If Trump wins, what is the best theory of why?

by on September 16, 2016 at 12:12 am in Current Affairs, Education, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

I can think of a few candidate theories:

1. His views are the right views, more or less, and American voters recognized this.

2. A quite significant percentage of America is very directly racist.  I don’t mean statistical discrimination here, I mean “downright racist.”

3. Give Ray Fair (NYT) his Nobel Prize right here and now, economic conditions truly predict election results at the national level.

4. The “third term Party fatigue” effect is stronger in national elections than we had thought.

5. Hillary Clinton is a weaker candidate than many people had thought.  Maybe so, but that has to be unpacked a bit more.  I would try “the Democratic national establishment doesn’t understand why much of America trusts it so little, so it keeps on doing and saying unpopular things.  Those things include elevating some candidates and also encouraging them to take particular stances.”

6. As Robert D. Putnam suggested, ethnic diversity can lower the quality of governance, and this is one step along that path toward greater fractiousness.  This may blend into racism, but much of it is simply “fear of being in the losing coalition.”  The common claim that the electorate is more polarized than before fits into this.  You might try Ezra Klein’s podcast with Arlie Hochschild.

7. America is not ready for a woman president.  Or maybe it has to be a different kind of woman president, noting that Hillary, while she has passed through many filters, has not passed through the “truly popular with normal voters filter” in the same way that say Thatcher and Merkel did.  And no, New York isn’t normal, sorry people.

8. The Democrats have plenty of policy proposals, but only the Republicans are running on ideas.  And very often an idea beats no idea, even if the idea on the table is a bad one.

I don’t agree with #1, and while #4 sounds like a plausible part of the story to me, as a truly major explanation I find it hard to square with Obama’s continuing popularity.  #3 kicks in but as a dominant force, it seems hard to elevate when median household income just grew at 5.2%, inflation is low, there is no major war, gas prices are low, and asset prices are high.

On #2, I see #5 as a more convincing statement of related ideas, while admitting #2 is a factor.  How well the Democrats do in the Senate might give us some bead on the relative import of #5.

Overall I am seeing a lot of room for #5 and #6 and #7 and #8.  Presumably 5, 6, and 8 are hard for many Democrats to admit, and I genuinely wonder how their thoughts run in the quiet of their homes.  Some are plugging hard for an extreme version of #2, but, as long as we are considering matters of prejudice, I find the gender bias of #7 easier to swallow.  We did after all just elect Obama for two terms in a row, and we have never ever had a woman president or even a serious contender before.

If, I wish to stress that word if.  But that he is still in the running, and making it close, is reason enough to ponder these questions.

1 skeptic September 16, 2016 at 12:17 am

#6 for sure!

Ann Coulter called it with “Adios America”

Americans are entitled to an ethno-nationalist state, which will work better than a Brazil-type place plus be more pleasant for almost everyone.

2 Thiago Ribeiro September 16, 2016 at 5:00 am

America is a Brazilian-type place (Blacks, Latinos and Asians comprise one-third of the nation– it is already three-fourths of the rate of the main non-White Brazilian racial group, mixed White and Black). Unless, of course, you mean Brazilian miscegenation vs American historical practice of banning interracial marriages. It may be too late for trying to overturn Loving v. Virginia, though. And “ethno-nationalist” (if you mean securing the bords, “nationalist” is more than enough) is a meaningless word. Either a country is the home of a race/ ethnicity or it is home of a nation comprised of more than one ethnicity (as it seems to be the case of a country with Asians, Blacks and Whites descended from people who came from all nations of the world– no one is ethnically American for the same reasons there is no such a thing as an ethnical Brazilian). Maybe you mean that American Whites (I doubt you are concerned about German immigrants) deserve a racially pure national home.

3 Ray Lopez September 16, 2016 at 5:13 am

I’ve read that only in the past few years have Brazilian media like magazines shown black models on the cover. It used to be “White Is Beautiful”.

4 Thiago Ribeiro September 16, 2016 at 6:31 am

It is a complicate matter, actually, but it is a good summary. Before dealing with this cultural issue, let me repeat my point. Demographically (as seen throught a Whites vs the Rest lens) there is little difference between Brazil and the USA already.
Black women always had a hold on popular male imagination. In fact, not only popular imagination, Francisca (Chica da Silva), a former slave, was the concubine of a very rich Portuguese businessmen in Colonial Brazil’s most important diamond producing region and achieved and kept a high social status even after he went back to Portugal. The only unusual things are that it was not a discreet affair and she profited more from it and had much more independence than normally accepted social rules (concerning women, not just Black women) would have allowed. The affair qua affair was “business as usual”. However, Brazilian Big Media, mostly White-owned, used to treat it more like a niche, mainly linked to Samba (the famous “Sargentelli’s Mulattoes” for instance were a famous group of Black/Mixed Blood dancers) and other Black pop culture matters. Brazilian soap operas (telenovelas) and kids TV shows (usually presented by a White young woman, a Blonde if possible) at their heyday in the 80s and 90s probably are even better examples of obvious Black underrepresentation until recent years. Also, since the late imperial times at the most latest, the South and Southern regions (particularly Rio de Janeiro City since the late colonial days), whiter than the rest of the country, are the most developed ones and the seat of the most important media companies, which have a well-known and often resented tendency to consider and present themselves and their interests as representative of the country. It is not just a Black vs White problem as the White and Native-White cultures of the North and Midwest hinterlands are historically underrepresented, too. Brazilian media was charged as “standing with its back to its own country looking to Europe “. So it was less of a “White is Beautiful” thought than a poor and culturally (since the times “culture” meant only letters and the occasional photo printed on paper) overlooked group being underrepresented. International trends also reinforced it: it was not Brazilians who made Gisele Bündchen (trust me, it is not a typical Brazilian surname) the top earning supermodel five years in a row and a multimillionaire. Also exploration of feminine beauty is a much more recent and smaller phenomenon in Brazil than it is in the USA. According to Wikipedia, Brazil’s version of Playboy is more than two decades younger than the American version and spent its early years under federal censorship regime.

5 Steve Sailer September 16, 2016 at 8:54 am

Are there any countries in Latin America that aren’t (relatively) white supremacist in culture by contemporary USA standards?

I guess Haiti under the Duvalier and Aristide regimes, but is that an encouraging example?

6 Thiago Ribeiro September 16, 2016 at 10:28 am

Well, I would not look for encouraging examples of any sort in Latin America (except maybe how resilient human societies can be).
Also Latin American precedent hardly applies to America’s issues: (through a White supremacist lens, which is not my usual point of view) your demographic situation is worse than anything I have heard about since the Apartheid ended (maybe Israel if the Palestine refugees were back?). Most important South American countries have an overwhelming White majority north of three-fourths. Even in Brazil, Whites are half of the population and they are protected by a sanitary cordon of more the half of the population considering itself of mixed heritage (Brazilian Census works by self-identification, which is bad to track actual changes of the society’s racial make-up, but is great to track cultural change — and to best of my knowledge mixed-blood Brazilians benefit as much from affirmative action prigrams as Blacks so they don’t have special incentives to think of themselves as Black unless they are unmistakenly Black). Blacks and Asians don’t comprise even 10% of the population (and the East Asians cluster in a few cities, it is not a real problem). American racial groups are impervious, immutable. It means that, a few years from now, when White Americans become another minority, they will be surrounded by several hostile, formerly oppressed groups. Our problem is making justice to our Black brothers and sisters, yours is saving your system from destruction. Our system can be reformed, yours can’t.
I am not sure about how much White-centric Latin American culture is. Brazil aside, the Latin American countries that I know well are exceedingly White (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia). However, the Brazilian example may be interesting. Things are clearly changing. Black pop culture manifestations are being widely successful (interestingly enough, the best Brazilian “serious” writers from what I woukd call the golden age of Brazilian Literature, between the late 1800s and the early 1900s before the shock of the 1922-1924 Uprising, were Black– or what Americans would call Black at any rate– their White contemporaries are long forgotten). There are much more high-profile Black actors, anchormen, weathermen and singers now than a few years ago. Apparently, media companies respond to incentives (the sticks– pressure from a stronger and more vocal Black movement and a more polically correct Zeitgeist–and the carrots– a expanding Black middle class and, since 1994, the growing purchasing power of the poor). So media is not perfect, but it probably can be improved.

7 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:29 am

Not sure what you mean by, ‘in culture’. The professional class and the patriciate in loci like Mexico and Peru tends to be abnormally caucasoid. The Southern Cone countries do not qualify as racially mixed bar Paraguay, but Paraguay’s signature is accross-the-board bilingualism, so it’s odd to attribute ‘white supremacist’ dispositions to Paraguayans.

8 Danton September 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

You dont get it. #6 makes you the problem. It’s saying that diversity lowers the quality of government because it makes you vote for even worse politicians than normal. Trump is the lower quality.

9 The Anti-Gnostic September 16, 2016 at 8:03 am

Diversity means you don’t vote on what the candidate supports; you vote on whether the candidate supports you

10 Uninformed Observer September 16, 2016 at 8:19 am

That was my reading also. ‘Diversity’ is a code word for other things, so shouldn’t have been used in #6. The problem is balkanization, a trend which absolutely lowers the quality of governance for the republic.

11 simeon September 16, 2016 at 9:41 am

“Diversity means you don’t vote on what the candidate supports; you vote on whether the candidate supports you”

This is a double whammy against Hillary. Still numerous whites line up behind Trump for reasons of ethnic solidarity, while the rest of our diverse electorate isn’t interested in some old white lady.

12 albatross September 16, 2016 at 9:46 am

Ethnic identity politics means you vote for the crook because at least he’s our crook.

13 Anoni September 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Lee Kuan Yew nailed it:
In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.
-der spiegel.

You don’t need anything more. And thats not racism, unless the monolithic bloc voting by blacks and latinos is also racist. Its just the reality of the human species.

14 Danton September 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

You dont have to. The Clinton coalition is going to be 50+% white too. You’re not going to lose anything and it’s not against you at all.

It’s entirely your own choice to vote for horribly incompetent Trump and it’ll be costly for everyone. Horrible governance will be terrible for everyone.

15 Anoni September 16, 2016 at 7:04 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCx3ov55tUw

Nothing to worry about at all. I believe the San Jose police chief has faced no sanctions and no media ever focused on this. Hillary wins this is the future for whites.

16 Student September 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

A combination of #5 and #6. btw, #6 would be better described as fear of change or fear of others (which does blend with #2 just not consciously).

I think these things keep Trump close but the path to 270 will still be to steep for him. He might take FL, OH, NC, and IA but thats not going to be enough. Hillary is going to win: VA, PA, WI, CO, NH, and MI. With those states, its game over this year. VA, PA and MI look like especially long odds to him.

Unless Trump can steal anyone of: WI, CO, NH… its over. FL, OH, NC, and IA dont even matter at this point.

17 Jamie_NYC September 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

What, eight items and ONLY TWO mentions of racism, and one (implicit) mention of sexism? Surely the American electorate deserves worse!

It’s obvious to me, that just like the Brexit vote, this election is pitting the elites, supported by old and new media, against the ordinary people. The people have finally found it’s champion and cannot be ignored any more (though they may yet be defeated).

18 Jeff R. September 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

I don’t think many of Tyler’s eight points are very good. We elected and then re-elected a black guy who spent half his formative years in Indonesia, but we’re somehow “not ready” for a woman president? Why even include that on the list? It doesn’t pass the sniff test.

19 Alain September 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

+1

Possible explanations: Tyler is now employed by Bloomberg and he has follow company policy. Or Tyler has always been this horrible and has masked it by talking about restaurants. Hard to say.

