note that after 8 years of Obama, we still do not find ourselves in islamo-communist gulags?

      • Anonymous says:

        To play devil’s advocate, Obama is an establishment candidate. For all his campaign slogans, he’s a champion of the status quo. Trump has never held public office, and he’s visibly anti-establishment.

        (I still don’t think he’ll do half the things he promised.)

    • John Schilling says:

      Someone please convince me that it’s safe to have Trump in control of nuclear weapons

      Safe for whom?

      Trump being Putin’s best friend clueless puppet should pretty much eliminate the threat of a nuclear war being fought on US soil – it’s theoretically possible that he could start a trade war with China that turns hot and then nuclear, but there’s several highly unlikely links in that chain. Hillary was the biggest (albeit still very small) risk for a nuclear attack on the US itself.

      And the bit where Trump just up and decides to nuke someone because their prime minister insulted him or some other such thing is caricature-Trump, not actual Trump. See e.g. the list of people Trump has threatened to sue during this campaign alone, vs. the list of people he has actually sued. Trump is big on threats, but he’s pragmatic about walking away from them rather than feeling obligated to carry them out to prove himself. Plus, as has been noted here before, that would be an order so blatantly illegal that it almost certainly wouldn’t be carried out.

      The realistic threats are, Trump taking an existing crisis and escalating it to the level of a nuclear response, and Trump leaving our allies feeling so unprotected that they start developing their own nuclear arsenals and botch the diplomatic side of that transition.

      Trump escalating an existing crisis, yes, that could happen, but it takes two to tango. There has to be a crisis in the first place. And, since “The Iranian navy just seized a US patrol boat – quick, nuke Tehran!” is about as obviously illegal as “Khamenei just called Melania a whore…”, there would need to be several layers of escalation on both sides. The Iranians aren’t stupid enough to play that game, and they know Trump isn’t going to be there forever.

      Nuclear war in East Asia because the ROK and Japan crash-build nuclear arsenals to defend themselves against North Korea and then one of the N^2 new East Asian nuclear-power interactions gets botched, again possible but it’s their call more than it is Trump’s.

      So, bottom line, Trump can’t realistically cause a nuclear war by himself, but he can give other nations increased latitude to provoke or initiate nuclear wars. The world’s nuclear powers – yes, even those crazy North Koreans – actually have a pretty good track record at not starting nuclear wars; I think the odds are pretty good they’ll be able to muddle through the next four years without the steady guiding hand of Washington. I would really rather not have to put that to the test, but there probably won’t be any nuclear wars in the next four years.

      If there are, it is unlikely that any of the nukes will reach CONUS. The nations on the receiving end will be nations which have contributed at least as much as Trump to the crisis escalation that reached that point.

      • Spookykou says:

        I agree with you, and a major concern for me with Trump was that he would try and pull out of or otherwise undermine our mutual defense treaties,etc.

        I am curious about,

        Nuclear war in East Asia because the ROK and Japan crash-build nuclear arsenals to defend themselves against North Korea and then one of the N^2 new East Asian nuclear-power interactions gets botched, again possible but it’s their call more than it is Trump’s.

        which is my biggest area of concern. I agree there is a chance of somebody fumbling something in a situation like this, but I am also worried about an aggressive China intentionally starting something, invading Taiwan or something similar. To what extent do you think that is a realistic concern?

        • John Schilling says:

          But I am also worried about an aggressive China intentionally starting something, invading Taiwan or something similar. To what extent do you think that is a realistic concern?

          China hasn’t invaded anyone since 1979, and that was both limited and defensive. Beijing has long understood that overt wars of conquest are among the less profitable forms of aggression. China even more than Russia understands that, while the post-1991 Pax Americana forbids wars of territorial conquest, there’s room for lots of interesting, safely profitable maneuvers in the grey area between ‘war’ and ‘peace’.

          So, no, China isn’t going to invade Taiwan, not when there are ways they can get half the benefit at 10% of the cost.

          Those interesting not-quite-war-not-quite-peace maneuvers might escalate into an actual hot war, but it would require many steps of escalation on both sides to go from e.g. a coast guard cutter shooting up a trawler in the Spratleys, to nukes flying. This, again, falls into the “takes two to tango” category and most of the existing players have a pretty good track record.

          • the anonymouse says:

            Tangentially related: I occasionally hear bits and snippets of inroads (literally) China is making into Africa, primarily in the form of infrastructure and (presumably) market development. Anyone here a subject-matter expert on that and care to discuss?

            I assume the idea is to capture a nascent market for goods and services. As someone who has always assumed that the US is also particularly fond of making money, why isn’t the US competing more forcefully?

          • John Schilling says:

            I assume the idea is to capture a nascent market for goods and services.

            At least in the short term, the motive seems to be locking in a cheap source of the raw materials China needs to make the stuff it sells to the much more lucrative Rich White People market.

            why isn’t the US competing more forcefully?

            Because the “forcefully” part makes this strategy Colonialism(tm), which is by Rich White People standards defined as Very Bad(tm).

            OK, China doesn’t need to send in actual conquering armies to make this strategy work, but they have to bribe kleptocrats, set up local security forces that do a fair bit of head-busting, efficiently exploit local labor, and other things that are offensive to modern Western sensibilities and in many cases outright illegal under our laws even when done over there.

            Even if this is part of a real, viable long-term plan to turn Africa into a prosperous developed market economy, we will not dirty our hands with the short-term evils.

          • Sandy says:

            As someone who has always assumed that the US is also particularly fond of making money, why isn’t the US competing more forcefully?

            I believe Scott briefly referenced this in his Reactionary FAQ — there might be optics problems with white countries taking over African markets, whereas the Chinese don’t particularly care.

          • ThirteenthLetter says:

            As someone who has always assumed that the US is also particularly fond of making money, why isn’t the US competing more forcefully?

            Because that would be racist, of course.

      • Humbert McHumbert says:

        Do you think he will stick to his stated plan of being Putin’s BFF, come what may?

        One type of scenario that worries me is the following:

        1. Trump indicates that he may not back some of our NATO allies if Russia attacks them. (He has already done this.)

        2. On the basis of 1, Russia attacks a Baltic nation thinking the US will not respond.

        3. Pushed by his cabinet or by influential allies like the UK, Trump is forced to respond.

        4. The ensuing US/Russia conflict escalates to nuclear war.

        Thoughts?

        • Creutzer says:

          3 will not happen. It would be a war from which nothing would be to be gained, and there would be no precommitment to uphold. So it would be completely, utterly, staggeringly irrational.

          Also, he did 1 during the campaign, that doesn’t count. The Russians aren’t naive.

          • Humbert McHumbert says:

            In nuclear strategy, maintaining the credibility of one’s threats and lines in the sand (including commitments to defend allies) is considered crucial by experts. This is how the Cuban Missile Crisis started: Kennedy told the Soviets not to put nukes in Cuba, and then when he found out they had them there, he felt he had no option but to blockade the island. He said at one point that if he hadn’t made the threat in the first place, it wouldn’t have been worth it to confront the USSR.

          • Creutzer says:

            Exactly. In your scenario, there is explicitly no threat — that’s point 1 –, so forcing the explicit non-threatener go to war nonetheless makes less than no sense.

          • Humbert McHumbert says:

            Well, as of Inauguration Day it will be ambiguous whether there’s a threat. The US has signed a treaty that entails a threat: if a NATO member is attacked, other NATO members are supposed to go to war against the attacker. On the one hand, that is the law of the land unless Trump chooses to withdraw from NATO (unlikely). On the other hand, Trump has said he will not necessarily follow the treaty.

            The concern is that the Russians take him at his word, and then when they attack a NATO nation, his advisers point out to him that he would be breaking the law if he broke the treaty, and convince him to obey the law.

          • Creutzer says:

            The Russians will certainly not be so absurdly naive as to take seriously something he said during the campaign.

            Even if he repeats something like that in his capacity as the president without formally changing anything about NATO (which would be a bit reckless, I suppose), that makes it sufficiently unclear that there is a precommitment to be upheld. You are right that in this case, there would be a small interest in upholding the letter of the treaty even if you’ve informally signed out of it. However, I am still reasonably optimistic that the relevant people will not be so insane as to make that a higher priority than avoiding nuclear war.

            Basically, I think there is only one type of scenario that could lead to a nuclear war: If someone precommits to employing nuclear weapons in a given scenario, but fails to make their precommitment credible. What you are describing is not such a scenario.

          • Humbert McHumbert says:

            I’m not saying the US would launch in response to a Russian incursion into the Baltics.

            But perhaps the US would send troops and warships in response. And perhaps the Russians would use one of their many tactical nukes to defeat those US forces. And perhaps then this would escalate to the use of strategic nuclear forces.

            This is how a nuclear war gets started.

          • bean says:

            But perhaps the US would send troops and warships in response. And perhaps the Russians would use one of their many tactical nukes to defeat those US forces. And perhaps then this would escalate to the use of strategic nuclear forces.

            In that case, the fault is clearly on the Russian side, not the US side. It was their incursion, and instead of pulling back when they met resistance, they doubled down with tactical nukes? Trump is more likely to break out the big weapons in that case, which reduces the (already infinitesimal) chances of the Russians using tactical nukes. Any incursion by Russia will be carefully calculated to make sure that they have a way out if Trump decides that he will honor the treaty, and their strategic forces will probably be stood down to send the right message.

            Kennedy sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis by being weak in Vienna. Trump isn’t likely to convince anyone that he’s weak.

    • shakeddown says:

      Netanyahu has been in charge of nukes for a while now, and has ran both his last campaigns on the slogan of “Iran is going to nuke us any second”, but I still feel reasonably safe he won’t start a nuclear was. His character is comparable to Trump in some ways (especially more recently), so that’s somewhat reassuring.

    • ChetC3 says:

      He might be a loudmouth and a blowhard, but I don’t see any reason to believe he’s stupid or self-destructive enough to think a nuclear war could have any upside for him. It’s not the sort of thing you can weasel out of with accounting tricks and legal chicanery, unlike a risky business venture.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone please convince me that it’s safe to have Trump in control of nuclear weapons.

      The nukes were safe with Dubya.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, I realize. I’m using a rhetorical device against someone who apparently has a stereotype of Trump’s insanity/hatefulness similar in strength to Bush’s stereotype of idiocy.

        • jaimeastorga2000 says:

          George Bush got a 1206 on the SAT, corresponding to a 129 IQ. That’s definitely above average, but below the SSC average.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            I wouldn’t trust any one of us with nukes.

            🙂

          • The Nybbler says:

            Hey, no matter how tempting it would be, I would NOT nuke San Francisco.

            Not even with one of those enhanced radiation weapons which would leave the landmarks standing.

            Well, probably not.

          • dndnrsn says:

            Can self-reported IQ really be taken seriously?

          • jaimeastorga2000 says:

            Can self-reported IQ really be taken seriously?

            Yes.

          • dndnrsn says:

            If I say I got a 153 on a Raven’s Progressive Matrices test given at a hospital – would that be counted as legitimate? I’ve never taken an IQ test of any sort. I probably don’t have a 153 IQ, but I’m certainly smart enough to do a bit of Googling on names of the industry-standard IQ tests.

            That the “people who give more details” group has the same average as the group as a whole is suggestive but I find it hard to believe that an online community with minimal barriers to entry has an average IQ considerably higher than some far more selective groups…

            Unless I’m missing something, no proof was demanded, just “tell what test you took”. If everybody on a powerlifting forum was claiming an average 495 bench press, would saying “OK, only people who can tell me what powerlifting federation they did it in”, but without any requirement to give evidence, prove the 495 was legit if the group who could say “Yeah I did it in the Greater Portland Powerlifting Federation” averaged to 495 too?

        • baconbacon says:

          I feel very let down by that link. I doubt Bush is dumb (by which most people seem to mean average) by any stretch but the evidence given here is not convincing.

          He’s highly analytical and was incredibly quick to be able to discern the core question he needed to answer. It was occasionally a little embarrassing when he would jump ahead of one of his Cabinet secretaries in a policy discussion and the advisor would struggle to catch up

          Possible explanations. 1. His secretaries weren’t particularly smart (not very likely), 2. His secretaries had spend thens or hundreds of hours collecting information and distilling it for him, which puts Bush at an advantage of not being encumbered by ancillary facts, and not having to make as many judgements on weighting the issues since the cabinet member has done that for him already.

          In addition to his analytical speed, what most impressed me were his memory and his substantive breadth. We would sometimes have to brief him on an issue that we had last discussed with him weeks or even months before. He would remember small facts and arguments from the prior briefing and get impatient with us when we were rehashing things we had told him long ago.

          Recalling facts in a familiar setting to the one you learned them in is much easier than recalling what you specifically discussed with person X when you probably had 10 similar discussions with other people at the time, and have had many discussions with other people since then. People who brief other people have to go through far more facts and conversations than the higher up does.

          And while my job involved juggling a lot of balls, I only had to worry about economic issues. In addition to all of those, at any given point in time he was making enormous decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan, on hunting al Qaeda and keeping America safe. He was making choices not just on taxes and spending and trade and energy and climate and health care and agriculture and Social Security and Medicare, but also on education and immigration, on crime and justice issues, on environmental policy and social policy and politics. Being able to handle such substantive breadth and depth, on such huge decisions, in parallel, requires not just enormous strength of character but tremendous intellectual power. President Bush has both.

          I would be more impressed if there was evidence presented that he made these decisions WELL. Making decisions with others providing facts is something any (over) confident person can do.

          On one particularly thorny policy issue on which his advisors had strong and deep disagreements, over the course of two weeks we (his senior advisors) held a series of three 90-minute meetings with the President. Shortly after the third meeting we asked for his OK to do a fourth. He said, “How about rather than doing another meeting on this, I instead tell you now what each person will say.” He then ran through half a dozen of his advisors by name and precisely detailed each one’s arguments and pointed out their flaws. (Needless to say there was no fourth meeting.)

          I do this all the time with bloggers I am familiar with, reading a blog post about a subject they have written about before I can usually jump to the conclusion well before the end and will also (if I disagree with them) come up with a few points of contention relatively quickly. This is not a sign of deep intelligence with people you are familiar with talking about subjects you have discussed before.

  8. Forlorn Hopes says:

    It looks like Trump got less total votes than Romney and McCain. This suggests it was less of a Trump win and more of a Hillary loss.

    • mobile says:

      and a “win” for third party/independent candidates, who did much better than they did in 2012 if much worse than their polls 6 months ago said they would.

  9. Jordan D. says:

    The next important question- what happens with the Supreme Court?

    Will Trump stick to his list of highly conservative Justices?

    Will Obama try to do a recess appointment in the sine die?

    Will Trump pick someone wildly out of left field?

    Will any of the other Justices retire or die in the next four years?

    Find out next time, on Real Life Adventures!

    • Sandy says:

      I don’t think Trump cares all that much about the Supreme Court beyond stocking it so his side is dominant. I’m pretty confident he’ll go with judges from that Heritage Foundation list, and I thought those were all respectable choices.

    • S_J says:

      It may not have made national press every night…but the NRA put a lot of effort into supporting Trump.

      They are probably expecting a friendly Supreme Court judge or two.

  10. Alex Zavoluk says:

    I was logged in and tried to post a comment, but I got sent to a separate screen saying “you must be logged in to comment” and lost my comment. Anyone else see this, or know why it might happen?

  11. dndnrsn says:

    It looks like Trump did the same as Romney among Hispanic voters, female voters, and black voters. This is not what I expected would be the case, win or lose. Does anybody have any ideas as to why it happened like this?

    (hlynkacg above has a possible explanation for the Hispanic voters, and I can see why black voters would turn out less for Clinton than Obama or Bill, but I’m flummoxed as to female voters).

    • Jaskologist says:

      Usually the important female division is married vs unmarried. How did that shake out?

      My guesses:
      1) Women don’t identify with other women in the same way that ethnic groups do.
      2) The Clintons are hardly squeaky clean on treatment of women. Bill has done as badly as Trump, and Hillary covered up for him.

    • Eltargrim says:

      Which data are you looking at? The NYT applet appears that Trump did marginally worse among women than Romney, both of whom are in proximity to McCain, as well as Bush Jr.’s first run. Only Bush Jr.’s second run appears to even beat Romney.

    • Sandy says:

      I think last night clearly indicated that Obama was the glue who held the newfound Obama coalition together, and they weren’t interested in turning out when he wasn’t on the ballot.

      • paulmbrinkley says:

        If that’s true, it’s not exactly clear to me what was so special about Obama that wasn’t present in Clinton for coalition building. Obama had “black” on his dinner card; Clinton had “female” on hers. Both had the party machinery and the press. Obama had oration, I suppose; I know a lot of people liked Clinton’s poise in debates, but maybe that was only because she was next to Trump. I know she has a cold reputation, but that isn’t hitting me that hard for some reason.

        • shakeddown says:

          Obama is nearly supernaturally likable. And I think black people have a much stronger group identity than women, so Obama’s gains there outweighed Clinton’s.

          But yeah, “shouldn’t change the narrative” applies: This was a minor shift in vote percentages. Hillary was only a couple of percent points behind Obama; this isn’t that big a shift.

        • Sandy says:

          Obama is charismatic. Hillary is a damp brick by comparison. He was also a guy who came out of nowhere, not exactly an establishment candidate, whereas the only thing that says “entrenched aristocracy” in America more than the name “Clinton” is the name “”Bush”.

    • Deiseach says:

      It may be that women just don’t like Hillary. I mean, I’m a woman myself, and she strikes me as cold (which is not necessarily bad) but arrogant, despite all the photos of her laughing (actually, those are terrible: big, head thrown back, mouthful of teeth wide open shots, like one of the Visitors from the mini-series “V” swallowing a small mammal. Or like she’s been coached by her team to ‘humanise’ her – “Okay, Madame Empress, today we’re going to practice the concept called “humour” where you do this action called “laughing”, which involves opening your mouth and uttering noises of hilarity. Yeah – not quite like that – oh, well. Close enough”).

      I’m not sure if older women voters are excited about her as “our first female president!” but I think for younger women, she’s so thoroughly entrenched in the establishment for so long, it’s no big deal – she’s practically been president already with her two stints as First Lady, there’s nothing exciting or novel about “a woman in high office” with her.

      • Randy M says:

        In one of the Foundation books (the prequel I think, Foundation’s Foundation or something), there was a rumor that the leading candidate for galactic emperor was a robot, which was unfortunate slander as was true. His campaign manager (Hari Seldon?) gave him the optimum response to the question being posed–laugh at it.
        Took some practice, though.

        • AlphaGamma says:

          I thought it was a story set much earlier- Evidence and its sequel The Evitable Conflict, both short stories which are part of the I, Robot collection and therefore set well before Foundation. It’s never explicitly stated whether the successful candidate (for mayor of Chicago rather than Galactic Emperor, though he later becomes leader of a unified Earth government) is a robot or not, but it’s strongly implied that he is.

          There is a disguised robot Prime Minister in the Foundation prequels, so you may be right as well- it’s been a while since I read them.

          • Randy M says:

            I’ll accept the doubt being thrown on the details of my recollection as it accurately reflects the reliability of my memory at this remove.

    • Tracy W says:

      Megan McArdle has a suggestion: traditional Christians (including women) were turned off the Democrats by things like the Hobby Lobby or that pizza place controversy or transgender bathroom rights. Donald Trump might be immoral, but they didn’t regard him as a threat to their businesses. (Note: I’m not Christian or an American.)

      • FacelessCraven says:

        Think bigger. Take a look at how Clinton’s supporters are talking about Trump’s supporters.

        • the anonymouse says:

          May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. Our lovely host has noted this frequently before: you get demonized enough, you eventually shrug and quit trying to appease.

          It is my understanding that “I’m going to call you names until you decide to vote for me” is not a particularly effective tactic.

          • Zombielicious says:

            I don’t know, my take away after 24 hours is that it worked great for the Republicans, why not us? Democrats elected the first black president, running on a generally centrist platform, by the widest margin in years, and Republicans immediately promised to obstruct everything he tried to accomplish and dedicate themselves to making him a one-term president. They called him a Kenyan Muslim socialist and now have elected the guy who ran, and was representative of, that entire campaign. It’s well documented how he tried to get Republican votes for healthcare reform, they refused to cooperate in any way, and now gaslight liberals for their own strategy dating all the way back to Newt Gingrich. They said that by systematically making government dysfunctional, the party that was ideologically against government would win, and they seem to have been right. Now you have people sharing photos of the KKK literally celebrating in the streets (false, thanks Snopes), retweeting every racist celebratory thing his supporters have sent them, asking how long until their families are deported, until they lose their healthcare and can’t get it back, etc…

            I know almost everyone on this site will disagree with me, but it seems more like the biggest loser here was any strategy remotely involving centrism and compromise. The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists. These self-fulfilling prophecies swing both ways. Not really sure enough to bet what exactly will happen with the Dems, but if they have any sense whatsoever they’ll toss out everyone who had anything remotely to do with the Clinton dynasty, have their own Tea Party moment, and embrace the same strategy of obstructionism and populism that worked so well for the Republicans. And now they have more reason to than ever.

            Like I said, I know we basically live in different realities and few on this site will ever agree to any of this, but the “I’m going to call you names until you decide to vote for me” strategy is not what has been repudiated here. The entire establishment wing of the Dem party has, as it should have been, but the tradeoff for that is likely going to be two Tea Parties fighting each other tooth and nail.

          • Tracy W says:

            @Zombielicious: the difference between calling Barack Obama names and calling Trump supporter names is that Barack Obama only has one vote.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Zombielicious – “I don’t know, my take away after 24 hours is that it worked great for the Republicans, why not us?”

            Why not you? Feeding the Republicans exactly what they’ve been feeding you is the obvious smart move. It’s going to be harder to do effectively without majorities in congress or the senate, but this is the obvious best strategy to employ, and the Repubs have no room to complain without highlighting their own massive hypocrisy.

            “The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists.”

            You say that like it’s a bad thing.

            Seriously, though. If you recognize that the Democratic establishment had to go, what’s the problem with getting Warren and Sanders to the fore? That they can’t win? I’m a Trump voter, and I like Sanders quite a bit. As in, if he or someone like him is the next Democratic nominee, he probably has a better chance of getting my vote than Trump or a Repub does.

            “The entire establishment wing of the Dem party has, as it should have been, but the tradeoff for that is likely going to be two Tea Parties fighting each other tooth and nail.”

            At least it will be an honest fight between people with some sort of coherent vision, not the Bush vs Clinton stage-managed stagnation shitshow we’ve been living under for near on to thirty years. Nor does this have to mean endless gridlock. The downfall of our respective establishments means a shakeup of the consensus. Trump is not a conservative, and in fact the conservative movement may be dead. Nor is he a standard-bearer for the Moral Majority. It’s entirely possible that with the deadwood out of the way, we can find more room for compromise, not less.

          • Sandy says:

            The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists.

            Natural alliance between Marxists and Trumpists — “grab them by the pussy” secretly code for “seize their means of production” — not many can see this for what it is

          • Earthly Knight says:

            the difference between calling Barack Obama names and calling Trump supporter names is that Barack Obama only has one vote.

            Trump constantly insulted women and Mexicans. Look where that got him! Zombielicious is right, Trump won by abandoning all standards of decency and truth. I think I’m going to spend the next four years calling Trump supporters human garbage and child rapists, see how well that works out.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Earthly Knight – “Trump constantly insulted women and Mexicans. Look where that got him! Zombielicious is right, Trump won by abandoning all standards of decency and truth.”

            A shame the DNC kneecapped Bernie, ain’t it?

            “I think I’m going to spend the next four years calling Trump supporters human garbage and child rapists, see how well that works out.”

            You do what you gotta do, sir. Sooner or later, though, we have to find a way to live together, or living together won’t happen.

            In my opinion, the real takeaway is that we really aren’t all that different. Dems are now proposing assassination and secession when they lose, just like repubs did. Bernie’s populism was damn similar to Trump’s. There was a great deal of support for reigning in police abuses before BLM made the issue strictly about “racism”. Get the bullshit narratives out of the way, and we might actually be able to get things done again.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            There’s no more living together. Niceness, community, and civilization lost this election.

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            You know, now might not be the very best time to double down on the notion that standing between a president and whatever he wants to do is inherently wicked.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Charity isn’t just for when you’re winning.

            Contemplate that maybe, just possibly, unlimited vilification of your opponents is why you’re in this situation in the first place. Bet hey, your call. Mosin crates are an economical method for arming up in bulk, if that’s more your speed. You may hate us, but should we care if you are us?

          • Earthly Knight says:

            unlimited vilification of your opponents is why you’re in this situation in the first place.

            I’m sorry, but if unlimited vilification were a bad policy, I do not see how Trump could have won the election. Society is, as Hobbes taught us, an enormous iterated prisoner’s dilemma, and 48% of society just defected in the clearest way possible. And, once a population has been invaded by defectors, the only way to reinstate a norm of cooperation is by employing retaliatory strategies. This shouldn’t involve any violence or law-breaking, we just need to misplace the naloxone when making house calls to rural areas.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Well, that’s a hell of a thing to say.

            We all think our retaliation is justified and the other side’s is rank villainy. It does boggle me a bit that you think that level of rage is justified before Trump even takes office, though. Talking approvingly about letting people die, because other people voted for a rude asshole?

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Perhaps if I say more things like it someday I will become president.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Or maybe you’ll just embarrass yourself. Which seems more likely?

          • JulieK says:

            @Cerebral Paul Z:

            Also wicked: Dedicating oneself to making a newly-elected president a one-term president.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Julie K – Is that wicked? I don’t think that’s wicked. That seems like fair play to me, and I voted for Obama the first time around. It’s what I expect the Dems to do versus Trump now, and more power to them.

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            Forgot about that! I hereby call on Democrats to dedicate themselves to making Trump a two-term President.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            What is there to be embarrassed about, any more? Not bragging about sexually assaulting women, that’s okay now. Mocking people with disabilities is okay, too. Pledging to murder innocent people is fine. Open racism and sexism are fine. Telling insane lies is fine. Spreading wild conspiracy theories is fine. Promising retribution against your political opponents is fine.

            This is the world the Trump supporters have brought us. If you have any objections, I suggest you take it up with them, society no longer has the moral authority to make me feel any shame or self-doubt.

            I mean, what if Donald Trump wanted to comment here? Is Scott going to say no to the president-elect? Of course not. There are no norms any more, not here, not anywhere else.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Earthly Knight – Well, as it happens, I am a trump supporter, so I guess I can take it up with me? Except I straight-up disagree with quite a bit of your list. You do not get to declare your subjective viewpoint as objective reality, and temper tantrums aren’t persuasive. Get a grip on yourself. I’ve debated you before, and you’re better than this.

            I went into last night expecting for Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States, for her to secure a liberal Supreme Court, and for the Republicans to never win a presidential election again in my lifetime. I have spent the last two years coming to grips with the possibility that my values might never be politically viable again, and that I need to spend the rest of my life concealing them from everyone around me to avoid being singled out for the witchburning routine. I have people I work with that are vocally enthusiastic about finding witches to burn. I went into last night expecting total defeat, and was prepared to greet it with composure.

            Do you not realize that other people see things differently than you do? Do you not realize that you can’t win every round forever?

            Don’t take it from me, though. Here’s a massively popular writeup from the Deplorable Hive itself.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            Society is, as Hobbes taught us, an enormous iterated prisoner’s dilemma, and 48% of society just defected in the clearest way possible.

            Yes, I agree, the Dems clearly don’t care for democracy, we need to crush them utterly to make sure they can never threaten America’s constitutional stability.

            ETA: More seriously, a lot of the pro-Trump sentiment comes from the fact that a large segment of the governing class has written off a sizeable chunk of the country, completely ignoring their problems and remembering their existence only when they need somebody to mock. You don’t think that counts as “defection” on the part of the governing class?

