Monday, November 14, 2016

Why Did She Lose?

How could she have lost? The game must have been rigged. If the game wasn’t rigged, the people are stupid. If the people aren’t stupid they are suffering from a mental disease or defect.

Such are the arguments put forward by Hillary Clinton’s supporters. No sentient rational being could have voted for Donald Trump. If people did, in large numbers, they cannot be either rational or sentient.

Besides, Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote. Which is little consolation when popular vote only counts on a state-by-state level. American presidents are not elected by the popular vote.

If you look at the votes for members of Congress you will see that Republicans won the aggregate of those votes by a considerable margin. And they control the governorships and legislature in a large majority of the states.  Apparently, the Democratic message has been ringing hollow.

Or better, the politics of defamation does not seem to work. The Democratic Party will not revive itself until it overcomes the tendency to double down on a failed policy—defaming anyone who doesn’t agree with you as a bigot. Call it bigot-shaming, if you like. But shaming your opponents is not working for the Democrats. Even Rabbi Michael Lerner, a liberal Democrat if ever there was one, has understood the point.

He wrote:

Instead of challenging this ideology of shame, the left has buttressed it by blaming white people as a whole for slavery, genocide of the Native Americans and a host of other sins, as though whiteness itself was something about which people ought to be ashamed. The rage many white working-class people feel in response is rooted in the sense that once again, as has happened to them throughout their lives, they are being misunderstood.

As of now, around a third of the Democratic members of Congress come from three states, California, New York and Massachusetts. They come from places where groupthink reigns supreme, and where seldom is heard an encouraging word ... for any difference of opinion.

Also, as Tyler Cowen writes today on the Marginal Revolution site (via Maggie’s Farm) the electoral college guarantees diversity, that is, geographical diversity.

Cowen wrote:

The original thinking behind the Electoral College was that geographic diversity was important.  The Founding Fathers were not majoritarian, but rather they believed in placing special weight on diversity of this kind.  The prevailing view was “if too many (geographically) diverse voices veto you, you can’t get elected, not even with a majority of the votes.”  That view was a strange and perhaps unlikely precursor of today’s veto rights/PC approach on campus, but there you go.

Democrats now control at least one legislative house in only 17 states, and the reach of the party is shrinking dramatically.  So by the 18th century standards of diversity, emphasizing geography, the Democratic coalition is remarkably non-diverse.  You can see how much of Hillary Clinton’s majority came from the two states of New York and California.  That also means the Republicans are not just a “Southern rump party,” as some commentators used to suggest.

So, diversity did win out. Hmmm.

The question that is now tormenting many of our best minds today is: how did it happen? How did it happen that Hillary lost? If the election was not rigged, then clearly many of America’s citizens are off their meds. If they are not off their meds they are allowing themselves to be led around by their fear and anxiety. Which is pretty much the same thing.

Have you noticed that explanations for the Trump victory mostly tend to emphasize the irrational and the emotional. Of course, it’s a way of shaming people.

It is a long and complicated debate, but serious thinkers have given up on reason. They want to jettison the Enlightenment. They have followed the cues of behavioral economists and have concluded that reason, and its handmaiden free will, are seriously overrated. They insist that we can explain human behavior by studying the irrational and emotional underbelly that is really running the show.

Keep in mind, when the behavioral economists say that irrational forces are controlling human behavior they are also saying that they, a class of Platonic guardians, can do a better job. They are saying that you cannot be trusted to make rational choices. Whatever else you think about the Obama administration, it was inhabited by a class of people who believed themselves morally and intellectual superior to everyday citizens. These people believed that it was their duty to tell everyone what to do.  

Whatever the issue, there was no need to consult with Congress and there was no need to get Congressional approval or consent. They did not make treaties, which would need to be approved by the Senate, but deals which did not.

Executive orders smack of imperial overreach. To the great chagrin of Democrats, executive orders can be undone with a stroke of the pen.

There are many ways to see the election. And there are ways to consider that those who voted for each candidate had good Reason to do so. If you consider that the Democratic Party candidate was running on a governing philosophy that infantilized the electorate by declaring that the government could solve all problems, it makes sense to say that the Republican reaction was, as I have suggested, a push back against this governmental overreach. And against the assumption that an educated elite knew better how everyday people should conduct their lives.

Theirs was a perfectly rational decision. If you vote for less government intervention and interference in your life you are making a rational choice. It might be for the best. It might not. But it is not driven by emotion.

If over-reliance on government tends to demoralize, and thus to depress you, then taking personal responsibility is, dare I say, therapeutic.

Is there an emotional side to the decision? Of course, there is. But that does not make it the wrong decision. It means that sometimes emotion serves reason and that sometimes emotion offers reason a nudge in the right direction.

Writing in Reason Scott Shackford explains that those who rejected the candidacy of Hillary Clinton were really rejecting her governing philosophy:

But a deeper dive suggests that actually, in the end, she does stand for something, and that's government intervention in every single problem that exists, anywhere. It may not seem like policy played a role in this election, but I suspect in the end that's like saying that water plays no role in fish behavior. It was always in the background.

