Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
 
When the veneer of political correctness comes off

Political correctness at its core is a system to encourage people to not say what they think. The idea behind is that preventing people from expressing sexist or racist thoughts will ultimately reduce sexism and racism. That works about as well as the idea that not talking about sex will reduce teenage pregnancies, that is to say not at all. A brilliant proof of that comes in the polls for the US presidential election: Not only were the polls very wrong, but it also turns out that the polls that were most wrong were the ones conducted by human pollsters. A lot of people, undoubtedly influenced by the prevailing culture of political correctness, did not want to admit to another human being that they were voting for Trump. But in the voting booth, where they were alone and had no finger wagging at them, they followed their core beliefs and voted Trump.

It is not as if Trump supporters do not believe that Trump groped women and then bragged about it; while they would probably deny it when asked, deep in their heart they believe that this isn't something that should disqualify Trump from becoming president. Political correctness might suppress their freedom of expression, but it doesn't suppress their freedom of thought or their freedom to vote. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "silent majority". Which for me means that political correctness as a tool to make the world a better place completely failed. And is probably very much on the way out under president Trump.

The other big loser in this election is globalization. I sincerely believe that globalization as an extreme form of free market capitalism is the best system for overall maximum wealth creation. Unfortunately free market capitalism is only good at wealth creation, while being lousy at wealth distribution. We have reached a point where the average Joe is so enraged about inequality that he prefers less overall wealth creation, even if it hurts himself, as long as it hurts the fat cats even more. The dramatic stockmarket crash of today is not because of the likely damage that Trump will do to the overall GDP, but because of the much larger damage that he will do to the free movement of trade and capital, which will dis-proportionally hurt the rich.

Overall we can wish the Americans only that they "may live in interesting times". While most of the preposterous things Trump promised simply won't happen, and the US won't erect a wall a quarter of a century after the Germans pulled theirs down, the next 4 years are certain to be tumultuous. Possibly to the detriment of the winning Republican party, because in government and total control of all houses the rift between their anti-establishment leader and the pro-establishment party will become ever more evident.

Comments:
The "correction factor" used in polls to estimate the effect you talk about is well known. It's the reason why polls performed by different groups give different result. Apart from messing up with the sample, statistics is the same for everyone, what changes are the correction factors used to attempt to fix the aliasing.

BTW, I may be cynic, but I don't expect THAT much of a change. Replacing a president is not the same as replacing the entire administrative staff and making financial interest disappear. Sure, it may not end up being the same people stuffing their pockets, but if you expect corruption (or more or less anything else) to change much, I'd say you're deluded. Is it a step in the wrong direction? Probably. Will it hurt globalization? Again, probably, but only as long as it does not hurt USA's financial interests. Will things go better for the USA population? Probably no, as candidates elected on the logic of "against" usually end up being the same if not worse than the establishment they are supposed to replace.

 
Your theory about the polling error being due to shy Trump voters doesn't really fit, though, with the fact that in the Republican primaries, Trump underperformed his polls.

From everything I've been reading today, it seems that a much more likely explanation is that the estimation of likely voters (which is such an important part of the pollsters' jobs) was off. Turnout was considerably higher than expected in the demographics that went for Trump in the key states.
 
It was the same for Brexit in Britain. The polls showed remain voters would win but Britain voted to leave the EU.

People wouldn't openly admit to voting to leave for fear of being branded a racist. I personally know a lot of people who voted to remain and have branded any leave voter as unintelligent racists.
 
I told you he will win! I told you!

And he will build the wall. He has to, that's the only way to stop the worst possible form of "free trade" importing human beings to work as quasi-slaves. Without the wall he can't stop immigration, without stopping immigration, he can't do anything.

He - for the first time since 1928 - has not only the presidency, but the senate and the house. It's a full mandate, bigger than Reagan got. He will achieve what he's set out to.
 
Re "shy Trump" voters: There is a polling organization that used automated polls. Not only could they do more since cheaper, but they claimed they got more honest answers.