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @The Original Mr. X – If you’re being facetious, it’s not terribly helpful. If you’re serious, see above.

            People are scum. Hypocrisy is the default. That doesn’t mean we can’t be better than that, or that they can’t either.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Except I straight-up disagree with quite a bit of your list.

            You helped make someone who did everything on that list president, though. That’s enough, I think, to undermine any future moral criticism you might make, of me or anyone else.

            Yes, I agree, the Dems clearly don’t care for democracy, we need to crush them utterly to make sure they can never threaten America’s constitutional stability.

            You don’t yet understand: committing crimes is a good thing now, it makes you qualified to be president. Petty vandalism and larceny aren’t going to cut it, though, the protestors would need to start sexually assaulting and threatening to murder people to earn your vote.

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight – the majority of Trump supporters don’t agree with your opinion that Trump is racist or sexist, that he “bragged about sexually assaulting women” or that he openly mocked people with disabilities. In fact, such accusations sound ridiculous to them. They might be wrong or you might be wrong, but don’t assume most people voted Trump because/in spite of him doing/being these things.

          • Leit says:

            Wow. Earthly Knight is really going to be embarrassed when he sobers up.

            Trump won by one side consistently abandoning standards of decency and truth… in favour of calling others deplorable -ists, and those so accused getting sick of it. Oh, and getting sick of the fact that they’re labelled -ists excusing anything done in the name of standing against them.

            Trump won on a positive message of “Make America Great Again”. The democrats lost on attempting to vilify the opposition. Feel free to go ahead and keep doing it, though.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            @ Nadja:

            the majority of Trump supporters don’t agree with your opinion that Trump is racist or sexist, that he “bragged about sexually assaulting women” or that he openly mocked people with disabilities. In fact, such accusations sound ridiculous to them. They might be wrong or you might be wrong, but don’t assume most people voted Trump because/in spite of him doing/being these things.

            And even among those who did think the accusations about racism, sexism etc. credible, the overwhelming attitude I saw was “Sure, he’s a jerk, but a Hillary presidency would be even worse, so I guess I’ll just have to hold my nose and vote for Trump anyway.” Which is still a long way from saying “I’m going to vote for him because he’s a racist and sexist.”

            Really, if we’re going to go down that route, we might as well say “Hillary supporters voted for her because she’s a crook who endangers national security and covers up for rapists,” it would be equally (un)true.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ Nadja

            the majority of Trump supporters don’t agree […] that he “bragged about sexually assaulting women”

            This was captured on tape. We have all heard the tape.

            or that he openly mocked people with disabilities.

            This was also captured on tape. We have all seen the tape.

            In fact, such accusations sound ridiculous to them.

            Maybe so, but the evidence is unmistakable and readily available to all. Ignorance does not excuse wrongful action if the ignorance was caused by self-delusion.

            @ Leit

            Trump won on a positive message of “Make America Great Again”. The democrats lost on attempting to vilify the opposition.

            See above point about self-delusion.

            @ Mr. X

            , the overwhelming attitude I saw was “Sure, he’s a jerk, but a Hillary presidency would be even worse, so I guess I’ll just have to hold my nose and vote for Trump anyway.” Which is still a long way from saying “I’m going to vote for him because he’s a racist and sexist.”

            Murdering innocent people was actually part of Trump’s platform.

            But it doesn’t matter. Even holding your nose and voting for someone who brags about sexual assault and promises to murder people robs you of your standing to ever make any moral criticisms again.

          • Mark says:

            I used to have a flat mate who was incredibly obnoxious. I tended to meet my friends down at the pub rather than inviting them back to my house.

            Same principle at national level. Out of consideration for foreigners, you need a moratorium on immigration until you can figure out what is going on with American racists.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            Arguably, Trump framed assaulting women as a hypothetical rather than something he actually did. On the other hand, he made it saound as though assaulting women was a cool thing to do.

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            No, what was captured on tape is him saying women *let* you do these things if you’re a celebrity, and then him going on to elaborate on those things the women let you do. It absolutely doesn’t sound to me like Trump saying he’d do these things by force against women’s will. You can disagree with my interpretation. But the whole point is that Trump supporters look at the same reality you look at and interpret it differently. You call them deluded, and they’d probably think you’re deluded.

            [Edit: an even bigger point here should be that Trump is clearly joking around here. He’s trying to be amusing. And judging by the reaction of the guy laughing, he’s succeeding in that context. The fact that the media and Trump detractors insist on taking Trump’s words literally when he’s being sarcastic or fooling around is probably the biggest part of why Trump supporters and Trump detractors see the man so differently.]

            As to the disabled reporter, Trump has made the exact same gesture on many occasions, for example when referring to Cruz avoiding answering a debate question, people who run banks handwaving about regulators, some general on TV talking about ISIS. Additionally, Trump claims he didn’t know or remember the reporter was disabled, and I have no idea if that was true but I find it believable. Especially that he has a history of using this gesture to refer to clueless handwaving. Again, you can argue against my interpretation of the facts, but that’s the whole point. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. And Trump supporters’ opinions on these subjects are different from yours.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Arguably, Trump framed assaulting women as a hypothetical rather than something he actually did.

            No, what was captured on tape is him saying women *let* you do these things if you’re a celebrity,

            Nope! Trump explicitly states that he starts kissing beautiful women without waiting, then brags that if you’re as famous as he is they also let you grab them by the pussy. It is difficult to see how he could know that beautiful women let men as famous as he is grab them by the pussy if he had never actually tried doing it himself. Of course, we know now, from the testimony of numerous women, that he often does exactly what he bragged about doing.

            “Remember, men, if you go around grabbing women by the pussy, you could become president someday!

            Remember, women, to be careful criticizing men who grab you by the pussy, they might become president someday!”

            This is the message that Trump supporters have sent.

            As to the disabled reporter, Trump has made the exact same gesture on many occasions, for example when referring to Cruz avoiding answering a debate question,

            I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Trump held his hands the same way the disabled reporter is forced to as a result of his disability, while imitating him, while making jerky movements. Do you have a video of Trump performing a similar routine while imitating someone without a disability?

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            Here’s one such video of Trump doing the gesture:
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M4604reEqk0

            There are more linked in the video description.

            Trump does say he starts kissing women first, but he never says he does it against their will. He says he makes a move on them, and then later clarifies it’s because they let him. Anyway, let me paste my edit from above:

            An even bigger point here should be that Trump is clearly joking around here. He’s trying to be amusing. And judging by the reaction of the guy laughing, he’s succeeding in that context. The fact that the media and Trump detractors insist on taking Trump’s words literally when he’s being sarcastic or fooling around is probably the biggest part of why Trump supporters and Trump detractors see the man so differently.

            As to the women who came forward accusing Trump of abuse, they should absolutely report it and the police should absolutely investigate it, and if evidence emerges any of the accusations are true, then Trump should be condemned and punished by the law.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            The fact that the media and Trump detractors insist on taking Trump’s words literally when he’s being sarcastic or fooling around is probably the biggest part of why Trump supporters and Trump detractors see the man so differently.

            It’s a lot less funny when it turns out he frequently does the thing he “joked” about doing.

            and if evidence emerges any of the accusations are true,

            The evidence is already overwhelming– as we all know, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of kissing or groping them without consent. The statute of limitations has run out on many of the incidents, and I don’t think police devote much in the way of resources to investigating groping allegations in any case. But the testimony alone is enough to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual predator.

            Wait, did you seriously vote for someone who, by his own admission and according to the testimony of numerous women, goes around grabbing women by the pussy without their consent? Are you pro-non-consensual pussy-grabbing? Would you appreciate it if a celebrity grabbed you by the pussy without waiting? Or did you think that Trump’s many other virtues as a presidential candidate make up for his pussy-grabbing habit?

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            “But the testimony alone is enough to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual predator.”

            I disagree. Especially given the context in which these accusations have been made.

            I don’t believe Trump goes around grabbing women without their consent for the reasons I’ve mentioned. Again, I understand if you disagree. What I don’t understand is how you could be genuinely asking if I’m a pro-non-consentual pussy-grabbing after I made my points, so I’m just going to assume you’re being sarcastic at this point and will leave it at that.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I see. So you voted for a sexual predator because you deluded yourself into thinking that his victims are all liars and that he was joking when he confessed. I hope that if, God forbid, you our any of yours is ever sexually assaulted, someone will take the crime against you more seriously than you have taken the crimes Trump committed. I hope that they will at least not make your assailant president.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            The evidence is already overwhelming– as we all know, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of kissing or groping them without consent. The statute of limitations has run out on many of the incidents, and I don’t think police devote much in the way of resources to investigating groping allegations in any case. But the testimony alone is enough to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual predator.

            Plenty of people have also claimed that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, that she helped to cover up her husband’ sex scandals, that her attitude towards e-mail security is cavalier, reckless and quite possibly illegal, and that a normal person without her connections would have been sent to jail for some of the things she’s done. I take it, therefore, that you likewise think the evidence is “overwhelming” that Hillary is a corrupt, dishonest liar, and furthermore that the 59.9 million people who voted for her have no standing to make any moral criticisms again after trying to put such a person in the White House?

          • The original Mr. X says:

            Murdering innocent people was actually part of Trump’s platform.

            What a coincidence; it was part of Hillary’s, too.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I take it, therefore, that you likewise think the evidence is “overwhelming” that Hillary is a corrupt, dishonest liar,

            Trump’s corruption and dishonesty far exceed Hillary’s. If you really thought these traits were disqualifying for a presidential candidate, you could not have voted for Trump. As character flaws go, though, being corrupt and dishonest isn’t in the same ballpark as routinely sexually assaulting women. Or is that not obvious to you?

            Actually, I’m curious now what other Trump supporters thought about the sexual assault allegations. Did you, like Mr. X, judge that being a sexual predator in no way compares to the awful crime of circumventing public records laws? Or did you decide, like Nadja, that it was easier just to lie to yourself and pretend Trump is innocent? Because I know that the message most of my female friends heard is that half of the country doesn’t think sexual assault is a big deal.

          • Zombielicious says:

            Earthly Knight at least gives a pretty good impression of the exact kind of stuff you can expect to hear from your now humbled, defeated SJW enemy in the future. Except the median one is probably far less eloquent than he is, so maybe something more like GRRM’s new President Pussygrabber slogan (apparently). Wait, he’s still a world-famous author. I guess the bottom of the barrel might sound more like: “Privileged White Males: We’ve got to go after their families.” or “Waterboarding: Good enough for us, good enough for them.” That’s before a Trump-controlled NSA and militarized police end up clashing with the kind of protests you see today and we maybe get another Kent State style incident, and who knows what from there.

            My original point before it got sidetracked into exacting proof of Trump’s past sexual predation, though, was that in vindicating the Republicans they’ve also vindicated basically everything this community (or at least the blog author) claimed to be against. It’s a huge blow to rationality and civility, niceness, whatever – and not just because I disagree with the guy.

            I used to have long arguments with some of my most liberal best friends, giant George Lakoff fans who think liberals lose because they’re too nice and Bernie isn’t socialist enough, that Republicans were digging their own grave and it’d be self-defeating and short-term to sink to their level rather than trying to educate people and actually win in the battle of ideas. Boy am I going to be embarrassed having to admit I was completely wrong on that one. Lies, conspiracy theories, and baseless insults of the worst kind are the most effective strategy. Republicans did it for eight years while Dems tried to cooperate and just lied more blaming it all on us. And it didn’t even get us a third Bush or a terrible Cruz, no, we got stuck with racist xenophobe authoritarian Trump. The far left was right, the moderate “grey-tribe” I-read-SSC-and-like-free-markets-and-open-borders-and-think-libertarians-are-pretty-cool left was completely, 100%, utterly wrong.

            Seriously, at least try and apply the same psychology you use to justify your own attitude to the left to how the left is now going to feel about you. This is all a giant feedback cycle, and it just accelerated yet again. I guess only retards like me in my pseudorationalogy bubble forgot the obvious that maybe facts and reason and niceness isn’t the best way to win politics. Guess Republicans really are smarter after all? After this, forget reading Bryan Caplan and talking about Heterodox Academy – that’s the same kind of idiotic hubris that led us to think Obama would get even one piece of legislation passed without total scorched-earth opposition. I’m about ready to vote against anyone in my district to the right of Karl Marx.

            Again, not really expecting conservatives not to be ecstatic or not see my little rant as “typical liberal histrionics” or whatever, but again, try and see it from the same perspective you’ve used to justify electing Trump. Huge black mark against rationalism and SSC-like values, huge win for both the far left and the far right.

          • JulieK says:

            @FacelessCraven:
            I was sarcastically referring to Zombielicious’ comment:

            Democrats elected the first black president, running on a generally centrist platform, by the widest margin in years, and Republicans immediately promised to obstruct everything he tried to accomplish and dedicate themselves to making him a one-term president.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            The worst part about this for me is that I am not, by anyone’s lights, a social justice warrior. I despise identity politics, which I see as built around disreputable notions of collective guilt and collective punishment. I donate to FIRE. I’ve spent years criticizing what I see as the excesses of the social justice movement, here and elsewhere. But Trump and his supporters have done everything they can to make a fool out of me. How can I tell my progressive friends with a straight face that there’s no such thing as rape culture, when half the country voted to elect a sexual predator as president? How can I sincerely say that racism is no longer one of society’s most pressing ills when the commander-in-chief is an open racist? How can I criticize the retrograde features of Islam when Trump has vowed to make Muslims into second-class citizens?

            Did you really think that the social justice movement could be cowed or subdued by electing a bigoted cryptofascist to the nation’s highest office? I’m certainly done fighting them.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            @ Earthly Knight:

            Actually, I’m curious now what other Trump supporters thought about the sexual assault allegations. Did you, like Mr. X, judge that being a sexual predator in no way compares to the awful crime of circumventing public records laws? Or did you decide, like Nadja, that it was easier just to lie to yourself and pretend Trump is innocent? Because I know that the message most of my female friends heard is that half of the country doesn’t think sexual assault is a big deal.

            Personally, I saw that the Dems and the left in general were so caught up in their own propaganda about how evil their opponents were that any sort of compromise or reasoned discussion with them was impossible; in which case, of course I’m going to root for the side which isn’t going to actively try and destroy my tribe.

            @ Zombielicious:

            Republicans did it for eight years while Dems tried to cooperate and just lied more blaming it all on us.

            As an outside observer of American politics, that’s certainly not what the situation looked like to me.

          • Iain says:

            I know almost everyone on this site will disagree with me, but it seems more like the biggest loser here was any strategy remotely involving centrism and compromise. […] Not really sure enough to bet what exactly will happen with the Dems, but if they have any sense whatsoever they’ll toss out everyone who had anything remotely to do with the Clinton dynasty, have their own Tea Party moment, and embrace the same strategy of obstructionism and populism that worked so well for the Republicans. And now they have more reason to than ever.

            Lies, conspiracy theories, and baseless insults of the worst kind are the most effective strategy. Republicans did it for eight years while Dems tried to cooperate and just lied more blaming it all on us. And it didn’t even get us a third Bush or a terrible Cruz, no, we got stuck with racist xenophobe authoritarian Trump. The far left was right, the moderate “grey-tribe” I-read-SSC-and-like-free-markets-and-open-borders-and-think-libertarians-are-pretty-cool left was completely, 100%, utterly wrong.

            Seconded.

            @The original Mr. X:

            As an outside observer of American politics, that’s certainly not what the situation looked like to me.

            As a fellow external observer, that’s exactly what it looked like to me.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I saw that the Dems and the left in general were so caught up in their own propaganda about how evil their opponents were

            But they were right, weren’t they? You elected Trump, who is cavalier about nuclear weapons, who kowtows to Russia, who has promised to tear the constitution to shreds and to commit war crimes, and who has an unparalleled track record of corruption, duplicity, and sexual assault. All this because you were bitter that someone criticized you for using the wrong pronoun or suggested that being white and male might have given you an unfair step up in life. Social justice warriors were getting too supercilious, so you voted for someone a hundred times nastier to put them in their place.

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            I’m not sure if you realize, but your comments about me “lying to myself” or being “deluded” or being “pro-non-consentual pussy-grabbing” come off as condescending and not at all conducive to a productive discussion. They are the opposite of showing an attitude of pro-niceness and civility. I was initially happy to engage and debate the facts and our opinions of the facts, but your comments come off as too much of a personal attack. I don’t come to SSC to be personally attacked for trying to make arguments one way or the other.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            They are the opposite of showing an attitude of pro-niceness and civility.

            But you obviously don’t value those things, seeing as how you supported Trump. I’m showing you the most respect I can by exhibiting those traits which you genuinely value– cruelty, derision, uncharitableness– rather than the ones you pay hypocritical lip service to.

            Getting how this works yet? You destroyed the norms, you don’t get to invoke them any more.

            Here’s a list of the sexual assault allegations against Trump. I want to get your position on this clear: even if a dozen women accuse a man of some kind of sexual misconduct, that’s not enough to be confident he actually committed any of it? Is it that you think that a woman’s testimony is worth twenty times less than a man’s, so we should believe Trump’s denials instead? Or were you persuaded by his suggestion that the women were too ugly for him to have groped? Tell me, do you also think Bill Cosby was innocent?

          • The original Mr. X says:

            @ Earthly Knight:

            But they were right, weren’t they? You elected Trump,

            Well, *I* didn’t elect Trump, because I’m not an American. Even if I was and had, though, they still wouldn’t be right, because I only supported Trump because of what the Dems were doing. If you try and crush and persecute a group of people until they support a jerk who nevertheless looks like he’ll defend them, you don’t get to then say “See, those guys are all supporting this jerk, this totally proves that I was right all along to try and crush them!”

            All this because you were bitter that someone criticized you for using the wrong pronoun or suggested that being white and male might have given you an unfair step up in life.

            And also, y’know, did their level best to gut freedom of religion, whipped up angry mobs to fire people who had the wrong opinions (which also happen to be my opinions), strong-armed universities into adopting ridiculous and unsound procedures for dealing with certain criminal accusations, and promoted large-scale immigration whilst crowing about how this was going to prevent policies I support from ever get enacted again. But whatever, don’t let anything as mundane as facts get in the way of your little tantrum.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            And also, y’know, did their level best to gut freedom of religion,

            This is false, and you seem to be confused about what freedom of religion is.

            whipped up angry mobs to fire people who had the wrong opinions (which also happen to be my opinions), strong-armed universities into adopting ridiculous and unsound procedures for dealing with certain criminal accusations,

            These are things which have actually taken place. But why would this lead you to favor Trump, who has promised retribution against media outlets who criticize him, and who will undoubtedly contribute to the hysteria about sexual predators going unpunished by virtue of being a sexual predator who has gone unpunished?

            and promoted large-scale immigration

            Nope!

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            “But you obviously don’t value those things, seeing as how you voted for Trump.”

            My whole point throughout this discussion is that I don’t believe it follows.

            “I’m showing you the most respect I can by exhibiting those traits which you genuinely value– cruelty, derision, uncharitableness– rather than the ones you pay hypocritical lip service to.”

            You have no actual evidence that I “genuinely value cruelty, derision or uncharitableness.” And for the record, I don’t.

            But if you aren’t willing to engage me in debate without making ad-hominem arguments, whatever the reason behind you engaging in such arguments, then I’m not willing to continue this discussion.

          • Randy M says:

            Of course it doesn’t follow, it was (3rd party aside, which had a better than normal showing) a binary election, and just because you weigh some things differently than EK doesn’t make you the enemy of all he values. If he chooses to see it that way, his paranoia is on him.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            This is false, and you seem to be confused about what freedom of religion is.

            Why don’t you enlighten me then, O superior intellect?

          • Zombielicious says:

            Even if I was and had, though, they still wouldn’t be right, because I only supported Trump because of what the Dems were doing. If you try and crush and persecute a group of people until they support a jerk who nevertheless looks like he’ll defend them, you don’t get to then say “See, those guys are all supporting this jerk, this totally proves that I was right all along to try and crush them!”

            Just to point out, that’s kind of why this is called a feedback cycle. It works like ongoing violence in the Middle East, except this time it’s in our countries. We all need to come together in unity, just not before my side gets on top again.

            The difference this time is, see the thing about completely destroying norms then expecting the other side to make endless unilateral concessions to restore them. Gingrich did it back in the 90s (80s?), and this situation is a direct result of that strategy. I’m not sure “elected black president” compares, unless you actually want to argue that’s a norm that shouldn’t be violated on the same level. I’m sure you can go back even farther and blame it on a Dem, then a Rep, then a Dem again, maybe a Whig or Freesoiler or patrician at some point too, but then again who’s really to blame for the whole sunnis vs shiites thing again? Eh, I’m sure we can agree on the proper person to blame and all accept that decision soon enough.

            It’s a lot easier to tear these things down than it is to build them back up.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            You have no actual evidence that I “genuinely value cruelty, derision or uncharitableness.” And for the record, I don’t.

            How, then, could you have voted for someone who insults women at every opportunity? Tell me, do you think it is cruel to publicly refer to women as slobs, dogs, or Miss Piggy? Trump has used similar epithets against women for decades without the slightest hint of remorse. Is this one of your reasons for voting for him, or is it one of those things you hold your nose and look away from, along side the pussy grabbing? There is a vast chasm between the things you say you value– niceness and civility– and the preferences you reveal through your voting behavior. I wonder if in every case you relieve the cognitive dissonance by fooling yourself into thinking that Trump is innocent of the accusation, or whether that just goes for the sexual assault.

          • Mark says:

            … only Rosie O’Donnell.

            Scott Adams observed that Trump insults other celebrities who insult him.

            He’s generally quite positive about the general public.

            Sexual assault. I don’t think there is overwhelming evidence against him. presumption of innocence and all that.

            The stuff he said in the bus was – I think – off colour but somewhat excusable locker room chat. “When you are rich, women let you kiss them – you could grab them by the pussy”

            Sounds like a joke to me. Kissing women – probably entirely acceptable in the 70’s, 80’s whatever – I’m not sure we can judge people of that time by our current puritanical standards.
            He might be a sexual predator – he may well be one. But I get the feeling he’s kind of a minor sexual predator.
            Nothing criminal, more distasteful.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Sexual assault. I don’t think there is overwhelming evidence against him. presumption of innocence and all that.

            How many women do you need before the presumption of innocence is rebutted? Is a dozen not enough? Does it make no difference that he bragged about doing exactly what the women accused him of?

            Nothing criminal, more distasteful

            It’s a crime under New York law to “[touch] the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party […] whether directly or through clothing.” Several of the women have accused Trump of fondling their buttocks or genitals.

            Here are the responses we’ve seen so far to the allegations against Trump:

            1. Twelve women accusing him of doing the thing he said he did doesn’t satisfy the insane ad hoc burden of proof required for Trump-related allegations.
            2. Sexual assault isn’t really a crime.
            3. Hillary is corrupt and dishonest, let’s focus on that instead.

            And here’s Trump insinuating one of his accusers was too ugly to assault, which, I take it, qualifies as an instance of him demeaning a woman who is not a celebrity.

          • Mark says:

            Did that forcible touching law apply at the times he was accused of doing it?

            I’m happy that we live in a world where randomly groping people is entirely unacceptable – I don’t think that was how things were 20, 30 years ago, though. So, I’m inclined to view Trump as a kind of distasteful lecher – but you know Bill Clinton etc. etc. that’s kind of how things were at that time.

            Edit: Maybe I’m not happy about it. It’s not entirely clear to me where the boundary between “good touch” and “bad touch” lies – we don’t yet live in a world where positive consent can be expected before touching takes place, so… I think if you continue to touch someone once they’ve tried to stop you or asked you to stop, that’s a crime. A cheeky kiss, less so.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/10/12/former-miss-arizona-trump-just-came-strolling-right-in-on-naked-contestants/

            I’m not sure whether it’s clear that he knew the contestants didn’t like it, or he just thought he was breaking a rule.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Did that forcible touching law apply at the times he was accused of doing it?

            He’s been accused of groping women in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2006, and 2013, so, uh, yes?

          • The Nybbler says:

            @EK: No quantity of accusations constitutes proof.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            So, The_Nybbler, you are not yet convinced that Bill Cosby is a rapist? Would you vote for him to be president, were he otherwise qualified for the job?

          • Mark says:

            Yeah, I guess number of complaints does matter.

            Perhaps the reason why Trump seems more acceptable than Cosby is that for the most part, Trump is being accused of a less serious crime than Cosby – pinching bottoms and kissing vs. drugging and raping.

            I think, probably, most of the people who support Trump don’t really consider that to be a *really* serious crime. So, maybe not a rape culture, but certainly evidence for an “ambivalence towards unwanted touching” culture.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I agree that the crimes Trump has committed that we know about are less serious than Cosby’s (if, that is, we set aside the one allegation of child rape as being insufficiently credible). But it is still a marvel to me that anyone could vote for a man who goes around sexually assaulting women and brags about it with his buddies. You say you care about civility, do you?

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Man, what an absurd thread.

            @Zombielicious – “The difference this time is, see the thing about completely destroying norms then expecting the other side to make endless unilateral concessions to restore them. ”

            What norms have been destroyed?

            Blue tribe has been treating red tribe like undifferentiated sexists, racists, bigots, etc for decades. Nothing EK is saying in this thread is new; they’re just saying it a lot more stridently because they’re on the losing end of a decisive event for the first time in a decade.

            If your conception of charity only pertains when you win every time, I’m not sure it’s a form of charity I’ll miss. The very concept that your side can get this worked up about someone half the country is willing to vote for *is the problem*. You guys do not get to declare facts by fiat, and you do not get to specify other people’s preferences or values. Those things are the opposite of Charity.

            “The difference this time is, see the thing about completely destroying norms then expecting the other side to make endless unilateral concessions to restore them.”

            What concessions exactly do you think are being demanded of your side?

            “It’s a lot easier to tear these things down than it is to build them back up.”

            What exactly has been torn down?

            These are not rhetorical questions. I am genuinely interested to see your response.

            I voted for Trump because I wanted to wreck the Republican establishment, the one that dragged us into a bunch of pointless wars and shredded the constitution and killed goddamn heaps of humans all over the world, while securing nothing of value to offset those atrocities but aggressive theocracy. Clinton represented all of that but the theocracy part, and blocking her access to the white house was an ancillary benefit. All the norms being deployed against Trump, including the accusations of sexism and rape, were shredded under Bill Clinton. All the norms against torture were shredded under Bush and Obama. At least Trump is a tool to me; I’m willing to discard him at the first opportunity, rather than making him the tentpole of my entire tribe for the next thirty years.

            @EK – “So, The_Nybbler, you are not yet convinced that Bill Cosby is a rapist? Would you vote for him to be president, were he otherwise qualified for the job?”

            I’m sufficiently confident that Cosby is a rapist that I would not vote for him.

            Are you sufficiently convinced that Bill Clinton is a rapist? How about a sexual predator? Multiple accusations of inappropriate exposure, groping…

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Blue tribe has been treating red tribe like undifferentiated sexists, racists, bigots, etc for decades.

            And to prove them wrong you elected a snarling bigot as president! Have you considered that the “blue tribe” were right all along, and that a large proportion of your fellow travelers are, in fact, racists and sexists? I see no other explanation for how a man who rose to political prominence spouting racist conspiracy theories could now be president-elect. In the past I defended people like Bush, McCain, and Romney from accusations of racism, but it’s now become abundantly clear that many or most republican voters are thoroughly racist trash. If you support an openly racist presidential candidate, you deserve to be called a racist. Is that somehow unclear to you?

            Are you sufficiently convinced that Bill Clinton is a rapist? How about a sexual predator? Multiple accusations of inappropriate exposure, groping…

            Remember that the most credible accusation of sexual misconduct against Bill Clinton, Juanita Broaddrick’s, came after he had been elected to his second term. What’s most horrifying about the sexual assault allegations against Trump is that 60 million Americans could hear testimony from a dozen women that Trump had forced himself on them, shrug it off and, two weeks later, cast a vote for him.

