Archive for August 2016
In this most contentious of campaign seasons there are a couple things pretty much everyone agrees on. One is that this is an election like no other in our lifetime. The other is a vague feeling that this is not good.
Recently I proposed this model of how the electorate lines up on a graph.
It’s important to note something. Though it goes from left to right and yes the Democrats are on the left, it is not a model of political thought but of behavior, how people plan to pull the lever on election day.
It seems to me that we have a spectrum defined by fanatics at either end.
On the left you have the Hillary fanatics. These are the people who airily dismiss all charges of bribery, corruption, malfeasance in office, etc. as the products of a 30-year campaign of pure slander.
OK, so no indictments. But there is a long list of blatant self-serving lies, such as landing under sniper fire in Bosnia, shown to be false by eyewitness testimony and video.
Doesn’t seem to matter to them.
You cannot reason with these people. Nothing, literally nothing, matters to them except Hillary equals first woman president and upholder of “Progressive” values.
On the near left you have the “Hillary is the lesser of two evils/never Trump” crowd. Often former Sanders supporters in an odd mix with Republicans who can’t stand Trump.
In the middle you have the “plague on both your houses” crowd who think both major candidates are equally bad.
This group is pushing the surge in support for Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. In an ordinary year a great many of them would simply stay home. I don’t think that will be the case this year, and it may very well be a watershed year for the third party movement.
Oddly enough, there will be some former Sanders supporters among them who feel like they’ve been kicked in the face by the Democrat establishment. So there may very well be some socialists voting for the libertarian in an electoral irony.
On the near right you have the “it can’t be Hillary” crowd. They don’t really like Trump, but are deathly afraid of Hillary.
On the far right (and again, this is not about the left-right divide in political philosophy, only electoral behavior) you have the Trump fanatics who think Trump is going to “make America great again.”
As an aside, do you think anyone might ever run on the slogan, “Make America normal again!”?
You can’t talk to these people either. Point out that Trump was a Democrat about five minutes ago, that he ran a scam real estate college, tried to use eminent domain to seize an old lady’s property for a casino (and lost!)… nada. You get angry people denouncing you as a Hillary supporter.
One more observation. Hillary was nominated against the wishes of the rank and file Democrats. Maybe she would have won it fair and square, but we’ll never know because she openly stole it in a manner that indicated she didn’t give a damn who knew it.
Now Bernie Sanders has slunk home like a man who’s just realized he was very lucky to get out of it with a whole skin. His supporters have divided into those who are mad as hell and won’t take it any longer, and those who will lick the boot that kicked them.
Trump on the other hand was elected with massive popular support among rank-and-file Republicans against the frantic and panicky resistance of the Republican establishment.
Previous elections have pitted fanatical leftists who regard their candidate as the messiah against center-rightists who regard theirs as damage control at best. Consequently McCain and Romney fought like sick nuns.
Now the right has come up with a fanaticism of their own to fight the fanaticism of the left.
The important question is of course, what are the numbers for each category?
And even more importantly, how will they react on the day after the election?