20 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 11:49 am

“The people have finally found it’s champion and cannot be ignored any more (though they may yet be defeated).”
By whom? Isn’t the people and the voters the same people? Do you mean the people will defeat itself? Let’s be honest here: you are just taking a leaf from the old Communist playbook and saying some Whites (particularly some men– i.e. white men=” the people”, let’s party like it is 1776 and Blacks and women have nothing to do with”We, the People”) are showing signs of false consciousness and won’t vote your way.

21 asdf September 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm

White women would have elected Romney by a wide margin, and traditionally vote Republican.

http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-11-08-z2.PNG

This is a white vs non-white thing.

22 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Fair enough, ‘White People” as a whole are “We, the People” and women of any race are “those damn sluts who will sleep with anyone but me and are ruining the uncompromising realism of superheroes films . Thankfully, I have Super Mario” if the comments we keep reading here are anything to go by.

23 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm

If that were true then it’s very hard to explain Obama’s victories.
More nuance is needed., and it’s easy to find: married women are the ones who tend to vote Republican; their unmarried sisters (widowed, divorced never married) are the ones who vote for Democrats.

24 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm

If that were true then it’s very hard to explain Obama’s victories.
More nuance is needed., and it’s easy to find: married women are the ones who tend to vote Republican; their unmarried sisters (widowed, divorced never married) are the ones who vote for Democrats.

25 asdf September 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Yes, the more you break out the metrics the more you will find that the more “core America” someone is the more to the right they are. White versus non-white. Married vs not-married. Religious vs Secular.

It’s almost like the more George Washington/Leave it to Beaver you are, the more to the right you are. Dems are a collection of degenerate fringes + a few managerial elites that use them to gain power and status for themselves. Their political economy is based on taxing core America to pay for degenerate America, while skimming a bit off the top for themselves.

26 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

“It’’s almost like the more George Washington/Leave it to Beaver you are, the more to the right you are. Dems are a collection of degenerate fringes + a few managerial elites that use them to gain power and status for themselves. Their political economy is based on taxing core America to pay for degenerate America, while skimming a bit off the top for themselves.”

“Degenerate fringes”: Asians, Gays and Jews for example. “Wir, das Volk der Vereinigten Staaten”

27 Peter Crinklaw October 2, 2016 at 2:27 am

Most people just pick a pet theory and hone in on it. This is the natural human response to a problem; become an advocate for the first position the occurs to person.

There is a recent trend amongst certain bloggers, where they will resist this impulse and provide a list of possible theories. I admire this.

28 prior_test2 September 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

‘Americans are entitled to an ethno-nationalist state’

Who are those ethno Americans of which you speak? Sailer tirelessly points to Franklin’s opinion – which definitely included excluding swarthy Swedes from Franklin’s ethno-nationalist vision of America.

29 Antonios September 16, 2016 at 12:21 am

Hard to see #5 as the determining factor given Trump beat out all the Republican candidates from a long way behind. For #5 to be true, we’d have to assume all the Republican candidates were just as bad or worse.

And Hillary already beat Sanders (although I don’t think Sanders was a strong candidate either).

30 dan1111 September 16, 2016 at 7:01 am

This ignores the difference between the primary and general election.

Trump was the “best” in the primary contest, by definition. But that doesn’t mean he was the best available candidate for the general election. They have different electorates, and also, Trump won only a plurality of primary voters.

31 mulp September 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Trump was the least losers of the 16 candidates.

What better case for using simple approval voting than the 2016 primary for President!

If from the beginning Republican primary voters simply cast a vote for every one of the Republican candidates they approved of, I’m sure most would have had no problem picking 5 out of 16. Some might have picked 10. A few just 1.

Very few would have approved of only Trump.

32 Sam the Sham September 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Oh lawdy yes. I’m in favor of any voting reform, this first-past-the-post nonsense is exactly why we’re here in the first place. I prefer a borda count, myself, but a step in the right direction is still worth it.

33 Roy LC September 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

A lot of Republican primary voters would disagree with that. It just turned out that the GOP was made up of 3-4 natural parties in a fracturing coalition, and in the end several of those parties hated each other more than they hated Trump. When the two surviving parties were the Cruz faction, led by a very bizarre and odd candidate (I say this as someone who voted for him, and actually likes him) and Trump, the rest of the party preferred Trump (voting for Kasich after Ohio was picking Trump).

This shows that the GOP establishment (and everyone was establishment compared to Trump) candidates were unusually poor in not allowing even a possible compromise non Trump candidate, and this was largely because the GOP leadership as a whole had lost track of their electorate.

34 A Definite Beta Guy September 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

Bingo. The GOP has fractured and could not offer a compromise candidate. Infighting made Trump the least-common-denominator here. Trump is still a horrible candidate, especially in a general election.
I voted in IL on Super Tuesday and I pulled for Trump. It was down to Trump or Cruz, and Cruz is even crazier than DT (from my POV)

35 Floccina September 16, 2016 at 10:10 am

In the primaries name recognition is enough to carry the day. Bernie was also a very bad candidate.

36 Daniel Weber September 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

We have no idea what kind of candidate Hillary is.

1. She won a gimme election in New York.

2. She lost to an neophyte Obama, and the Clintons hate him for that.

3. She forced everyone else out of the Democratic primary before it started. The only reasons Sanders came from nowhere to become a serious challenge was because it never occurred to the Clintons that they had to do something about him.

37 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

We obviously have some idea of her as a candidate now, even if your list is all true. She’s terrible at running for office. This is not the same as being terrible at doing the job.

38 BUD CADDELL September 16, 2016 at 12:24 am

Thank you for spelling out the possible explanations. It does dawn on me, now, that Trump has a real chance.

I don’t think #7 is a major factor. I see an inherent bias in reporting, but I think there’s more baggage in the Clinton name than in her gender. As Colin Powell said, she has always embodied unbridled ambition and yet she’s not a change agent. It’s hard to get excited about someone only interested in power.

As a Texan by birth, #2 is more real than most of us will ever admit publicly. There are shades of racism, and so it’s difficult to call any person a “racist” unless they are card-carrying clan members. I do believe we’re watching a power shift from white men to a much more splintered demography occur and that process, by nature, will be messy.

#8 – Republicans may offer policy ideas, but Trump has not. His policies are, “Wait until I reveal them, they’ll be great.”

39 Kris September 16, 2016 at 4:51 am

#8 – Republicans may offer policy ideas, but Trump has not. His policies are, “Wait until I reveal them, they’ll be great.”

Well, based on my trolling of alt/paleo-right message boards, people seem to be convinced that the problems America faces are easily soluble, and it’s only a venal establishment that’s out to enrich itself that prevents the right solutions from being executed on the ground. (“Right” solutions include an end to immigration, heavily protectionist trade policies, and “race realism”.) So there seems to be this segment of society that absolutely believes that “America will become great again” if only an anti-establishment person grabs the reins of power in the country. Hence they have no problem believing, and voting for, Trump even though his professed policies thus far are hollow banalities.

40 Just An Australian September 16, 2016 at 5:56 am

there’s #9 – American Voters are stupid. As this comment magnificently illustrates

41 steves September 16, 2016 at 11:51 am

Perhaps true, but then to a first degree of approximation all voters are stupid, are they not, and always have been.

42 Heorogar September 16, 2016 at 8:07 am

When JFK and Reagan implemented similar economic, “hollow banalities” they wrought years of prosperity. Reagan was so effective that it took ten years of Bush and Clinton bull shit to reverse them.

This cycle Trump has awakened millions more deplorables to the fact that the aristocracy (establishment GOP, Dem/liberal politicians, 99% of professors, Hollywood, judges, et al) a.k.a. the establishment, hates them and has worked against their deplorable interests for decades. .

Two additional reasons: Trump is not Hillary. He isn’t Hillary.

Plus, Americans don’t want to live in Venezuela (economics not racism). Illary offers welfare checks and she’ll take a cut of each.

All that, and:

Racism!
Xenophobia!
Misogyny!
Homophobia!
Islamophobia!

Irredeemable deplorables’ beliefs may be summarized in an irredeemable quote, “The worst lesson that can be taught a man is to rely upon others and to whine over his sufferings.” Theodore Roosevelt, January 1897 – you can see his face on Mount Rushmore.

Keep deplorable my friends.

43 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 9:08 am

I guess we are to pretend that a long-lasting economic crisis didn’t defeat Bush I in 1992. Or that Republican policies gave us the “jobless recover” first and then the greatest economic crisis since the Geat Depression. Or that Reagan-Bush I –all Reagan promises to the contrary– gave us non-stop debt explosion, which a “tax and spend Democrat had to stop”. I guess among Clinton’s “bull shits” we can list not mortgaging the future in exchange for short-term polical success.

“Irredeemable deplorables’ beliefs may be summarized in an irredeemable quote, ‘The worst lesson that can be taught a man is to rely upon others and to whine over his sufferings.’”
Unless he wants to whine over and over again about the unbearable torture it is being a White American heterosexual man in America and how it is a Democrat conspiration that prevents women from finding him interesting. Then, he deserves his own face on Mount Rushmore.

44 TMC September 16, 2016 at 9:27 am

In 90- early 92 there was a minor recession. All we heard from Clinton’s helpers (media) up to the election was how bad the recession was. Then about mid November, magically the recession has been over for about 9 months.

45 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

Mr. Bush downplaying it, refusing to call it a recession, pretending it wasn’t there. When it failed, he resorted to promising it would be over any time soon, serious, you guys. He bet the election on this and lost. The unemployment rate jumped 40% from Bush’s inauguration to Clinton’s (Reagan’s last year showed the lowest rate since Carter, Bush’s last year showed the highest one since the early corrective Reagan recession ended and worse than anything under Carter). An unmitigated disaster.

46 Bob from Ohio September 16, 2016 at 11:02 am

“long-lasting economic crisis didn’t defeat Bush I in 1992”

Crisis?

“The United States entered recession in July 1990, which lasted 8 months through March 1991.[1] Although the recession was mild relative to other post-war recessions,[2] it was characterized by a sluggish employment recovery, most commonly referred to as a jobless recovery. Unemployment continued to rise through June 1992, even though economic growth had returned the previous year.” wikipedia

This is after a huge economic expansion under Reagan.

47 Daniel Weber September 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

Bush 41 raised taxes. It was an excellent sledgehammer to use against him, played against “read my lips.” A lot of Democrats were using it to call him a liar, too. Even though Bush compromised with Congressional Democrats to do a very responsible bill.

(The 1990 omnibus bill established PAYGO, and there’s a good argument that that bill, passed by Bush and the Congressional Democrats, was more important to the 1990s boom than Clinton and the late 90s Congressional Republicans. )

48 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Again, Bush’s last year at job marked the biggest unemployment since the sharp Reagan correction, worse than anything since Ford’s worst years. Among the soundbites of those days, you forgot to mention the “Saddam still has his job, what about you?” line to counter Bush’s attempts tried to play the Gulf War I card. It really packs a punch when you are the president who made the unemployment rate almost 50% bigger than it was before you took office.
By the way, it was over in March, 1991 or it was “1990-1992” Recession? Can you make your minds? I can tell you the voter felt the unemployment sting to the bitter, pathetic end.

49 TMC September 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

You are correct : ended 1991

50 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 2:16 pm

And by November 1992 people were still out of a job (those damn takers!). The entire Bush Administration was an economic disaster. We just were a little distracted by the fireworks and videogames of the “surgical strikes” of Iraq War I. Again, Bush’s last year (1992) saw the highest unemployment rate (despite the tax hike and the deficit) since the worst years since the early 70’s. Now, you can say he was finally getting the hang of being a less disastrous president and it was so sad he lost his job (after so many Americans had already lost them), but you can say it about anyone. Carter did some good things, like airline deregulation for example. He probably one needed another term or maybe two to find his game… Yet, facts are what they are, Bush I’s economic legacy was an unmitigated disaster.