          • The Nybbler says:

            @EK

            I was convinced that Cosby was a rapist… until we had the Rolling Stone case, Mattress Girl, and a few others which have convinced me that well-publicized rape cases are the new “ritual satanic abuse”. Now I’m not sure about Cosby; he was certainly into shady things (at least providing drugs to women he was going to sleep with — but with their knowledge) but I wouldn’t swear to actual rape.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            You cite two cases where a single woman made a rape accusation, one in which it turned out to be a hoax, and the other in which we lack conclusive evidence one way or the other (although the accused was acquitted in a college kangaroo court). But Trump has more than a dozen accusers, many with varying degrees of corroborating evidence.

            Assume for purposes of illustration that we live in a misogynist fantasy world, and any given accusation of sexual assault has only a 20% chance of being true. If the accusations are independent, this would put the odds that Trump committed at least one of the assaults of which he is accused at around 93%. Or, take instead a world where rape accusers are slightly more honest, and tell the truth 30% of the time. This would push the odds that Trump assaulted one or more up to 99%.

            And, for the capper, we have audio of Trump literally bragging about sexually assaulting women! So, yeah, no plausible deniability in this case. You voted for a sexual predator. Stop lying to yourself and own it.

          • Creutzer says:

            If the accusations are independent […]

            Given that these accusations just happened to surface one after the other right during election season makes this assumption highly dubious.

          • Zombielicious says:

            @FacelessCraven:

            These are not rhetorical questions. I am genuinely interested to see your response.

            Just so as not to leave you hanging, I’ll try to give it, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow probably. It’s been a while since I slept (maybe ~5 hours total since election day morning, 0 last night, stuck at work again now), old problems with anxiety-induced insomnia that, hilariously enough, apparently hit me hard again because this whole thing has bothered me so much (used to happen a lot during exams in college). I could say a lot, though I feel like I already made my main points pretty clearly, aside from one or two other big points that occurred to me since, but probably better to take a break first. Attempts right now are just coming out as long unfocused rant-ish things that are not going to bridge any kind of inferential gap here if what I’ve already said isn’t working, and I’d rather not get caught later defending something I said when I know it’s not working. Sorry.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Most of the accusations appeared immediately after (a) the tape of him bragging about sexually assaulting women surfaced, and (b) he lied in front of 70 million people at the second debate, claiming he had never actually done any of the things he bragged about doing on the tape. Several of Trump’s victims specifically cited his lie as the impetus for them to speak out. Others came forward only after seeing they were not his only victims, thinking, presumably, that there would be greater safety in numbers. I’d be amazed if they haven’t all receive torrents of death and rape threats.

            And, of course, some of the accusations had been made months or years prior.

            I see that a lot of the people who supported Trump are in denial about his long history of unwanted pussy-grabbing. Here’s a question: would you still have voted for him if you were convinced that the accusations against him were true?

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Zombielicious – I hear you on the sleep deprivation, sir. Take care of yourself.

            [EDIT] – …sometimes, when I get wrapped up in these discussions, I realize I really do not want to participate any more, but force myself to because I don’t want to be seen as chickening out. I would like to say that I am genuinely interested in hearing your views, but I think there will be plenty of opportunities to hear them in the future. The world is enough of a mess already without stressing out over a message board. If you feel like you need some time off, I don’t think that says a damn thing about your points.

            @EK – “I see that a lot of the people who supported Trump are in denial about his long history of unwanted pussy-grabbing.”

            A couple dozen million women being among that number, apparently.

            “Here’s a question: would you still have voted for him if you were convinced that the accusations against him were true?”

            Hell no. I would want to see him punished to the full extent of the law. Nor would I have objected if, say, the FBI announced an investigation into his genital-grabbing during the general phase of the election. I do not like that the crimes of politicians are excused.

          • thehousecarpenter says:

            Your (I’m speaking to the general reader here) subjective probability that a randomly-selected groping accusation against a randomly-selected member of the population is true could easily be very different from your subjective probability that any given groping accusation against Donald Trump is true, because you probably have a lot more extra information about Donald Trump than you would about a randomly-selected member of the population (before you see who is selected).

            I’m not sure whether it should be higher or lower. On one hand, Donald Trump is widely despised, and people wanted to stop him winning the election, so there was a plausible motivation for people to make false accusations. The fact that many of the accusations came right after the tape release, or Trump’s statement in the second debate, seems like evidence against them being true to me: those are exactly the times when the possibility of making such an accusation might occur to people, and when such accusations would be most politically convenient. Of course, the accusations that were made earlier are more plausible.

            There’s also an intuition I have about relative population size. Trump can’t have groped anybody he hasn’t met. Presumably the number of people he has met is an order of magnitude or several less than the number of Hillary supporters. Obviously P(makes a false accusation against Trump for political gain | Hillary supporter) is going to be very, very small, but just how many orders of magnitude smaller is it going to be compared to P(has been groped by Trump | has met Trump)? I think it could plausibly be sufficiently not-small-enough that the difference in the population sizes will be enough to make P(has been groped by Trump | has made an accusation against Trump) pretty small. (Do tell me if there’s an obvious flaw with the argument in this paragraph, because it feels like the kind of argument that could have an obvious flaw that I missed.)

            On the other hand, in terms of his personality, Donald Trump is very highly charismatic, and I do think he has a certain creepiness about him even besides the charisma, which makes me much more inclined to suspect him of groping people than I would be for most other people.

            The point is, I think people can reasonably disagree about whether the accusations against Trump are true. I don’t think it’s the case that Trump supporters are irrationally denying the obvious if they deny that these accusations are true.

          • DrBeat says:

            @Earthly Knight

            You cite two cases where a single woman made a rape accusation, one in which it turned out to be a hoax, and the other in which we lack conclusive evidence one way or the other (although the accused was acquitted in a college kangaroo court).

            For one, that college kangaroo court was deliberately designed to maximize the possibility of conviction at every stage. Being acquitted in a college kangaroo court does not cast doubt on the acquittal, it means he was so obviously innocent not even a college kangaroo court that was explicitly designed at every stage to get convictions could manage to convict him.

            For two, both of those cases were held up and championed as Heroic Truth-Telling by the same media class that holds up this story, and they are far from the only ones. Remember the Duke lacrosse case, and how everyone in our media was telling us that was proof of how dangerous men are and how imperiled women are, and after months and months and months of this they all just collectively forgot about it rather than admit the boys were incontrovertibly innocent? It’s not just that he, or I, can remember accusations of rape that were false, it’s that accusations that blow up and get widely spread in the media in this specific way turn out to be lies far more often than they turn out to be true.

            Going by the past five or six years, you can say with pretty high confidence that when a rape case gets held up by those media voices as Heroic Truth-Telling, it’s very likely to be a lie, because much more than half of the same cases held up as Heroic Truth-Telling by said media voices have turned out to be lies, and because they like to trumpet and champion lies WAY more than they like to report the truth. Stories that are lies can be constructed to flatter their emotions and ideology in every detail, rather than having to be bogged down in events that happened.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ thehousecarpenter

            On the other hand, in terms of his personality, Donald Trump is very highly charismatic, and I do think he has a certain creepiness about him even besides the charisma, which makes me much more inclined to suspect him of groping people than I would be for most other people.

            There’s also the parts where (a) many of the women have some corroborating evidence for their allegations, and (b) he literally admitted to doing what he’s accused of. I don’t really see any room for reasonable doubt, only desperate-partisan-clutching-at-straws doubt.

            @ DrBeat

            Being acquitted in a college kangaroo court does not cast doubt on the acquittal, it means he was so obviously innocent not even a college kangaroo court that was explicitly designed at every stage to get convictions could manage to convict him.

            I agree that it makes his innocence more likely than an acquittal in a court of law would, which is why I mentioned it. It does not mean he is “so obviously innocent,” it means there was not a preponderance of evidence in favor of the accusation, even with the proceedings tilted heavily towards the complainant. The circumstances surrounding that particular allegation made a conclusive determination of guilt or innocence impossible.

            For two, both of those cases were held up and championed as Heroic Truth-Telling by the same media class that holds up this story, and they are far from the only ones. Remember the Duke lacrosse case, and how everyone in our media was telling us that was proof of how dangerous men are and how imperiled women are, and after months and months and months of this they all just collectively forgot about it rather than admit the boys were incontrovertibly innocent?

            I followed all of these cases. None of them, you’ll note, involved multiple independent accusers. Alleged criminals with multiple independent accusers are more likely to be guilty for the simple probabilistic reasons given above.

          • Humbert McHumbert says:

            EarthlyKnight, I think you are being a little harsh on these folks.

            I proudly voted for Hillary Clinton, in the opinion that she would be a great president and Tump would (will, I suppose) be a disaster for America and the world. I also believe with a high degree of certainty that Trump is guilty of sexual assault.

            But I don’t consider that guilt to be disqualifying. If it had turned out that Clinton had in fact helped her husband cover up sex crimes, I would still have voted for her. Even if her opponent were not himself a criminal. Because I vote on a utilitarian basis with the good of the nation and the world in mind.

            I simply don’t believe that “character counts” when picking a president. At least it doesn’t count for much compared with the good of the nation.

            Trump’s racism and Islamophobia were important, on the other hand, but only because he ran on a platform of harming Muslims and Hispanics.

            I strongly disapprove of Trump voters, but not because they voted for a sex criminal. If the safe, sane establishment Democrat had been a sex criminal, and the irresponsible, intellectually dishonest, nativist, unprepared populist had been squeaky clean, I’d have voted for the sex criminal.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I don’t care much about most character defects in political candidates, but I’m willing to make exceptions for conspiracy theorists and sexual predators. Conspiracy theorists I dislike because they undermine trust in valuable institutions, warp epistemic norms, and prey on the paranoid and gullible. Even here some of the conservatives can occasionally be caught parroting some of Trump’s more ridiculous lies, like the nonsense about Clinton’s seizures or the preposterously inflated unemployment rates he cites (to be fair, others are appropriately circumspect and generally quick to correct these errors when they arise).

            The sexual assault I worry more about, just because it seems plausible that awarding them high office will make abusing women seem routine and encourage similar behavior among the public. I doubt Trump’s long record of swindling his customers will lead to an uptick in fraud, but I would not be at all surprised if Trump’s election causes a lot of women to get sexually assaulted by men who’ve suddenly realized that they can grope all the women they want and get away scot-free. Sadly, the Nadjas and Faceless Cravens of the world have decided to put their seal of approval on non-consensual pussy-grabbing, whether they’ve come to terms with that yet or not.

          • Brad says:

            You know what’s super convincing? Randomly sprinkling your comments with the word fuck. It is so convincing you don’t even need to make an actual argument.

          • suntzuanime says:

            The report button is missing and I am having to make do.

          • Montfort says:

            SunTzuAnime, perhaps it is cathartic for you, but posts in that vein are not constructive, not substantive, don’t improve the quality of discussion, and are generally the kind of thing I’d like to see less of.

          • suntzuanime says:

            If it helps you come to terms with it, you can imagine I said “posts in that vein are not constructive, not substantive, don’t improve the quality of discussion, and are generally the kind of thing I’d like to see less of.” But “come the fuck on” is more direct and to the point.

          • Montfort says:

            You’re right, all shades of disagreement and disapproval can be expressed as “come the fuck on”, “hey fuck you?”, “fuck you”, etc. There’s probably no point in offering specific criticisms that someone might be able to dispute or respond to.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Brad – “Randomly sprinkling your comments with the word fuck. It is so convincing you don’t even need to make an actual argument.”

            This is true.

            …Do you consider Earthly Knight’s arguments in this thread coherent or defensible?

            @Montfort – “There’s probably no point in offering specific criticisms that someone might be able to dispute or respond to.”

            This is also true, so let me highlight a couple.

            Earthly Knight: And, once a population has been invaded by defectors, the only way to reinstate a norm of cooperation is by employing retaliatory strategies. This shouldn’t involve any violence or law-breaking, we just need to misplace the naloxone when making house calls to rural areas.

            Earthly Knight: I doubt Trump’s long record of swindling his customers will lead to an uptick in fraud, but I would not be at all surprised if Trump’s election causes a lot of women to get sexually assaulted by men who’ve suddenly realized that they can grope all the women they want and get away scot-free. Sadly, the Nadjas and Faceless Cravens of the world have decided to put their seal of approval on non-consensual pussy-grabbing, whether they’ve come to terms with that yet or not.

            Do you find these arguments to be defensible?

            It’s fascinating. A friend told me this morning that Trump supporters were ripping Hajibs off muslim girls. Turns out that story was a lie. Trump supporters were spraypainting neo-nazi slogans. Turns out that story was a lie. Meanwhile, here’s video of a few vanguards of progress showing us all what democracy looks like. But hey, it’s cool, that guy picking his teeth up off the pavement was spreading hate.

            Do you realize how many arguments over the next months and years you are losing for yourselves, right here and right now?

            [EDIT] – Good news! The guy getting the crap kicked out of him in that video might not actually have been a Trump supporter! It may have just been a fun thing for his assailants to yell at him while they beat him within an inch of his life. My profuse apologies for spreading possible misinformation.

          • Montfort says:

            Do you realize how many arguments over the next months and years you are losing for yourselves, right here and right now?

            I think this is misdirected, I have not and will not endorse EK’s arguments and opinions. If you think they’re self-evidently false or otherwise terrible, you may as well say that without falsely attributing those opinions to me.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Montfert – “I think this is misdirected, I have not and will not endorse EK’s arguments and opinions. If you think they’re self-evidently false or otherwise terrible, you may as well say that without falsely attributing those opinions to me.”

            You are correct, and I am very sorry for having done so. I let myself start ranting there at the end, and lost focus on which poster I was currently addressing.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            …Do you consider Earthly Knight’s arguments in this thread coherent or defensible?

            What is incoherent about what I said? You helped make someone you have every reason to believe is a sexual predator president, making a known sexual predator president is liable to encourage sexual assault, hence, you helped encourage sexual assault. Doesn’t this seem pretty straightforward to you? You apparently object strenuously to being called pro-sexual-assault or a racist; if so, you should not have supported the racist who goes around sexually assaulting people. Don’t shoot the messenger, make less shitty choices.

          • Humbert McHumbert says:

            The sexual assault I worry more about, just because it seems plausible that awarding them high office will make abusing women seem routine and encourage similar behavior among the public.

            Couldn’t a Trump supporter agree with this without much difficulty?

            We always choose the lesser evil to some extent. Perhaps the nation is in a terrible crisis, and it’s crucially important, a matter of life and death, that we build a wall and Embiggen America Again ASAP. If the only candidate willing to carry out this bold plan will have the side effect of making sexual assault somewhat more common, why couldn’t that collateral damage be acceptable?

          • Earthly Knight says:

            But the nation isn’t in terrible crisis, that’s part of the delusion that the Trump supporters have constructed for themselves. I mean, Trump harped on illegal immigration and economic woe as much as anything, but illegal immigration has flatlined and the economy is in decent shape. (I have personally cited statistics to that effect dozens of times here; I wonder how many of the local Trumpists actually got the message?) If Trump supporters were blameless for their own ignorance, that might be some kind of excuse, but, like I said earlier, they had all of the resources needed to cure themselves of their delusions but instead allowed the rational part of their brains to be ruled by fear and racial animus. There are no exigent circumstances that would justify relaxing the usual prohibition on voting for sexual predators. So Trump supporters will bear full responsibility for every excess sexual assault that occurs as the result of electing a pussy-grabber as president.

          • lvlln says:

            I think Earthly Knight’s arguments are mostly coherent, but maybe hard to defend. The parts relating to Trump’s sexual assault seem to hinge on 2 assertions which I don’t see much reason for anyone to believe are true, but which he seems to consider obviously true:
            1. No one can have (genuine, honest) reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual abuser.
            2. Voting for a sexual abuser into POTUS is an implicit approval of sexually abusive behavior.

            I don’t see either as true.

            For 1, I definitely believe Trump is a sexual abuser based on what he’s said and what’s been thrown at him, but I also believe that plenty of people reasonably interpret his infamous remarks as that he’s so cool that he gains consent, rather than that he’s so cool that he acts without consent. I strongly disagree with that interpretation, but the discourse over the past few years has shown that where the lines of consent lies is incredibly controversial, and I believe it’s incredibly arrogant and incorrect to believe that my own belief on it is the only reasonable one.

            Furthermore, we (used to) have a strong norm of burden-of-proof-by-the-accuser in the US. Though many many people have tried to destroy that, it has certainly been controversial, and I’m sure plenty of people in the US still hold onto such a norm, such that mere accusations – no matter how many – cannot push the truth of the accusation to the level of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” At the very least, there needs to be some sort of impartial adjudication to sort out the details, if not actual evidence presented in such a setting, before some will be convinced of it “beyond a reasonable doubt.” I don’t think this is unreasonable or requires motivated or biased thinking in any way.

            For 2., Humbert McHumbert explained it well, I think. Many people simply don’t care about a candidate’s personal flaws and crimes, only on how well they could perform on the job, and they don’t put a special asterisk on sexual assault as being one of the few truly horrible things for which they’ll make an exception for this principle. Work is work, and all voting for someone means you believe they can do the work better than everyone else. This seems reasonable.

            For example, imagine a strange alternate world where everything was the same, but Trump never made those infamous remarks and no one had ever made any accusations or even insinuations that he had sexually assaulted them, and in addition, where Hillary was caught on tape bragging about what could be considered sexual assault by many reasonable definitions and was accused by many people of doing just that to them. In the real world, I voted for Hillary. In this alternate world, I would still have voted for Hillary, without even a shadow of doubt that what I was doing was wrong.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            such that mere accusations – no matter how many – cannot push the truth of the accusation to the level of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

            This is not a plausible principle– see, again, Bill Cosby– and I doubt that anyone in the world actually follows it. It is also not really relevant; Trump confessed to doing what he was accused of doing. If multiple, independent eyewitnesses + a spontaneous confession aren’t enough to persuade you that someone is guilty of a crime, the problem is with you, not the evidence.

            In this alternate world, I would still have voted for Hillary, without even a shadow of doubt that what I was doing was wrong.

            This is not really the right comparison, because Trump has a far greater potential to lead to the sort of crisis that might justify voting for a sexual predator than the average presidential candidate. Imagine instead that before the 2012 election a dozen women accused Obama of groping them. Would you still have voted for him (if, indeed, you did at the time)? I could not have.

          • Dr Dealgood says:

            @Earth Knight,

            For what it’s worth, I believe that both Ivana and Juanita are telling the truth. In a better world Donald and Bill would be sharing a cell on some small rocky island talking about their golf strokes. Epstein could be buried outside.

            Anyway, I don’t agree that being pro-Trump entails being anti-woman or pro-rape. Right now the big threat to women’s safety isn’t coming from the would-be Trumps of the world; just a glance at the crime stats should tell you that much. I suspect that you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the rate of sexual assault and rape decline as we get a tighter grip on immigration and crime over the next four years.

          • lvlln says:

            This is not a plausible principle– see, again, Bill Cosby– and I doubt that anyone in the world actually follows it.

            I believe you lack sufficient imagination, if you truly believe that no one in the world actually follows it. I’d say I’m a counterexample, but obviously I’m not an unbiased judge – all I know is, I seek to follow it as best as I can in every case.

            It is also not really relevant; Trump confessed to doing what he was accused of doing. If multiple eyewitnesses + a spontaneous confession aren’t enough to persuade you that someone is guilty of a crime, the problem is with you, not the evidence.

            Wait, did Trump actually confess to any of the specific accusations, rather than his general infamous remark about grabbing? If so, you are absolutely right that there is no room for reasonable doubt. I’ll have to do more research on this, and I hope if he did confess, he will face legal repercussions.

            That said, the fact that I didn’t know about this despite being a US citizen who was highly motivated to seek out news putting Trump in a bad light and who I believe was paying more attention to the election than the average US citizen indicates to me that it’s entirely reasonable that many Trump voters might also not have known about this.

            This is not really the right comparison, because Trump has a far greater potential to lead to the sort of crisis that might justify voting for a sexual predator than the average presidential candidate. Imagine instead that before the 2012 election a dozen women accused Obama of groping them. Would you still have voted for him (if, indeed, you did at the time)? I could not have.

            Yes, 2008 was the 1st time I could vote, and I voted for Obama both in 2008 and 2012. If Obama had been recorded saying exactly what Trump had said, and if even more people had come out to accuse Obama as Trump with even more evidence to the truth of these accusations as with Trump, it would have shifted my likelihood of voting for Obama by precisely 0. And I would have felt just fine with it, because even if Obama were a verified, 100% sexual predator, him as POTUS from 2013-2016 would have been far better for the US than Mitt Romney as POTUS in that time.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ Dr Dealgood

            The rape rate has been declining pretty steadily for two decades now, even, note, in the periods of greatest immigration. I will be surprised if it rises significantly under President Pussy-Grabber. But this isn’t really the issue, the issue is whether electing Trump will lead to more sexual assaults than would otherwise have occurred. I don’t know for sure that this will happen, but the connection between electing a sexual predator and promoting sexual assault is foreseeable enough that, if it does happen, Trump supporters will not be able to use ignorance as an excuse.

            @ lvlln

            I believe you lack sufficient imagination, if you truly believe that no one in the world actually follows it. I’d say I’m a counterexample, but obviously I’m not an unbiased judge – all I know is, I seek to follow it as best as I can in every case.

            No, you don’t. You might have followed it in every case of sexual assault you’ve encountered so far– do you seriously not think Bill Cosby is guilty?– but this just means you demand a higher standard of evidence for allegations of sexual assault than you do for other crimes. It would be almost inhuman to remain skeptical if, for instance, a dozen eyewitnesses independently report that they saw a man steal a conspicuous object from their presence in broad daylight. Certainly any jury would vote to convict.

            Wait, did Trump actually confess to any of the specific accusations, rather than his general infamous remark about grabbing?

            Sorry, that’s not what I was saying. Trump just confessed to routinely kissing women without waiting and then grabbing them by the pussy. I’m not sure how the fact that the confession is general rather than specific makes it less of a confession, though.

          • Iain says:

            @lvlln

            To the best of my knowledge, Trump didn’t confess to any of the accusations of groping. He did, however, actively brag to Howard Stern about the incidents where he walked into Miss Universe change rooms to ogle naked teenagers:

            Well, I’ll tell you the funniest is that before a show: I’ll go backstage, and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good. You know, the dresses. “Is everyone OK?” You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. “Is everybody OK?” And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.

            Your mileage may vary on how serious you think that is. It’s skeezy as hell, but I doubt that he could be charged with a crime. At the very least, though, it weakens some of the rhetoric about how it was important to vote against Clinton to punish her for thinking she was above the rules.

          • Humbert McHumbert says:

            But the nation isn’t in terrible crisis, that’s part of the delusion that the Trump supporters have constructed for themselves.

            You’ll get no argument from me here, except that they haven’t quite constructed it for themselves. They’re in an echo chamber, and as a whole they’re quite poorly educated.

          • lvlln says:

            No, you don’t. You might have followed it in every case of sexual assault you’ve encountered so far– do you seriously not think Bill Cosby is guilty?– but this just means you demand a higher standard of evidence for allegations of sexual assault than you do for other crimes.

            This is just rude and completely unwarranted. Please tell me by what reasoning you determined that I only do this wrt sexual assault.

            It would be almost inhuman to remain skeptical if, for instance, a dozen eyewitnesses report that they saw a man steal a conspicuous object from their presence in broad daylight. Certainly any jury would vote to convict.

            A dozen eyewitnesses are evidence, assuming they’re independent and unbiased wrt the accuser or the accused. If either of those conditions aren’t met, then there absolutely should be reasonable doubt.

            If all I knew about an incident was that a dozen eyewitnesses said a man stole a conspicuous object from their presence in broad daylight, if I didn’t have any further knowledge about the eyewitnesses’ independence or bias, I would definitely say it wasn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If I were on such a jury, I would 100% vote to acquit, and I would consider it an insult to the notion of justice for anyone not to vote the same way.

            Given how fallible memory has been shown to be, eyewitnesses mean very little in establishing guilt, unless there are so many independent ones such that it’s highly unlikely that every one of them made the same errors.

            Sorry, that’s not what I was saying. Trump just confessed to routinely kissing women without waiting and then grabbing them by the pussy. I’m not sure how the fact that the confession is general rather than specific makes it less of a confession, though.

            I already addressed this with point 1 in my post above. Trump’s infamous statement about grabbing pussies could be entirely reasonably be as bragging that he’s so cool that women just give him consent, rather than that he’s bragging that he does things without consent. I strongly disagree that this is the right interpretation, but I also strongly disagree with the arrogant idea that this is an unambiguously unreasonable interpretation. The discourse in the past few years has taught me that the lines of consent is highly controversial, and ANYONE who believes that their version of it is the reasonable one is wrong.

            So no, Trump never confessed to committing sexual assault. He confessed to something which, by my interpretation, is sexual assault, but which by many other entirely reasonable interpretations, is not.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Given how fallible memory has been shown to be, eyewitnesses mean very little in establishing guilt, unless there are so many independent ones such that it’s highly unlikely that every one of them made the same errors.

            The chief risk of error in eyewitness testimony comes from the possibility of mistaken identity. But Trump is famous and distinctive enough that this could not be a factor in most of the allegations against him, particularly those allegations that come from his past associates. We also know that several of the accusations were completely independent, and many of the victims offered corroborating evidence of one type or another.

            So no, Trump never confessed to committing sexual assault. He confessed to something which, by my interpretation, is sexual assault, but which by many other entirely reasonable interpretations, is not.

            That’s fine that you think that. We saw that in the misogynist fantasy world, where 80% of rape accusers are liars, the odds that Trump committed at least one of the assaults imputed to him were still 93%. This means that, even if we smash our heads against the walls a few times until we’re stupid enough to think that Trump might not have been bragging about sexually assaulting women, the confession will still push the chance that he’s guilty well above 95%. There’s not really a way out of this: if you are ever convinced that anyone is guilty of any crime, there’s no room to make an exception for Trump.

            You haven’t at any point said whether you think Bill Cosby is guilty, have you? If the answer is no, I’m inclined to dismiss your evidential requirements as patently unreasonable. If the answer is yes, I would appreciate you devoting some effort to explaining how you arrived at different verdicts in the Trump and Cosby cases.

          • lvlln says:

            The chief risk of error in eyewitness testimony comes from the possibility of mistaken identity. But Trump is famous and distinctive enough that this could not be a factor in most of the allegations against him, particularly those allegations that come from his past associates. We also know that several of the accusations were completely independent, and many of the victims offered corroborating evidence of one type or another.

            The thing about a dozen eyewitnesses was a hypothetical scenario about stealing things in broad daylight that you presented, not about Trump. The above paragraph is irrelevant to this conversation.

            That’s fine that you think that. We saw that in the misogynist fantasy world, where 80% of rape accusers are liars, the odds that Trump committed at least one of the assaults imputed to him were still 93%. This means that, even if we smash our heads against the walls a few times until we’re stupid enough to think that Trump might not have been bragging about sexually assaulting women, the confession will still push the chance that he’s guilty well above 95%. There’s not really a way out of this: if you are ever convinced that anyone is guilty of any crime, there’s no room to make an exception for Trump.

            No, your attempt at statistics was already quite well debunked by Creutzer and thehousecarpenter above. Those were not independent accusations, which throws your basic multiplicative calculation completely out the window. Furthermore, like I already wrote above, lots of people in the US have a norm that no amount of accusations sans evidence can establish someone’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, regardless of the underlying probability of any given generic accusation of a similar type being true. This isn’t rational, but this is not an uncommon heuristic and an entirely reasonable one, given that underlying probabilities and knowledge about credibility of accusers are generally not available – sometimes even impossible to acquire.