Clinton's campaign pushed out several policy memos and briefs, and what they all had in common is that they called for federal involvement in every single solution, with very few exceptions. She is known for being an interventionist in foreign policy, supporting military action in Syria and Libya and elsewhere. If she thought any particular outcome was a good idea, she wanted to a federal law to make it happen or a government subsidy or grant to push it along.

As the Democratic Party struggles to figure out what it's going to stand for now, we're going to see a lot of "progressive vs. centrists" framing. What matters for Americans who are looking from outside the party is that this is going to be a fight over how much government control over our lives the Democratic Party will continue to embrace. Just because Clinton was considered a "centrist," that didn't make her better on liberty than Sanders. In the ideological fight over "authority vs. liberty," so many people attempting to shape the future of both parties have a vested, career-based stake in making sure "authority" wins.

Maybe there’s a limit to how much the people want the government to do for them. If you believe that the government must do things for you, you are saying that you cannot do them yourself. The problem with having a government program to solve all problems is that people loses the habit of trying to solve problems on their own.


Anonymous said...

This video is as good as any why Hillary lost.

Trigger Warning said...

"Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote..."

That is an assertion, not a fact. THere are millions of votes that haven't been counted. In some districts, once the possibility of a changed outcome is eliminated, they simply top counting. She may have the most votes, or she may not. There are arguments on both sides being put forth right now, and those arguments are just as partisan as the campaigns.

Please stop perpetrating this factoid, Sir. Clinton is ahead, but as of this moment, we don't know who won, and we may never know. The number of uncounted ballots far exceeds the current difference in running totals. And why waste more money on counting ballots that won't change anything? Spend that money on Obamaphones, "refugee" benefits, or something, anything, in one last, great, glorious bacchanal of government largesse and vote-buying.

Trigger Warning said...

More on point, and in my opinion, I think is less a matter of people wanting the government to do less for them and more a matter of resenting all the stuff the government does to them in guise of doing something for them.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

This is the stupidity that passes for "rational" thought on the Left:

Blacks voted overwhelmingly Hillary Clinton, which is smart, because they are voting in their self-interest.

A clear majority of whites voted for Donald Trump, which is racist, because they are voting in their self-interest.

Explain to me how this is logical or rational. It can only be emotional, ideological or both.

How on earth are we supposed to "heal" the "deep divisions" in our country with silly narratives like this? The media is populated by insular, monolithic white people, who somehow are either (a) so self-loathing about their race that they call themselves or others racists; or (b) so blindly ideological that they cannot see how silly this all is.

If it's (a), then it makes sense, but these will definitionally be unhappy people who are not worth listening to -- they are an emotional mess, and need help. If it's (b), then we have to wonder how we got here, and whether we should listen to journalists anymore. Where did they learn all this ideology? At college, at graduate school, and from their friends/peers. Doesn't sound very diverse to me. Washington, D.C. voted 93% - 4% in favor of Hillary. That's not indicative of a diverse plebiscite. That's a cocoon! Sounds like a bunch of people who are embarrassed by their own success, realizing they get paid an awful lot of money to do a bullshit job, which is what most journalism is today.

They didn't get the polling wrong in this election. They LIED. And they lied in order to shape the conversation and demoralize Republican voters. That's not a Fourth Estate worth keeping, much less worth listening to.

We have "deep divisions" in our country. But if we did not have division, all elections would be a tie. No, no, no, the narrative is: minorities live in hell in America, while white people have it made. Shut up, little bigot.

Keep in mind: people are in shock over the outcome of an election. An election!

Sam L. said...

Hillary told us we were deplorable. In return, we found her DEEEEEEEEplorable, and she will go her grave knowing that. Everybody hates her, nobody loves her; she should go eat worms. (My sister used to say that.)

Ares Olympus said...

Yes, I agree the "Deplorable" comment probably was a rallying cry against Hillary.

The Frontline bio "The Choice" showed Hillary sad back in the 1990s when she tried to rally people to government healthcare, and she was shocked to find so much animosity to the idea, or to her. It's really a sort spot.

Here's another analysis, basically the working class love rich people, or certain kinds. So it looks like Trump is only the first of many celebrity presidents in the coming decades, at least if we keep our republic under celebrity presidents.

Now that we know the U.S. Presidency is a "No experience required" sort of job, anyone can do it!

And in the 60 minutes interview basically Trump admitted that now social media, Twitter and Facebook, got him elected, so he can instantly correct any misstatements about himself or his positions to all his followers.

Its almost cultish. If you crave connection to Celebrity, you can be one of 20 million who retweet Trump's inspiring 4am thoughts, and if you need to feel loved, you can run for president and have 20 million people hanging on your every word.

Is this really how the Republic ends?

Can you imagine when Trump is impeached by the republicans, suddenly one tweet can send 20 million brownshirts to every government center around the country, demanding Trump pardon himself, and get back to making America Great.

And now we've learned the Right can bring their guns into their occupation centers, and be acquitted in a jury of their peers, so there's no stopping us now.

