Tuesday, 25 October 2016

It's not a conspiracy, Donald Trump really is losing

Speaking as a marketing and market research professional, I could get offended by this sort of stuff:
It is not "wishful thinking" to distrust the polls. Nor is there a "natural tightening up" of the polls as election day approaches. The entire polling industry is an exercise in attempted manipulation of public opinion. That's why there is so much media attention focused on it.
Yes folks this is the "the polls are fixed" line we see from Corbynistas in the UK. Unsurprisingly this is from the World of Trump, a strange place filled with paranoia about the actions, motives and capabilities of anyone who questions - let alone presents evidence contradicting - the weird-haired one's march to supreme power.

The truth - there's no getting away from it - is that Donald Trump is crashing and burning. OK so there are glints and glimmers of hope as the odd poll shows Trump within the margin of error - this is like the Brexit polling but not in the way The Donald's fans want to believe. Polling in the run up to the EU Referendum didn't show a lead, let alone a big lead, to Remain but rather that it was 'too close to call' or a narrow lead for Leave. What Trump enthusiasts are doing is the same as Remain - believing their own propaganda.

So no, the polls ain't fixed. The voting machines ain't fixed. The 'mainstream media' isn't in secret cahoots with the Pentagon. The problem is that Donald Trump - the classic 'Republican in Name Only' - is an absolutely appalling candidate only made remotely credible by the happenstance of Hillary Clinton being an almost equally appalling candidate. What is sad here is that the fall out from Trump's candidacy will be the crippling of America's conservatives - embracing a warmed over, pig-ignorant version of 'know-nothing' nativism and mixing it with the gung-ho stupidity of Teddy Roosevelt's Progressives closes off any chance at all of Republicans ever getting back any support among the urban middle-class let alone the Hispanic Americans so carefully cultivated by Reagan and Bush father and son.

There's no winning, however, with this sort of viewpoint:
The Podesta email doesn’t merely prove that the poll-doubters are right to be dubious about their credibility, but demonstrates, once more, that the conspiracy theory of history is the only one that can properly account for historical events.
For the record, I'm a firm and dedicated supporter of the 'Cock-up Theory of History':
Brazilian economist Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira suggests that the relevant variable in this case is incompetence. Incompetence is an independent explanatory variable; it cannot be explained in rational or historical terms.

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