            You haven’t at any point said whether you think Bill Cosby is guilty, have you? If the answer is no, I’m inclined to dismiss your evidential requirements as patently unreasonable. If the answer is yes, I would appreciate you devoting some effort to explaining how you arrived at different verdicts in the Trump and Cosby cases.

            I believe the same thing about Cosby and Trump – I believe they’re guilty of sexual assault, and not being privy to the evidence specific to their alleged misdeeds, I don’t have the confidence to say that it is beyond a reasonable doubt in either case. Perhaps if I were on a jury adjudicating their guilt and were exposed to the evidence, I might feel otherwise in either direction, but I’m not.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            The thing about a dozen eyewitnesses was a hypothetical scenario about stealing things in broad daylight that you presented, not about Trump. The above paragraph is irrelevant to this conversation.

            Then modify the scenario as needed. A dozen witnesses report (several independently) that Conan O’Brien– they know it was Conan O’Brien, because most of them are in his employ– stole a conspicuous object from their midst in broad daylight. Some of them dislike O’Brien for whatever reason. Conan is later caught on tape confessing that when he sees a valuable object, sometimes he doesn’t wait and just takes it. Still voting to acquit?

            Do you think actual juries abide by these exaggerated standards of proof? The prisons would be empty!

            and not being privy to the evidence specific to their alleged misdeeds, I don’t have the confidence to say that it is beyond a reasonable doubt in either case.

            Okay. This just means your demands are unreasonable and can safely be ignored.

          • Mark says:

            Yeah, I think Earthly Knight is right.

            I’m prepared to believe that these accusations are true (the ones about bottom pinching, kissing, and sexist comments), but I don’t think they are all that important.

            To me it’s a bit like drunk and disorderly behaviour. Walking around drunk, shouting your head off is a criminal offence. But unless it was a really extreme case I wouldn’t really be incredibly concerned if a politician had a history of it. Not a good thing – a big black mark certainly – but not in itself a disqualification from public office.

            But if bottom pinching and kissing really bothers you, if that is a complete deal-breaker, it must be incredibly frustrating that people are prepared to elect someone who gets up to those things.

            I don’t think it means that people like me ‘reject civility’, however; we perhaps just have something different in mind when we hear “pinched bottom”. In the most serious case, persistent (not listening to rejection) unwanted touching would be disqualifying. That’s not want I’m imagining that Trump did though.

            For me, Clinton’s “we came, we saw, he died” was more disturbing – but then I don’t really like Clinton, anyway.

            I think there would probably be just as many people just as sore if Clinton had won (“How could you elect someone that corrupt?”), the only difference would be that all of the intellectuals, media, and establishment would be against them, would be calling them ‘racists’, and would be completely insufferable about it. Compare Trumps tweet about the protests.

            I’m basically glad that Trump won, because the people too wrapped up in the conventional wisdom needed a bit of a slap.

            (If that was the motivation of a significant proportion of Trump supporters, I suppose it’s understandable that those being slapped are annoyed.)

          • Deiseach says:

            Democrats elected the first black president, running on a generally centrist platform, by the widest margin in years, and Republicans immediately promised to obstruct everything he tried to accomplish and dedicate themselves to making him a one-term president.

            Which I agree was stupid and not in the best interests of the nation. But I’m very cynical about politics anyway; despite all the breathless rhetoric first time round, I saw Obama as a typical career politician who was not going to be the Messiah.

            The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists.

            I’m fiscally liberal enough to think that’s not a bad thing. I don’t like Elizabeth Warren, but I could well put up with Bernie Sanders. Again, probably because I’m not American and he strikes me as in the model of old-school Labour (not the “To win the election we must become the Tories Lite” New Labour version under Blair and Campbell). I can respect Sanders and would agree with him on quite a lot about class and economic interest.

            The Democrats traditionally had a lot of blue-collar support. For various reasons, they dumped or ignored or, in certain cases, deliberately drove that away and chased the demographics: African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, white college-educated women. They relied on a client class (just as the Republicans relied on a client class of corporate welfare) and in Obama’s case, that seemed to pay off for them.

            The trouble was, the cronyism and corruption of politics also set in. Hillary wanted the presidency and she would do anything to get in. It may now be all smiles and hugs, but back in 2008 she felt it was her turn and her time, she’d worked for this, she’d made the connections and done the spadework and set it all up, and along comes this upstart from Chicago and tries to steal the nomination from her. Her campaign didn’t care tuppence about “first black president” (they tried out possible attacks on him for admitted cocaine use) and fought bitterly every step of the way. I would imagine they were happy to let the Republicans stir up the birther controversy and other attacks on him so that they didn’t have to dirty their own hands but could reap the benefits.

            Here’s where Obama was smarter than me: I thought that he should extend an olive branch to Hillary and get her to run as his Vice President. It would be historic, it would get her connections and party influence on his side, it would heal the divisions (and back in 2008 there was real danger of splitting the party). Well, he was smarter, he knew she was poison to him, and although he gave her the Secretary of State position, he didn’t invite her in as VP for 2012 which would have been the perfect launch pad for 2016 and ‘first female president’.

            Hillary brought all this on herself. She and her campaign rigged the process as hard as ever they could, with supporters and allies, to make sure she was the nominee. And she got what she wanted. And she lost.

            Could Sanders have won? No. I don’t think he had a chance. So Sanders as nominee was not the solution. But he represented a strand of the old Democrat party that they ignored at their peril, because the future is going to be brown, baby, who cares about the working-class whites?

            Yeah, well, they’ll have to care now. Because the future may be brown, but there’s nothing to say brown votes are going to go automatically to white Dems.

          • Deiseach says:

            The sexual assault I worry more about, just because it seems plausible that awarding them high office will make abusing women seem routine and encourage similar behavior among the public.

            So how did that work out after President Clinton and his admission to having an adulterous affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter while she was an employee in the White House?

            Or was that not sexual assault, it all depends what the meaning of “is” is? All the feminists who said they’d have gotten on their knees for him themselves, it was only a blow job, she was a conniving little liar who set out to seduce a poor helpless man, etc.

            Did men of the time think “Well, if good ol’ Bill can get away with putting the moves on a gal working for his administration, I can do the same with the hot new secretary in the office? After all, it’s only a blow job like all those women are saying, right?” Did that make it seem routine and encourage similar behaviour? All the accusations by other women that he’d assaulted them?

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            As a centrist Democrat, which is probably called “neo-liberal” these days, I very much disliked the damage Clinton did to my party. She stopped any other centrist Democrat from appearing for 8 years, leaving only near- to actual-socialist members as the apparent survivors of the neutron bomb she set off right in her own face.

            I am anticipating a sweep back against globalism, and honestly we probably deserve it a little. I hope we don’t overdo it. (My view is that globalism is good on average, but the working has gotten the least of the benefits and paid most of the costs.)

            Also, I think the accusations of women against Trump are likely and largely true. Since they are past the statute of limitations, this is just something to keep in mind if he goes for re-election.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ Mark

            But if bottom pinching and kissing really bothers you, if that is a complete deal-breaker, it must be incredibly frustrating that people are prepared to elect someone who gets up to those things.

            The things Trump is accused of doing go a bit beyond bottom pinching and unwanted kissing. A couple of the women described forcibly resisting him while he tried to shove his hands up their skirts. Which is to say, he didn’t even wait, he just grabbed them by the pussy.

      • hlynkacg says:

        @ Tracy W

        FWIW I agree.

  12. Mark says:

    If white males agree to have lower pay than women/other ethnicities, can they be counted as an underprivileged minority?

    I want to know the quickest way to get rid of my privilege, so I never have to hear the word again.

    All white males must pay an additional 10% tax, but in return, nobody can ever mention “white privilege” “patriarchy” or “racism” ever again?

    • Incurian says:

      Your demand for a quick and easy way out of being made to feel uncomfortable for your evil heritage only serves to highlight your privilege.

      • Mark says:

        Yagh!

        It really is the societal equivalent of a domestic argument about cleaning up bread-crumbs or something.

      • Well... says:

        Do demands for reparations therefore also serve to highlight the privilege of the people making them?

        • Incurian says:

          They don’t highlight the privilege of the people making them because they don’t have privilege.

          • Well... says:

            So, demands for a quick and easy way to redress some bad thing you think you’re experiencing do…not…?…highlight your privilege?

            Honestly man, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not; maybe your replies were all meant to be trollish jokes.

            My frank opinion is that “privilege” is one of those moving-goalpost terms that people just use to demonize other people any way they can.

            My liberal friends and coworkers can discuss their honest opinions at work, or could write about them online using their real names, and not suffer any serious consequences–even when their opinions include bashing someone or some group of people. I could gripe that this is a kind of privilege they enjoy and I (as a conservative) don’t, but the truth is it’s really just one of many natural imbalances in the universe that can never be brought into equilibrium. I create workarounds (such as being honest among carefully vetted friends, or anonymously online) and make do with what I can, and try to enjoy everything else life has to offer.

            And I do. Life is great. I wouldn’t trade places with my liberal friends for anything. My wife (who is black) and I talk about this too: how she’d never want to be white and I’d never want to be black. Apparently privilege, if it’s a thing, isn’t actually that important.

          • Incurian says:

            I was going to keep this up indefinitely, but I’ll just admit they were trollish jokes and I’m sorry that we live in a world where what I said can be reasonably mistaken for the thoughts of an actual human being.

    • Aapje says:

      White men already pay additional tax and get less benefits (than women, not necessarily black men), that doesn’t prevent them from being called privileged.

      • Nadja says:

        Hmm, what do you mean by that? Not questioning, just genuinely asking. Do you mean they statistically pay more? In such case, do Asian men pay even more while receiving even fewer benefits?

        • Aapje says:

          Men work more hours and have higher salaries, so pay more taxes. Healthcare spending is a pretty big part of the budget and men use substantially less of that than women.

          Women live longer and thus get more Social Security for the amount they pay in. Depending on the pension system, you can have the same there (if it’s not personal, but pooled).

          There are also some government services for women that don’t exist for men or are much less extensive for men, while the opposite is much, much rarer.

          So there is a substantial wealth transfer to women, purely at the government level.

          In relationships there is also a big wealth transfer towards women, of course, but that is a separate issue.

          • Nadja says:

            Thanks for elaborating. I thought you probably meant something along these lines. I was somewhat surprised women use more health care than men, but a brief Google search seems to confirm that’s right.

          • Aapje says:

            By living longer, women have more years where they get to use medical care. Women also more likely to seek health care for similar health issues (men are conditioned to ‘be tough’). It’s likely that women also have a bit more health issues if you factor out these things (‘the fetus growing inside your body’ thing tends to involve more medical needs than ‘squirt,’ for example).

            Interestingly, men do pay more for car insurance, where they cause more costly accidents (mostly at a young age); but women don’t pay more for medical insurance. This is one of these remnants of female coverture that must be addressed if we are to get equality.

          • Nadja says:

            Well, so from the little I read when I Googled, women use more health care even if we don’t factor in pregnancies. (I don’t think it’s fair to count the cost of a pregnancy against women. Both parents are on average equally responsible for a child’s conception, so the cost should be attributed to both.) The interesting part ties in with what you say about accidents. Apparently, since men get into more fatal accidents, they end up being cheaper health care-wise, because we use the most health care dollars in our old years, slowly dying from natural causes. That, plus women live longer for other reasons, so they have more of those expensive old-age years.

            Additionally, women apparently (and not really surprisingly) use more preventative services. The interesting part is that it used to be a common belief that if you do more preventative stuff, you will end up paying less in the long run. From what I understand, that belief has recently been challenged, with articles popping up all over the place about how routine physicals haven’t been shown to do much good, etc.

          • Aapje says:

            90+% of workplace accidents happen to men (in no small part because men almost exclusively do the really dangerous jobs). They also tend to do the most ‘body destroying’ work, which ages them prematurely, but a lot of these damaged people use relatively little healthcare (probably due to them being mostly lower class & relatively poor & these people being relatively macho (which I think is a coping mechanism for dealing with their assigned gender roles) ).

            As for attributing things to the other gender, it sounds nice, but opens a huge can of worms. You can pretty much attribute everything to everything, in a world where the partners often divide labor between them. The choice of what you attribute tends to be mostly based on what things you can come up, which tends to reflects your own bias.

            As for preventative care, a big problem is that a lot of that care results in treatment of healthy people due to false positives which itself compromises health. For example, a colonoscopy has a high risk of complications. I can come up with only two types of preventative care that seem to have major benefits: dental care and beta blockers. I suspect that these types of preventative care have the smallest gap in usage between men and women.

            I think that most people really want preventative care to work, but often, it works a lot better to just wait for symptoms to manifest.

    • Brad says:

      Move to Hereford, Texas. Don’t travel and stay off the internet. Send 10% of your income to me.

    • Deiseach says:

      No, Mark, you see: even if you’re an unemployed ex-miner in Virginia with black lung, an eviction notice, and a prescription opioid habit, you as a white man are still in a position of privilege relative to, say, Oprah Winfrey.

      Because institutional racism means you get the benefits of living in a society that for generations privileged white men over women, people of colour, and other minorities, and you have the benefit of that still as explained here.

      See? Now get down on the floor and grovel and flagellate yourself to expiate your horrible racist sexist privilege, you monster!

    • Earthly Knight says:

      I want to know the quickest way to get rid of my privilege, so I never have to hear the word again.

      Calculate the balance of goods you will earn over the rest of your life, subtract those goods you would still have earned had you been female/black/gay (holding everything else fixed) and contribute the difference to charities supporting women/black folk/gay folk. Privilege consists in those excess goods you acquire by virtue of belonging to the favored class in an unjust society. Because they are unjustly acquired, you have an obligation to return them to their rightful owners; discharging this obligation relieves you of your privilege.

      • Robert Liguori says:

        Huh.

        If I’d been able to leverage that sweet affirmative action preference, I could (holding my academic history and interests constant) gone to a much more prestigious school, and much likely landed a much higher starting salary, with according knock-on lifetime effects.

        Since that amount actually exceeds the balance of goods I’m likely to earn in my lifetime, I’m obligation-free, and therefore, unprivileged, and anyone who calls me privileged is objectively wrong according to Earthly Knight. Good to know.

        • Earthly Knight says:

          The counterfactual we’re considering is one where you spend your whole life being black, which would almost certainly have affected your academic history, and likely would have led to your having different interests as well. The idea is that we pour your genes (excepting those which code for skin color) into a black infant’s body and use that person’s life as a basis for comparison.

          There’s no a priori guarantee that your life would have been worse, but it seems quite likely.

          • Mark says:

            How is this.

            We have some sort of basic income guarantee and agree to view conspicuous consumption as a signal of mental weakness rather than social strength.

            Would we be able to cut down on the old identity politics a bit, then?

            As a Bernie-Bro that’s all I really want.

          • Aapje says:

            @EK

            There’s no a priori guarantee that your life would have been worse, but it seems quite likely.

            Group effects cannot just be assumed to hold for group members.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            That’s why I say that there’s no a priori guarantee but it’s nevertheless quite likely.

          • Robert Liguori says:

            Is there a reason you’re assuming black skin inherently makes people less interested in and capable of academics?

            I mean, if I still get my parents, my culture of origin, and so on, then I don’t see what your argument here is, unless it’s that black skin literally makes you dumber.

            Is there a specific effect path you’re considering here? To my knowledge, no one’s actually tried to randomly darken and lighten the skin of infants to see how it affects them while holding everyone around them constant; we can look at closest-possible-analogue situations (like looking for specific subcohorts of black or dark-skinned brown people whose cultural values and average IQ match that of my own group), but that would end up ridiculously narrow.

            Plus, you don’t actually know anything about me. For all you know, I’m operating under a pseudonym, am actually Indian-American, and can pass for black when heavily tanned.

            I can certainly consider the argument that mass cultural forces beyond that of individual parental upbringing is strong enough to push people of various ethnicity towards various destinies in the average case. I’d need to be shown some strong evidence of it, but I could consider it.

            Proposing such an effect in the weird counterfactual you propose to specifically apply to my life, with such confidence, and with no proposed justification other than repeating that it seems quite likely, however, doesn’t seem to merit that kind of consideration.

          • Aapje says:

            @Earthly Knight

            It depends very much on how you choose your groups. For example, choose white vs black people and suddenly a Appalachian white person is logically rich (but realistically poor). This seems obvious underfitting of your model. A more realistic model would subdivide white people into a few groups.

            If you divide black people into ex-slaves vs more recent African immigrants, you see a huge difference in income. So again, your simplistic model is underfitting and would give the wrong answer for an African immigrant.

            BTW. The income differences between black and white immigrants being far less than the difference between black and white natives strongly suggests that the theory that all differences are due to oppression is false.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ Robert

            I mean, if I still get my parents, my culture of origin, and so on, then I don’t see what your argument here is, unless it’s that black skin literally makes you dumber.

            Really? The possibility that black people are less likely than whites to succeed academically because society constantly sends them not-so-subtle hints that they’re intellectually inferior and might wind up in prison isn’t even on your radar?

            Proposing such an effect in the weird counterfactual you propose to specifically apply to my life, with such confidence, and with no proposed justification other than repeating that it seems quite likely, however, doesn’t seem to merit that kind of consideration.

            I’m mostly just interested in giving a correct definition of privilege.

            @ Aapje

            The income differences between black and white immigrants being far less than the difference between black and white natives strongly suggests that the theory that all differences are due to oppression is false.

            The definition I gave is designed to separate privilege from the effects of differences in natural talents.

          • Aapje says:

            The definition I gave is designed to separate privilege from the effects of differences in natural talents.

            AFAIK, migrants tend to be culturally different in ways that improve their success rates. So I don’t think that you can ascribe the entire difference to natural talent.

    • Nadja says:

      How I wish it were this simple. Wouldn’t it be great (it wouldn’t) if there existed some objective formula to calculate your privilege tax based not only on gender or race, but also on the quality of parenting you received, your IQ, your religious affiliation, your family’s social standing, the community you grew up in and the value of your traits as assessed by that community, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I want to know the quickest way to get rid of my privilege, so I never have to hear the word again.

      What you could do instead is OWN the word. When they accuse you of being privileged, take pride in the fact! When they ask you to check your privilege, say it has never been better.

  13. Randy M says:

    I’d like to go on record, despite the national vote being more to my liking than the state vote, of being firmly in favor of federalism and localism.

    “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others” is as sound a principle today as it was when Jefferson, iirc, first formulated it.

    • shakeddown says:

      I agree about some things (The interstate highway system, for example, is one thing I wish was done at the state/local level). But pro-life advocates care about protecting baby’s lives, not just babies in their districts (especially when anyone in a district can just hop over to another one where it’s more legal).
      Also, even if you believe in federalism in general, I don’t see how you apply it to the presidential election: it’s an office that affects all people pretty equally.

      • suntzuanime says:

        You can make it a crime to leave your region to commit some crime and then come back. If you’re saying that people who want to commit crimes will go where it’s legal and stay, well, that’s sort of the point of localism. Ideally your region will have something more attractive than the crimes they want to commit.

      • Randy M says:

        Well, duh, obviously there is only one president. But over the generations he and the national congress have gotten more power. The liberals who think Trump is an end to “reproductive rights” (spit) or LGTBQetc. rights, in my ideal world, would be able to assuage themselves that the federal government has little to do with these. I am taking this opportunity to point it out because at the moment it cuts against my interests both ways, as I am in a Democrat state but there is national control by Republicans. I would rather see the rulers devolve power back down, but I don’t think this is particularly a Republican idea, if it ever has been.

        I wish to see abortion illegal in every state, and do not sincerely wish for “abortions for some”. But it need not be a national issue and local communities should be able to set their own standards on a wider variety of issues than which they do, which is counter to the trend I observe.

        • shakeddown says:

          One thing that seems pretty unequivocal is that Washington should be in charge of national defence. That one worries a lot of people about Trump, and doesn’t seem to have a good solution by localizing.

          • Randy M says:

            Granted.

            But, rethinking it, I’m not sure that it would have a unifying effect or not. At the moment we are riven with disputes about important issues; if CA and TX were able to decide these on their own, would people in each state be able to live with people “over there” allowed to actually do those wicked things?

      • CatCube says:

        For the Interstate system, it depends exactly what you mean by wishing it was local. If you mean not one nickel from a state is used in another state, it’s definitely not local. However, in the system as-is funding comes from the Federal Government, but routes are set by State DOTs and the standards to which the highways are built are set by AASHTO, which is technically a private body. You can quibble with the “technically,” since it’s an organization who’s governing board is composed of the leaders of the 50 state DOTs, plus Puerto Rico, DC, and FHWA. The FHWA member is non-voting.

      • JulieK says:

        But pro-life advocates care about protecting baby’s lives, not just babies in their districts

        Half a loaf is better than none.

    • NIP says:

      Hear hear! I agree, and I think it’s probably the only way to have peace in a large and culturally diverse nation. You simply cannot have large cities dictating their values on everyone else, or vice versa, unless you are in favor of the “politics as perpetual low-level war” model.

  14. sflicht says:

    Here is evidence that the Trump transition team has looked to none other than Greg Cochran for guidance about how to staff the FDA!

    Talk about a 180 degree turn from political correctness…

  15. Acedia says:

    The emerging narrative in online leftist communities is that this election result is about racism, but I really think the data doesn’t support that. Blacks went for Trump at 5 points more than they did for Romney, Hispanics 2 points more. Asian Americans a whopping 11 (!) points more. Many white areas that voted Trump voted for Obama in 12.

    So if there’s an idpol angle to Trump’s victory it’s not about race, at least not any more than previous elections. It could’ve been gender. I wonder whether Biden would have beaten Trump won running on the exact same platform as Clinton.

    • shakeddown says:

      Interestingly, there’s the theory that Trump won because working-class whites started voting like a minority group.

      • the anonymouse says:

        In other words, the Democrats wanted to make everything about identity politics and the white working class said, “Okay, sure.”?

        • Urstoff says:

          That’s been my working theory since Trump won the primary. Instead of fighting against identity politics, certain sections of the Republican electorate embraced their own white identitarianism. Which is terrible, of course, because all identity politics (and all identities period) is terrible.

          • Anonymous says:

            Which is terrible, of course, because all identity politics (and all identities period) is terrible.

            Meaning that all nation-states should be ~95% monocultures, or otherwise use a system of disenfranchisement and/or considerable control over free expression?

          • Aapje says:

            I certainly heard some people argue: I prefer to vote for my ideals, but if you are going to make it a choice to discriminate against me or in favor of me, I’ll pick in favor of me.

          • Urstoff says:

            Meaning that all nation-states should be ~95% monocultures, or otherwise use a system of disenfranchisement and/or considerable control over free expression?

            No, meaning that people should recognize that each individual is a very complex set of preferences, behaviors, interests, anxieties, etc., and adopting an identity is just a way to great a poisonous ingroup/outgroup dynamic.

      • alfredthenotsogreat says:

        Could you link to such a thing, or perhaps explain what that would mean? Not being USian, I don’t actually know what ‘voting like a minority group’ means (as opposed to voting like any other group).

        I ask not necessarily because I don’t think that’s right, but because it sounds too much like something I would want to believe: that identity politics have thoroughly backfired, in such a predictable way.

        • Randy M says:

          Steve Sailer could probably recommend something he’s written on the topic.
          Or, look at the fraction of the vote of minority groups the Democrats get. Ask yourself if you think they do it because the Democrats have the best policies for all Americans, or for their group. Then ask, what if the white males did the same?

          • Spookykou says:

            I have a hard time imagining any significant number of Americans vote based on a good understanding of policy and how it will impact their life.

            I assume the ‘vote like a minority’ is saying they are voting like a solid coalition, and in larger numbers.

          • Randy M says:

            Yeah, I was trying to imply that.
            But why/how would an entire (or 90+%) ethnic block vote the same way?

          • Wander says:

            Because ethnicity is closely bound with culture and basically every other part of someone’s life. Issues and concerns relating to one person are likely to relate to everyone else in their circle, which is generally the same ethnicity as them (outside of metropolitan centres, which is another story).

        • keranih says:

          An attempt at an explaination:

          At about 12 to 35-40% of a given population, a group is large enough to self-segregate and self-identify as “minority group A” rather than as “slightly odd individual members of majority group”. At this level, though, they can’t swing a vote on their own, and if they heavily identify as Group A, they are likely to repel majority group members who would join w/them. As a result they are a permanent minority – large enough to enforce their own rules internally, too small to enforce their rules on the larger society. It makes for frustrated and unhappy people.

          Members of the majority group can afford to be generous and accepting towards fractional, <10% groups, because those numbers are never going to matter. At the larger numbers, though, Group A is contentious and unrestful, and resented.

          African-Americans are, nationally, at the lower margin of effect, but tend to cluster in areas where they are locally majorities. They are slipping in overall percentage, though, while Hispanics are increasing, as are Asian and other non-Caucasian ethnic groups. We are heading towards a time when all groups are in the 12-40% range, which is going to be…contintious, unless a common culture can be fabricated between one or more groups.

          Right now, some activist groups are attempting to forge a common cause between AA & Hispanic cultures, with some success on college campus & courts, but with much less on the street. OTOH, there is reason to suspect that the whole mess is only stable and wealthy because of the impact of the Caucasian WASP culture, and as that declines, so does the hope for government by, for, and of the people.

          • Winter Shaker says:

            Assuming this population threshold effect is a real thing, what would be the effect of a vast wave of intermarriage, so that the overwhelming majority of the population a few generations hence had ancestry from all the current large racial groups?

            A lot of Latin America, as far as I can tell, is populated mostly by people with strong fractions of both European and indigenous (and in the case of Brazil, also African) ancestry, and while those societies have their problems, we don’t seem to hear much these days about discord associated particularly with racial resentment. Though that could be because I just plain get less news than I do from the US, being based in the UK … where, as it happens, we haven’t had any specifically Saxon-vs-Norman hostility in a long time 🙂

            And assuming that large amounts of intermarriage would actually serve to form a large enough ‘mestizo’ culture to significantly tamp down on racial tensions, how might a society go about incentivising that?

          • dndnrsn says:

            12% seems far too high. There are several minority groups that make up a lower % of the population than that.

  16. ADifferentAnonymous says:

    Assuming that one is convinced Trump is awful, does leaving the country make sense? How does it depend on what kind of awful one expects?

    I think it makes sense if you expect Trump’s America to be an actively evil player on the world stage: even with dual citizenship you can mostly avoid US tax (depending on a few things); the surplus of all your transactions basically accrues to the nation they take place in; and being in the country gives the government more hypothetical access to your resources in extremis, further bolstering its international power.

    If you’re mostly worried about domestic policy harming your fellow citizens, all you get by leaving is a costly signal of protest… Worth something, but I kinda doubt it’s worth a lot.

    Of course, if you think Trump is going to harm you personally, the case for leaving is pretty clear.

    • FacelessCraven says:

      Speaking as someone who fled the US for Canada under Bush, it was probably the worst decision of my life. The biggest threat ordinary Americans face from politics is buying into the drama and doing something disastrously stupid as a result.

      • Matt M says:

        Out of morbid curiosity, why was it a bad decision?

        • FacelessCraven says:

          It massively disrupted my life, postponed my starting a career, delayed my accumulation of savings by about a decade, and cost me a massive amount of time with people I care a lot about, all in the hope of avoiding a variety of dire scenarios that never had a snowball’s chance of actually happening.

          • Matt M says:

            Do you mind if I quote this (anonymously) and show it to friends?

            Edit: Also, what was the #1 thing you were afraid of, if you don’t mind discussing it…

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Go right ahead. My primary function in life is to serve as a cautionary example. If they have any questions, feel free to send them my way.

            “Also, what was the #1 thing you were afraid of, if you don’t mind discussing it…”

            Bush suspending the constitution, probably under the pretext of a nuclear false flag attack, re-instituting the draft and widening iraq/afghanistan into a general Mideast war.