51 usathoughts September 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm

From a macro viewpoint. This democrat administration has doubled our Nations debt in just 8 years. More so than all former Presidents combined.

This year alone will add close on 700 billion dollars in debt.

On top of this China’s Reserve Currency Status goes into effect this October. The Democrat Leadership have supported this. If Hillary is elected those on Welfare and Entitlement Programs will be the first to feel the pain. It will have a negative effect on 85 percent of the working population.

I doubt if you have any understanding of the above. Well, you are not alone!

52 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Yeah, Republicans care so much about the debt even if “Reagan proved deficts don’t matter”. This is why they they stopped twice the shrinking of it (1980 and 2000). When Reagan was elected the debt-to-GDP ratio was at iabout ts lowest since WW II. Again, Bush I made the unemployment rate almost 50% higher than it was when he took the oath, it is unheard since the Great Depression (the exception is Nixon 1968-1972, but the unemployment rate was exceptionally low when he was inaugurated). Again, blaming Clinton I for ending Reagan’s debt-fueled miracle when Bush I had already presided over one of the most post disastrous post-wars economies is ridiculous (“oh, but it was only from 1990-1992 a.k.a. Bush I’s almost entire term”). Debt-to-GDP ratio doubled under Reagan and Bush I.It only rose 50 % under Obama (even after the economy melted after Bush II”s Great Recession). https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-by-year-compared-to-gdp-and-major-events-3306287

“On top of this China’s Reserve Currency Status goes into effect this October.”
Cheney downplayed the deficits, Mccain sang the praise of the 2008 melting economy (strong fundamentals, you know). It is nice to see Republicans care about the economy, even if just another country’s.
“If Hillary is elected those on Welfare and Entitlement Programs will be the first to feel the pain.”
So what? They are the takers anyway, right? Eviently, if Trump is elected, he will make the Chinese pay for a Great Wall… again. The details are hazy, though.

53 albatross September 16, 2016 at 9:49 am

My impression is that this is how most political rhetoric and discussions go. We know what we need to do, and it is only the evil wreckers who stand in the way. Actual intelligent discussion of tradeoffs and imperfect policies for an imperfect world are far more rare.

54 Thiago Ribeiro September 16, 2016 at 6:32 am

They’ll be huge.

55 Plucky September 16, 2016 at 12:37 am

The likeliest path for Trump to win probably involves Gary Johnson clearing 10% of the vote. Most pollsters believe he is on net pulling more support away from Clinton than Trump, especially in the under-35 age range. If Trump wins, but with low/mid 40’s vote percentage, the most straightforward theory would be that Clinton could not re-assemble the electoral coalition that Obama did. Obama (listening to Judis & Teixera) consciously evicted the remainder of the white working class from the Dem party as the price of motivating millennials, especially millennial women, to turn out for him. He succeeded for himself. In the Trump wins / Johnson >10% scenario, it would basically mean that R’s kept the D’s Obama evicted, but Clinton couldn’t keep the millennials. That failure would likely be judged a personal one (i.e., choice 5), a combination of age & style, apparent corruption, apparent dishonesty, and apparent incompetence. A pet theory of mine is that millennials are so digital-native that the “grandma doesn’t quite understand how email works” dodges in Hillary’s email/server travails project not innocence but rather a technological incompetence unworthy of a 21st century president.

56 somedude September 16, 2016 at 12:47 am

Gary Johnson has definitely stolen the vote of this millennial from Hilary. I don’t even particularly dislike her (as a matter of fact, I’m starting to feel bad for her). But Gary’s moderate libertarianism is just so damn sexy!

57 Alan September 16, 2016 at 8:32 am

Stolen? His supporters are sensitive to that word.

58 A Definite Beta Guy September 16, 2016 at 7:51 am

This comment in whole. In terms of General Election politics, Hillary is not able to mobilize the Democratic coalition as much as Obama. Trump himself is under-performing prior Republican candidates. It’s not that Trump is a good candidate, it’s either that Hillary is absolutely horrible or the Democratic coalition is a lot tougher to keep together than we imagined.

59 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 3:34 pm

As I’ve posted before, these two candidates are so crappy that the only person in the country they could possibly hope to beat is each other. Any regular Republican would crush Hillary, and any regular Democrat would crush Trump. I hope there’s a way to fix the primary system so we don’t get such a horrible choice again.

60 Thomas Sewell September 16, 2016 at 9:36 pm

+1

It’s incredible that both candidates are so horrible compared to most years. The media and the internet literally can’t keep up with all the negatives for each one.

If Trump wins, I actually think Scalia’s death will be what makes the final difference. That puts the USSC clearly into play and many Republicans who would otherwise take the election off or do a 3rd party protest vote will in the end try and mitigate the longer term damage losing the USSC to Hillary appointees for a generation would do. It’s tough enough for a GOP President to get a good Justice approved, let alone try and get one from a Clinton WH.

61 msgkings September 17, 2016 at 1:05 am

Personally I prefer Hillary to win mainly because then we have a Dem president and a Rep Congress, which historically has been a pretty good set up (1994-2000, 2010 to now). I like gridlock. Also, as bad as she is, Trump is a clown and an embarrassment. Not the end of the country though if he wins, which is looking more likely. It’s a joke about to happen for real.

62 Ja-Rule's Eternal Banger September 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm

I’m guessing that Johnson will finish the race below where his poll numbers are right now. People who are surrounded by opposite party voters might be “parking” their votes with Johnson. As a student at a very liberal college who is a Trump supporter I know that this strategy is very tempting, and I’ve seen it used by fellow closet trump supporters. I imagine the same thing could be happening with Hillary supporters in places where Trump is favored.

Basically, announcing your political preference can be damaging to your relationships, maybe this election more than most, so people are saying Johnson.

63 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Third party candidates almost always poll much better than actually get in votes. The rare exceptions are those like Perot and Wallace who have signature issues the other candidates won’t touch and who make themselves household names.

64 Nick September 16, 2016 at 12:43 am

I’ll add another one: #9 That the euphemistically described ‘low information voters’ are even more low information than political scientists, pundits, analysts, and DC crowd realize. That the average person is only listening with one ear towards whatever political stuff is going on, so Trump saying outrageous things is like getting converted from digital to analog; all they hear is a signal that he’s a break with the status quo of stagnation and not getting anything done in Washington.

Most Americans have almost no financial or economic education, they didn’t do a degree in psychology or sociology, so they hear Trump say, “I’m going to cause 4% economic growth” and don’t realize how utterly ridiculous that suggestion is, they just hear, “I’m going to grow the economy” which they want. They hear him say, “I’m going to build a wall and make Mexicans pay for it” and don’t realize that that is neither feasible nor would it be a solution even if it were, let alone that he’d somehow get Mexico to pay for it, and they instead hear, “I’m concerned about immigration and want to take bold action on it, unlike a historically grid-locked Congress.”

In other words, that the average American voter doesn’t know enough about politics or governance to be able to legitimately discern realistic policy proposals from bullshit.

65 ChisA September 16, 2016 at 12:54 am

Indeed – a sober analysis of the politics is pretty silly for something that is basically a version of American Idol for ugly people.

Intelligent people should simply ignore the reality TV show that is the presidential election, it’s not worthy of sensible discourse.

66 JT September 16, 2016 at 2:11 am

“They hear him say, “I’m going to build a wall and make Mexicans pay for it” and don’t realize that that is neither feasible nor would it be a solution even if it were, let alone that he’d somehow get Mexico to pay for it, and they instead hear, “I’m concerned about immigration and want to take bold action on it, unlike a historically grid-locked Congress.”

A well informed Trump supporter could realize Trump’s proposal is unfeasible and yet still support him because they believe that his actual policies will correlate with the sentiments that he has expressed through his statements. In other words, Trump is signaling, his supporters realize that he is signaling, and yet they still support him because they believe Trump will make policy decisions that restrict immigration (or restrict trade, etc) on the margin.

67 M September 16, 2016 at 3:32 am

With signaling, you also have to remember that even if the informed voter is lukewarm on Trump’s proposals, or comfortable with the status quo, they be smart enough to see how any form of voting that isn’t for Trump will be abused.

Taking one issue only, if they vote for someone like “Act of Love” Bush or HRC, then even if they’re comfortable with the US migration system as it stand, they know they’ll see their vote abused as – “America has voted decisively against Trump. They’ve voted against his ideas. So now let’s take more radical action on opening the borders and getting documents for those undocumented”.

There’s no vote for the status quo – the situation has been accelerated so a vote against Trump will be taken as a vote for anti-Trump. That’s how the Establishment will abuse the signal of their vote. The anti-Trump’s ideas are worse than Trump’s.

Or if they abstain, because they like neither the ideas DJT or HRC offer and would endorse neither, they know it’ll be taken by the Establishment as – “The American public, the average person, is basically lazy, apathetic, disengaged and decadent. Let’s orient politics and the economy even more for the strivers, the go-getters, the achievers, the ambitious migrant from another society who comes here to make something of himself”. And that’s another thing that they cannot let stand.

68 JC September 16, 2016 at 5:22 am

+1.

I just can’t believe Trump still has a chance to win. The best characterization of Trump was made months ago by Trevor Noah by pairing him with “classical African Dictators” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FPrJxTvgdQ )… in Africa must those guys either get to power through coup d’état (many times they topple other bad guys) or via rigged elections, but watching such a figure on his way to become POTUS, elected by a nation of educated people in free and fair elections is truly astonishing (way more than Brexit vote).

69 John September 16, 2016 at 6:44 am

Maybe the people got tired of having to live with subhuman non-white scum and their cucked liberal enablers, like you?

70 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm

And they say Trump voters aren’t racist…

71 Bob from Ohio September 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

“I just can’t believe Trump still has a chance to win. ”

Perhaps you should not get your political insights from comedians.

72 8 September 16, 2016 at 8:27 am

There’s nothing wrong with this argument per se, but the flaw is that if we removed the functionally illiterate and lowest information voters from the election, Hillary Clinton would probably be down by 10%. The country would be much farther to the right politically, and there would be no Trump because Obama would never have won election in the first place. The Democrats would be running a candidate like Jeb Bush, and the GOP would be running someone like Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan.

73 VJV September 16, 2016 at 11:07 am

Yeah, no. Not this time. This is the first election since WWII that the Republicans are losing the college-educated white vote.

If you removed the lowest-information voters, Trump probably would not have won the Republican nomination in the first place.

74 M September 16, 2016 at 3:11 pm

If you’re removing only the lowest-information voters that wouldn’t tend to have that much effect on the party membership. Party members who vote in the nomination tend to be higher information. So possibly Trump would still be a go-go. Depends where you set the threshold.

75 VJV September 18, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Education level – a reasonable proxy for low/high information – was the biggest predictor of voting patters in the Republican primaries, with the least-educated voters consistently going for Trump, and more-educated voters going for others (particularly Rubio and Kasich). You are correct that primary voters are, as a group, higher-information than general election voters (who are, as a group, higher-information than non-voters), however, Trump pretty clearly won much of (most of?) his support from the lowest-information slice of this group.

76 asdf September 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm

The lowest information voters are the hood rats Dems turn out every four years in exchange for EBT cards.

Also, the lowest rung of white society still votes for Democrats.

Finally, college educated white men are voting for Trump. Actually what this election has shown is there is a huge split between college educated men and women. Non-college white don’t show this same degree of split.