One of the strengths of the American government is that there are many systemic checks and balances to make it more difficult to get anything done. No law is going to happen that 41 senators don't want to happen and Democrats will have 48ish. Eight or four years of the government accomplishing nothing is probably better than most alternatives.

I also worry about globalization being inhibited. But if you have Panglossian levels of optimism, one could recall the saying that only Nixon could go to China. I.e., perhaps an anti-globalization leader is best suited to getting acceptance of globalization from stakeholders.

BTW, I commented on your July 8th post that "IMO, Clinton is the only national Democratic leader who would have a non-zero, allbeit small, chance of losing to Trump." Tonight, I heard a TV analyst say that both parties nominated the only candidate that could lose - e.g. that Romney would have beat Clinton and Obama would have beat Trump.

I am not sure that people who voted for Trump are necessarily Trump supporters "Four in 10 voters said they strongly favored the candidate they supported, and a quarter of voters said they were motivated by dislike for the other candidate. In 2012, about two-thirds of voters said they strongly favored their candidate." I have a saying "that just because something is a bad idea does not mean it is not the best alternative"
 
@Gevlon - 1928!? The Republicans controlled the presidency, the senate and the house for most of George W. Bush's presidency.
 
@Carson I heard many reporters use 1928 on TV and saw it in a lot of posts/articles e.g. google it.

Were they saying this is the first time since the Republicans won the presidency and had a majority in both houses. In the 2000 election, the Republicans did not have a majority in the senate; it was 50-50. IDK how you can explain away 2004. Perhaps it is just a late night mistake that is being requoted.
 
And he will build the wall.

Would you care to tell us exactly what wall he is going to build? Personally I do believe that a grand-standing ceremony with Trump himself putting the first spade into the ground is totally possible. But a coast-to-coast *wall*, not fence, wall? I don't even believe that to be technically feasible in 4 years.

Having control of both houses to me means that Trump has a very bad chance of being re-elected for a second term. At some point over the coming years his impossible promises will clash with the real world, and unlike Obama he doesn't have the excuse that he was held up by the opposition. In reality a lot of what he wants to do will be effectively sabotaged by his own party, which isn't going to be pretty.
 
The polls weren't actually that bad. Yesterday they were about 77% for Clinton. The media bubble, on the other hand....
 
@Carson: I didn't check 1928, just saw it in various media. Can be wrong quote.

@Tobold: stop being pedant. "Wall" as "barrier to stop immigrants". It's likely be a concrete wall on vulnerable spots like close to road, and a small fence where immigrants are infrequent. It will be probably built over years iteratively: where immigrants go, the barrier will be made stronger.
 
At least recreational marijuana has past in a few states... Might help me forget about this mess.
 
"We have reached a point where the average Joe is so enraged about inequality that he prefers less overall wealth creation, even if it hurts himself, as long as it hurts the fat cats even more"

While you may feel this is the effect, I don't think the Trump voters think this. They feel that trade deals have allowed companies to ship jobs overseas only to allow for more corporate profits, with nothing but downside for American workers. You may disagree about what the actual effect will be, but I don't think you will find Trump voters who believe they are hurting themselves to spite the rich.

Also, I have to point out that Clinton will almost certainly win the popular vote. The idea that "the people spoke and they all want Trump" is false. His victory is a strategic one, by getting votes in the right places, not by convincing more people. It doesn't matter why a life-long Republican voter in rural Oklahoma voted Trump, he would have found a reason to vote Republican in a state that was 100% always going Republican. The issue is with voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but voted for Trump this time. Why did they shift? That's what matters.

I do think you are right about why the polls were off. This is not a situation polls are used to dealing with, with one embarrassing candidate who keeps making gaffe after gaffe that he doubles down on instead of apologizing. In 2012, all of Romney's supporters felt perfectly comfortable telling pollsters and the world who they supported.
 
"The other big loser in this election is globalization. I sincerely believe that globalization as an extreme form of free market capitalism is the best system for overall maximum wealth creation. Unfortunately free market capitalism is only good at wealth creation, while being lousy at wealth distribution."