    • BBA says:

      This is no time to quit. This is our country, dammit! I was born here, and I was raised here, and dad gum it, I am gonna die here, and no sidewindin’ bushwackin’, hornswagglin’ cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter! …sorry, slipped into frontier gibberish for a minute there, but the point stands.

    • keranih says:

      Hon, where you gonna go?

      It’s not just about the personal upsides of leaving, it’s about the downsides of going somewhere else as well.

      (I do find it striking, the number of people who want to move to Canada or Spain, but who decline to shift south of the border. That’s…interesting. Like, maybe they don’t want to live next to Mexicans or something.)

      Frankly, most places that one would want to go, won’t take you, and their immigration police are more efficient than ours.

      As you say, if one thought that Trump was going to hunt down one-eyed, one-horned, purple-people-eaters, and one was a people-eater of any color or eyeball count, then certainly flight would be in order(*). But having lived through the hysteria of both the 2004 and the 2008 election, I am dubious of the comparative merits of other nations.

      (*) I was taught that if one looked at the history of most locations of the world, at the county level, it was quite rare to find an area with a 70 year span of peace and tranquility. In other words, one should live ones life being prepared to unass your home – even for a short weather driven period – at short notice at least once, and to plan on having even odds of losing everything. Such, I was told, was how the world turns.

      I think the odds have gotten much better since WWII. Not sure how much the decline of Pax Americana is going to impact that calculation.

  17. rlms says:

    Election predictions that were wrong:
    Clinton would win.
    Trump would win in a landslide.
    Johnson would poll at above 5%.
    Clinton supporters would be violent following a Trump victory (at least, wrong at this time).

    • paulmbrinkley says:

      According to Deiseach, calls for assassinations have occurred. That was seen on Tumblr, though; someone over there calls for assassinations often enough that I think they schedule bingo games around it.

      • rlms says:

        Calls for assassination are very different from actual assassination attempts.

        • Anonymous says:

          These youngsters, so impatient.

          He hasn’t even gotten to move into the White House yet! Do you realize how much of a bother it is to set up a political assassination that doesn’t lead straight back to you? You need at least a few levels of separation and people not knowing who they work for, and to find someone crazy enough to take the suicidal mission too.

      • Iain says:

        On one side you have randoms on Twitter and Tumblr calling for assassination; on the other hand, you have speakers at Trump rallies fantasizing about Hillary’s death and this lovely little nugget from the top of the ticket:

        If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.

        Glass houses, and all that.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          People are scum.

          Calls for Secession and assassination don’t prove that Blue Tribe were evil all along. They prove that we’re really not so different from each other after all.

          • Iain says:

            Agree and disagree.

            I agree that there are scummy people on both sides. My (admittedly biased) impression is that, while both sides will spout violent rhetoric, the Republicans have a worse habit of electing their violent nutjobs to office. See, for example, Joe Walsh. I’m not aware of any equivalent nonsense coming from elected Democratic officials.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Iain – “I’m not aware of any equivalent nonsense coming from elected Democratic officials.”

            I would take elected Democratic Officials saying they’re going to grab their muskets, over stuff like this.

            I do not think it particularly matters how you get to the point of having your supporters rioting in the streets and physically attacking people for their political opinions.

  18. haltingthoughts says:

    So apparently the emDrive works (again?)? Why is it special? Isn’t a flashlight also a reactionless drive? Doesn’t mass-energy equivalence mean that you can run a spaceship on electricity/energy instead of mass?

    I guess I feel like I’m missing something here.

    • Andrew G. says:

      A flashlight is a reaction drive; the photons emitted have mass. It obeys conservation of momentum.

      A flashlight emitting a 300 kW perfectly collimated light beam would exert a force of 1 milliNewton, and lose 3.3 picograms of mass per second. (You can get twice the thrust by keeping the flashlight stationary and reflecting it off the spaceship, since reflection is double the momentum change compared to emission or absorption.)

      The latest emDrive claim is for 1.2 milliNewtons of thrust at one kilowatt, so that’s 360 times more than simple photon emission could account for.

    • bean says:

      EmDrive, if it works, is supposed to be much, much more efficient than a photon drive, to the point where we could more or less hook it up to current-generation power systems and it would be useful. Of course, almost certainly it doesn’t work.

  19. sflicht says:

    There was a short moment in March when the dominant media narrative about Trump involved testimonies from former employees about his micromanagement.

    It strikes me that we probably have not had a (policy) micromanager in the Oval Office in a long time. (I specify policy because actually running the government is what I care more about than political machinations, for the most part, and political micromanagement is probably more common.)

    Obama is famously “aloof”; the main arena in which he is known for breaking with the policy preferences of his closest advisors is foreign policy, where (at least after Libya) he felt the need to act as a restraining force against Clinton and Kerry’s more interventionist instincts. But I don’t think this ever crossed the threshold into micromanagement.

    Bush II’s administration actually had some problems arguably directly attributable to micromanagement, but probably more accurately described as “mismanagement”. I’m thinking of allegations of “stovepiping” of intelligence in the run-up to Iraq, and to FEMA’s role in the Katrina response. But in both cases the management errors weren’t actually Dubya’s, but his appointees’ (Cheney, Brown).

    I can’t attest to Bill Clinton’s management style since I was too young to be paying attention at the time. But my working model for the Clinton administration is that it was a more lurid and politically compromised version of Jed Bartlett’s White House. (As in, I expect Sorkin did research for the West Wing by talking to Clinton staffers.) Bartlett had some micromanaging tendencies with regard to economic policy and the conduct of direct diplomacy with foreign leaders. The first was an endearing character flaw that I expect Sorkin made up completely. The latter might have been an expedient of the medium, since real diplomacy is probably too boring for TV.

    I’m sure we have had presidents who, in certain areas, felt free to tell their senior advisors “I know how to do your job better than you do and here is exactly how you’re screwing up”. Such feedback wouldn’t be weird, for example, coming from George H. W. Bush to his Director of National Intelligence, or from Eisenhower to his Secretary of Defense. It would be at least a little weird coming from Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton to any of their policy (as opposed to political) advisors.

    Now Trump is an interesting case. In real estate, he could credibly claim expertise in “what sells”, for example, that even a highly skilled architect under his employ might lack. So his micromanaging tendencies, if real, might have been quite valuable. As president, he probably *does* have policy-relevant business experience — for example in negotiation, or corporate tax policies, or getting infrastructure built on time and under budget, etc. — which could inform not just his agenda but lower level aspects of how best to implement it. “Micromanagement” (i.e. his getting directly involved rather than just setting broad goals) in these areas could actually be helpful, at least if you share his objectives. OTOH we have to hope he’s smart enough not to micromanage, pointy-haired boss style, in areas where he has little value to add, like, say, setting monetary policy.

    • FacelessCraven says:

      what is your case for the desirability and/or efficacy of expert opinion in national policy? What have the experts achieved in your lifetime?

      • sflicht says:

        I actually have almost no positive case for that. I was privileging it as a null hypothesis mostly for the sake of argument.

    • shakeddown says:

      Bartlett had some micromanaging tendencies with regard to economic policy and the conduct of direct diplomacy with foreign leaders. The first was an endearing character flaw that I expect Sorkin made up completely.

      Was it a character flaw? Bartlett was a nobel prize winning economist, presumably he had the domain expertise to do this.

      • sflicht says:

        Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning economist. Need I say more?

        • shakeddown says:

          Krugman’s actual economic predictions (putting aside his political rants) tend to be pretty spot-on (he predicted the short-term impact of brexit pretty accurately, for example). I’d trust him micromanaging economics, if not on much else in government.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Yes? You can say “qualifications are untrustworthy”, but then it’s not clear who you expect to be more qualified.

    • Brad says:

      I can’t attest to Bill Clinton’s management style since I was too young to be paying attention at the time.

      Bill Clinton had a reputation a micromanager. Stories came out about him staying up until all hours of the night discussing arcane policy details with relatively low level staffers. This was eventually contrasted with GWB’s more hands off approach and there was some debate about the pros and cons of each.

  20. Wander says:

    I said it in the other thread as well, but I find the responses of supposed non-partisians quite interesting. A lot of people who had been very relaxed and unwilling to say much about the election have suddenly come out as quite extremely against Trump. Lots of people were apparently trying to give off the image of them being above such things, but secretly just wanted and expected Clinton to win. I’ve definitely seen this among some of the few rationalists I interact with. The rules against arguing with emotion seem to have been dropped in some cases.

    • sflicht says:

      Opposite of my experience. I see a lot of barely concealed glee among libertarian Johnson-voters like myself who were able to use their third party vote to avoid having to confront the socially undesirable fact that Trump was their second choice. Personally I couldn’t have lived with myself if I’d voted for Clinton. Probably if the L.P. hadn’t nominated anyone I would have either stayed home or filed a protest vote (reluctantly) for Egg McMuffin. But in my heart of hearts, gun to the head, Trump v. Clinton, I’d have voted for Trump every time, and I feel pleased by the outcome.

      • blacktrance says:

        I know almost no libertarians for whom Trump was their second choice. In my libertarian social circles, by far the most common sentiment was “Johnson is obviously the best, so if you’re going to vote, vote for him, but Clinton is definitely better than Trump”, followed by “Johnson would be the best if he had a chance, but since he doesn’t, you should strategically vote for Clinton”, with a few “Trump is more libertarian than Johnson” from alt-right types.

        • Incurian says:

          My small circle of libertarian friends is excited at the prospect of having a wildly unpopular president, on the theory that it will lead to a scaling back of the executive branch.

        • Trofim_Lysenko says:

          I wouldn’t ever have voted for him and have voted Libertarian pretty consistently recently, but I consider him getting elected president less catastrophically bad than Hilary getting elected president. I’m not exactly a truly doctrinaire Libertarian though. I’ve voted Reform Party before when there was no libertarian on the ballot, and would probably have voted for someone like Barry Goldwater in a heartbeat if I’d been alive when he was active in politics, possibly even if he was running against a Doctrinaire Libertarian Party candidate.

      • Winter Shaker says:

        a protest vote (reluctantly) for Egg McMuffin

        Is that a jokey garbling of ‘Evan McMullin’, or is that an actual well-known idiom in the US for writing in a non-candidate as a protest vote?

      • orangecat says:

        I see a lot of barely concealed glee among libertarian Johnson-voters like myself who were able to use their third party vote to avoid having to confront the socially undesirable fact that Trump was their second choice.

        Being in a non-swing state I gladly voted Johnson. If I had to choose between Clinton and Trump, I would probably go for Clinton and then take a shower and donate to Reason and FIRE. Nevertheless I’m getting immense schadenfreude from the hysterical reactions by the left, so for the moment I’m happier than I would have been had Clinton won.

    • Schibes says:

      A lot of people who had been very relaxed and unwilling to say much about the election have suddenly come out as quite extremely against Trump. Lots of people were apparently trying to give off the image of them being above such things, but secretly just wanted and expected Clinton to win.

      This describes me to a certain extent. After putting my faith in the polls (they were right in 2012, remember?) I felt “safe” voting my conscience for Johnson yesterday. Such arrogance! To my complete horror, very shortly thereafter Clinton lost my Rust Belt swing state, and closely enough that the absence of Johnson and Stein from the ballot could have easily flipped the state to her.

      If America enters a new depression or starts another stupid war under Trump, you’ve got me to thank for it in some very small part. It’s nice to see that there does seem to be a good deal of faith among the commenters here that he is going to (somehow be forced to?) learn some modicum of restraint once he is inaugurated, and that these horrors will never become real. I wish I could share in that feeling with you. After yesterday though, I think I’m done with faith for a little while.

      • Alex Zavoluk says:

        ” the absence of Johnson and Stein from the ballot could have easily flipped the state to her.”

        My impression of most polls was that Johnson seemed to be drawing from both candidates roughly equally (though those were the same polls that predicted Clinton winning). Stein is mostly a leftist candidate, but also significantly smaller even than Johnson.

        My impression is that libertarians tend to be former Republicans more often than former Democrats, and there was a notable “neverTrump” movement among Republicans which probably resulted in more Johnson (and Clinton) voters than the democrats who disliked Clinton (it looks like they mostly stayed home).

        • Alex Zavoluk says:

          According to the data I saw today, only one state (Michigan) could have been flipped if Johnson and Stein weren’t on the ballot, and that would not have been enough electoral votes. The breakdown was something like: 25% of Johnson and Stein voters going to Clinton, 15% to Trump, rest not voting (if GJ+JS weren’t on the ballot). Which highlights the real issue: turnout was atrocious. Trump won with something like a million fewer votes than Romney got! If the dems had managed to find a candidate who wasn’t so awful, and hadn’t so blatantly tried to corrupt the whole process, they could have won easily.

          • hlynkacg says:

            If the dems had managed to find a candidate who wasn’t so awful, and hadn’t so blatantly tried to corrupt the whole process, they could have won easily.

            I agree completely.

            As an aside, I was actually quite pleased when Webb announced his intention to run and would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat had he been the DNC’s nominee.

          • Schibes says:

            [I] would’ve voted for [Jim Webb] in a heartbeat had he been the DNC’s nominee.

            Wow, Jim Webb, there’s a name I haven’t heard in a few months. And yeah, I would have been really happy to vote for him on Tuesday too. Check out this unintentionally poignant New Republic article about Webb from last year if you have a few minutes. The author has Webb framed as a “ghost”, a total has-been, a relic of some bygone era inside the Democratic Party that vanished with the rise of Obama. But now, when re-read through the lens of this week’s news and the Brand New Conventional Wisdom Und Weltanschauung of America under President-Elect Trump, it gives Webb an eerie sort of Jeremiah/Cassandra doomsayers’ vibe.

  21. DrBeat says:

    Let’s forget about that divisive voting conflict by making a new one.

    Kefka or Sephiroth?

  22. max says:

    What should be done to ensure that the opposition to Donald Trump takes the form of sane, kind, liberalism and left-libertarianism, and not reactionary hard-leftism and leftist populism? In Britain the center-left lost an election and then they got Jeremey Corbyn and Brexit.

    Is there any way we can avoid that here, or is it inevitable?

    • sflicht says:

      I think you’re fundamentally misreading the politics of the situation, in a manner I’m having a hard time pinning down. It seems somehow inevitable to me that the Democrats will veer hard left and populist. And the notion that “left-libertarianism” (in the sense of Will Wilkinson or people who proudly call themselves neoliberal) is a coherent ideology still strikes me as absurd, and I think Trump’s victory is evidence for not against this proposition.

      Maybe I’ll feel differently in a few days, who knows.

      • max says:

        I agree that a hard left or at least very populist veer seems inevitable. I just think that’s a pretty bad thing and would rather the existing center-left coalition in the U.S. not move ideologically, even if it didn’t win the election this time around.

        Is there a message that wins votes that includes things like climate change acceptance and liberal supreme court justices but not Bernie Sanders-style “Lock up the crooks on wall street” rhetoric?

        Edit: note this is a real, non-rhetorical question I’m wondering about. I suspect the answer is “no” though? HRC tried identity politics instead of economic populism and that didn’t seem to work against literally the perfect target.

        • sflicht says:

          I consider myself a pretty well-informed, scientifically literate lukewarmist. I have read large parts of various IPCC reports. I understand the concepts of equilibrium climate sensitivity, transient climate response, etc. I know what parts of climate change science go back to Arrhenius and what parts are based on general circulation models. I can tell you that unless and until “climate change acceptance” means something other than “acquiescence to a fairly radical, ‘progressive’ interpretation of the scientifically robust conclusions from publicly vetted research programs with verifiable predictive skill and the robust, evidence-based, policy-relevant consequences thereof”, there will be a surprisingly (to progressives) large number of people like myself who will object to any agenda that requires “climate change acceptance” and pretends to speak on behalf of “science” or the “reality-based community” against “deniers” and “Koch-funded conspiracy nuts in the pay of the oil sector”.

          • shakeddown says:

            You don’t have to accept those kind of politics to think that we need to do more about pollution and climate change than we are now, any more than you need to accept David Friedman style hardcore-libertarianism to think we should probably work harder on removing obstructive regulations.

          • sflicht says:

            @shakeddown: You might be correct, but insofar as argumentation over such issues is based primarily upon perspectives that are “out there in the zeitgeist”, a sensible Bayesian deduction is that either one side or the other is actually completely full of shit in terms of the fundamental justifications for their positions. (Since, after all, the two sides have fundamentally incompatible public perspectives on how empirical evidence supports their views.) I haven’t done the math, but I doubt that in such a situation one should “typically” conclude that some sort of weighted average of the extreme views on either side is (from a rationalist perspective) an optimal policy interpolation. More likely is that one side’s arguments overwhelm the other’s in terms of credibility.

            In my case, I’ve *definitely* revisited my views on global warming many times, simply because the “consensus” on the other side is so strong. I’ve updated based upon such reflection. But it is emphatically *not* necessarily rational to adopt “compromise” policy positions, or mean estimates of the 50-100 year impact of AGW, on the basis of such updating. Rather, such reflection has refined my sense of just how confident the Left would really need to be in its assessment of the scientific evidence for imminent CAGW, in order to justify its radical policy prescriptions. And in my view they’ve fallen far short of such thresholds.

          • John Schilling says:

            a sensible Bayesian deduction is that either one side or the other is actually completely full of shit in terms of the fundamental justifications for their positions.

            Both of them are completely full of shit in terms of the fundamental justifications for their positions. One of them just happens to gave stumbled onto the correct answer anyhow. And to include within its ranks a statistically insignificant number of good scientists and educated laymen who can reason their way to truth but not make their voices heard above the general din.

      • shakeddown says:

        It could go that way. But I’ve talked a lot to my ivy-league liberal friends over the last couple of days. And I’ve been surprised that most of them rejected identity politics and hard left populism, even those I thought would be super into that.
        I don’t know if my friends are more or less representative than the loud people on Tumblr. But there is a nontrivial chance that they are, that we get a moderate leftism focused on technocracy to oppose Trump.

        • sflicht says:

          Without replying to the content of your comment, I’d like to point out that “the lound people on Tumblr” is probably not a meaningful demographic. I don’t even know the relevant statistics and I’m still quite confident that Tumblr is down there with Twitter in terms of fundamentally not mattering at all as a meaningful social media platform. That is all.

          • shakeddown says:

            I meant to point it out as a stereotype for where I’ve seen the most hard-left populism, not a serious demographic. I don’t know where exactly the demographics of left-populism are – but my point was, they might surprise you, since a lot of the ivy-league liberals you’d expect to be in it aren’t.

          • sflicht says:

            I guess I find it… slightly unsurprising? … that smart people aren’t *deep down* as completely brainwashed as they are required to pretend because of social desirability bias.

            But my own experience in ivy-league academic settings was certainly that such forces are quite prevalent, one factor among many that led me to remove myself from such settings.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            The question isn’t whether Tumblr is a relevant social media platform, but whether it presents a representative sample of the american population. Given the apocalyptic response to the election, I think we have reason to believe that it’s a lot more representative than a lot of posters here would like to admit.

          • shakeddown says:

            Out of curiousity, which field were you in? I’m in math/cs, and it sounds like it’s worse in some of the humanities (especially is anything like gender studies).

          • sflicht says:

            I was in math, but I left academia in 2013.

          • Brad says:

            I’m still quite confident that Tumblr is down there with Twitter in terms of fundamentally not mattering at all as a meaningful social media platform.

            I like the way you phrased that. Tumblr is irrelevant, but at least everyone knows it is irrelevant. Twitter has this weird thing going for it where the media is absolutely in love with it and so likes to pretend that it is far more relevant than it is.

            When the media says “social media” they mean twitter. When almost anyone else says “social media” they mean facebook.

    • Well... says:

      What makes you so sure opposition to Donald Trump, from now until 2020, will take the form of liberalism/libertarianism at all? At least in ideological terms, I mean. In my opinion, the Trump White House’s likely policy outcomes will be much closer to liberalism than they will be to any kind of conservatism.

    • The Nybbler says:

      Sane, kind, liberalism has already lost in the political sphere to pure cynical cronyism, and in the marketplace of ideas to identity politics/SJWs. It’s already beaten. Before it can oppose Donald Trump, it needs to retake some territory on the left.

      Note that I’m speaking as the kind of hard-hearted right-libertarian the bleeding hearts warned you about. We don’t have much territory either.

  23. Acedia says:

    A majority (53%) of white women voted for Trump, along with 42% of all women. Fascinating. Idpol campaigning really didn’t work at all.

    • Matt M says:

      I’m sure they’ll learn from this and never try it again.

    • sflicht says:

      There’s a wealth of Heartiste interpretations of that result to explore. I don’t think I buy those. But there’s a slightly softened albeit still redpill, Milo-esque view somewhere in there that’s probably closer to the truth. Some key elements probably involve

      * a fundamentally true component of the counter-feminist, Christina Hoff Summers narrative,
      * women identifying more strongly with their tribe than their sex, hence reacting negatively to vilification of the men they associate with,
      * a subconscious backlash against the cynical ways in which the Clinton campaign exploited feminism/women’s issues.

      To elaborate on the third point, if we see little or no hardhitting investigative journalism and followup lawsuits based upon the sexual harassment allegations against Trump, isn’t that tantamount to an admission that those were completely fabricated narratives, just as the alt-right media claims? The proof will be in the pudding. When Alicia Machado fades back into vaguely distasteful obscurity, will the MSM acknowledge that the whole ordeal was a cynical ploy, that the somewhat unseemly objectification inherent in beauty pageants should really be weighed against the entertainment value and self-affirmation that a not-insignificant portion of our country (male and female) finds in this strange slice of Americana?

      I could go on. Many times this cycle the media argued to women that *as* women they *must* vote against Trump. A lot of these arguments were dumb, in my view, so I see it as unsurprising that (at least in demographics with fewer supporting narratives) they failed to win overwhelming support. But I suppose only time will tell how the intelligentsia digests the narrative of women voters in 2016.

      • FacelessCraven says:

        @sflicht – “To elaborate on the third point, if we see little or no hardhitting investigative journalism and followup lawsuits based upon the sexual harassment allegations against Trump, isn’t that tantamount to an admission that those were completely fabricated narratives, just as the alt-right media claims?”

        And to add a bit of punch to this point, they should absolutely be followed up on. We’ve seen how hard the press can push a story when they want to; we saw it with the UVA rape hoax. If Trump is an actual rapist, I will be delighted to see him impeached.

        • Iain says:

          Most or all of the sexual assault allegations are past the statute of limitations at this point. Here’s a document summarizing the laws by state. (I think this is weak evidence in favor of the accusers. If you were going to make up a fake sexual assault, wouldn’t you claim that it happened recently enough to at least leave your options open?)

          • Randy M says:

            No! Think about it, if I was making it up, the last thing I would want is to be cross examined under oath. If I set the date before it is actionable, I get to say whatever I want without having to answer any hostile questions, and point out that the fact that I am unable to get “justice” is evidence of rape culture.

          • Iain says:

            No matter when you set the date of your pretend assault, Trump can always take you to court for slander. The only thing the statute of limitations affects is whether you yourself can threaten legal action.

          • Randy M says:

            And, if you are lying, you don’t want to be able to threaten that, unless you are able to manufacture convincing evidence.
            Trump doesn’t have to sue for slander (which takes time), he can say “Yeah, if you’re honest, take it to the police. Oh, not doing that? Guess you are lying.”

            If the accuser can say “I would, but I was too traumatized until I was able to heal, I just wish you didn’t have this statute of limitations to protect you!” that’s more convincing than “I would, but I’m too traumatized to go public with this, also, catch my interview on 60 minutes next Sunday”.

          • Iain says:

            I hope that you are equally confident in the ability of the justice system to weed out false accusations of rape in every other context.

          • Randy M says:

            That depends on what the goals are for the other accusations. Assuming I am trying to throw some dirt on a famous person at a critical moment, I’d do it in a way that wouldn’t logically compel me to bring criminal charges and face scrutiny in a court of law. (Though, this isn’t something I’m likely to do, so maybe I just don’t understand the motivations).

            If I was trying to hurt someone in another context, the incentives might be different. (Or I might be deluded, like the lass behind the Rolling Stone story)

      • shakeddown says:

        I think this is true in a sense. But those pleas weren’t completely ineffective – Trump lost women pretty hard compared to men (the gender gap was smaller than expected but still pretty damn big). So while those kind of attacks weren’t the knock-down arguments some liberals thought, they were reasonably effective at convincing a lot of women on the fence.

        • Matt M says:

          But relative to Obama/Romney he only did worse by a couple percentage points. So the “gender gap” is not logically explained by Trump’s unique personal idiosyncrasies or scandals. By all accounts Mitt Romney was a morally upstanding gentleman and women still voted for Obama over him in significant numbers.

          • Anonymous says:

            So far as I know, the gap is easily explained by Clinton being the more socialist candidate, and women tend to vote for socialism more than men.

          • Matt M says:

            Right, which goes against shakdeown’s assertion (and common wisdom) that Trump’s anti-woman remarks and behavior (rather than their natural political preference for Democrats) convinced women to note vote for him. There is no evidence this is true.

  24. shakeddown says:

    Colbert’s response was interesting.
    When he first moved to the late show, he mage a genuine attempt to avoid partisanship. And he managed that for a while (e.g., “Ted Cruz is my guest here, and I will not have him booed”.) And then Trump got the nomination, and he fell off the wagon pretty hard.
    But here he is, trying to put partisanship behind him. Trying to say that politics is the mind-killer and we shouldn’t let it get between us. And this is really him at his best, it reminds me why I used to enjoy watching his show.

    • Matt M says:

      Easy to say when your side loses. I wonder if he’d have been so gracious in victory…

      • shakeddown says:

        Maybe not. But being a bad loser is also pretty easy – I can’t remember any republicans acting like this when Obama won (though to be fair, I wasn’t following things closely back then).

        More to the point, when someone does something right, you should encourage them. It should be “thank you for making the right choice”, not dismissing them with “you’re just doing it because it’s easy”. A lot of people are scared right now, and may be vulnerable to shifting their views. We need to do as much as we can to reduce partisanship while we can. Not to mock people when they make overtures.

        • Matt M says:

          1. There ARE no Republicans who host talk shows that are ostensibly non-political in nature, so a comparison is not possible.

          2. I’m unconvinced this is someone really “doing something right” if it’s not genuine. I am questioning whether this is genuine. If he’s not being genuine – if deep down inside he really IS convinced Trump voters are irredeemable racists who must be defeated at all costs – I do not consider it morally good for him to go on TV and say otherwise.

          • shakeddown says:

            1. Bill O’reilly? Some more casual Fox show, maybe? Someone with a newspaper column?

            2. It seems pretty damn genuine, TBH.

          • Matt M says:

            O’Reilly and other fox shows (casual or not) are blatantly and unapologetically political in nature.

            And of course it seems genuine, he’s a professional actor.

            I don’t mean to be overly cynical, but the media (including this guy) basically spent the year shitting all over Trump and people who supported him, calling us the worst names and ascribing us the worst motivations imaginable. And now that they lost, they want to just say “whoops let’s make peace and get on with it”? They’re the schoolyard bully who beats up weaker kids until finally one of them stands up, gets the better of him, and starts beating him down only for him to immediately run off and hide behind the teacher.

          • beleester says:

            I’m disappointed that you think 2. Genuine or not, we shouldn’t witch-hunt people for private views if they aren’t affecting their public life. There are a ton of people on this site who fear that leftists will accuse them of thoughtcrimes for whatever right-wing beliefs they hold, and attacking Colbert because he might still secretly hold leftist views in private sounds like an exactly parallel situation.

          • hlynkacg says:

            I’m with shakedown on this one, when someone does something right, you should encourage them. It should be “thank you for making the right choice”, regardless of what you think their motivations are.

            @ Matt M, and pretty much any other “right leaning” commenters on this board…

            You don’t have to trust them, and you sure as hell don’t have to like them, but you should acknowledge them, when they do something right because that’s what niceness community and civilization requires of us.