If you restricted the franchise to just those who graduated high school, thus eliminating the bottom 20% of so of the electorate, Republicans would win every time.

77 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:21 pm

???
It’s generally thought that the more highly educated people are the ones who pull the country to the Left while the less educated (white) working class pulls it rightwards. And in this election we’ve seen a new gap open up among white people, the education gap. Voters (yes, white voters too) with a college education are likely to favor Clinton while non-college educated whites are for Trump by a huge margin.

78 asdf September 16, 2016 at 4:57 pm

We’ve seen a gap open up between white college educated women and other whites. It’s not just education, its education + being a woman. White college educated men support Trump.

79 VJV September 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

“White college-educated men support Trump.”

Really? https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/the-demographic-groups-fueling-the-election/

To be fair, I’ve seen polling results which have found that white college-educated men do support Trump. But certainly they do not support him by nearly as much as white men without a college degree do. It’s probably something of a toss-up. Also, I have not found any comparisons but I’d bet that Trump is running behind Romney and McCain among white college-educated men.

80 Ricardo September 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

“so they hear Trump say, “I’m going to cause 4% economic growth” and don’t realize how utterly ridiculous that suggestion is”

I agree but it is worth pointing out that Trump plagiarized this idea of talking up a 4% growth target from Jeb Bush. The rot runs much deeper than Trump, unfortunately.

81 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm

“I’m going to build a wall and make Mexicans pay for it” and don’t realize that that is neither feasible nor would it be a solution even if it were, let alone that he’d somehow get Mexico to pay for it, and they instead hear, “I’m concerned about immigration and want to take bold action on it, unlike a historically grid-locked Congress.”

It’s both feasible and a necessary part of the solution. The insistence that it is not (much like the insistence that improved policing was futile or that global warming is a threat) is bourgeois status signaling.

82 somedude September 16, 2016 at 12:45 am

Would Donald Trump be doing better or worse against Elizabeth Warren. If he’d be doing worse, then it’s #5.

And let’s be real: it’s #5.

83 Moo cow September 16, 2016 at 12:53 am

It will be entertaining seeing Trump waddle through all 3000 of his fraud cases.

Over/under on what the 3 kids can steal in 4 years? I’ll take 10 billion.

84 HRC campaign worker September 16, 2016 at 1:22 am

That is fat shaming and ableism. People are healthy at every size. Additionally, blacks are disproportionately overweight, so your fat-shaming is also a racist dog whistle. If you disagree with me, you are a deplorable person, and probably a white male, you privileged, uneducated, poor, white trailer trash.

85 prior_test2 September 16, 2016 at 2:52 am

Actually, it is anti-duck. Ducks do not potentially commit fraud nor repeatedly file bankruptcy the way Mr. Trump does. Further, most American ducks do not repeatedly marry people born in other countries, nor is one of their parents an immigrant. Whether ducks are more or less likely to brandish letters from seeming quacks written in 5 minutes is another subject, of course.

86 Thiago Ribeiro September 16, 2016 at 6:36 am

” Further, most American ducks do not repeatedly marry people born in other countries, nor is one of their parents an immigrant.”
So what? Those immigrants are just doing jobs American women won’t do.

87 Bob from Ohio September 16, 2016 at 11:08 am

“Trump waddle”

Clinton is the one who looks like a chubby flightless bird.

These days she even needs help to waddle it seems.

88 Richard A. September 16, 2016 at 12:59 am

9. Russia bashing turns off American voters.
I think she is doing more harm than good to her candidacy with the Russia bashing.

89 Nick September 16, 2016 at 1:54 am

You think that the average American voter is really enamored of Russia?

90 Yancey Ward September 16, 2016 at 2:38 am

No, what will turn people off is the lunatic notion that Trump is a Russian stooge.

91 prior_test2 September 16, 2016 at 2:52 am

Manfort, though ….

92 prior_test2 September 16, 2016 at 2:56 am

Paul Manafort, better said, and considering the spelling mistake, here is a bit of his history from wikipedia – ‘Manafort is best known for his lobbying efforts on behalf of Pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych as well as for dictators such as Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko and guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi. He was an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and was the national chairman of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, as well as being a senior partner in the firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman.’

Notice that no one can claim Manafort to be a McCarthyite style agent of influence for communism – he instead seems to be an equally opportunity taker of money from sources needing all the help they can get to continue to keep funneling the necessary cash to Manafort’s pocket. Well, OK, maybe not cash, except where that can be proven to be true, of course.

93 dan1111 September 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

People turned off by lunatic notions may not be natural Trump voters.

94 M September 16, 2016 at 2:52 am

Less enamoured with the Cold War.

They might fight it again over communism, for an old style nationalist America. Not for new style post-nationalist America over “Russia is more authoritarian and militaristic than we’d like”.

95 8 September 16, 2016 at 8:45 am

People aren’t enamored about a nuclear war with Russia. The U.S. under Bush, Obama and possibly Clinton is threatening Russia to a greater degree than it did during the Cold War. Back then they had the buffer of Eastern Europe, now the U.S. has bases on the border to the West and East and South of Russia. Whatever Russia is today, it is far less of a threat than during the Cold War.

96 Gabe September 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

Nuclear war with Russia is now non-racist, good and liberal. It is amazing what the democrats are asked to accept.

97 Nobody September 16, 2016 at 1:01 am

We use the word racist to mean too much nowadays. There’s a lot of distance between folks who call someone a racial epithet in public (call this “hollywood racism”) and people who feel uncomfortable being replaced as the racial majority in their country.

I don’t think there is much of the first in America, but there is a lot of the second. So sure, lots of Americans are racist if you mean the second one. Word definitions have shifted a long way over the decades, though.

98 Nebfocus September 16, 2016 at 1:20 am

I’m not sure about “being replaced”, but the identity politics of the left has definitely turned off a good number of whites to the Democratic party.

99 Philippe Bélanger September 16, 2016 at 1:04 am

I would say that there is a continuum of public opinion that runs from #1 to #2. At one extreme are the “not even statistically racists” Trump supporters while at the other are people in the right looking at the #2 people and realizing that #6 is fast becoming a reality that can only be stopped by (first) putting an end to immigration.

As usual the parallels between multiculturalism and communism write themselves. I’m sure the latter was opposed by outright egoists as well as altrustic people who nonetheless understood that most of their fellow human beings were selfish by nature.

100 Sam the Sham September 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Ok, so everyone, whether you’re on Team Deplorable or with Her Worshipfulness, knows that Trump followers are Angry White Men, and Racists. What are Clinton followers? As someone more in the Trump camp, while I have plenty of antipathy toward Hillary, I don’t have any hostility or stereotype of her followers. Naive, perhaps, or afraid of change (content with the status quo), if I were to assign any characteristic. Seriously, Clinton supporters, what nasty things do you get called? Trump supporters, what nasty things do you call Clinton supporters?

… From my perspective, it seems like the one running a hate-filled and divisive campaign is Clinton. Also worth asking: If Clinton wins, what’s the best theory on why? I surely would not expect a similar entry of #2 in that list, though certainly not all her followers are saints.

101 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I don’t like Clinton at all, but Sam it’s pretty obvious what Clinton supporters get called: shitlibs, cucks, hos, kikes, n***ers, wetbacks, secret Muslims, America haters, bitches, etc.

This is partisanship + internet anonymity 2016-style

102 Sam the Sham September 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Ok, huh, I’ve heard ‘Cucks’ before. I really didn’t know that they got called the rest. Yuk.

103 Steve Sailer September 16, 2016 at 1:07 am

Trump has that green frog on his side. Who does Hillary have that can compete?

104 Low information voter September 16, 2016 at 1:58 am

Columba Bush

105 MattW September 16, 2016 at 3:10 am

Jon Stewart is gone so she has nothing. That’s essentially what pepe is, it’s something funny that grabs attention, but that you can’t really argue against because the response is “it’s just a joke”.

106 Sam the Sham September 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

Lauren Southern and June are with Hillary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFsFZwpB-tE

Seriously, I watch John Oliver and occasionally Sam Bee – it doesn’t really seem like humor is on the Hildawg’s side this go around.

107 Anthony September 16, 2016 at 1:21 am

#6, sort of. It’s not about lower quality *governance*, it’s about lower quality of life in general. Ethnic diversity makes places crappier, unless there’s strong pressure to assimilate into one “ethnic” group. Since we’ve forgotten how to make people assimilate, the next best solution is to stop bringing in people outside the majority ethnic group, or even stop bringing in anyone at all. That’s the core of Trump’s appeal, and Putnam’s research shows that that makes #1 true, too.

108 Danton September 16, 2016 at 6:48 am

Somehow none of you get the fact that you’re the problem in #6. Trump is the lower quality governance and you’re voting for him because diversity scares you. That’s the bloody issue.

109 Larrym September 16, 2016 at 7:16 am

Of course you are correct.

What the Devils who support trump don’t realize is that trump won’t be able to stop long term demographic trends. Long term (thankfully) whites will be a powerless minority in the U.S. Trumpism increases the chance that it will be a (justly) despised minority.

110 The Anti-Gnostic September 16, 2016 at 8:07 am

Whites becoming a minority is awful news. Why do you think immigrants vote with their feet for majority-white countries?

In any event, you’ve staked out the battle lines. I’m voting with my tribe.

111 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Just takes 3 more brain cells to realize that what you just wrote makes no sense. Once the US isn’t majority-white, won’t the immigrants leave for Norway? Then it’ll be white again…or I guess it will settle in with hysteresis at 50% white.

112 The Anti-Gnostic September 16, 2016 at 7:17 pm

In that scenario, countries like Norway will have their borders completely sealed.

113 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm

How about the remaining majority white countries? All totally sealed up?

Sweden, Germany, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Czech, Slovakia, on and on….I guess the swarthy hordes will just go there once the US is 51% nonwhite.

114 asdf September 16, 2016 at 9:24 am

If he builds a wall and deports tens of millions of people then he will reverse demographic trends. Building walls and forcibly moving millions of people to the other side of them has been accomplished countless times going back centuries.

115 Gabe September 16, 2016 at 10:36 am

I honestly don’t think marginal revolution readers are voting for Trump in large #’s. My guess would be 40% not voting, 30% for Johnson, 12% Clinton Foundation Chief fundraiser, 18% the rich friend of the Clintons with a TV show.

116 Curt Doolittle September 16, 2016 at 1:26 am

Forgive me for doing my job as philosophical policeman of political economy:

All humans demonstrate kin selection when forced to decide between kin and non kin, just as all people demonstrate racism when forced to decide between kin and race.

Race is a necessary and rational concern under democracy sins people demonstrably vote in racial blocks. The do so because under democracy those with political power can obtain privileges and rents. But more importantly, the distribution of talents between racial groups is demonstrably vast, and each group seeks to impose an order most suitable to them. It is only white Europeans for whom meritocracy, rule of law, and Liberty are a preferable comparative advantage over other groups. And contrary to western myth and intuition we choose market meritocracy because it’s to our advantage to do so. It may in fact be a wise choice for many reasons but that is true if and only if one has the genetic, familial, normative capacity to compete by market meritocracy.

There exist only three methods of political coercion: theocracy/religion, aristocracy/law, democracy/commerce-and-credit. And each forms and oligarchy for reasons Pareto/Mises and Michels have explained economically, informationally, and organisationally.

As high trust westerners, almost sll of whom are descendants of the genetic middle class, who live under rule of law, compete meritocratically, can compete by merit, and profit from a heterogeneous population for whom we desire to produce a single mass market intellectual product despite the fact that it is unsuitable for much of the wotld’s population.

So we should perhaps take heed that we do not confuse that which is good for us with that which is good for all.