GOOD! Globalism needs to lose, and lose hard. You can't expect the wealth generated by globalism to be distributed. Ever. It's like saying "Well, a Dictatorship is the most efficient way to allocate power, but isn't so great at preserving liberties. I don't see too many people advocating dictatorships, but I see a lot of people naively thinking they can "reallocate" the wealth created from Globalism.
 
You can't expect the wealth generated by globalism to be distributed.

And why the fuck not?

I believe that is the main problem human kind as a whole has to solve. We produce more than enough wealth to feed and shelter every human being on earth. We just have to do it.

On topic: the "silent majority" did not vote. There are literally 100 million voters who didn't care which would be enough to get Jill Stein or Gary Johnson elected. Voter turnout in Germany is IMO abysmal too but at least it's 70%+ ie more than two thirds.
 
"And why the fuck not?"

Because the people that went out of their way to gather that wealth don't want to give it up. I would think that would go into the "Well, duh!" category.

So if you go to them, and say "Give it up, bitches! Teh peoples are starving!" Their response will to be to buy government to further ensconce their ability to gather more wealth.

The problem then, becomes having a government that will be difficult to buy. And the only way to do that is to have legislators that have not been in office long enough to become corrupted by the power. Only then will they the moral will to say no to the cycle in the first place.
 
Tobold:
"Would you care to tell us exactly what wall he is going to build?"

A hard "wall" is minimally effective. People will just bring a ladder. It's more logical to think of "The Wall" as a metaphor for a layered border protection strategy. You have a fence, then you have agents patrolling it, then you have the legal mandate to prevent illegal incursion. If people believe that they will be prevented from crossing a border illegally, they will, statistically, not even try. The degree to which you actually have to prevent them is proportional to those attempts.

It's cute to think all the peoples of the earth have the right to go wherever they want, but it's rather impractical.
 
bryksom:

"On topic: the "silent majority" did not vote. There are literally 100 million voters who didn't care which would be enough to get Jill Stein or Gary Johnson elected. Voter turnout in Germany is IMO abysmal too but at least it's 70%+ ie more than two thirds."

How do you know those people weren't happy with either Trump or Clinton being elected, and lived in areas where their choice was a done deal locally anyway?

I think Johnson is a big business stooge, and I have no idea what Jill Stein is about. But I do like Trump, and am ecstatic that he got elected. Guess what? I'm one of those millions that didn't bother to vote, as there was no issue on my ballot that I both cared about and wasn't part of some massive local majority. You can't have a purely populous vote system, as that then focuses all the power on densely populated areas. You gotta do it by square miles in some way. I think the system we have, with districts and the electoral, is a good compromise.
 
@Gevlon: Stop being a weasel. You didn't give a single objective criteria what it means to build a wall. There are fences already. If Trump adds 100 feet of fence, does that constitute building the wall he promised "incrementally"?

You said he will build the wall, I say he won't. How can we find out in 4 years whether you were right or I was? If "wall" means "barrier to stop immigrants", how low would the number of illegal immigrants in the USA would have to go for that to be declared a success. I don't think Trump can even half the current number of 10 to 15 million. Do you?
 
In a best-case scenario, perhaps this push against globalization will result in further pushing domestic companies to automate faster, thereby getting us closer to a post-scarcity future. Hopefully in time for a Democratic revival with Basic Income distributing the wealth. Otherwise... well, I for one support our mega-corp overlords.

@"The Wall"

As of 2012, more than 60% of illegal immigrants were people staying on expired visas. A Mexican border wall does nothing about that, and indeed has been the biggest red herring this entire election season.
 
@Azuriel

"My house has a broken window and a broken door.

Lets not bother fixing the broken window as most of the cold air is getting in through the broken door".

Of course not. You fix both.

Enforcing an internationally recognised border is common sense.

Trump isn't closing the official crossing points where Mexicans enter legally UNDER THE SAME RULES as I have to comply with when I go there.

Wait?! That means I'm a victim of waaaacism?! Quick, someone get me a Guardian reporter, I want my story told!

"I landed in New York and instead of going through immigration I sneaked off through the staff entrance. The authorities later caught my white butt and kicked me out. I'm a victim!"