            As I said to Deiseach in the other thread, I would like to avoid the scenario where “my side” turns into the same sort of smug asshats that I’ve spent the last decade complaining about. To that end let’s try to be a bit more gracious in victory than our erstwhile opponents have been towards us in the past.

    • Deiseach says:

      I know very little about Stephen Colbert, but I will always be sympathetically inclined to him because of this 🙂

  25. sflicht says:

    I was expressing this as a joke to my colleagues at work today, but upon reflection I am serious about it. Milo would be an extremely effective Press Secretary for President Trump.

  26. Zombielicious says:

    Something that is kind of apropos and interesting and 100% only obvious because of hindsight bias, is how incredibly poor strategy Scott’s arguments for a Clinton vote as the lesser evil were. I mean this community talks about Scott Adams and the effectiveness of appealing to emotion over complex logical reasoning, and the MSM has taken tons of well-deserved ridicule for thinking “she’s better qualified” would be a winning case for Clinton, but then the argument here fell into literally the exact same trap…

    Go back and read some of his best posts, like Outgroup and Untitled (chosen from memory as personal favorites), and these are great appeals against the groups being described – social justice is “literally Voldemort.” Read the one against voting for Trump and it’s that Clinton is the lower variance candidate? And I’m not just giving Scott a hard time here (seriously not intended as a personal attack, just those two posts), just that I totally missed the obvious at the time and now it seems like the most clearly ineffectual argument anyone could have made, in the same direction as, but even worse than, “she’s just more qualified.” Not that there were many better ones out there coming from the vaguely-LW-diaspora areas; from memory, the other S.A.’s and Terence Tao’s were basically “lol it’ll never happen, cheer if you agree with me.” EY’s was more of “you’re stupid if you don’t already know the obvious.” At least one mistake I didn’t see Scott Adams make – he’s wrong about the landslide victory, but dead on with the kinds of arguments people find appealing.

    But my point is that my loss of faith in most institutions is somewhat tempered by noticing that the most notable blogger of the “rationalism” community (as well as probably most of the other ones) fell into basically the same trap as the mainstream pundits who are getting lampooned for their obliviousness. And also myself for having completely failed to notice it at the time (like I said, obvious hindsight bias).

    I guess you can say it’s hard to make a great defense of supporting Clinton. But it’s not hard to make one against hating Donald Trump enough to vote against him either. I think it’s more likely it was just a complete failure by all above, mainstream pundits, rationality bloggers, and math geniuses alike, to actually pick the rational strategy for being convincing.

    Obvious counterargument in that the case for Trump being awful and scary was the basis of the entire Clinton campaign and it failed, but (hopefully this doesn’t need to be stated) I’m not really claiming that Scott threw the election for Trump either. I doubt SSC is popular enough with the approx. 4 million Democrats who apparently voted for Obama but didn’t show up for Clinton to have remotely come close to causing that – if anything this blog is just a minor data point in broader sociopolitical trends. But I think they were closer to being on the right track than the above people were, particularly the example here. It’s just that Trump made the same arguments about Clinton, and for whatever reason, they were more convincing (among the bajillion other factors that led to this outcome).

    • FacelessCraven says:

      I think you’re dead wrong about this.

      Scott’s posts, and particularly the comment threads they spawned, came the closest to getting me to stay home or vote for Hillary of anything I saw or heard the entire election cycle. They did an excellent job of engaging with my existing beliefs and caused me to stop and think. EY’s posts were laughably easy to dismiss; while I spent nearly 72 continuous hours engaging with Scott’s and spent the next two weeks deeply depressed and conflicted over the election. Ironically, during those three days of debate, the pro-Trump arguments did the most to make me want to vote against him, particularly the racial ones, and the pro-Hillary arguments did the most to make me want to vote for him.

      There are some holes you just can’t dig out of, and nominating Hillary over Bernie was one of them. “Literally Voldemort” isn’t the persuasive part of Untitled, the quotes and examples that back it up are. The punch just encapsulates them. Trump didn’t win because the punches against him couldn’t be properly encapsulated, he won because those punches got used up on all the wrong fights over the last two years, among other reasons.

      • Zombielicious says:

        Fair enough, I could be totally wrong. It just seems like the arguments made on here took the exact opposite strategy as anything remotely similar to the master persuader theory, or even most literature on persuasion, now that I think about it.

        The “literally Voldemort” thing was just exemplary because I didn’t want to quote extremely long posts and psychoanalyze them line by line. My point is that they’re very persuasive appeals on an emotional level – they’re funny, they make fun of people’s enemies without seeming vicious (Star Wars parallels, Michelle Obama’s lukewarm love of ‘murica, etc). They mix that stuff seemlessly with tons of evidence and illustrative examples to make the case. They’re incredibly persuasive which is why they’re repeatedly cited as examples of his best posts, compared to less referenced ones on the same topic. They’re examples of why people read SSC as opposed to any of the other thousands of blogs they could be spending their time on. The arguments for #NotTrump are not that, and when the best ones this blog has ever produced are so much more effective at showing her evils rather than Trump’s, they’d have extra work to do anyway to make a case that, no, she really is a lesser evil.

        And again, to try and emphasize that I’m not “darkly hinting” about anything, Trump’s election, for those who consider it a disaster, was truly a bipartisan fuck up that took the combined efforts of many different groups to accomplish, just as Clinton’s would have been. It just seems like, in retrospect, changing the minds of people who don’t already agree with you is hard (as your own comment shows), maybe usually impossible, and I’m looking back thinking how things that seemed good at the time weren’t really a different strategy from what 99% of newspaper editorials or beltway pundits tried, but just came from people I was already kind of predisposed to agree with anyway.

    • Mark says:

      According to the master persuader filter, fear is one of the better persuasion themes.

      I think the problem with fear and Trump is that Donald Trump isn’t very scary.

      If you try and turn me against someone using fear, you are going to have to be very subtle about it. Raise some suspicions. Declaring that he is a witch will only work if I already hate him.

      So, I think that Scott’s persuasion was good – it’s just that there were so many other people screaming that Trump was a witch, it made the whole thing easier to ignore.

      On the other hand, I found the “Clinton child abuse devil worshipper” stuff quite convincing. But I imagine that it would have just undermined more subtle attempts at persuasion if I was more inclined towards Clinton.

      So, key takeaway – you don’t want to make an argument with some theme, where other people are making stupid (or too extreme) arguments using that same theme.

      Or maybe you want to really emphasise that you reject the extreme parts: “There is lots of stuff going around about Clinton being a child abuser. That’s complete nonsense. She’s corrupt and secretive but what she is hiding is…”

      Then again, I think “high variance” is bad here.
      I would say, best argument against Trump is that there is no upside. He won’t improve the economy. Because he is the *same* as the establishment. So you have no upside, and a bit more risk on the downside.

      • nancylebovitz says:

        I’m seeing a lot of people (LGTB, Muslim, Latino, dependent on the ACA, probably not a complete list) *terrified* of a Trump presidency.

        • Deiseach says:

          I’m seeing, right now in my news feed, an “Irish Times” article with a list of (I’m tempted to say ‘the usual suspects’) nice middle-class professional women clutching their pearls and swooning over the dreadful prospect of the Trump presidency.

          And I’m thinking to myself “What the hell is it to them? Unless they’re all going to pack up to live and work in America in the morning, then it’s no skin off their nose. Are they afraid President Trump is going to fly over and hide under their beds to get them in the night?”

          It’s pure virtue-signalling as far as I can tell, so I’m going to take the “I’m a gay Latinx Muslim and I’m terrified I’ll be murdered in my bed” posts with a grain of salt as well. So far the only riots and protests I’ve seen have been the left refusing to accept the result. Remind me again how it was horrible and undemocratic and unthinkable if Trump and his supporters refused to acknowledge the election result or disrespected the President-Elect?

          • JulieK says:

            Remember, the Red Scare was unjustified, but the Redneck Scare is totally reasonable.

          • Deiseach says:

            Nancy, I’m remembering all the talk about Bush was going to refuse to hand over to Obama and he’d declare martial law and seize the presidency and invoke all kinds of special powers, because of course he would, he was Chimpy McHitler and the Republicans were the KKK and the Nazis and no way those white bigots would hand over power to a black man, the big scary bogeyman of right-wing fever dreams.

            So hearing all this “Trump’s victory has emboldened his supporters to run riot and he’s going to start rounding up the gays and the minorities in the morning” panicking – well, people may be genuinely fearful. And things have gotten worse and more polarised since Bush and Obama. But this level of scare-mongering is always out there at some level about a Republican president, in every election.

            Obama actually revved up deportations of illegals, but somehow that never gets touted in the “this time for sure, they’ll be dragging women and children away in chains” worrying. Will Trump put his money where his mouth is on this? If he does, he won’t be the only president to oversee a crackdown.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            I realize the left overreacted to Bush, and the right overreacted to Obama.

            I’m not even sure that Trump will deport more Hispanics than Obama did.

            I don’t think people are crazy to worry about an increase in hate crimes.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            If there’s one good lesson from this election, it’s that you should consider the other guy’s fears seriously.

            Their fears may be imagined or incorrect, but they will still act based on them. Telling them they are stupid and wrong will do the opposite of calming them down.

            Both sides should consider this carefully. Even if your opponents’ fears are completely in their heads, what can you do to ease them?

          • hlynkacg says:

            @ Edward Scizorhands

            Good point.

          • Mark says:

            Lots of these fears are engineered – and if you acknowledge, or pander to them, you make the strategy more appealing.

            My policy is to absolutely reject and ridicule baseless fears, in the hope that people will stop trying to generate them.

            Edit: The best way to prevent people from being scared of imaginary things is to provide a better story.

          • Asclepius' Viper says:

            @Mark

            But doesn’t a strategy of rejecting and ridiculing those fears have the side-effect of coming across as unfeeling and condescending towards the people who are afraid?

            Don’t get me wrong, I understand the utility of preventing engineered fear, this just seems a particularly ineffective vector to do so

          • Mark says:

            @Asclepius’ Viper

            Yeah, you’re probably right, though I think there might be a difference between ridiculing a fear and ridiculing a person. I suppose that distinction doesn’t really exist when the ideas you are mocking have become a central part of someone’s identity.

            I remember, a few years ago, I was convinced that the government was evil because they were running up the national debt. It really worried me – I just couldn’t understand how these incompetent wastrels could keep getting into power.

            Then someone remarked that I must also be against net private sector savings, if I was opposed to government debt. That was a big shock to me – I realised that I was basically just afraid of the word “debt” and that I (and many like me) had been manipulated into supporting policies implemented by a government with ulterior motives. I realised I had no understanding of the real issues (obviously there is a real debate to be had, but my fears were not based on those questions).

            But, yeah, ‘ridicule’ probably isn’t normally helpful and I would guess that very few fears are completely baseless.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          @Nancy – Of course their terrified. The question is, should they be?

          • nancylebovitz says:

            I wish I knew. I think Muslims and Hispanics have good reason to be worried. (If there’s mass deportation, I don’t expect it to be meticulous about who gets exiled.)

            People dependent on ACA have reason to be worried, though things were already starting to get bad for them. The pre-Trump combination of increased rates and increased subsidies made it very likely that more people would fall through the cracks.

            An increase of hate crimes is plausible.

            I’m not panicking, but this is about a mile from where I live. Fuck. I just knew about the vandalism on the wall. It’s been updated with vandalism on cars. I’m not quite panicking, but I’m not as calm as I was.

            A look at what Trump will actually be able to do.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @nancylebovitz – “I’m not panicking, but this is about a mile from where I live. ”

            …are you under the impression that is Trump Supporter graffiti?

            [EDIT] – “Trump rules” very well might be. I would be astonished if the Swastikas were, though. My prior is that’s blue tribers protesting the election of Literally Hitler.

            [EDIT EDIT] – looks like they have a suspect.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            Thanks for the update.

            It might be anti-Trump graffiti, but there are a lot of white supremicists who like Trump. I don’t think Trump especially hates black or Jews (not compared to how he feels about Muslims and Mexicans), but I think he’s solved some coordination problems for neo-Nazis.

          • Randy M says:

            nancy, Faceless has only challenged, not refuted, your evidence, but based on seeing recurring examples of hate hoaxes in the past, his challenge may well pan out; the nazi graffiti may well be either an anti Trump smear or a frame up.

            If it does turn out that way, however, inasmuch as it was evidence of danger from Trumpian nazis, do not use it as an opportunity to update in the “fake but accurate” direction.

        • The Nybbler says:

          And what exactly has Trump said against LGBT? He was against gay marriage (like most mainstream politicians at some time), but that issue’s effectively settled for a generation at least; the Supreme Court is not going to reverse itself liberal-to-conservative that quickly, because it wouldn’t be conservative. He’s opposed to the bathroom bills, which are a tempest in a toilet and are playing out at the state level anyway.

          Same for Latinos here legally; unless their fear is about it being harder to bring foreign family members in because of tight immigration policies, there’s no reason to believe Trump has anything against them.

          The ACA was dead either way. The massive increases of premiums doomed it. Whoever won was going to change it beyond recognition, though it would be styled something other than ‘repeal’ under Clinton (probably ‘reform’). There’s some hints in the wikileaks that Clinton people deliberately sabotaged attempts to control cost, BTW.

          Muslims (especially non-citizens, even if here legally) probably have a stronger case for fear. Mostly of being thrown out.

          • Stefan Drinic says:

            He’s opposed to the bathroom bills, which are a tempest in a toilet and are playing out at the state level anyway.

            I am this close to figuring out a way of DDOSing the blog just for this.

          • 2181425 says:

            Do you have a cite on the wikileaks emails on cost-control sabotage on ACA? I’ve not heard that.

            2 things I don’t understand that I keep seeing about the fear of a Trump planet are: the threat to LBGT folks and the threat to Jews. He had Peter Thiel as a major supporter and even had him speak at the RNC which seems like a pretty big deal. Trump’s son-in-law is Jewish and his daughter converted to be married in a Jewish ceremony (per wiki). I’m no expert, but these hardly seem like convincing datapoints that he would be anti-gay and anti-semitic. Am I missing something?

          • Jiro says:

            He had Peter Thiel as a major supporter

            In politics, being a member of class X often means “being a member of class X and having the correct political beliefs”, so Peter Thiel doesn’t count as a homosexual for the same reason that Republicans with dark skin color don’t count as black people.

          • Randy M says:

            Debbie, it’s no secret that I have been singlehandedly undermining all
            efforts to cut the cost of health care in America.

            That does not sound like something said in sincerity.

          • 2181425 says:

            Thanks for the link, is there more than that? That seems to me to be more of a tongue-in-cheek “I’ve been in the hospital a lot racking up bills” than a sinister plot. Not sure who he is, but a possible hit Richard C. Leone died of prostate cancer the year following that email so it could be the same guy. I’d have to see more evidence than that.

          • Iain says:

            There are a number of anti-LGBT groups who are pretty excited about the Trump win: here, for example, is NOM’s press release, which predicts the reversal of Obergefell and the repeal of a number of Obama’s pro-LGBT executive orders. To Trump’s credit, this is one issue where he hasn’t spent a lot of time pandering to the Republican base. I suspect that Trump will be mostly fine on LGB issues, and not abnormally rotten for trans people. (Mike Pence is pretty bad on LGBT issues, though.)

            For anti-Semitism: here’s a good example of the argument. He’s done a very good job of sending encouraging signals to avowed anti-Semites; whether or not he is personally anti-Semitic is to some extent beside the point.

          • 2181425 says:

            So “dogwhistles” and an anti-gay group was happier about him being elected than Hillary? Both of these seem like pretty weak tea though given the dramatic “fear for our lives” rhetoric I’ve seen from some quarters.

            As an aside, I don’t necessarily disagree on Pence, though I think the RFRA fight in Indiana was more of a failed attempt by him to pander to a socially conservative state than outright hostility.

          • The Nybbler says:

            @Iain

            That article is the kind of anti-Semitism article that makes accusations of anti-Semitism look stupid. So Trump attacks the #1 leftist millionaire bogeyman (George Soros), the Federal Reserve chair (Janet Yellin, who I didn’t know was Jewish), and the man who is the head of a bank whose name is a metonym for “evil banksters” (Goldman Sachs), and because those three people are Jewish, Trump is an anti-Semite?

            Note that Bill Clinton and President Obama are also bad guys in there (“disastrous trade deals”), but noting that would ruin the “He attacked Hillary Clinton and three Jews” storyline.

          • Iain says:

            I agree that Trump’s antisemitic dogwhistles are not directly life-threatening. But there are enough of them that it is unlikely to be a coincidence, and I hardly begrudge Jews the right to get a little bit antsy when the president-elect is playing footsie under the table with antisemites.

            In other words: I think there is room for legitimate concern. If you just want to complain about how the loudest elements of the Other Tribe are blowing that concern out of proportion, I don’t think that we have anything interesting to say to each other.

          • Daniel says:

            @The Nybbler

            That article is the kind of anti-Semitism article that makes accusations of anti-Semitism look stupid.

            I personally tend to agree. But please note that you’ve wrote this on the same thread where you mistook an obvious inside joke (turns out, a cancer victim’s self-deprecating humor) for admission of guilt. Sorry, but your critical reading skills are currently too damaged by partisanship. Correctly deciding what is a dog whistle and what isn’t is too hard in such a situation, please start with easier tasks like disproving conspiracy theories around Podesta emails.

        • Trofim_Lysenko says:

          I’ve been using it as a chance to discuss gun rights and responsible gun ownership. As in:

          If you are truly frightened that either A) private citizens emboldened by Trump’s win will engage in lawless violence against GLBT people ethnic minorities and the police can’t or won’t protect you or you fear that B) the EinsatzTrumpen are going to kick down your doors and start digging the mass graves, then maybe it’s time to DO something proactive about protecting your life and those of your loved ones. This is America, and there’s this little thing called the 2nd Amendment.

          There are plenty of gun stores out there happy to sell to you, and plenty of people who would be happy to teach you how to properly and safely employ them. Hell, I’ve volunteered to personally hit the range with them to teach basic AR-15 pattern safety and marksmansmanship, since that’s the main platform I know.

          EDIT: Although among the social circle of my friends, the liberals, progressives, and commies are already at least familiar with guns. In the broader circle where I’m making that suggestion in public forums to people I know casually online or in person, I’ve gotten mostly sneering and insults in return. Still, I figure it’s worth a shot, and sometimes the “Headology” method of dealing with anxieties and fears is more helpful than trying to reason them away.

          • BBA says:

            I’ve read that story before, and it ends with getting bombed by the Philadelphia Police. No thanks.

            (In all seriousness, I considered this, but where I live the gun laws are strict enough that it’s not worth the time and effort to get a rifle just to prove a point. If I lived in Vermont I might take you up on it. I hear Vermont is pretty this time of year…)

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @BBA – “I’ve read that story before, and it ends with getting bombed by the Philadelphia Police. No thanks.”

            This really isn’t the 50s-60s any more. The RKBA is your right too, and pretty much anywhere you live, a Mosin is going to be legal. If arming up makes you feel safer, and it very well might, arm the hell up. I trust democrats enough to not worry about actual death squads, and I’m pretty sure the police aren’t going to get away with murder the way they used to any more.

            One of the best things I saw at the BLM protest in Dallas was the BLM guy open-carrying an AR15.

          • Trofim_Lysenko says:

            @BBA

            If they legitimately believe that the death squads are coming for them with the passive blessing and/or active backing of the state, they have nothing to lose.

            That said, my point of view is that it’s an outreach thing. I think the people talking about being in fear for their lives and safety are overreacting in most cases. BUT, if they aren’t, then better they be able to protect themselves.

            And if they are overreacting, then maybe when things calm down we can have a few more liberals and progressives with a more nuanced view of firearm ownership and the individual right of self defense as separate from and prior to civil laws.

          • Brad says:

            I wonder if anyone ever told John Crawford III and Tamir Rice that the RKBA is their right too.

          • BBA says:

            @FC: I was making a joke about the MOVE bombing, which happened in 1985. You can substitute Ruby Ridge or Waco if you’d like.

            I’m fairly pro-gun for a left-liberal Jew, but even a Mosin requires a permit from the police here in NYC, and unless you’re a police officer yourself they’re pretty hard to come by. Besides which, I just don’t trust myself with a gun.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Brad – Someone should have; if they had, Rice in particular might still be alive.

            More generally, irresponsible and unaccountable policing is not an argument against RKBA. If you can’t trust your PDs to not shoot law-abiding black people if they, say, open-carried responsibly, guns are not your problem.

            [EDIT]
            @BBA – Yeah, I was thinking MOVE as well, but I got the decade wrong apparently. And yes, Waco and Ruby Ridge are much the same problem, but I’d like to think the authorities have gotten a little more cautious. The Bundy standoff involved less bloodshed, at least.

          • John Schilling says:

            In this context, having guns isn’t going to do you a damn bit of good. Once the Jack-Booted Stormtroopers(tm) come for you, if you pull a gun you’re dead. If they came for an innocent man wrongly accused, you’re a dead cop-killer nobody but the lunatic fringe cares about. If you win the first firefight, they’ll bring ten times as many stormtroopers for the second, plus armor and air support. If by some chance you manage to negotiate a surrender in the meantime, you’ll get a worse deal than you would have if you surrendered straight off. If you manage to actually escape before the second wave arrives, you’ll be hunted far more intensely than you would have been if you had ran early. Pulling a gun on the cops only ever makes things worse.

            For you. It does make it bloody expensive for the cops/stormtroopers to have come for you in the first place, in terms of both dead cops and bad press. It means that the next time they think about doing that, they will think twice about whether it is worth the cost. Even if they decide it is worth the cost, the need to send a full squad just to be safe, reduces the number of times they can do that sort of thing – and makes opsec more challenging, so it is more likely that some of the people they do go after will be able to bug out early.

            So your arsenal is either a waste of money or it gets you killed, but may save some other people from the same fate. Their arsenals may do the same for you. I won’t say this isn’t worth doing – but understand what you are getting into you go down that route.

      • Deiseach says:

        On the other hand, I found the “Clinton child abuse devil worshipper” stuff quite convincing.

        I thought that was pure tinfoil hat territory. The scariest thing there was that the Podesta brothers apparently are fans of an up-her-own-backside modern artist, which means paying huge sums of money for “art” that you wouldn’t otherwise put down on a muddy floor to wipe your feet on 🙂

        • Mark says:

          On one level, yes, absolutely.

          But, I spent the weekend reading r/The_Donald, and there was enough ambiguous stuff they’d turned up that it began to make me seriously worried about the prospect of Clinton winning.

          Like, they do worship Moloch out in the woods each year – Alex Jones filmed it. And sure, if I’ve got my sensible hat on, it’s just a bit of fun and games. But if you’re inclined to think ill of them, it can become something scary.

          Same with the ‘pizza’ emails and the spirit cooking. There are perfectly sensible explanations. But the sinister ones are pretty good, too. So we have the fact that they’re into weird occult rituals – all of a sudden the other stuff becomes more convincing.

          I saw this ‘documentary’ on youtube a few years ago called ‘Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told’. Basically, they said stuff like ‘Adolf Hitler won a medal in the war’ as if it was some kind of incredible revelation. But judging by the comments it *was* an incredible revelation for some people, people for whom the word ‘Hitler’ means ‘EVIL’ (just literally ‘Hitler’ is a synonym for ‘evil’.)
          Hearing a fact that contradicted their initial impression, a surprising fact like “Hitler won a medal”, or “Hitler was nice to dogs” made it really easy to convince them that whatever else you might say about Hitler (and the makers thought he was a great guy) was true.

          I think that’s how conspiracy theories start.

          • Deiseach says:

            The “pizza” emails sounded to me like the kind of dumb injoke that only those who were there when it originated understand, and to outsiders it’s meaningless or bizarre. It’s group bonding via stupid stuff, like memes 🙂

            The Spirit Cooking was just eye-rolling upper middle-class tomfoolery; “I’m a transgressive hard-hitting artist who challenges the comfortable mediocrity of bourgeois society with shock tactic performance art that utilises the power of taboo – oh hello, darling, you simply must come to my little dinner party so I can thank you for being so scrumptious to me!”

          • dndnrsn says:

            @Mark

            The whole “Podesta has a DARK SECRET, no wait, DARK SECRETS, plural” thing was pure confirmation bias. If someone took all your texts and emails, they could probably find stuff that could be spun to look sinister.

            The idea that there’s a super-secret clique of ultra-powerful child molesting Satanists (who use insecure email to communicate, codewords that can easily be deciphered by people on the internet, and drop hints as to their proclivities via the shops they frequent (I saw claims that the logos of restaurants they mentioned are symbols child molesters use to identify each other) and the art they buy…

            Why exactly would this shadowy netherworld of elites committing one of the most hated acts in the world advertise it, exactly?

            If it’s anything beyond some dumb in-joke, it’s coded references to drugs, illegal drug use being far more common than child molestation.

            I agree with Deiseach that the Abramovic stuff isn’t proof of some dark religious affiliation. It’s proof of Podesta having pretentious taste in paint-by-numbers oh-so-edgy performance art. Abramovic has a considerable ability to absorb pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, but she’s not an athlete or an actor, where those qualities are most positive. She’s honestly really boring.

            Also, how is it not common knowledge that Hitler was a decorated Great War veteran and fond of dogs?

          • Deiseach says:

            who use insecure email to communicate

            Excuse you, Hillary’s email was very secure so there were no problems about using it and anyone who says differently is a Trump supporter! What are you, some kind of FBI stooge? 😉

          • Mark says:

            “Also, how is it not common knowledge that Hitler was a decorated Great War veteran and fond of dogs?”

            Many people hate history.

          • Creutzer says:

            I’ve never heard of him being a war veteran, but that he was fond of dogs I’ve heard several times. People (in Europe?) like to make a point that someone can be very nice in a particular context and still be a complete monster.

          • dndnrsn says:

            I guess this must be typical mind fallacy. I definitely have more historical knowledge than the average. I guess I figured that “Hitler was a war veteran” was really basic, though. I am fairly certain I have seen it in high school textbooks and such.

            While it’s understandable that the average person nowadays hasn’t been exposed to period Nazi propaganda (which made a big deal of his decoration for front-line combat service, his being wounded, and that he was a common soldier – holding a rank equivalent to corporal at most, and probably something closer to a lance corporal type rank) pretty much every photo we have of him has him wearing his Iron Cross.

            I guess history should be better taught. “He won a medal in the previous war” is hardly a moral statement. Bravery is a morally neutral quality, by and large. It is weird to me to think that anyone could interpret “Hitler was a decorated WWI veteran” in a way that would seem like any sort of recommendation.

          • rlms says:

            I think that Hitler being a veteran is relatively common knowledge, on about the same level as other Hitler facts such as his vegetarianism and rejection from art school.

          • John Schilling says:

            I’ve never heard of him being a war veteran,

            Not just a war veteran, but a war hero of the highest order (at least on the record). Repeatedly wounded in action, repeatedly decorated for valor, including the approximate German equivalent to the US Medal of Honor.

            Served mostly as a regimental courier, so his heroic acts would have been in delivering messages through severe danger and adversity rather than direct combat with the enemy. But you can see how, for a common enlisted man, the sort of military career where you get to both demonstrate valor and hang around chatting with senior officers might be a stepping stone to a political career.

          • dndnrsn says:

            @John Schilling:

            The Iron Cross, 1st class, was not anywhere near the Medal of Honor.

            For one thing, the German military tended to give out medals for successful leadership and for bravery. Medals like the Pour le Merite (highest decoration in WWI) and the Knight’s Cross (higher version of the Iron Cross in WWII, with higher versions for multiple awards – someone would be issued the Knight’s Cross, then with Oak Leaves, then with Oak Leaves and Swords, etc) got awarded to military commanders who did not necessarily face personal danger, based on their performance as commanders. For officers, decoration was more or less required for advancement, with the corollary that decoration came along with advancement.