It isn’t. And that is why the world has abandoned democracy, and is in the process of abandoning free markets.

Because we are unequal in our abilities and needs and for many groups what we propose is unachieveable.

I have followers all over the world in every race for the simple reason that I don’t lie about this subject: the differences in the abilities of the races are the result of the suppression of the reproduction ( and outright culling by famine, war, and punishment) of the underclasses under agrarianism above 50 degrees north latitude in east and west. This was not possible in the warmer climes.

Every group can transcend the limits of their distributions if and only if they do the same. We can never fix favelas. Ever. Because the cost of the unproductive and organising the unproductive using market incentives cannot be paid or constructed for the simple reason that the upper and upper middle classes cannot organise sufficient incentives to create a commercial, middle class order, with a heavily underclass population.

117 So Much For Subtlety September 16, 2016 at 1:38 am

This miss the two obvious factors. One is that Hilary is a vile, horrible, corrupt, terrible political candidate. No one in their right mind would have nominated her and I would not be surprised if a leperous armadillo would win against her.

The other factor is that the Democrats and their friends in the media reliably accuse Republicans of being Nazis. The only good Republican is a dead Republican – as long as he can be compared unfavorably with the present Republicans. They supported McCain as long as he smeared other Republicans but then once he was the candidate, it turned out he was Hitler too. Republican moderate after Republican moderate has wilted under these smears. A patently decent person like Romney was treated like Hitler with “journalists” bringing up incidents from High School and trawling his garbage bins. Harry Reid lied about Romney and he is not even ashamed of it.

This smear is old and clearly morally bankrupt. It turns out that the Democrats only mean what they say if it helps Democrats. So racist comments about Obama are fine if Biden and Reid say them. Birtherism is acceptable when Hillary does it. Affirmative Action is a good thing, but if the whitest of white bread candidates cheats a Black out of a job in the Ivy League by pretending to be Native American, that is fine as long as she is a Democrat. Sexual harassment is bad when Clarence Thomas is alleged to have said something, but it is fine when Bill Clinton is credibly accused of rape and abuses his interns. There is nothing the Democrats won’t defend if it helps them.

So the Republicans want someone who will win. Someone who is tough enough to stand up against the smears. Trump is. He is Teflon to these allegations.

America is an inherently conservative country. It is not surprising the Republicans should win. It is just that the East Coast establishment, the mass media, Hollywood, Goldman Sacks, the court system, all of them have worked to keep Republicans out of office. This time it is not working so well for them.

So bring on Pepe the Frog.

118 Roy LC September 16, 2016 at 7:49 am

I have to agree here it is #5 and if Hillary manages to blow this it goes so very very deep. The current Democratic Party seems to think this is a country that hasn’t happened yet, but it really takes some doing to be considered worse than someone with Trump’s issues.

Keep in mind that if Trump actually wins this thing it will involve a 6-10% defection to third parties, by people who KNOW that their 3rd party vote could help elect Trump. It will be hatred of either just Hillary or what the Democratic party has become.

119 Gabe September 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

I have voted for 3rd party every election since i could vote in 1992. I have never regretted it. Never have I been happier to see both major political party members upset that their stupid campaign was a failure.

120 efp September 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

Well, you can’t ask for a better exemplar of what should have been #1: identity politics.

121 Thomas Taylor September 16, 2016 at 8:13 pm

“America is an inherently conservative country. It is not surprising the Republicans should win. It is just that the East Coast establishment, the mass media, Hollywood, Goldman Sacks, the court system, all of them have worked to keep Republicans out of office. This time it is not working so well for them.”
Really? I still remember about Republicans gloating about their new permanent majority in the years following the Reichstag Fire, I mean, 9/11. It is funny how Conservatives spend years battling policies from the New Deal to ending Racial Segregation and then swallow them whole and assure us the status quo they defend is the real, true Conservativism…

122 BC September 16, 2016 at 1:40 am

#5 and #7 are the only explanations that simultaneously explain why Hillary also had so much trouble beating an admitted socialist in the primaries. I don’t believe #7 because I think that many of Hillary’s detractors would actually support someone like Nikki Haley. In fact, many Clinton supporters that claim sexism explains much of the opposition to Clinton would themselves oppose Nikki Haley and probably don’t think very highly of Margaret Thatcher either. Thus, genderless motivations seem to dominate politics.

#2 and #6 ignore the likelihood that Obama would probably crush Trump in a head-to-head election.

#5 is most plausible, but I don’t think Tyler “unpacks” it correctly. Other Democratic “establishment” candidates would also crush Trump: Biden, Kaine, Deval Patrick, Cuomo,…. The problem is Hillary Clinton’s personal character, or lack thereof. I would find fault with the Democratic establishment in their blindspot of not recognizing, and being in denial about, Clinton’s disqualifying character issues. That blindspot led them to nominate her even though they had plenty of time to dump her when the email scandal first broke in March 2015. Biden gave them the opportunity, but the establishment didn’t realize that they needed that opportunity. This election is an experiment to determine whether Donald Trump can beat the Democrat’s version of Richard Nixon.

123 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 6:07 am

The evil invalid is a much lower candidate than Nixon; she’s corrupt through and through.

Nor is there any chance that she’d do anything in office as intelligent as Nixon’s foreign initiatives, for instance.

124 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 6:08 am

Come to think of it, you’re quite right. Your key phrase was “the Democrat’s version”; naturally, that would be viler.

125 jcurious September 16, 2016 at 2:01 am

#6, could you share the paper/book in which Putnam made the claim about the tie between ethnic diversity and the quality of governance (the hyperlink you provided just does a general search)? I’ve only seen his work on ethnic diversity and social trust.

126 Ron September 16, 2016 at 2:03 am

What is a “statistical racist” and how does such an individual differ from a normal racist? Is a statistical racist someone who knows fact about crime and IQ statistics? “Statistical racist” is sort of like “scientific jerk.” Combining a generally positive adjective with an epithet.

For that matter, what is a normal racist? Is there any way to define the term racist that wouldn’t include more black people than white people? Maybe if you just define make “white” part of the definition of racist. But the race hustlers never do that, because then people will know what the word is supposed to do.

Here’s a tip, Tyler. If you don’t want to inspire hatred in normal Americans, so much so that they vote for a guy that they know is crazy, just do away with the r word. Point out what’s wrong with people’s ideas, and use standards that are the same across racial lines.

127 asdf September 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

A statistical racist believes the stuff in The Bell Curve, and has the mathematical training to explain it formally.

A crude racist mostly believes the same stuff as the statistical racist, but with a less statistical rigor. Also, since they tend to be lower SES, they tend to say things in a more blunt or rude manner. They would be equally true of non-racial subjects though. So I’m pretty sure the distinction is just about letting college grads signal they aren’t low SES.

Some try to say its the difference between “most blacks are lower IQ then most whites” and “all blacks are dumber then all whites”. That seems to be what was lined out in “A Troublesome Inheritance” by former NYTimes science editor Nicholas Wade. This seems a straw man though. Most crude racists know that there exist “talented tenth” blacks, even if they couldn’t explain it in a rigorous way. Many of them even have black friends.

The bottom line is that on all the big ticket stuff that matters to the majorities quality of life, the crude racist basically gets all the important facts right. Who cares about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

Perhaps more importantly, crude racists actually do something about it. A lot of ink has been shed on HBD blogs, and it hasn’t done jack to stop immigration or stop PC tyranny. So long as your faint at the “racist” word, you can’t fight anything no matter how outrageous. Crude racists are on the verge of toppling the Clinton dynasty with a cartoon frog. It ought to make one wonder just how powerful progressivism is that they can’t defeat an internet meme.

P.S. No matter how the election goes, remember that amongst whites Trump will win close to 50 states.

128 FUBAR007 September 16, 2016 at 10:58 am

Crude racists are on the verge of toppling the Clinton dynasty with a cartoon frog. It ought to make one wonder just how powerful progressivism is that they can’t defeat an internet meme.

Hillary’s not a progressive. She’s a 1990s, DLC “new Democrat”–center-left on social issues and center-right on economics.

129 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

center-left on social issues and center-right on economics.

I think Mr. From wouldn’t have referred to judicially-imposed homosexual pseudogamy as ‘center-left’ in 1992, nor would he have referred to parading around Sybrina Fulton that way. What’s ‘center-right’ on economics? We don’t let Ralph Nader write the platform?

130 FUBAR007 September 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

@Art Deco: What’s ‘center-right’ on economics?

Regulated capitalism with some weak-tea redistribution to sand off some of capitalism’s sharper edges. This is as opposed to laissez-faire capitalism (the right), minarchist capitalism (the far right), and anarcho-capitalism (the extreme right) as well as to pro-labor, highly redistributive “mixed capitalism” (center-left), social democracy (the left), state socialism (the far left), and pure communism (the extreme left).

American politics has no economic left wing of any significance and hasn’t had one in the better part of a century.

@asdf: She’s way way to the left of her husband in the 1990s.

No, she’s mildly to the left of her husband, chiefly on social issues.

And her platform includes plenty of leftist economic stuff, even if you don’t believe she’ll implement it.

Her platform is meaningless. Unlike Trump, she actually has a political track record. Her coziness with Wall Street is extensively documented. She’s a pro-corporate, establishment centrist. Any statements she makes to the contrary at this point are short-term, tactical maneuvers intended to curry favor with marginal voting blocs.

131 asdf September 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

“No, she’s mildly to the left of her husband, chiefly on social issues.”

Do you think any of her positions on social issues would have been considered mildly to the left in the 1990s? Again, when you read her husbands platform from 1996 it’s quite obviously to the right of Trump across the board.

Even the economic stuff is different. Remember when democrats were skeptical on trade. NAFTA passed the House 234 to 200. House Democrats voted against it 156 to 102. Republicans supported it 132 to 43.

Progressives used to be against this stuff, now they are rapidly pro.

“She’s a pro-corporate, establishment centrist.”

Progressivism is the establishment. You won the culture wars, remember. Most corporations are rabidly progressive. Progressivism was born in the idea of management of society by technocratic “smart people”. Those people can just as easily work for big corporations as big government.

132 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Regulated capitalism with some weak-tea redistribution to sand off some of capitalism’s sharper edges. This is as opposed to laissez-faire capitalism (the right), minarchist capitalism (the far right), and anarcho-capitalism (the extreme right)

I see you never stop playing semantic games.

133 FUBAR007 September 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm

@asdf: Do you think any of her positions on social issues would have been considered mildly to the left in the 1990s?

Mildly to the left of her husband’s views, yes.

Even the economic stuff is different. Remember when democrats were skeptical on trade.

Yes. The Democratic party used to be center-left on economics. Not so much anymore.

Progressives used to be against this stuff, now they are rapidly pro. […] Progressivism is the establishment.

You’re confusing progressives with the corporate Davos set. There is some overlap between their two ideologies, but they’re not one and the same. Progressives are libertarian on social issues, but socialist on economic issues. Think Occupy Wall Street. The corporate Davos set are basically watered down libertarians: center-left on social issues, center-right on economics.

You won the culture wars, remember.

I’m not a progressive.

To be fair, I don’t map well to the American political spectrum. I’m a moderate, secular conservative on social issues, and a Scandinavian-style social democrat on economic issues–an anti-libertarian so to speak. Humans are by nature self-serving, foolish, overconfident, and barbaric. Left to their own devices, they will self-destruct and bring others down with them. Thus, in order for civilization to exist and thrive, they must be told what to do and kept in line. This requires building and sustaining institutions, both social and economic, which indoctrinate people in best practices while updating and revising those practices based on present material conditions. In short, I’m a paternalist.