 
@Samus: popularity vote is largely MEANINGLESS because it's irrelevant in the electorate system. I mean: we don't know how many Republician votes WOULD BE in California if Republician votes in California would do anything besides getting you jury duty.

@Tobold: the ONLY objective criteria is effectivity: number of immigrants entering (and ultimately being) in the USA. Look at this chart:
https://www.google.hu/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiZhNjY4J3QAhUCChoKHY-qCqEQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Flondon%2F2015%2F10%2F29%2Fhold-hungarian-border-fence-so-effective-illegal-immigrants-are-now-at-pre-migrant-crisis-levels%2F&psig=AFQjCNHGhu15vfl51dWm_3S2c2Y1ykraGA&ust=1478852414033627

This is the DAILY immigration number of Hungary from 2015 October. Can you guess when Hungary finished building "the wall"?

So if 4 years from now there will be significantly less immigrants in the US than now, that Trump succeeded building "the wall", otherwise he failed/lied.
 
Sorry bad link: http://media.breitbart.com/media/2015/10/Hungary-Illegals-October.jpg
 
"As of 2012, more than 60% of illegal immigrants were people staying on expired visas."

But when they are deported, they won't be able to get visas any more. You have to close the back door too, even if they came in the front door first time around.
 
The wall will not stop anything. The border already has walls, watch towers, cameras, electronic barriers.

You know how most illegal immigrants enter he country? Through airports. With work visas, student visas or tourist visas. They simply do not go back once their visa expires. Even if you built the equivalent to the Great Wall of china at the Mexico border that would do almost nothing to stop immigration.
 
I don't think that has anything to do with why trump won.

Half the population didn't vote. Democrat support for Clinton was lower then Obama.

Trump didn't win because all of a sudden a silent majority went against political correctness. Trump one because the Democratic Party couldn't galvanize their voters and put forward a candidate their voters didn't get behind.

Republican numbers grew slightly but are more or less he same that they have been in 2012 and 2008.

People voted along party lines regardless of trump. At the end of the day this election is no different then any other. The democrats had the same problem they always have, if they can't get their people out to vote they lose.
 
"I mean: we don't know how many Republician votes WOULD BE in California if Republician votes in California would do anything besides getting you jury duty."

We don't know how many more Democrats would have voted in California either. And we don't know how many more Democrats would have voted in Texas, or any other non-swing state. This has been the case in US elections for a few hundred years now, it was no different in this election. This line of argument is pointless.

The meaningful point is that Trump lost the popular vote, it and was no different than every president who lost the popular vote throughout all of US history. Most of the voters did not want him as president. He won by winning several key states by 1% or less. If you cannot understand the important strategic implications of this, and continue to incorrectly say "people wanted Trump," there is nothing more I can do.

@Tobold

Trump is an "I didn't really mean that" brand of compulsive liar. He seriously can't help himself but say things, and will refuse to admit anything out of his mouth was false. When he says "I am going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it," he means that literally because he never bothered to find out mpractical that is before making the statement. You KNOW he means a literal structure of concrete, etc., because "make Mexico pay for it" doesn't make any sense with what Gevlon wants to believe. When it turns out such a thing is literally impossible, he just doubles down with more lies about what he really meant until the statement is meaningless.

Gevlon cannot see that because Gevlon is a "social" who cannot objectively see the flaws in his own side. So he finds himself making these ludicrous arguments akin to "we're really going to build a wall...in our hearts!"

You are, of course, right. No wall will get built, or anything that can be remotely construed as one. But he may do other things which will make the country more hostile to hispanics, so it is possible Gevlon and Trump will try to claim victory.
 
@Bigeye

Trump didn't win because all of a sudden a silent majority went against political correctness.

You might want to re-think that.

It is already being touted(across news agencies and college campuses everywhere) that Trump won because of the very social issue you mention: Political Correctness. The very issue that, up until now, flew under the radar and has made millions of Americans very angry over the years.