            For another, in WWII at least, the Germans were far more generous with awards in general – there were 7,000 unique recipients of the Knight’s Cross in WWII, versus under 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients over its entire history. This was due to their involvement in military advancement for officers, and for reasons of morale – they were giving out more Knight’s Crosses when the war was going disastrously than when they were winning major victories early on.

            An Iron Cross, 1st Class, was impressive, but over 200,000 were issued during the Great War. Hitler was also issued the 2nd Class, and over 5 million of those were issued during the war.

        • The original Mr. X says:

          I thought that was pure tinfoil hat territory.

          On the one hand, yes.

          On the other hand, I’d also have considered the idea of the Democrats setting up front organisations to try and subvert the Catholic Church to be “pure tinfoil hat territory”, were it not for the fact that some of the leaked e-mails showed that they were doing exactly that.

          • Deiseach says:

            Eh. The Catholic stuff was just par for the course; after Nancy Pelosi trying to teach the bishops Thomistic theology proving she was right about supporting abortion, I just shrug about the Dems and Catholicism 🙂

            The only thing I was surprised about was this:

            Podesta responded that the campaign had created the groups Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United “to organize for a moment like this.”

            That “Catholics United” and “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” were the same old left-leaning/progressive voices and faces calling for the same old concessions was nothing new, nor that they were in the tank for the Democrats.

            But that the Democrat campaign had set them up was surprising; not just encouraged them, stroked their egos or even bunged them a few quid, but created the “grassroots popular movement of ordinary Catholics who demand this progress” organisations out of whole cloth. Ah, well: the State is always trying to co-opt the Church in some form or other to fall in with its plans, whether the State is right, left or murky middle 🙂

          • The original Mr. X says:

            But that the Democrat campaign had set them up was surprising; not just encouraged them, stroked their egos or even bunged them a few quid, but created the “grassroots popular movement of ordinary Catholics who demand this progress” organisations out of whole cloth. Ah, well: the State is always trying to co-opt the Church in some form or other to fall in with its plans, whether the State is right, left or murky middle 🙂

            Well, the Dems have already shown themselves quite hostile to First Amendment freedom of religion stuff, so on the one hand it’s not that big of a surprise, at least in retrospect, that they’d do something like this. On the other hand, I do find it worrying, not to mention more than a little hypocritical — normally the Democrats are the ones pressing the panic button over “theocracy” and “people getting politics and religion mixed up”, and now here are some very high-profile Democrat operatives deliberately trying to turn a religious organisation into a wing of the Democratic party.

    • You speak as though there was a better argument they could have used, but don’t say what it was.

      You speak as though good arguments and convincing arguments are the same thing. But a good argument in the rationalist sense looks boring and incomprehensible to most people.

      You speak as though convincingness is just one thing, as though it is not the case that what convinces one person will not convince another.

    • Deiseach says:

      Read the one against voting for Trump and it’s that Clinton is the lower variance candidate?

      To be fair, that was the argument: “With Hillary, you know what you’ll get” and the answer was “Yes, and that’s exactly why I’m not voting for her” 🙂

    • BBA says:

      What good is an argument if nobody will listen to the speaker? (I addressed this to other other Scott, but it applies just as well here.)

    • ShemTealeaf says:

      I think it was an argument that was fairly well constructed to appeal to the kind of people who read this blog, if perhaps not the larger public. Speaking as someone who was no particular fan of either candidate, Scott’s piece definitely moved me toward the Clinton camp.

      Also, Scott may not have called Trump ‘literally Voldemort’, but being the higher variance candidate is a pretty strong condemnation if you’re talking about likelihood of causing a ‘major blow to world functionality’ or ‘World War III’.

    • Reasoner says:

      If you look at Scott Adams’ own essay written in support of Trump, it strikes me as essentially factual in nature.

    • Rebel with an Uncaused Cause says:

      I found it effective, but I agree that it’s not the sort of thing that plays well with a wider audience. It convinced me that Clinton was the one I feared less, although I wasn’t swayed enough to vote for her instead of Johnson.

  27. Well... says:

    For some reason, errors or better ways of saying something don’t pop out at me as well until after I see my writing in read-only form. I’ve noticed this is true not just in comments sections like this one but in other places too, such as on my blog, or even at work when I’m using Trello or Slack–platforms that allow you to go back and edit what you’ve written after you’ve already sent/posted it.

    But is it rude or antisocial to do this? Is it a form of “cheating”?

    I see other commenters here sometimes add postscripts that begin “Edit: …” as if it’s gentlemanly/sporting to make it clear that you didn’t manage to come up with whatever that thought was the first time. Am I misinterpreting?

    (And yes, I know sometimes what follows “Edit: …” is a response to a later comment that happens to be one level up in the hierarchy; I’m not talking about those instances.)

    • FacelessCraven says:

      My rule is editing is legit until someone posts a reply. if it’s a contentious argument, it’s better to use an edit tag to make it clear what’s being changed. Otherwise, the edit tag is useful for adding thoughts to a post while waiting for replies, rather than writing a new post entirely.

    • CatCube says:

      For whatever reason, the text box is harder to proofread than my actual post, so I’ll often discover typos or hanging sentences after hitting Post. If I notice it immediately, (with a few minutes or less) I’ll sometimes just make the corrections. Any more than that, I’ll usually make some sort of Edit acknowledgement, to avoid leaving somebody responding to the original post hanging.

    • nancylebovitz says:

      I think “Edited to add” is polite because it means that people aren’t left doubting their memory of the earlier version.

      • Brad says:

        Exactly. I really dislike going back and seeing an entirely different post without some sort of acknowledgment that there was a change. Even with acknowledgment I’d prefer an append only rule for substantive changes. And you can’t judge by no replies. Someone could be typing up a reply while you are making edits.

        Typos or minor wording changes are another matter, but there are posters that wipe out the whole post and start over.

    • Mark V Anderson says:

      I almost always change something after I post a comment. I really love the ability to do this. I don’t know why I don’t see the errors until after I hit post, but it constantly happens. But it is almost always a grammatical fix. I have never added the “Edit” piece. But I do my edits within a few minutes of my initial post. As far as I know, no one has seen my post before I change it, but how would I know? I don’t see the replies until after I make my change.

      Edit: But just for the heck of it I will try it this time. Nah, I like the other way better.

  28. arunbharatula says:

    I started a collaborative a directory of psychological skills from all disciplines.

    I want to create a comprehensive yet parsimonious list of things that can improve some desirable psychological dimension, whether or not they are psychological tools in and of themselves.

    Please comment on what to add or change so that I can improve it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1volqtmogP8fssih-m8cy_gbSf6l2Y3TtRR3O7erBGOw/edit?usp=sharing

    Thank you!

  29. nimim.k.m. says:

    What happened to the “Hide”-button? That was the most useful feature of the blog over e.g. Reddit or other blogs…

  30. Deiseach says:

    Oh, boy. I’m not American, not a Trump supporter, not a Republican, but reading this “New York Times” article, mmm-mmmm! Schadenfreude tastes so delicious! 🙂

    They have a rather sheepish “how did we get it so wrong?” article up, but this one is hilarious in hindsight: President Clinton’s first 100 days in office!

    She’ll have women as half her cabinet! She’ll be drinking buddies with Republicans (apparently she can put it away some, which is a surprise to me)! She’ll have a choice between “keeping her boot on the neck” of the demoralised and frazzled Republicans, or trying to get them to work on compromises with her! She’ll be able to do all kinds of everything via executive orders (yes, because that kind of precedent of autocracy is not at all liable to abuse or would not be an equally potent weapon in the hands of a non-Democrat president, amirite?)

    Deeply confident that she would perform better as the president than as a political candidate, Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook. From policy goals and personnel to her instinct for patiently cultivating the enemy, Mrs. Clinton thinks she would be a better dealmaker than President Obama if she finds willing partners on the other side.

    Oh yeah: I think we can all agree, “deeply confident” is the mot juste here for Hillary’s opinion of herself. I also get the impression there’s a lot of very, very disappointed Democratic party insiders who had their measuring tapes ready to buy new curtains for their swanky offices when they got the top jobs during the division of the spoils 🙂

    She hopes to reassure progressives with her executive actions, which would also include new protections for undocumented immigrant parents, as well as her personnel appointments. Having women make up half of her cabinet would be historic (in recent years, a quarter to a third of cabinet positions have been held by women), and Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch, the nation’s first black woman to be attorney general, who took office in April 2015.

    These Democrats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations with Mrs. Clinton and her advisers, said that Mr. Podesta, her campaign chairman, would have the right of first refusal on becoming her chief of staff, a job he held under Mr. Clinton. If he turns it down, Mrs. Clinton would look at appointing a woman to that job, which has been held only by men.

    “There’s that old saying, ‘Nothing about us without us,’” said Jennifer Granholm, a former Democratic governor of Michigan who supports Mrs. Clinton. “I mean, a woman as chief of staff, Treasury secretary, a woman at Defense — it would be incredible.” (Ms. Granholm is often mentioned as a possible cabinet pick for the Energy Department or another post, but she waved off a question about her interest.)

    • beleester says:

      Oh, boy. I’m not American, not a Trump supporter, not a Republican

      “I’m not a Trump supporter, I just spent this election cycle angrily posting about Clinton’s emails, accusing her of being arrogant and above-the-law, and mocking every comment about Trump as ‘left-wingers clutching their pearls and swooning’ because it was fun.”

      I get it, your favorite candidate won and you’re happy. But this constant stream of posts from you making fun of doomsaying left-wingers is really, really, getting on my nerves. There’s a difference between doing your victory lap and kicking someone while they’re down.

      (If you keep this up, I can start looking for Trump supporters who were frantically cleaning their guns as they saw the polls turn against them. But I’d rather not turn the post-election thread into a game of “Which side has the bigger lunatic fringe?”)

      • The original Mr. X says:

        But this constant stream of posts from you making fun of doomsaying left-wingers is really, really, getting on my nerves.

        Nobody’s forcing you to read them.

      • Deiseach says:

        I’m not a Trump supporter, I thought he was a terrible candidate and I think he’ll be a mediocre (at the very best) president who is not going to bring back jobs to the Rust Belt and change the trend of economic currents.

        But what I am is conservative, from a rural background. Like the half of America that was being written off as merely all bigots: Hillary’s deplorables, who were motivated solely by racism and xenophobia and sexism and hatred.

        Nobody took their concerns seriously, nobody wanted to look at why they had concerns, nobody cared. And then Trump came along and suddenly they had a voice. And all the reaction to it was that he was the natural fit for the white bigots, not that if the only person who was willing to listen to them was a loudmouth narcissist, any port will do in a storm.

        Hillary is not flawless, and it’s not sexism or trying to silence women or witch-hunting to point out the places where she’s weak or unappealing as a potential president (for one, I think she’s too hawkish on foreign policy and has maybe painted herself into a corner with Putin).

        But what really has annoyed me is the reaction: all the wailing and headless chickens running around, messaging each other about how it’s Kristalnacht all over again, how women/minorities/immigrants/LGBT are all going to die (not metaphorically, they literally mean ‘will be killed under his presidency by his supporters and the policies he enacts’) and how this is going to be the end of the world.

        It’s not. It’s going to be four more years of the same kind of thing. There will be some conservative gains, some progressive losses, a lot of fudge and compromise and muddling through.

        So yes, I’m going to mock the hysteria every where I see it. And I’m going to laugh at the thought leaders and opinion formers who couldn’t see two inches past their noses and had Hillary as President-Elect and were planning out her administration and actions from the moment she declared her intention to run.

        • Brad says:

          So yes, I’m going to mock the hysteria every where I see it.

          It’s not exactly brave to come to a conservative stronghold to mock people that annoy you in a liberal one. Why don’t you do your gloating on tumblr where the people you are mocking will actually see it?

        • Incurian says:

          FWIW, I think basically any level of gloating is both justified and hilarious. This comments section is not without its own melodramatic hysteria (though to be fair, with much less frothing at the mouth).

        • Stefan Drinic says:

          I’m going to mock the hysteria every where I see it.

          You’re being accused of explicitly not doing this, of only mocking it when your opponents get hysteric. Someone who mocks both side is someone easily amused, someone who ignores one is a soldier.

          • Deiseach says:

            Someone who mocks both side is someone easily amused, someone who ignores one is a soldier.

            Well, all I can say is that I was outraged when our Minister for Finance took the opportunity to do some arse-licking when Trump visited on the occasion of looking over his purchase of an Irish golf course, and I believe I mentioned that on here.

            I don’t go looking for Democratic party/left-wing over-reaction, but the point is that I don’t have to – it is so ubiquitous that even though I am not searching out people of a progressive viewpoint, I find myself associating with them anyhow online, and right now I have seen nothing but gloom, woe, misery and despair about Trump. Not even “Oh hell, we lost, okay let’s buckle down and rebuild” but posts about “here’s the suicide hotline numbers, please reblog”.

            Yes, seriously.

            So I either blow a gasket or I come on here and mock the worst of it, because otherwise I would be plunged into despair about the future of society and that we are a bunch of idiots who can’t see past the ends of our noses but fall into line for the partisan politics.

            As I said, if anyone on here wants to scoff about my own party (Fianna Fáil, God between us and all harm), go right ahead. They’re a craven, sell-the-gravestones-of-the-patriots bunch of no-hopers and chancers, so anything you say will probably be merited.

          • Stefan Drinic says:

            please reblog

            Sheeeeeesh, this is about tumblr? No wonder. You’re right, then; you don’t need to seek out dumb people on the left if that’s where you get your big fix o’ internet. If I were to idly browse /pol/ on off hours, I’d not need to seek out dumb people on the right either.

        • Incurian says:

          Did many national level conservative news reporters break down and cry on television when Obama was elected (serious question)?

          There is kind of a constant stream of hysteria from weird, extreme places all the time, but this hysteria seems to have infected a much broader and formerly respectable range of people aside from the usual crazies.

          If the answer to my question is “yes,” then I am mistaken and withdraw my second sentence.

          • hlynkacg says:

            A lot of people made fun of Speaker Boehner for crying on various occasions, but I don’t remember if Obama’s reelection made the list.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            It’s the upsets that, err, upset. Obama was expected to win, both times. Even if you didn’t like it, you knew it was coming and could tough it out.

      • Edward Scizorhands says:

        “I’m not a Trump supporter, I just spent this election cycle angrily posting about Clinton’s emails,

        I am going to miss the “you don’t like Clinton? You must watch Fox News / support Trump!” idiom not one bit.

        • The Nybbler says:

          As far as I can tell, Fox News was in fact the most “fair and balanced” of the mainstream media this time around, though that’s a low bar. The liberal MSM was basically part of the Clinton campaign (thank you Wikileaks). Breitbart was part of the Trump campaign (openly), but they’re less mainstream than the Huffington Post.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            As far as I can tell, Fox News was in fact the most “fair and balanced” of the mainstream media this time around, though that’s a low bar.

            Those were certainly some fair and balanced campaign infomercials Hannity did for Trump.

    • Mark V Anderson says:

      Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook. From policy goals and personnel to her instinct for patiently cultivating the enemy, Mrs. Clinton thinks she would be a better dealmaker than President Obama if she finds willing partners on the other side.

      Wow the NYT was starting the honeymoon even before the election. They should keep in mind what happens to this kind of promiscuity before marriage.

      I remember almost identical comments about the ability of the new president to be bi-partisan at the beginning of both the GW Bush and Obama terms. She would’ve had about the same chance as them.

  31. GS says:

    I just finished reading the post on “Somewhat against Psychiatric Conditions”

    While reading about Williams Syndrome, with the recent political events fresh in my mind, I wondered how different the world would be if we were all born with the same gene deletion. Everyone would be nicer and less mean to each other.

    But on thinking deeper, it seemed likely that there might have been some small groups in history who had this syndrome common in their gene pool. And they must have been wiped out as they were outcompeted for resources by either a mutant in their group or by cunning mutants in other groups (read: ‘normal humans of today’). Maybe the system does eventually settle to this ‘not overly friendly and slightly suspicuous/distrustful of others’ equilibrium.

    PS: Long time reader, and finally registered to make this comment. I tried commenting on the actual post but it seems like I couldn’t. Is there a policy on closing comments after a certain time has elapsed, or am I incompetent in finding response boxes?

    • hlynkacg says:

      First off, welcome to the party.

      With that out of the way, I’m not sure about the comment issue as the system was recently overhauled and I’m not quite sure how the update effects legacy posts. In regards to the body of your post, it seems like a solid logical theory to me, but I suspect someone will be along in a bit to dismiss it as a “just so story”.

    • Brad says:

      Re: old posts
      I seem to recall a post from Scott saying he closes them because long tail comments are overwhelmingly spammers.

      In any event, it is unlikely many people would see your response. The recommended way to engage with them is exactly what you’ve done here, post in the newest open thread.

    • jaimeastorga2000 says:

      Comment threads auto-close after a month to prevent spam. Standard etiquette if you want to discuss an old post is to make a post on the latest open thread, as you have done.

  32. nimim.k.m. says:

    Something else:

    Aftonbladet: Feminist Snow-Removal Does Not Work in Stockholm

    For this winter, the City of Stockholm introduced new, more “feminist” or “equal” snow clearing policy. This week there was a record-breaking November snowfall, and the whole city is currently described as “paralyzed”.

    • hlynkacg says:

      What the hell did I just read?

      • Deiseach says:

        Presumably this is to go with the feminist glaciers? Okay, the translated page said something along the lines that some party majority on the city council decided (1) women fall more often in snowy, slippy conditions than men because women walk/use public transport more and men drive (2) clearing the roads for cars, which gets done first, is privileging men over women (3) so instead, this time they gave priority to pedestrian walkways and bike paths.

        Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t get the feminism memo and there were severe snow falls in Stockholm which, with the new ‘clear the footpaths first but not the roads’ policy meant that everywhere was impassible and things ground to a halt.

        And this is how you make feminism, which at its basis is not ridiculous, into something stupid and inconvenient for everyone.

        • John Schilling says:

          Don’t the walkways and bike paths get cleared faster if you can expeditiously deploy truckloads of men(*) and machinery to the snow-covered walkways as needed?

          Yeah, yeah, focusing on logistics rather than optics and the right -isms, clear sign of STEM nerd thinking. Sorry.

          * Or women, theoretically.

        • fivemack says:

          What a very odd way of looking at the world, when they could just say they were prioritising pedestrians.

          “Clear the roads and the pedestrian walkways at the same time” makes a lot of sense; “take care not to clear snow from the roads onto the bike paths and pedestrian walkways” is common civility but might be worth codifying.

          I’d have expected Stockholm to be a rich cold city like Montreal and to have small battery- or propane-powered snow-clearing machines that drive along occupying and clearing half a pedestrian walkway.

      • nimim.k.m. says:

        >What the hell did I just read?

        Some genuine Börk Börk.

        In all seriousness, Daiseach’s summary is correct as far as I can tell (Swedish is my fourth language). However, as funny as this news is, I’m not sure how much the feminist policy is to blame, maybe they were unlucky that they got the snowfall of the century the precise same winter they changed their snow-removal strategy. On the other hand, while 30-40 cm of snow (most of it coming down in around or under 24 hrs) in November in Stockholm is exceptional, they were bound to have other snow-heavy winter months (January), anyway, so it boggles belief they couldn’t deal with it without a major transport chaos.

    • Brad says:

      Google translate is telling me that this new snow policy involved prioritizing the pedestrian and bike paths above automobile paths. Is that accurate?

    • The Nybbler says:

      A policy that’s crazy on two levels, that’s novel. Usually it’s zero, one, or infinity, right? First that the policy was terribad, second that it’s crazy to think it was somehow “feminist”.

    • nimim.k.m. says:

      Update. Dagens Nyheter: The city official responsible for snow removal, Daniel Helldén (of Miljöpartiet / Green Party), says that “pedestrian walkways and bike lines have not been cleared to the extent the priority order required”.

      A bit of understatement. Only thing missing is stating the problem clearly was that the policy was not feminist enough!

  33. Deiseach says:

    Never mind the election results, the real shock and fury is over the change to the Toblerone.

    American confectionery company Mondelez – why are you doing this to us? It’s undeniable that since they took over Cadburys, the taste of the chocolate has changed, and they keep introducing new flavours that are quirky but not as good as the old reliables.

    • fivemack says:

      And they didn’t even issue the press release in time to encourage bulk-buying; I happened to be in Tesco that very morning, and all the Toblerones there were already the 360g kind.

      The problem is that removing half the triangles means the bar now consists of half as many pieces each of twice the size, so if you eat it one piece at a time, which is the obviously psychically satisfying thing to do, it lasts half as long and you’ve eaten nausea-inducingly-much chocolate.

  34. Jaskologist says:

    Been kicking around several possible narratives for the Trump win. Not sure which is most likely, and it’s not like I correctly predicted it, so I’m interested in feedback, and maybe fleshing them out later.

    1. You meddle and you haven’t the right. Democrats have been pushing a lot of unpopular policies. Pushing a massive, and massively unpopular, thing like Obamacare through on a strict party-line vote (and using shady procedures at that) broke the system, and mobilized the opposition like nothing else could have. Without that, you don’t get the Tea Party, and you don’t get the subsequent Republican sweeps. When Obamacare didn’t work, the stimulus didn’t work, and the promised hope and change and transparency didn’t materialize, Democrats turned to SJ to prove to themselves that they were the good guys. This meant pushing gay marriage on everybody, picking fights with people over their bathrooms, and just generally lecturing everyone to their right. This was unpopular. Voters vote against unpopular things.

    2. SJW’s did it. They changed the rule of politics so that it was not safe to be on the losing side. Heck, Proposition 8 and Eich showed that it wasn’t even safe to be on the winning side, because the left would simply declare the vote null and void and then fire you. Evangelicals felt very uneasy about Trump for a number of reasons, and could have been split from him or convinced to stay home if it hadn’t been made very clear to them that if they didn’t hang together they would surely hang apart.

    3. Put your points into Charisma instead of Corruption next time. Hillary was basically the worst possible candidate that could have been chosen, corrupt in just about every way you could come up with. For every Trump scandal, she had something equivalent or worse; she couldn’t even hit him on treatment of women without looking like a hypocrite. She is unlikable. She has never managed to win a contested race. Anybody else would have won this.

    4. Nobody cares about all that. It’s the economy, stupid. That economy has been crappy, and Hillary was promising more of the same. Plus (and I suspect this is extra important) Obamacare hit a whole lot of people with huge rate increases (up to 80%!) a week or two before the election. Everybody had to know exactly who was responsible for that, and it had to be fresh in their minds when they entered the voting booth.

    • nancylebovitz says:

      There’s also the idea that America tends to not give the White House to the same party too many times in a row.

    • hlynkacg says:

      My personal sense is that it was mostly 1 and 4 that won Trump the primary, but it was 3 (along with Nancy’s observation above) that got him through the general.

    • Earthly Knight says:

      That economy has been crappy

      No, it hasn’t. Before attempting to explain what factors caused Trump’s election, it might help to have a picture of the nation that’s minimally grounded in reality. A better candidate for #4 is that vast numbers of rightists who should know better were somehow deluded into thinking the economy has been crappy, when, in fact, it has not. Trump’s incessant lying about unemployment probably contributed to this.

      • Iain says:

        538 had an interesting article about this today. There isn’t a clear correlation at the county level between Trump support and unemployment, but there is a significant correlation between Trump support and the percentage of “routine” jobs: “those in manufacturing, sales, clerical work and related occupations that are easier to automate or send offshore”. Part of that is clearly because they included farming as a routine job, but it’s the most compelling evidence I’ve seen so far for the “economic anxiety” hypothesis. More good data at the link.

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        Just as a minor point, near the election, I’d seen Hillary supporters say that the economy had come roaring back.

        There’s been a good bit of recovery, but “roaring back” is nonsense.

      • Jaskologist says:

        “When you talk about the economy we also have to have an honest assessment of unemployment in America. Once a month the government publishes a set of figures, and the last figures they published said that official unemployment was 5.4 percent.

        But there is another set of government statistics, and that the real unemployment if you include those people who have given up looking for work and the millions of others who are working part-time 20, 25 hours a week when they want to work full-time, when you all of that together, real unemployment is 10.5 percent.

        -Bernie Sanders, rightist, 2015

      • Earthly Knight says:

        “Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

        Ol’ Grab-‘Em-By-the-Pussy

    • Well... says:

      I don’t think it’s any of that.

      First, Trump is a recognizable figure.

      Second, he picked up the $100 bill lying on the sidewalk: immigration restriction.

      Third, he successfully convinced people that because he’s rich he isn’t in anyone else’s pocket.

      Fourth, he was good enough at smearing his opponents, recovering from their smears, and hogging the news cycle to win the primary.

      Fifth, he managed to consolidate support and start making himself look a little more serious. Hillary did some of the work too by insulting his supporters and being generally divisive and offputting. And the less-left talk shows (talk radio, Fox News, etc.) worked overtime to convince everyone that Hillary would bring the apocalypse.

      The economy (distinct from “jobs”), Obamacare, etc.–these were also-rans as far as influencing factors on the election.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      The maximally boring narrative: all the Republicans who voted for Romney voted for Trump too, because Republicans. All the Democrats who voted for Obama voted for Hillary, except some fraction of blacks who were just in it for Obama personally. That made the (tiny) difference that pushed Trump over the edge.

      I think the existing exit polls support this story, but I’m waiting on more data.

      • Trofim_Lysenko says:

        I was considering this as at least a partial explanation, but I’ll be surprised if it gains much traction as a public narrative or is pushed hard by democrats.

        One, suggesting that some people only voted for Obama because he was black is a very Republican thing to do, and thus unpopular/unpalatable even if this may provide evidence that it’s at least partially true.

        Two, the last thing democrats are going to want right now is to risk alienating an important voting bloc that they consider fully captured and “theirs” by making it look like they’re blaming that bloc for their recent failure.

        • Deiseach says:

          What is happening is that white women are getting a hefty share of the blame. Saying “Black people turned out to vote for Obama because, but they’re not going to make the same effort for a white woman” is – as you say – evil racist Republican victim blaming. They’re using the figure that 94% of black women and 84% of black men voted for Clinton, as well as 68% Latina women.

          But castigating white women because of the figure that 53% white women voted for Trump is going on briskly (as well as the circular firing squad about Sanders supporters; blaming third-party voters; invoking racism, sexism and homophobia). Plenty of white feminists happy to hop aboard the blame train and condemn other women for voting Trump.

      • Jaskologist says:

        The polls I’ve been seeing (and I haven’t reviewed them systematically yet) are showing both of them getting fewer total votes than their predecessors and Trump beating Romney’s numbers (percentage-wise) with both blacks and Hispanics, which seems like it undercuts that narrative. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some weird statistical trick that can make it all tie out.

        • Brad says:

          Percentage can be deceptive.

          Suppose there were 100 eligible black voters in the country. Romney got five and Obama got sixty. In that case it would be reported that Romney got 7.7% of the black vote. Now if Trump got those same five voters, but Clinton only got fifty, Trump got 9% of the black vote. That’s a higher percentage than Romney but doesn’t mean that he actually had more support.

          • keranih says:

            Anecdata time – I never personally met an anti-Obama African American, despite working in a relatively conservative field with a relatively high number of African Americans.

            (I know several who – had Romney or McCain been running against anyone else – would have readily supported the R ticket in 2008/2012. But I know no AAs who actually voted against Obama.)

            I met *multiple* African Americans *casually* who were out and proud for Trump. And several closer friends who “no way in hell I’m voting for that woman.”

            So, yes, I would *really* like to see the numbers.

      • It’s never as simple as that.

        (1) The population is churning, and only around half are showing up to vote in each election. At most around 80% of the people who voted in 2016 also voted in 2012. Probably it’s closer to 70%.