134 FUBAR007 September 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

@Art Deco: I see you never stop playing semantic games.

And your definition of the right/left spectrum on economic policy is…?

135 asdf September 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm

“Mildly to the left of her husband’s views, yes.”

In 2012 Barack Obama was against gay marriage. In 2016 he’s not only for it, but you go to jail if you won’t bake a cake and he’s going to tell you how to run your elementary schools bathroom.

Your amnesia is amazing.

“You’re confusing progressives with the corporate Davos set.”

I don’t think I’m confused. I look at who you vote for. Who you support economically, socially, and culturally. What the likely effect of your policies is.

“Progressives are libertarian on social issues”

Progressives are at the forefront of PC, a totalitarian system of control for thought, speech, and action. They manage to combine the idiocy of libertarian social views with the power of state and non-state institutions to terrorize dissent.

136 asdf September 16, 2016 at 11:34 am

Have you read Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign platform:

http://reason.com/blog/2015/08/26/when-the-entire-democratic-party-was-lik

Trump is running to the left of that.

Hillary Clinton is a progressive. She’s way way to the left of her husband in the 1990s. She won the nomination by running to the left of Sanders on identity politics and wracking up black votes. And her platform includes plenty of leftist economic stuff, even if you don’t believe she’ll implement it.

She’s certainly a corrupt and disingenuous progressive, but there are lots of corrupt and disingenuous people in every political movement. Nothing about progressivism implies otherwise.

137 harpersnotes September 16, 2016 at 2:05 am

Trump started by trying to figure out what voters wanted. Other candidates mostly started by trying to figure out what would attract campaign funds. (So a very qualified version of #1.)

138 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 11:28 am

You noticed Scott Walker’s candidacy evaporating.

139 harpersnotes September 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm

(Yes that too, though I was thinking more of Jeb Bush at the time.) Expanding a bit – No one has mentioned Lessig so far. In a sense a Trump win could be some vindication of the Lawrence Lessig campaign (Harvard professor running against the current campaign finance laws.) (Hillary’s influence at the last minute increased the requirement to be included in the debates thereby excluding him.) A Trump win might force some politicians to value the chase for campaign contributions a little less versus considering what is going on in the minds of voters.

140 Anon September 16, 2016 at 2:14 am
141 Taeyoung September 16, 2016 at 2:28 am

“I don’t agree with #1”

That’s all very well, but there’s a couple of different propositions that might be encoded into option 1. One possibility is that objectively, the policies he is proposing are the right policies to maximise the things that all people want to maximise. And okay — I’m fine rejecting that.

But more relevant, I think, is that there is disagreement about what our national policies ought to be maximising in the first place. After all, there are tradeoffs. People could rationally choose a slightly lower rate of growth in order to get a better public order and social cohesion (see, e.g. Japan). And Trump is constantly highlighting what he thinks is precisely an example of that disagreement — it’s why he’s bellowing that “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.” That is, he thinks (and says, all the time) that the policies pushed by the upper middle class mandarinate that has ruled this country for the past few decades are seeking ends that are great for them, but not so good for the “uneducated” laity whom he professes to love.

Blocking illegal immigration and controlling legal immigration — his signature policy, and the policy which makes his critics gnash their teeth and rend their hair in the most agony — is pretty much just rent-seeking on behalf of the American lower and middle-classes (the upper middle classes don’t need it because they already use different mechanisms, like professional licensing, that cross national boundaries). Like all rent-seeking, it’s probably going to make the country less competitive, on balance, since a tight labour market will give workers more leverage to claim a greater share of any surplus generated by an enterprise, even if they had nothing to do with generating that surplus (e.g. even if it comes from productivity gains from mechanisation or whatever), and on the margin you’ll see some enterprises decide to operate outside the US instead. But I don’t think it’s irrational for a Trump voter to think that restriction of competition from immigrants is exactly what they want, any more than it’s irrational for an auto worker to join a union. That’s option 1, there, even if you don’t like it.

142 Taeyoung September 16, 2016 at 2:37 am

To respond more directly, though, I think it’s a combination of 1 and 5.

There could be a sprinkling of 2, but out and out racism doesn’t necessarily cut the way you seem to be suggesting — a bunch of White supremacists supported Obama because his ideas on race mirror theirs (see the June 13, 2008 article in Esquire), and Black racists are probably going to go for Clinton. On the whole, I suspect racism is pretty much a wash as far as Clinton vs. Trump.

143 Adrian Ratnapala September 16, 2016 at 2:30 am

America is not ready for a woman president. Or maybe it has to be a different kind of woman president, noting that Hillary, …

The second clause makes it indistinguishable from #5. Perhaps the kind of woman president America is ready for is one that is not a truly miserable candidate.

I go for #5, and a modified form of #8 where you replace “ideas” with something closer to, but still more thoughful than, “mood”.

144 Taeyoung September 16, 2016 at 2:32 am

Re: Ron:

For that matter, what is a normal racist? Is there any way to define the term racist that wouldn’t include more black people than white people? Maybe if you just define make “white” part of the definition of racist. But the race hustlers never do that, because then people will know what the word is supposed to do.

Sure they do! Haven’t you ever heard someone argue that non-Whites, by definition, can’t be racist because racism is inherently structural, and the power structure in the US encodes White supremacy? I know that sounds like a lot of gobbledygook, and I’m probably not expressing it in precisely the terms someone who believes it would, but the race hustlers are totally up-front about their belief that definitionally, only Whites (and maybe Asians) can be racist.

145 Ron September 16, 2016 at 2:41 am

I know that’s what the academic race hustlers believe. And that’s probably what Nate Silver, Hillary Clinton, Vox, and CBS believe too. However, unlike the critical race theorists, they try to give the impression that when they call something “racist” they are not using double standards, which they always are.

146 Steve Sailer September 16, 2016 at 2:39 am

Also, Trump got out in front on the Harambe Question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsTM4Qgsewk

147 Yancey Ward September 16, 2016 at 3:06 am

Tyler, you are seemingly clueless on this one. It is a combination of 1, 3, and 5. I would point out that 4 is probably related to 3 this cycle, so one can throw it into the mix, too, and while I think 6 is an important topic, I don’t think it explains Trump.

If one is ready to accept that “right views” is going to be judged based on the recognition of the voters, then, if Trump does win, 1 has to be an explanation. And JT’s comment about the signalling is important here more than the actual proposals themselves, which I think most voters realize few of which ever get mentioned after the election. So, for example, on immigration, I feel pretty sure not much of a wall will get built, even if Trump wins with Congress behind him, but his supporters do think the idea signals a change in the stance with regards to legalization and changing the incentive structure to come and stay here outside the law.

On 3, I think there hasn’t been a real recovery since shortly after the Great Recession. Even this week’s “good news” on median income sounds like it was simply the result of a change in methodology by the Census Bureau that was implemented in the 2013-2015. In addition, we just within the last year or so reached the previous peak in hours worked in 2007 or so, with a significantly larger potential work force. Had the participation rate returned to the same level before the recession holding the UE equal, there would have been 15-16 million more employed. Indicators like IP, retail sales, productivity etc. all point to an economy barely growing at all and possibly slowly shrinking, and all the happy talk the the BLS and BEA can’t change that, though Tyler and a lot of orthodox economists seem to buy it hook, line, and sinker.

On 5, yes, Clinton is not the best candidate the Democrats could have put up, but I don’t think any other candidate would have run away with this election against Trump. The polls about right direction/wrong direction have been pointing to a Republican victory since about early 2015, and as inelegant a candidate Trump might be, it actually takes some of that inelegance to withstand the onslaught the media would have unleashed even if the Republicans nominated the saintliest individual they could have found on the planet.

148 Nebfocus September 16, 2016 at 4:10 am

“it actually takes some of that inelegance to withstand the onslaught the media would have unleashed even if the Republicans nominated the saintliest individual they could have found on the planet.”

This rings true. Romney was “terrible for women”, he wanted to put black people “back in chains”. The Republicans have never been able to counter these attacks. Trump is mostly immune.

149 Ted Craig September 16, 2016 at 7:19 am

“Clinton is not the best candidate the Democrats could have put up.”

Actually, she is. If you look at the upper echelon of the Democratic party, it’s actually slim pickings. You have a lot of old dudes (Biden, Gerry Brown, Mark Dayton) in the the highest profile positions. You have Andrew Cuomo, but he’s nothing special. It seems unlikely people would elect two black freshmen Senators in a row, so there goes Cory Booker. That leaves Elizabeth Warren. If she had entered the race, neither Clinton nor Trump would be the candidates right now.

So, Clinton is the second best candidate and the only one who chose to run.

150 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:21 am

Jim Webb has prospered in several different careers and has held executive positions without presiding over serial catastrophes. I don’t think his ethics have ever been questioned.

And, no, she’s not the best they can do. Bernie Sanders was a n’er do well before entering politics, but his performance as a public office holder is at least a cut above hers, and, again, his ethics are unquestioned. Even ticket-puncher O’Malley compares favorably to Hilligula. So does Missing Linc Chaffee.

151 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:23 am

but I don’t think any other candidate would have run away with this election against Trump.

Recalling the hypothetical match-ups which were posted on Real Clear Politics, I suspect Sanders would have won over Trump by double digits. Trump was the weakest of the four Republican candidates matched with either Democrat and Hilligula was the weaker of the Democrats against any of the Republicans.

152 Yancey Ward September 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Never trust polls with hypothetical match-ups. Remember, Clinton was also up double digits over Trump when neither one was close to having sewn up the nomination.

Sanders might have beaten Trump, but he never had to face an opponent who made hay out of his being an explicit Socialist. Clinton couldn’t make that attack because she didn’t want to have to concede the further left of her party exclusively to Sanders, so she mostly ignored this aspect of his politics. So, all in all, I think Sanders was probably a worse candidate than Clinton for the general.

153 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm

That Sanders had Trotskyist literature in his office in 1982 bothers people who would never have voted for him any way.

154 jim jones September 16, 2016 at 3:07 am

Trump wins because of the Internet:

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/

155 MattW September 16, 2016 at 3:12 am

Shit posting FTW

156 prior_test2 September 16, 2016 at 3:28 am

‘His views are the right views, more or less, and American voters recognized this.’

Which views? Today’s, last week’s, last month’s, last year’s, last decade’s? Apart from the undoubted consistency that Trump only cares about Trump and what benefits Trump, what views does Trump have that have remained consistent over time?

‘A quite significant percentage of America is very directly racist.’

I guess Northern Virginia has changed a lot over the years, compared to what someone like Sailer would undoubtedly consider its glorious past. Or else it is really hard to notice this Commonwealth holiday, with its storied history, while teaching at GMU – ‘Lee–Jackson Day is a holiday celebrated in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S., for the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The original holiday, created in 1889, celebrated Lee’s birthday. Jackson’s name was added to the holiday in 1904.

In 1983, the holiday was merged with the new Federal holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as Lee–Jackson–King Day in Virginia. This merger was reversed in 2000.

Lee–Jackson Day is currently observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is the third Monday in January. Typical events include a wreath-laying ceremony with military honors, a Civil War themed parade, symposia, and a gala ball. State offices are closed for both holidays.

Some localities such as Charlottesville, Richmond, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Lynchburg, and Norfolk, choose not to observe Lee–Jackson Day.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee–Jackson_Day

But on the other hand, I’m sure that a GMU professor must know where Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway is, even if the name is graudally being replaced

‘And no, New York isn’t normal, sorry people.’

Well, that certainly explains Trump’s success compared to Clinton’s, in pithy Marginal Revolution style.