The elitist liberals who have continued to jump down the throats of anyone who doesn't subscribe to the notion of being in-line with the group-think of a progressive society, are now facing a wake-up call. The fallout is already being felt as professors and campus administrators everywhere are postponing exams and offering counseling to those who feel marginalized by Trumps election. Really?

College campuses are now creating safe spaces to wall students off from even the mildest forms of disagreement. Too many of them simply had no idea that great numbers of Americans despised their progressive agenda and were eager to strike a blow against political correctness. For crying out-loud(pun intended), Cornell University students even staged what they called a "Cry-In" to help those who feel traumatized by the election results. All while sitting around and sipping on Starbucks coffee..haha!

The Democratic base consists of people like these students - low-info voters who *feel* certain things very strongly. They turned out for Obama because he made them feel awesome about themselves for voting for him. They didn't have these kind of leg-tingly feelings about Clinton. Indeed, even they were smart enough to realize that she was insulting them behind their backs.

The thing that kills me about this, is that other identity groups have been voting in accordance with the interests of their identity group, to the detriment of individual rights and society at large for years...decades even. Yet when cis-hetero white males do it - all of a sudden it's the end of the world.
 
@NoGuff

The same outlets that predicted Clinton had it locked in?

I don't think the numbers support that.

Apart from minor shifts with women voters people voted more or less how they always vote.
Minority turnout was down in many areas from 2008 or it didn't see the increases that outlets were projecting.

I would say that this election was more a failure of Clinton and the Democratic party then a victory by Trump. Trump got the standard republican votes that republican presidential candidates always get. He had slightly higher turnout in rural areas and even managed to flip a few counties from blue to red in some key states.

The most telling thing about the election is that in bastions of democratic support, Clinton had less turnout and margins worse then Obama.

For all the angst Trump gets Clintons own party seems to have liked her even less.
 
The Political correctness thing is an interesting topic in it's own right.

People rally against PC culture but a Trump win will do exactly what to change political correctness?

A student in school or college will still get in trouble for using profanity or degrading others.
A job will still fire an employee who upsets customers or co-workers.
The Republican still has a major base made up of christian voters. Regardless of supporting Trump they wouldn't want to see all their politicians using foul language and getting caught in scandals. These people certainly didn't vote to end political correctness. They voted for a republican because the republican party SAYS it will uphold christian beliefs

Trump already delivered a much more toned downed speech. His advisers are backpedaling from some of the more incredulous things they said like locking up Clinton.

If you think PC culture is going to radically change in this country I think you are going to be mistaken.



 
I would say that this election was more a failure of Clinton and the Democratic party then a victory by Trump.

I would say that on both sides the number of voters who were *against* the opposing candidate outnumbered those that were strongly *for* their own candidate.

If you think PC culture is going to radically change in this country I think you are going to be mistaken.

Tricky thing, culture, in general. Lots of it is about aping the behavior of others. If Trump continues to make, and get away with, remarks that the PC crowd would consider offensive, other people might well be emboldened to make such remarks as well. Your examples are narrow situations where somebody else can really punish you for making a remark that is not PC. But in many real life situations that doesn't apply.
 
@Tobold

Your examples are narrow situations where somebody else can really punish you for making a remark that is not PC.

If I am debating someone on an issue and that person makes it known that they are a member of a particular group, and I use that information to bolster my counter-argument, I don't want to have to worry that I might be arrested, or suffer some form of sanction because I am now viewed and labeled as "such and such". See, that's the thing...you cannot have a debate on something such as homosexuality with someone who is a homosexual - when it is known - that you know they are homosexual. The moment you find out they are homosexual, you are forced into applying your so called "veneer" of political correctness and form your debating points around that, not the actual issue itself. The left has, over the decades, used PC to instill fear into those who disagree with their progressive agenda.

If Trump continues to make, and get away with, remarks that the PC crowd would consider offensive, other people might well be emboldened to make such remarks as well.

And this would be a bad thing? Imagine the day when people's feelings might have to get hurt so that actual people don't have to.
 
You understand of course that some of the targets of Trump's fans have reason to believe that it'll be more than feelings hurt very shortly.