        (2) Moreover, among people who voted in both 2012 and 2016, probably less than half accurately recall what they did four years earlier: whether they voted at all, or who they voted for. That might seem ludicrous to the highly aware folks here, but most people think much less about politics than we do.

        (3) Polling that I cited in a recent thread found that an sizeable proportion of pre-identified strong Republicans voted for Clinton and other Democrats, and a sizeable proportion of pre-identified strong Democrats voted for Trump and other Republicans. The experienced pollster who revealed this to me had never seen this pattern before.

        (4) There are some articles about places like Ashtabula County, Ohio, largely white, which voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but for Trump in 2016. Meanwhile, in highly educated areas like my county, Trump’s vote was about the lowest ever seen for a Republican presidential nominee, lower than Romney and McCain and Dole, lower even than Goldwater.

        (5) Voter turnout across all communities varies from election to election. Some of that is affected by the candidates and campaigns, but most of it is not. Turnout does not correlate with the amount of money spent by campaigns. “Ground game” (generally called GOTV, for “get out the vote”) is worth a few extra votes, but a lot less than most people assume. Plus, GOTV is usually conducted in ineffective ways prescribed by political folklore.

        So, yes, the decline in voter participation in black areas was a factor in reducing Hillary’s vote. But the shifts among white voters involved far more people.

        See also this article which demonstrates that Republican efforts to minimize black turnout (strict ID laws, reducing polling places, and the like) are plainly NOT to blame for Clinton’s loss.

        • CatCube says:

          I’m interested in hearing more about the ground game/GOTV efforts and what folklore says. I never thought about it much, but I always had a vague idea of just making sure people were aware that the election was occurring, and providing literature and talking to likely voters for your side to ensure they made some time in their day to go to the polls. In some places, I understand they provide rides to polling places?

          What makes the current efforts ineffective, and can it be made more so?

          • I’m interested in hearing more about the ground game/GOTV efforts and what folklore says. I never thought about it much, but I always had a vague idea of just making sure people were aware that the election was occurring, and providing literature and talking to likely voters for your side to ensure they made some time in their day to go to the polls. In some places, I understand they provide rides to polling places?

            The folklore says there’s a certain way to do it. You find out who your supporters are (or you just assume that all these college students or black people or union members or poor people are your supporters), put their names on a list, have a pollwatcher check them off when they come to vote. And then, around 6:00 (polls close here at 8:00 pm), you go around to the ones who haven’t showed up yet, remind them that it’s election day, and maybe offer a ride to the polls.

            Well, that might work in a school board election or a village primary or something, but today, in even-year Novembers, EVERYBODY already KNOWS it’s election day, and if they haven’t voted by 6:00, they don’t wanna. Or maybe they moved away, since your lists are out of date. The six o’clock “vote pull” is a desperate exercise in futility. If you find the guy on your list, he’s hostile.

            And nobody needs a ride to the polls these days. Almost everyone has a car, and if they’re disabled, they vote absentee. And besides, if the voter is at home, the polling place is likely to be right nearby.

            On Election Day, every campaign is beseiged with volunteers, since this is their very last chance to help, they’ve awoken to how important it is, or they feel guilty for having done nothing until then. And everybody wants to drive voters to the polls.

            To some extent, GOTV is make-work for all those surplus volunteers. You don’t want to just send them away.

            What makes the current efforts ineffective, and can it be made more so?

            More ineffective? I assume you mean more effective?

            But this post is way too long already.

          • Randy M says:

            This is interesting and might explain that Trump won despite observations beforehand about how bad his “ground game” was compared to seasoned/connected politicians of either party.

          • Jaskologist says:

            Larry,

            Do you think there was any truth to claims about Obama’s vaunted GOTV? I seem to recall that general idea being that they integrated in Big Data in such a way as to make it much more effective. But presumably that would have been passed on to Hillary.

          • Deiseach says:

            I seem to recall that general idea being that they integrated in Big Data in such a way as to make it much more effective.

            I saw some articles analysing this and going on about Hillary’s amazing data and analytics teams that were inspiring and guiding every moment of the campaign and how it was run.

            I would love to know the fall-out from her loss there; who got their ears ripped off for misleading her? Hey, has anybody seen Elan Kriegel since?

        • Deiseach says:

          See also this article which demonstrates that Republican efforts to minimize black turnout (strict ID laws, reducing polling places, and the like) are plainly NOT to blame for Clinton’s loss.

          What, you expect to convince people by fact and reasonable argument? What kind of crazy talk is that?

          I’m afraid too many people are consoling themselves with the thought that the reason for Clinton’s loss was the evil Republicans deliberately targeting poor/minority people and making it too hard for them to vote so their votes never happened. The “truth” is being consolidated in their minds and any argument to the contrary is not going to penetrate.

          I have no idea why they’re assuming the poor/minority people who didn’t vote would have voted for Hillary anyway; “But she’s the Democrat!” Yeah, and? As far as they’re concerned, she’s a rich white woman running against a rich white man so why bother with the effort for her? First female president means nothing as against first black president.

      • Douglas Knight says:

        2004 vs 2008: 10% of blacks came out who didn’t normally vote and 5% of blacks switched from R to D. Together these two things are worth a 2 point swing. But there was a lot more than a 2 point swing. In 2016, blacks are voting back like in 2004, but that’s only a 2 point swing back. And some of that swing back happened already in 2012, I think half.

      • The Nybbler says:

        This was basically the reason I gave for predicting a Trump victory on election eve, and I think it holds most everywhere but Pennsylvania and Michigan, where voters did actually move from Obama to Trump. Luzerne County PA, for instance:

        Obama: 77,029
        Romney: 66,091

        Trump: 77,058
        Clinton: 51,593

        • Yes, another excellent example. I doubt this was confined to Michigan and Pennsylvania. At a minimum, there was Ohio, located right between those two states, and scattered reports of similar shifts around the country.

    • cassander says:

      >Put your points into Charisma instead of Corruption next time.

      Given how few votes either of them got, this seems inarguable in both directions. On absolute vote counts they both did worse than Romney despite there being several million more eligible voters.

  35. Randy M says:

    The site has an ad from Triplebyte on the right hand side of my screen. The logo really bothers me; it’s a hexagon with three s shapes inside along two edges each, with one end attached to the hexagon of each, but the odd thing is that two of them go clockwise, one counter clockwise, in terms of attachment point to loose point. Any of a few small changes could have made it symmetrical, but no, it’s hanging out there, making me wonder if there is some significance to it.

    • Well... says:

      Interesting. I looked at that logo for about 2 seconds and realized it’s not a hexagon, it’s a 2D line drawing of a 3-dimensional cube, seen edge-on and slightly tilted downward. The cube is sort of missing its front corner, like it’s been carved out. That hanging bit you mentioned helps add depth to the carved-out portion. Also, the asymmetry might make your eye linger on the shape a bit longer, which of course is what the company wants your eye to do.

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        “Also, the asymmetry might make your eye linger on the shape a bit longer, which of course is what the company wants your eye to do.”

        Maybe. I wonder if that logo might annoy some fraction of conscientious people enough to drive them away.

      • Randy M says:

        Oh, I actually hadn’t seen the cube before. That makes sense.

  36. Wander says:

    From the Guardian:

    Jeremy Shapiro disclosed the Obama team before the 2012 elections had considered imposing such constitutional checks on the US president’s ability to order killings fearing Obama was about to lose the presidential elections to the Republicans.

    Speaking in London, Shapiro, a former special adviser an assistant secretary in the State Department, disclosed the Obama team in the State Department “in the run-up to the 2012 election the Obama thought might lose and there was some thinking – ‘Gee, we have created the most awesome assassination machine ever known to man whereby we can, with very little oversight, basically kill anyone in the world outside of America.’”

    He added the Obama officials thought “We are using that responsibly because we are good people,” but it was not institutionalized. “When people looked at it they thought, ‘Christ this is scary, what if we give this to the Republicans?’”

    Just… Wow.

    • S_J says:

      Maybe not directly on-point, but related:

      “Democrats have been arguing for years that President Obama should have the power to get a lot done on his own, without going through Congress: executive orders, going to war, etc. If President Trump exercises similarly broad powers, remember: Trump didn’t build that!”

      From the blog of Ann Althouse, law professor. Quoted from her son.

      • S_J says:

        More on-point: if a President is involved in a War on Violent-Non-State-Actors…er, War on Terrorist Extremists…there are two known ways of doing things.

        (A) The George W Bush way, which involves invading a country that shelters Terrorist Extremists, destroying that government, and putting a military occupation in place…

        (Followed by invading and overthrowing another rogue nation that was suspected to support terrorists, and had been in the habit of thumbing its nose at international efforts to restrict Nuke/Bio/Chemical weapons programs.)

        This has a side-effect of pulling lots of Terrorist Extremists and their support network into hot-spots on the other side of the world. Which may reduce their ability to engage in operations inside rich Western nations.

        (B) Or the Barack Obama way, which involves fewer invasions, but more Special Forces attacks. And lots of death-from-above-by-drone.

        This version has lots fewer headlines, but also results in many more actions which blur the boundaries of nations…and have the U.S. doing extra-judicial execution by remote control.

        It also doesn’t draw the Terrorist Extremists into action in a particular spot, which might give them more freedom/ability to operate outside of their home turf.

        I’m not sure which method I prefer. But I’m fairly certain that most rhetoric about Presidential actions has politely ignored this dichotomy.

        • rlms says:

          I think your assumption that the Iraq invasion actually reduced the number of terrorists is very dubious. But even if it is granted, I think the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in the invasion would probably express a strong preference for the Obama method (and I expect the same applies to the thousands of American soldiers also killed).

    • Deiseach says:

      That’s the attitude that I’ve been harping on about on here: it’s okay if we do it, because we’re the Good Guys, but if those guys get into power instead it’ll be terrible!

      If you’re ordering political assassinations, you are not the Good Guys. I don’t care what party you are, I don’t care what your reasons are, I don’t even care “but we’re only killing foreigners/those of our citizens who used to be foreigners and are in foreign countries right now”. Murder is murder.

      • John Schilling says:

        However, if you are killing enemy leaders in wartime, what you are doing is not political assassination.

        It is therefore very, very important that we be clear on whether we are at war or not. This is something both our political parties have rather deliberately fucked up, over several consecutive administrations and through major shifts in the political balance of power. Sadly, while there are a few places where I think Trump might make a positive difference, this isn’t one of them.

    • John Schilling says:

      Jeremy Shapiro disclosed the Obama team before the 2012 elections had considered imposing such constitutional checks on the US president’s ability to order killings

      OK, how does a Presidential administration impose Constitutional checks on, well, anything?

      • Randy M says:

        Could be read as “imposing checks that are constitutional” but I think you are right, a president can’t really bind a future president except by the fragile bonds of precedence or with cooperation from another branch.

      • Dr Dealgood says:

        “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

        That is, the Constitution is just so much yellowed paper without enforcement. And the executive is the branch of government tasked with enforcement. Even if Congress impeached him over some unconstitutional act, it would be his own subordinates in the DoJ expected to remove him.

        Really, the President is the only one who can set constitutional checks.

  37. Controls Freak says:

    At work today, I was talking to a co-worker about the possibility for a major party reorganization. He brought up Bernie Sanders’ statement on Trump. He’s in camp-Hillary more than camp-Bernie, but he takes Bernie’s statement as a serious olive branch to work with Trump on the populist items they have in common.

    This made me really wonder… is there a chance that Trump could actually be relatively effective in getting things done (whether you like those things or not)? He’s not really hamstrung by ‘duty’ to a party that was often on the spectrum between running away from him to openly sabotaging him. His personal platform does have a fair amount in common with a wing of the opposition party. What is the chance that he just works with anybody who is willing to do the types of things he wants… and is relatively successful?

    Perhaps we operationalize this as, “What probability do you give to Trump having two significant legislative victories with bipartisan support (including the case of mostly one party on one bill and mostly the other party on another bill) within his first two years?” I know a lot is buried in “significant”, but I can’t think of a better way to do it.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      I don’t think it’s very high simply because Republicans will control Congress up and down and they determine what bills will go before Trump. The Hastert Rule ensures the House will be conservative, and in the Senate I don’t think they’ll have any hesitation in going nuclear and removing the filibuster; the friendly 2018 election map ensures they’ll be free from consequences for at least four years.

      • Controls Freak says:

        Right, that’s a possibility… but I don’t really know how I allocate the probability of scenarios. Honestly, I have a very poor sense at all of how this is going to go. It’s not as if the Republican party is a monolithic block at the moment. Both parties have major tensions between establishment/populists. What is actually going to happen when Trump proposes a very populist bill that actually appeals to about half of ‘his’ party and was a big part of what he ran (and won) on? We kind of joked about a major party reorganization before, but with President Trump instead of Clinton, it seems even more likely that the fault lines within both parties will be tested.

        I’d give maybe 10% that he’s impeached or forced to resign; another 5-10% that health issues or death end his presidency; beyond that, I really don’t know what to expect.

        I imagine the Republicans in Congress will have some extent of, “Let’s just pass shit we want and dare him to veto.” But they have to manage an ego, not an opposition president. If they totally cut him out and just do shit they want, there’s no way he’s above saying, “Fuck you guys,” and doing whatever he can to strike back or work in other ways. Does this lead to total gridlock? Does Trump get out in front by picking off the populist parts of both parties? I have no bloody clue.

  38. historyfile says:

    First of all: this is Le Maistre Chat. WordPress wouldn’t let her register any variant of that name, nor her preferred version of this one, “Historyphile”. 🙁

    Now then: wow. This election shocked me. I had 90% certainty that Hillary would win. The most important prior for that belief was the conviction that elective office in the United States is something you buy. Hillary had outspent the Donald more than 2-1. She could throw at him every dirty trick Johnson used on Goldwater (literally!) plus he gave her the ammunition of sex scandals and no public service record. She was the candidate of Wall Street and the donor class.
    To sweeten the pot, Republicans were rescinding their endorsements.

    He still won. The RNC didn’t want him. Wall Street and the donor class didn’t want him. Every news channel except FOX hated him. Social media corporations discussed rigging the election against him. He. Still. Won.

    I have qualms about our completely untested president-elect, but he proved that the United States is a representative democracy. The ruling class is a sham.

    • Douglas Knight says:

      To change the name displayed on your comments, go here and change the “Nickname.”

    • Tekhno says:

      The most important prior for that belief was the conviction that elective office in the United States is something you buy.

      I seem to remember Scott writing an article with evidence against this idea at some point, but I can’t remember the title or when.

      • seem to remember Scott writing an article with evidence against this idea at some point, but I can’t remember the title or when.

        I don’t remember Scott discussing it, but it’s long been a hobbyhorse of mine that money is overrated as an independent force in electoral politics. No doubt I bloviated at length about it in past comment threads.

        Disclaimer: I’m a practitioner, not a political scientist.

      • lvlln says:

        I remember the 1st Freakonomics book had a section on this where they concluded that it’s far more likely that popular candidates get more donations, thus spending more, than more spending make candidates more popular.

        That’s just one source, of course. But from what I recall in the past decade or so since I read that, there haven’t been many studies looking into this, and all the studies that did look into it came to a similar conclusion. Based on that, my belief has generally tended to be that spending in election is highly overrated. My pet theory is that it’s somewhat like the relationship between income and happiness – it has a huge effect at certain levels, but beyond a certain threshold, the effect is so small as to be negligible.

        Was a good reminder to me that human intuition is an absolutely terrible tool by which to determine reality.

        • it’s far more likely that popular candidates get more donations, thus spending more, than more spending make candidates more popular.

          Exactly! This is what I have observed.

          Based on that, my belief has generally tended to be that spending in election is highly overrated.

          More precisely, if two competing candidates both have a threshold amount of money (or pre-existing recognition) that enables them to be plausible candidates, additional money spent on one side has little impact.

          There is a partial exception for offices that the public has no idea about, like drain commissioner or library board member. A judiciously applied sum of money could radically increase a candidate’s chances.

          My rule of thumb: the more money a political campaign has, the larger the percentage that is wasted. Think of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, and the fortune that was frittered away on catering and creature comforts.

          My pet theory is that it’s somewhat like the relationship between income and happiness – it has a huge effect at certain levels, but beyond a certain threshold, the effect is so small as to be negligible.

          Good analogy.

      • Le Maistre Chat says:

        My prior was that Trump would get stomped in the electoral college. I was using the state polls to do Bayesian updating from the debates through Tuesday morning, and I never came to Scott’s conclusion that the effect of a rainstorm on voter turnout could make the difference. So what if Trump flipped Pennsylvania? All the polls were saying she’d hold Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, flip North Carolina…

        I admit that my belief about plutocracy was unjustified, but the idea that the result should change absolutely nothing about the narrative is wrong. Polls were epistemic garbage, and that does change things.

    • Douglas Knight says:

      This is a good example of Scott’s Tuesday shouldn’t change the narrative. Whatever you thought about, say, the role of money last year, Trump’s standing on Monday already showed that it was false. If you believed the betting markets that he was 90% doomed on Monday, it was because he was a few points down. But he was only a few points down. If a half billion dollar advantage bought only a 4 point lead, that is a pretty small effect of money.

      • suntzuanime says:

        It’s possible that polarization means that 45% always vote left, 45% always vote right, and you’re squabbling over the last 10%. So then even if money only buys you 4 percentage points, if it buys you 40% of the vote that’s actually up for grabs that’s a big deal.

        • Douglas Knight says:

          If that were the case, then I shouldn’t say “a pretty small effect,” but it’s still just normal variation. It’s losing like Romney, not even like McCain.

      • Randy M says:

        This is true and I liked Scott’s post, but what he meant was that “Tuesday shouldn’t changes the views you held on Monday (assuming you had been constantly updating).”
        There may be lessons to take in general from the entire campaign + results, however.

  39. Tekhno says:

    How can we even begin to have a rational discussion of politics if people don’t first lay down what consequences they are okay with?

  40. Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Anyone know of a good impartial listing of hate crimes?

    • Sandy says:

      I generally disbelieve any claims made on Twitter. Now it seems I can’t even believe anything claimed by the New York Times, because they reported that a Muslim woman in Louisiana was assaulted by Trump supporters who stole her hijab and now that same woman has admitted that she made the whole thing up.

      • Chevalier Mal Fet says:

        Can I get a source on her retracting it? I’ve seen the hijab thing going around Facebook.

        • keranih says:

          Try here, at the Washington Post.

          I have no doubt that some bigotry-motivated attacks happen in the USA every day, against every race. I grow very weary of finding out that those which gain the most media attention are fabricated.

          • hlynkacg says:

            Well that’s the thing about toxoplasma isn’t it? Unambiguous cases aren’t controversial, and thus fail to generate sufficient outrage to feed the beast.

            “Bad guy gets busted for doing bad things” just doesn’t have the same legs as “frog-Nazis under the bed”.

          • Machina ex Deus says:

            I plan to eliminate the frog-Nazis the minute they’ve eaten the last bedbug.

          • keranih says:

            I done seen the dust-bunnies under my bunk. I’m giving them two-to-five odds against any frog-Nazis.

          • Reasoner says:

            Toxoplasma is one explanation. Another explanation is that fakers craft stories that are as outrageous/newsworthy as possible, or otherwise seek press attention in a way that real victims don’t. It’s also possible that real victims are a minority. I would imagine that hate crimes that rise to national attention receive more scrutiny.

          • hlynkacg says:

            fakers craft stories that are as outrageous/newsworthy as possible, or otherwise seek press attention in a way that real victims don’t.

            I don’t have any data, but anecdotally this fits. I’m reminded of the old saw about how those who’ve “seen the elephant” don’t go looking for it.

    • Trofim_Lysenko says:

      For the United States, the UCR is the only one I would put any credence in. Absent police report and investigation you have no effective way of separating “hate crime” from just plain old “crime” and from reports that later turn out to be something else entirely.

      EDIT: So, if you’re asking for for something that tracks in anything like “real-time” or even “recent news” fashion, then the answer is most definitely no.

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        What I want is a list that’s good on both real and fake hate crimes so I have some idea of the odds.

    • Deiseach says:

      Just seen the first “Transgender people who killed themselves because of Trump” post and hit up Snopes to see if that were true, after Googling the names alleged and finding nothing on them (if a 13 year old trans girl killed herself, that would surely be in local news). Snopes says it’s “unproven” and I’ve pushed back on Tumblr about that, so I expect any minute now to be denounced for hatecrime and demands to unfollow them 🙁

      For any what’s interested, names of alleged suicides; if you see this floating around or something similar, I’d be interested to see if any names are the same or if further facts (such as addresses or at least states) come out:

      Chasity Rose – 19, sister, friend. Heart of gold. With hands of steel. Talented; she could sing anything. Artistic; she could draw anything. Murdered by the Donald Trump movement.

      Kyla Reeves – 13, Transgender girl with a trans brother. Felt it was necessary to take her own life so that her brother could have his transition after her parents told her that, with this election, they can only afford to focus on one child’s transition.

      Tyler Morgan: 16, Nonbinary. Took his own life after being told to do so by his community (a town full of white supremacists and Trump supporters.)

      Michelle Earnest: Transgender woman of color, wife, and mother of two children.

      Lorie Murrano: Transgender woman of Latin decent, girlfriend, and civil rights activist.

      Alex Murrano: Transgender man of Latin decent, brother to Lorie, and civil rights activist.

      Madigan Alvarez: Transgender woman of Latin decent, cousin to Lorie and Alex, and communist revolutionary activist.

      Aiden Baxley: Transgender son of two white supremacists; boyfriend, brother, father of one son, and civil rights activist.

      Reyan Fletcher: Transgender son of two highly supportive and very amazing fathers, fiance, father (fiance is 7 months pregnant), and communist revolutionary activist.

      Ituha: A Native American two-spirit, beloved tribes councillor, and mother of three.

  41. I have used a variety of GPS systems including Magellan, Garmin, and the one that comes installed in a Chrysler Town & Country minivan. It’s great technology. Even knowing this town as well as I do, the GPS will sometimes teach me a non-obvious quicker route to get from A to B.

    I often use the GPS to keep track of my expected time of arrival. And that brings me to my chief criticism.

    The projected travel time for any trip is apparently measured as being in ideal weather, with zero traffic and no traffic lights. On expressway trips, you can easily beat the GPS time by going a little faster than the speed limit. But on urban streets, the expected times are wildly, almost comically optimistic.

    When you embark on a trip across town, using the GPS, the ETA will be very encouraging, and your unreflective lizard brain will immediately think, “wow! I’ll be on time for the meeting!” If you incautiously tell someone that you’re going to arrive someplace by the time indicated by the GPS, chances are they will be waiting quite a while.

    As you encounter normal traffic and normal waits at traffic lights, let alone any serious congestion, the ETA will tick little by little into the future, dancing away as you sit in traffic.

    I find it a little puzzling that the GPS database records the exact lane configuration of every freeway exit and interchange in North America, but seemingly has no idea which intersections have traffic lights. If there are 40 traffic lights between you and your destination, statistically, you’re going to sit waiting at some of them, but your GPS assumes a world where you always have the right-of-way.

    Even without knowing the peculiarities of each traffic signal’s turn cycle, the GPS could surely figure a time penalty. If you sail through a series of busy intersections without stopping, you have gained some time, and the GPS could update the ETA to be a little earlier. Instead, as you sit in the queue, it updates to later and later.

    I have noticed this effect on Uber as well. When you open the Uber app, it indicates how many minutes you will have to wait before a car arrives. I have no complaints about the service, but those time estimates are invariably a lot lower than the actual experienced wait time. The estimates would probably be perfect if it’s 4:00 am and the streets are empty of traffic. They’re pretty much bullshit at other times.

    GPS systems have been around long enough that I’m sure many people have noticed this issue, but new ones continue to behave in exactly the same annoying way. Is this what consumers actually prefer? Or would the extra programming and data gathering (beyond what they already do) really be that onerous?

    • Iain says:

      Google Maps does some of this. They even take advantage of all the people using their phones in their cars to help determine where traffic is currently bad. If you check Google Maps at rush hour, it will often show several routes, with an indication of how traffic is affecting each of them.

    • The Nybbler says:

      I find it a little puzzling that the GPS database records the exact lane configuration of every freeway exit and interchange in North America, but seemingly has no idea which intersections have traffic lights.

      There are publicly (if not easily) accessible GIS databases which have the lane configurations, average traffic volume, and speed limits, but not the traffic lights (and certainly not traffic light timing information).

      • CatCube says:

        I’m surprised that the GIS systems don’t have signal locations. I’d have thought the GIS systems are created by the DOTs to manage their own inventory, and providing the information to the public is a cheap bonus on top of that. I can’t imagine that the source data doesn’t have the signals, and I don’t know why they’d strip it out.

        Further, the average intersection delay is a pretty fundamental property of a signalized intersection, as minimizing it drives a lot of the effort in signal timing. The DOT absolutely has that information for every signalized intersection, but they aren’t making it public? Maybe it’s to avoid nitpicking on design, or something. Nobody has demanded the information, and they’re not going to put it out there and have another thing they need to defend.

        I don’t know much about the public GIS systems from DOTs, and I’m a structural engineer in heavy civil works, so I’m going from traffic classes I took as part of my civil engineering degrees. Signal timing was really fascinating, but I never really did manage to wrap my head around how it’s done.

    • odovacer says:

      I’ve noticed that GPS will often times route me through residential neighborhoods or off of a highway, only to get back onto it, because it calculates that will save a small amount of time or distance. It’s really annoying because I have to slow down or navigate more difficult intersections that way.

      • CatCube says:

        The place I grew up (and where my parents still live) has issues with GPS because of the standard pathfinding algorithm.

        The two major highways in the area form the main line of communication. The north-south highway ends at a T-intersection with the main east-west route. The road my parents live on is a back road that clips off the corner of this intersection, forming the hypotenuse of a right triangle some 8(ish?) miles on the other legs.

        The back road is winding but, critically, doesn’t have a speed limit posted on it, so the database that GPS maps draws from has it listed as 55 mph, the same as both highways. The shortest-time pathfinding algorithm then sends people down this road. It’s hilarious when obvious out-of-towners stop to ask for direction, and as they get out of the car, you can tell they expect to hear “Dueling Banjos” in the distance.

        Another road in the area is a snowmobile trail in winter and an ATV trail in summer that I think is administratively listed as a county road so it can be maintained with some specific pot of money. However, it’s not traversable in summer with anything less than 4WD, and it isn’t signed in any way. However, it shows up on Google Maps as a regular road with a standard road designation, and GPSs will sometimes tell you to turn down it.

    • hlynkacg says:

      So this is professionally relevant to me but I work the hardware/signal analysis side so, pathfinding, timing, etc… all happens down-stream of me. I don’t have much to say.

    • onyomi says:

      I have just recently had trouble with even the Googlemaps app, which normally serves me well. I want it to have a feature called the “just take me the normal way even if you calculate I can save a tiny amount of time taking a weird, complicated way,” and “no, I can’t go that way due to construction so please find me a wholly alternate route as opposed to just trying to make me go back to the construction site” button.

  42. keranih says:

    Slightly different thing:

    I’ve talked before about “based on a true story” movies, and how much I value those which take the least possible license with reality, esp with recent history.

    (Not that I don’t appreciate artistry in storytelling, but I deeply resent having my perspective of reality altered.)

    Two more recent movies which I recommend:

    Deepwater Horizon (directed by Peter Berg, who did The Kingdom) is a great old-fashioned disaster flick, in the tradition of Grey Lady Down and various naval movies (many staring John Wayne.) This one hammers the heck out of BP for cost cutting, and is pretty confusing when southern blue collar guys get to talking technical details (with greater or lesser success in capturing the accents) and omg Kurt Russel has gotten old howinthehelldidthathappen – but in capturing human action and heroics in the face of the dangers of the planet, it’s awesome. Additional sound track: Corb Lund’s Roughest Neck Around.

    Secondly, and I just saw this tonight,