‘We did after all just elect Obama for two terms in a row’

And the Republicans currently have an avowed birther running as their presidential candidate. Trump may continue to make a stream of sexist remarks, but he does not question Clinton’s birth certificate as being female as a way to attract voters.

157 Brian September 16, 2016 at 4:06 am

#2 & #5 + Party Loyalty + Third Party Options + Awful Traditional Party Options

It seems 40% of the electorate on each side is locked into their parties’ nominee regardless of who that person is. If you get a couple of third party candidates pulling 15% of the vote then the traditional candidates are left fighting for a handful of votes in a close election.

The strength of the third party candidates this year is driven by the uniquely awful traditional party candidates. On the Democratic side you have a flawed but mostly traditional politician who’s endured two decades of opposition marketing tarring her as “The Worst Person in the History of the Republic.” On the Republican side you have the worst person in the history of the republic.

40% on each side believe the other candidate is the worst and theirs is the lesser of two evils. 15% are opting for third and fourth options. The remaining 5% are mostly choosing the flawed traditional politician leading to a low single digit lead for Hillary.

158 Charlie September 16, 2016 at 5:13 am

It’s mostly 5.

When comparing Trump with Clinton, you compare casino type of shady entrepreneur but who sometimes speaks common sense (at least what people view as common sense) with someone who is viewed as greedy career politician with actual bad track record (some even think disastrous track record), who speaks in scripted languague prepared by professional writers, got paid millions from corporations (never disclosed any reasonable details about the talks) and who also represents political dynasty.

Very very bad choice on both sides.

Note: although Hillary beat Sanders (with a “little” help of Dem party) it does not mean that Trump would beat Sanders too.

159 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 6:00 am

“A quite significant percentage of America is very directly racist.” That’s obviously true; almost all American blacks seem (to this foreigner) to be strongly racist. Or is that only black mobs and black politicians; is my impression wrong?

160 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 6:20 am

I should add that I have only twice had any interaction of any substance with a black American. In both cases I ended up impressed, and grateful to them: top men. But the ones I see on you-tube; the ones I read about on the internet – oh dear!

161 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 7:59 am

American blacks are not an immigrant population – and as a consequence carry a considerable lumpenproletarian element (about 15% of the total) you do not see in economic migrants like West Indians in Britain (or the US, for that matter). You’ve also got a much larger ratio of blacks to non-blacks than you do in Britain. You’ve had centuries of parallel social development here as well as more recent particularlist reactions to the larger society given succor by that society. (An example of that would be the practice of giving your children ersatz Africanisant names, something not done 60 years ago, when blacks gave their children names that were ordinary, Biblical, or Southern / Country).

162 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 7:48 am

People get along on a personal level and in workplaces just fine. There’s a distinct minority of blacks latently antagonistic to the rest of the world. That’s not manifest in most settings, but it is when blacks reach a critical mass of a local population, and the result is small frictions across the color bar (driven, in part, by between group differences in manners). Biracial neighborhoods tend to be transitional in character – it’s a phase in a process of neighborhoods succession wherein blacks move in and whites move out. A great many blacks live nestled in the larger society without incident because their manners are similar to those of their neighbors. There are also rank-and-file blacks who live in black neighborhoods but do not present the issues many of their neighbors do. (All this is a phenomenon distinct from the crime problem in most black neighborhoods).

Apart from daily life, blacks tend in civic life to be strongly motivated by group identity (to a degree they were not 60 years ago). Voting Democratic is like voting Unionist among Ulster protestants.

From the other end of the business, racial hostility is rarely expressed. What you have instead is what might be called ‘the suburban f*** you’ – which treats the slums five miles from your suburban tract house as if they were on the other side of the Moon.

163 Greg G September 16, 2016 at 8:20 am

Art,

>—-“What you have instead is what might be called ‘the suburban f*** you’ – which treats the slums five miles from your suburban tract house as if they were on the other side of the Moon.”

It sounds like you think that’s bad.

if you do think it’s bad, which are the ways you are hoping to see contact increased between the people in the slums and the people in suburbia? Or does the “manners” gap make it hopeless?

164 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 9:32 am

I take it you haven’t seen the supercilious (or indignant) reaction which ensues when you suggest that municipal governments are not the proper locus of police services. There’s an attenuated sort of reaction which ensues when you suggest voucher systems replace public schools.

165 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 6:13 am

“America is not ready for a woman president.” For that: the US was slow to extend full civil rights to women. Against that: foreigners have always viewed American males as hen-pecked.

My guess is that the evil invalid’s being female isn’t the problem; it’s her being vile that’s the problem.

166 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

The President of the United States does not acquire his position from building relationships in a parliamentary caucus. Also, the President of the United States is not the Prime Minister of Norway. The American military is not ornamental.

For that: the US was slow to extend full civil rights to women.

No clue to what you could possibly be referring. Suffrage here was extended to women in piece-meal fashion over the period running from 1869 to 1920 and then extended generally in 1920. Suffrage was extended to women generally in Britain in 1918 and France in 1945. It was not extended to women in Switzerland until 1972, because they understood it as incorporated with military service.

167 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 9:36 am

“No clue to what you could possibly be referring.” This sort of thing:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_Disqualification_(Removal)_Act_1919

I have the impression that US women were still pressing for something like that in the seventies. I’m open to correction. Or the late date at which women were admitted to your most famous universities. Or, judging by histories of WWII that I’ve seen, the slow pace of using women intelligently in your armed forces.

“The American military is not ornamental.” So it’s OK to elect draft dodgers, but not women? Are you advocating that, or attributing it to the electorate?

168 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 9:59 am

I have the impression that US women were still pressing for something like that in the seventies.

They weren’t. The disputes in the 1970s concerned legislation which would coerce private parties or would allow judges to annul state legislation which drew a distinction between men and women in ways offensive to cretinettes like Gloria Steinem.

169 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

Neither, you’re playing games.

Very few women put themselves even formally in contention. It’s an exhausting and very competitive process. The only ones who’ve carried home a passel of delegates were Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisolm, and Hilligula (2x). Chase’s was a lark undertaken under a superceded set of practices. Chisolm was a demonstration candidacy promoting feminist themes. Hilligula’s just about the most pathological figure to run in the post-war era. The recruitment pool would be the body of state governors followed by the U.S. Senate. The lady governors we’ve had just aren’t running. Sarah Palin (who’s an unusually athletic and competitive woman in her mundane life) may have considered it. The Governor of Arizona’s a piece of work, but she’s too old. The current Governor of South Carolina is known to be very hard charging, so may do so some years down the road (she’s 44, so she’s got time).

170 AJ September 16, 2016 at 6:20 am

Given all the talk of polarization over the last decade and with a series of all-time low approval ratings for Congress and both parties, I don’t get why Tyler wouldn’t draw a straight line from that to the sense of people giving up on Hillary Clinton as a conventional politician and roll the dice with Trump as a wild card outsider.

The country basically did the same thing with Obama. He had little experience and seemingly little in the way of politicization…and Democrats cheered like that was a good thing because it was Hope and Change.

People don’t talk enough about Clinton’s unforced errors and her weakness as a politician at deflecting troublesome problems. If she thinks the e-mail thing was bad, God help her when she has a big problem like another Snowden. That Snowden didn’t wreck American diplomacy and shake up the surveillance infrastructure is a testament to Barack Obama’s far superior political skill. People should also wonder more if Trump’s white noise strategy is crazy like a fox. He’s constantly in the limelight and the media doesn’t cover anything about Clinton except her problems. What’s her cause celebre? Oh, look, Trump said something! There’s our front page!

171 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 7:33 am

That Snowden didn’t wreck American diplomacy and shake up the surveillance infrastructure is a testament to Barack Obama’s far superior political skill.

No, it’s a testament to the threat from Snowden being overblown.

172 Brian Donohue September 16, 2016 at 8:44 am

Your point about Obama is a good one. Not really a general explanation, since almost no one sees it the way I do, but 8 years ago, we took a flyer on a guy with the thinnest resume imaginable for a Presidential candidate, with the whole thing going down in the teeth of the worst financial crisis in 75 years. Right-wing “End is Near” sandwich boards were out in full force in 2008.; I know this because I have right-wing friends.

Anyway, the guy has done as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped. We’re still here.

173 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 9:41 am

“the guy has done as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped”: if I’d voted for him (which I might well have done had I been American, since that alternative was McCain) I’d have been bitterly disappointed. Still war-making in Afghanistan; utter, murderous shambles in Iraq; profoundly stupid attack on Libya; inept, reckless sponsorship of terrorism in Syria; incompetent rattling of the bear’s cage in Ukraine and elsewhere. Just war, war, and the threat of war. W again, from a better reader of a teleprompter.

174 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:37 am

Anyway, the guy has done as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped. We’re still here.

He’s done nothing. Production levels stabilized in May 2009 and three of the four salient officials in containing the crisis were appointed by his predecessor.

175 Engineer September 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

Agree about Obama’s lack of experience/qualifications.

To me, we should select Presidents on the basis of character, worldview, and experience. Its remarkable that even after serving for 7 1/2 years, he stills appears too inexperienced for the job. I attribute that to the triumph of a very faulty worldview. The Iran fiasco is an example.

He’s made things systematically worse, both domestically and internationally. He would have done considerably more damage if given a freer hand.

176 Honestly Concerned September 16, 2016 at 6:53 am

#7 Merkel was very unpopular in direct comparison to incumbent Schröder even in the elections 2005 in which she defeated him.

177 Andreas Moser September 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm

And Merkel actually never won enough seats to govern without a coalition.

Also, both in the UK and in Germany, people don’t directly vote for Prime Minister or Chancellor.

178 cfh September 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

#5. Voters like to think they are making a choice; Hillary feels like a cramdown. If she can run out of spite, we can vote out of spite.

179 HardyHarHar September 16, 2016 at 7:03 am

Surely Scott Adams and the “Wizard/Persuader” theory deserve at least a mention here?

180 dan1111 September 16, 2016 at 8:03 am

No, because it’s dumb.

181 Brian Donohue September 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

Right or wrong, Adams gets credit for an early call way outside the mainstream. If Trump wins (especially if he wins big, which, I mean, who the hell knows, right? Nothing would surprise me this year, including either candidate blowing themselves out of the water between here and ther.), I’ll reread his oeuvre from the past year with an eye to reweighting some of my own priors.

182 Tununak September 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

If Trump wins, I would suggest that Scott Adams’ blog should become required reading for all political economy courses. If you haven’t read Adams’ arguments and insights, you don’t have any understanding of what Trump’s popularity is all about.

183 John September 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

Scott Adams’ posts about Trump being a wizard / persuader are his attempt to get Trump elected. Adams thinks there are major inefficiencies and problems with our current method of government. He wants to blow the whole thing up and start over with his techno-utopian ideas (to be fair I’m sure he’s not the only person in California who wants to establish a techno-utopian government), and he thinks a Trump presidency is the best way to move things in that direction. His Trump posts have all been carefully crafted to get readers thinking seriously about a Trump presidency, or more recently that Trump is actually a good candidate compared to Hillary. By contrast his earlier blog posts have at times been surprisingly honest about the problems he encounters with various levels of government and his out-there ideas about a great techno-utopia. I do think that Adams thinks Trump is charismatic and had an actual shot at becoming president, especially considering how terrible and uncharismatic his competition was, but his posts are all clearly a concerted effort to elect Trump. My prediction is that Adams is trying to become a famous-enough Trump supporter to have some official influence over any (God forbid) Trump administration.

184 Hoosier September 16, 2016 at 7:07 am

Very interesting to see the permutations of explanations from the combox.

From my vantage point it’s #3, #5, #6 and a little bit of #8. The rest are insignificant.

