The U.S. Presidential election of 2016 gave us the “choice” between openly oppressive on the right and systemically oppressive on the American’s version of the left. Lets face it, neoliberalism and capitalism was bound to win that election no matter what, it just happened the country decided it wanted it’s white supremacy to be in your face rather than subtle and through laws targeting the poor and disenfranchised. I mean those subtle laws still exist but you get the point.
As each day passes it seems we will never reach the peaks of liberalism, but rather be amazed when the clouds dissipate and there’s more to climb. In this article by Matthew Koch, we will climb the summit of #ImStillWithHer together.
The outcome of the election shows that climate of political correctness has separated public and private opinion enough that political science is becoming impossible. The reason why Political Scientist and pollsters were unable to predict the result of last Tuesday’s vote was that people who study government are starting to forget the difference between politics and sports. A better analogy would be with theater.
Sites like Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight were developed to predict the outcome of ball games. In sports the rules of the game stay the same every time the game is played. There has never been a baseball game where a player got four outs. If there was such a game it would not be baseball. The rules of the game are part of the game itself. The side with the most points always wins. There is an objective reality to what is a winning ball club. People rarely have private opinions contesting who won the game and when they do these ideas do not change the rules of the game.
Politics is fundamentally a different type of behavior. It is more like theater. In politics and theater, unlike sports, the conventions of the “game” itself are always under contestation. A movie or a play can perfectly follow all the conventions of “good” theater and still stink. Conversely, a great movie can break all the rules. Neither acclimation by the crowd nor adherence to the guidelines of filmmaking make a movie good. A good film is one you privately like.
Polling is supposed to measure public opinion. In fact it measures only opinions people wish to make public. Polling thus has a systematic bias. I suspect many people hesitate to reveal their ideas when they deviate from what they perceive as widely accepted social norms. People do like to reveal they have bad taste. If a faction has disproportionate influence in defining good political taste polling will be biased in that group’s favour. If you aggregate polls as Nate Silver does you will compound that bias.
Clinton followed the rules of politics as if they were a contest. She won the political game. Public opinion favored and favors her and her ideas. Clinton was the tasteful choice. If the election was a game decided by objective and public rules most people would probably have agreed that she won. However, American elections are a measure of private not public opinion; they do not show who scored the most points but rather display the aggregate of individuals qualitative inner assessment of who the better actor was. Privately many more voters than expected preferred Trump. Public opinion was simply not a good proxy for private opinion. Fear of reprisal has separated Elections and polls making quantitative political science difficult if not impossible. We need to re-learn the difference between a wink and a twitch.
Matthew Koch, former Vanderbilt University, Ph.D student”
And of course there’s more.
The actual left, Communists, socialists, and Anarchists, has to deal with pseudo leftists like DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), establishment centrists called liberals who masquerade as leftists, (currently those clamoring forthe possibility of an Oprah Winfrey Presidency), and crypto fascists who only exist online using anarchism to sell their brandTM of privatized fascism in Anarcho-“Capitalists”, forcing them to climb the peaks of their liberalism for years in socioeconomic discussions to the point of no return.
It’s gotten to the point that as leftists, you even tend to sympathize with Bernie Sanders/DSA/Third Party supporters based on the height of the liberalism thrown at them for not backing establishment candidates and policies. You sympathize as that is backlash for being centre-left in the U.S. now only one can imagine how it is to be far left.
If 2016 gave us these peaks then what will happen in the upcoming years?