As the Left said "The people united can never be defeated."

Trigger Warning said...

Well, Ares, comfort yourself with this:

"The long sleep of Mother Goddess is ended. May She awaken in each of our hearts - Merry meet, merry part, and blessed be."
--- Starhawk

As the reign of President Lightworker comes to a close, we can all look forward to Gaia's love and embrace the magic of the Sacred Feminine.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @November 14, 2016 at 10:37 AM:

"Its almost cultish."

Talked to a lot of Trump Voters, eh, Ares?

I've talked to a great many, and not one is beholden to Trump, nor do they think he's the bee's knees. They know who he is, what he represents, and why they voted for him. You see, they didn't vote for him. They voted for his message. The sooner you and others wake up to that, the better off you'll be. And now that Trump's put out his simple plan of five priorities, his voters are beaming with delight, because they're getting what they voted for. And that's why he won't be impeached.

Ares, people like you have created a shame culture where people are not free to speak their minds lest they be branded with the ugliest of descriptors. It's not political anymore, it's personal. Donald Trump was the only candidate who could've cut through all that crap, because he didn't care. He didn't beg or plead. He wasn't cowed by the media culture, and they hate him for in... with the fire of 1,000 white-hot suns. I love it when people say "Stop the hate." Look in the mirror.

People got one chance to say how they felt, in one of the last places left on earth where they will be heard: the ballot box. And a great many Democrats and Leftists cannot accept this, because they are so convinced of their high analytical intelligence and moral magnificence. Too bad, so sad.

Now the smart set has to figure out how to get rid of elections. Or the Democrat base of wealthy and ignorant people can secede and have California to themselves. I suspect Justice Ginsburg took New Zealand off her list after yesterday's tsunami.

And by the way, if you've believed in Obama's heavily-touted 55% approval rating, tell me how that jibes with Tuesday's election result. That number is just more of it... more of the lies, the distortions, the fear. His whole 8 years was on the line, and he lost. 55%, my ass.

We're not united, and there's a reason for this. It's because the Left believes people who don't think like them are stupid, craven, bad, amoral, evil losers. Such thinking makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have a sensible conversation about where the country is to go. To them "union" represents their opponents' capitulation to the entire Leftist agenda. It's purely ideological. I dissent. Bring it on.

The popular vote is meaningless in our political system, as it should be. The Electoral College is a brilliant idea, for all the reasons I've mentioned in previous comments. It's a prophylactic to protect us from felons in Virginia and illegal aliens in sanctuary cities. And if you think that Hillary has a number that bests Trump's without illegal aliens voting, you need to check in at your nearest psych ward.

Please explain to me why, at the end of the day, any of this protesting and complaining matters? People believe what they believe about the direction of the country, and voted as such. Just because you don't believe it's the proper result does not change the result.

Go read a David Brooks column so you can claim you're open-minded... that you really get the "other side."

"It's really a sore spot."

Yeah, wow... I'm just all broken up. Poor Hillary! So misunderstood. I've got an idea... Maybe Hillary should think her $%&# stinks and see how that works out with focus groups. I bet it'll be a winner!

Nothing is ever Hillary's fault. It's all Comey's fault. Comey made her get that home-brew server. Comey made her lie about it again and again. Comey made Anthony Weiner send pictures of his wiener to 15-year-olds. How, you may ask? Comey is Hogwarts-credentialed sorcerer! Do not fear Donald Trump, fear Comey the warlock!

"Is this really how the Republic ends?"

The Republic will not end. Go back to your Play-Doh.

sestamibi said...

"In the ideological fight over "authority vs. liberty," so many people attempting to shape the future of both parties have a vested, career-based stake in making sure "authority" wins."

"I fight authority, authority always wins." -- John Mellencamp

Maybe not this time?

AesopFan said...

Trigger Warning said...
More on point, and in my opinion, I think is less a matter of people wanting the government to do less for them and more a matter of resenting all the stuff the government does to them in guise of doing something for them.

November 14, 2016 at 8:59 AM
* * *
Some of both, I think, since they are different ends of the same stick.
People who like the things government does for them (which means they have to do something to other people - because that's the way government coercion works) but hate the things government does to them (and thus for other people) never quite realize that you really can't have one without the other.
I hereby inaugurate the anti-hashtag pseudo-meme ESHTE: every stick has two ends.

AesopFan said...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This is the stupidity that passes for "rational" thought on the Left:
...They didn't get the polling wrong in this election. They LIED. And they lied in order to shape the conversation and demoralize Republican voters. That's not a Fourth Estate worth keeping, much less worth listening to.

* *
Hear, hear.
Very much appropriate for Stuart's other post today here
"But, trust requires an ethic of good behavior. It requires that we know right from wrong and to act accordingly. It requires that you do so consistently. It requires that we hold everyone to the same standards, to the point where we do not excuse those who have appallingly bad manners. But, trust must be earned. Perhaps the New York Times will earn back the trust that it squandered in its crusade to elect Hillary Clinton. Time will tell."