The idea behind is that preventing people from expressing sexist or racist thoughts will ultimately reduce sexism and racism.

This is very Protagonist thinking - the idea isn't for the benefit of the person expressing those thoughts, it's for the benefit of the people who that person is expressing them towards.
 
@gruffertus

You understand of course that some of the targets of Trump's fans have reason to believe that it'll be more than feelings hurt very shortly.

Before the election, and during Obama's term, it was about "race" relations - where dedicated police officers(of all nationalities) were being targeted and actually killed. And now that the election is over you want people to believe that "trump fans" are somehow the demons behind the ills that drive this issue? Please.
 
@NoGuff: While I do agree that there already is a deadly race war going on in the USA under Obama, the majority of people killed in it are blacks being killed by white police officers, while the other way round is a lot less common. I would consider it likely that under Trump the race war widens and becomes more lethal. But given the distribution of firepower there certainly will be less white deaths than black and hispanic deaths.

If you believe that a dead person of color is less of a tragedy than a dead white person, I would ask you to leave.
 
@Samus: we indeed don't know how many Wyoming Dems are out there. This is why I say the majority vote is a bad indicator, telling "majority of the voters wanted Clinton" is just as meaningless as telling "my Aunt wanted Clinton".

If in 2020 there will be 5M illegal immigrants in the US instead of 11M, will you say that Trump failed and I'm just claiming victory, based on the facts that there was no large wall paid by Mexico?

@guffertus: Do you think that people are benefited by stopping other people from expressing their hostile thoughts while they still have the hostile thoughts? If there is a guy around who wants to harm me, I want to know to prepare to defend myself or flee.

@Tobold: there is no race war. There is a high crime rate with high level of guns which make unprofessional police officers do fatal mistakes. In case the victim of the mistake is black, it gets to the top of the media. 90% of the black violent dead are killed by a black (most likely himself).
 
@Gevlon: If that was not a problem of race, you would have an equal occurrence of black police officers shooting white criminals.
 
@Tobold: and we probably have an equal occurrence of black police officers shooting white criminals. Just when it happens, the whites say "good job officer" instead of rioting.
 
@Tobold

If you believe that a dead person of color is less of a tragedy than a dead white person, I would ask you to leave.

What? Where in any of my posts did I indicate I felt this way?

Fact: Police killed nearly twice as many whites in 2015 than blacks. 50 percent of the victims of fatal police shootings were white, while 26 percent were black. Some may argue that these statistics are evidence of racist treatment toward blacks, since whites consist of 62 percent of the population and blacks make up 13 percent of the population. However, blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties. All of this data(as compiled by the Washington Post) is freely available for anyone who wishes to know the facts before spouting off racial rhetoric.
 
@Tobold

If that was not a problem of race, you would have an equal occurrence of black police officers shooting white criminals.

Fact 1: Black and Hispanic police officers are more likely to fire a gun at blacks than white officers. This is according to a Department of Justice report in 2015 that states that Black police officers were 3.3 times more likely to fire their gun at a black than white police officers.

Fact 2: according to FBI data for 2015 - which found that 40 percent of cop killers are black(despite being only 13 percent of the population) a police officer(of any race) is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black.
 
"If in 2020 there will be 5M illegal immigrants in the US instead of 11M, will you say that Trump failed and I'm just claiming victory, based on the facts that there was no large wall paid by Mexico?"

Considering the argument was whether he would literally build a wall...yes, obviously. I never said he would not do other things (in fact I assume he will), only that he will not build the wall he promised, or anything like it. Mass deportations are not "building a wall."

I think we do have the framework for an objective bet now, though. What is the actual number of illegal immigrants in the US in 2020 that would make you admit Trump failed? I think 5M is a pretty good number, even though it means barely more than half. If 10M are left in 2020, he clearly failed. If 4M are left, he clearly succeeded.

You seem pretty confident, are you going to hedge now? Or do you agree on 5M in 2020 as the basis for a bet?
 
@Samus: yes, I agree that if he didn't get the illegals below 5M he failed/lied. And what matters most, his voters will agree and he'll be fired!
 
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