185 Ted Craig September 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

It’s the current mood of the world. Trump makes more sense if you view him alongside Brexit, Duterte, Hofer, Hanson, etc.

Also, this is going to sound weird, but I thought they made a good point on “South Park” the other night when they linked Trump’s campaign to all the reboots and remakes in Hollywood. For many people, the present is unpleasant and the future is menacing (not driving their own cars, for example, isn’t as wonderful an idea for many people as it is for technotopians). Trump and Sanders both tapped into the idea of going back to a time before NAFTA, when all was right with the world. Clinton actually taps into this to a degree. I know some older Democrats who believe she will be Bill’s third term rather than Obama’s. They’re wrong.

186 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 7:31 am

It is arguably a rejection of professional class cosmopolitanism, which is rampant (but not universal) among elites. To this, people like Scott Sumner have unreflective emotional reactions.

187 Ricardo September 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

I see this narrative about a global wave of populism with Duterte being one of the examples but he is a dubious example. The Philippines runs a first-past-the-post election for President and Duterte managed to split the opposition and won with less than 40% of the vote. Mar Roxas’s (the aristocratic, Establishment candidate) and Grace Poe’s (a rival populist) votes added together were more than Duterte’s.

188 VJV September 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm

This is a good point. One of the things I like about Obama is that he is one of the few nationally prominent politicians who appears willing to openly grapple with the future. I’m going to miss that.

189 roadrunner September 16, 2016 at 7:14 am

#9- nihilist protest vote against everything. Big government, sjw’s, corrupt media, wall street, uncontrolled immigration. A giant middle finger to power.

190 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

Yep. It’s a middle finger to the world’s self-aggrandizing bourgeois scolds, to whom people like Paul Ryan are deferential.

191 Doc at the Radar Station September 16, 2016 at 7:19 am

I was a libertarian in the 70s – was a ‘randroid’ and read Friedman’s Free to Choose – was hooked for a few years. Turned mostly into a conventional moderate Republican in the 80s. Bought the ‘third way’ Clinton stuff in the 90s. But since 9/11, American de-industrialization, mass immigration concerns, and lots of stupid/expensive foreign wars later… I’m voting for Trump.

So, of the list you have above, I would say…
#1 — Hillary Clinton is a weaker candidate than many people had thought.
She’s the status quo and I think the status quo needs to change.

#2 — The Democrats have plenty of policy proposals, but only the Republicans are running on ideas. And very often an idea beats no idea, even if the idea on the table is a bad one.
I would remove ‘Republicans’ and replace that with ‘Trump’. Most Republicans want the status quo for the most part, IMO.

192 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 7:28 am

Obama’s only ‘popular’ in your imagination, something you fancy, no doubt, because you work in higher education.

Suggestions:

1. The Democrats are running a thoroughgoing crook with no history of untainted accomplishments and esoteric medical problems. The Democratic donor class is satisfied with her and that carries her over the finish line with Democratic LIVs, who treat the information about her manifest lack of scruple as white noise. People without an antecedent commitment to the Democratic Party understand it is not. That costs the Democratic candidate on the margins. Trump wins votes by defaults.

2. Trump put issues on the agenda that the Republican donor class has successfully kept off the agenda, and with regard to which the Republicans in Congress have been hopelessly ineffectual (as they have in all other endeavours the last 5 years). Rick Santorum is also an immigration hawk, but they’re not his brand and he did not have the funds or the pr skills to make his views known. Other candidates were temporizing and equivocating or pushing the donorist agenda (Bush, Rubio) and only Ted Cruz had the profile and organizational skills to challenge Trump on other grounds.

193 Ricardo September 16, 2016 at 11:17 am

“Obama’s only ‘popular’ in your imagination”

His approval rating has been above 50% for the past month so, evidently, a majority of your fellow citizens disagree with you.

194 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm

In your imagination, being a bit above water for the 2d time in six years makes him ‘popular’. That’s your delusion, not anyone else’s.

195 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Apparently facts and even hard numbers do not matter to you.

196 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm

No, they matter. I understand what they mean, and you elect not to, because partisan Democrats are dishoest with themselves and everyone else.

197 rayward September 16, 2016 at 7:40 am

9. Many Americans are ignorant, and ignorant by choice, and the more ignorant they are, the more certain they are that their opinions and views are the only correct opinions and views. Trump confirms that their ignorance is intelligence.

10. Many Americans are motivated by superstition rather than by reason, ingrained in them from early childhood as God’s path to salvation and eternal life. To believe Trump’s nonsense is no less rational than believing in a personal relationship with God, a God who will intervene in every aspect of one’s life, including His favoritism for obtaining wealth.

11. Trump appeals to the weak not the strong in the sense that his followers look to him as the paternal leader, many of his followers having been emasculated by a loss of status. Trump has what they don’t: wealth and power (and attractive women); or so it seems to the ignorant and superstitious.

12. Many Americans receive a steady diet of propaganda, on television, the radio, and the internet, from the politicians and the pulpit, propaganda that thrives on ignorance and belief rather than knowledge. Trump is the consummate propagandist, combining the strengths of the entertainer, the preacher, and the politician.

13. Trump confirms that many Americans are motivated by belief rather than knowledge, by superstition rather than reason, calling into question a theory of human behavior dependent on reason. Ignorance is intelligence.

14. God loves the ignorant no less than He loves the intelligent. God help us.

198 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:03 am

9. Many Americans are ignorant, and ignorant by choice, and the more ignorant they are, the more certain they are that their opinions and views are the only correct opinions and views. Trump confirms that their ignorance is intelligence.

In our house, we get 10 posts a day from a woman whose idea of political discussion consists of poster slogans and John Oliver clips. No, she doesn’t vote Republican. She has a degree from the University of Vermont, her daughter and son-in-law are both physicians, and her husband (who fully shares her views and dispositions) has two post-baccalaureate degrees.

199 mavery September 16, 2016 at 10:20 am

Why do you let strange women post things in your house? Are your interior walls the neighborhood bulletin board?

200 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:31 am

No, she’s an old friend we’ve known for 25 years. We can only keep track of her on Facebook. Like most partisan Democrats, she just has to tell you what she feels. She really is quite congenial, so I don’t contend with her.

201 Ann O'nymous September 16, 2016 at 10:50 am

Wait, and she didn’t persuade you yet? It’s a known fact that everybody is persuaded to vote for Clinton when they hear that a) Sarah Palin is a cunt, or if that fails, that b) John Oliver votes for Clinton, or, if we have to get to that, by a collage with that SF backup QB image superimposed over a BLM crowd. Maybe she posted the wrong things?

202 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

#11 = Trump as cargo cult.

203 Daniel Frank September 16, 2016 at 7:51 am

A subset of Americans don’t like the modern internationalized, liberal, elitist, culture of America and are rebelling against it.

Vox.com is new and has no influence, so they are obviously not the cause of it, but I can think of no better reflection of the personality that Trump supporters/American voters find anathema and are fighting against.

204 Edgar September 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

Yes, the anti-trumpers are so obnoxious and arrogant one can’t help but want to find a way to vote against them. The anti-trumpers are the wind in trump’s sails.

205 BenK September 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

#2 needs to be unpacked into the full basket of deplorables; to remind us just how many different kinds of people Clinton claimed are irredeemable. It’s not just race, gender, religion, or traditional values,… it’s all of them, singly or in combination.

206 MikeP September 16, 2016 at 8:02 am

The country is center right and the democrats have gone far left since Bill Clinton. A large number of people have had it with being PC and are pissed at what’s happening, e.g. open borders, BLM, cop killing, radical Islam, etc. The ACA doesn’t help either.

Trump annihilated an especially strong field of republicans this year. He’ll do the same with HRC.

207 Ricardo September 16, 2016 at 11:13 am

“The country is center right”

Then I guess Obama is a center right President. Policies such as raising the minimum wage, implementing a public option for health insurance and raising taxes on the rich attract majorities in opinion polls. Trump, of course, used to support a public option.

208 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Re: The country is center right

Not any more. How to square that growing support for gay marriage to cite just one piece of evidence. Note also that Trump is pretty much a repudiation of GOP orthodoxy on entitlements and :”small government”.

209 8 September 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

#2 is driven by #6. If you don’t like #2, stop doing #6. People who don’t understand #6, do not understand the reality of true diversity, that there are very different outcomes when measured at the group level and these cannot be fixed by government policy. These same people tend to believe #2 is the problem, which causes white people to react by thinking, if #6 leads you to believe #2, then we need to end diversity. In which case the left doubles down on #2. The outcome of this cycle is most whites will be defacto “white nationalists” within a generation. The left can’t give up the “white people are racist” meme though, because it’s what holds the Democrat coalition together. They have bet the farm that #2 is true, and decided the only way to do it is by increasing diversity, without understanding #6 at all.

210 +1 September 16, 2016 at 12:38 pm

It’s amazing that this is the 153rd comment and not in the first 10.

211 Phil September 16, 2016 at 8:07 am

1 seems like a value judgment to be decided by history

I would rank 6, 3, 5, 4 in descending order as all having some explanatory power

#2 is honestly, patently absurd by any historical (or current comparative) definition of the question, I think there’s some explanatory power there in that people who keep going to that well have cried wolf (several) too many times, and this is how that story ends

[ just to clarify for clarity’s sake, its not that there aren’t white racists still out there, but over the last 40 some odd years, those racists have been sufficiently marginalized such that whatever problems we as a society have, while they might be a good scapegoat for public vilification, the marginal returns to society from finding and shaming additional white racists doesn’t actually contribute much towards solving the problems we actually have]

212 罗臻 September 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

I wrote this back in 2014:
“The protectionists are ever so slowly gaining the upper hand thanks in part to negative social mood. 2008-2009 will probably mark the peak moment for Wall Street and the Treasury Department, even though there is as yet no sign of it in Washington. Changes can be seen in the form of issues such as immigration, which has turned the grassroots of the conservative movement against the Chamber of Commerce and large corporations (due to an attack initiated by the latter against the former). This has pushed the Overton window of acceptable debate among conservatives who can now take shots at big business. There is also the growing libertarian faction pulled together by Ron Paul that supports his son, Rand Paul, that consistently attacks the Federal Reserve and Wall Street. Put it together and it is not hard to envision an anti-Wall Street, pro-manufacturing political consensus emerging. This will cut across party lines, with manufacturing unions pulling in Democratic support if there are specific bills to vote on. ” The only thing different today is Trump has brought union Democrats into his party. This is not an informal coalition in Congress, it is a political movement unified by Trump.

Trump is the fulfillment of political trends that have been evident as far back as the 1990s, as recently explained in this Jeff Greenfield article: Trump Is Pat Buchanan With Better Timing. But I would go farther: Trump is Buchanan, Ron Paul, and also Cindy Sheehan. The GOP and DNC refused to budge from their 50/50 stalemate, and you could explain this most innocently by assuming they’re highly risk averse (a move away from core position would risk losing more votes elsewhere) or cynically if you assume they’re really one giant ruling faction and don’t at all like people like Buchanan, Paul or Sheehan, or their ideas.

Over the past 20 years, however, the American people increasingly became skeptical on trade, if you look at good polling (not propaganda) they have become increasingly in favor of immigration restriction at the same time the government increases it (I would argue this issue alone is most responsible for putting Trump where he is), they tire of the wars, security state, and oppose the link-up between Wall Street and DC. Normally the 2 major parties pick off upstart politicians, but they didn’t want anti-war people, who Obama rejected. The GOP rejected the Ron Paul crowd. Union workers have been rejected by the DNC for 20 years. Trump offered all of them a seat at the table. Basically the DNC and GOP left a $100 billl on the street, and Trump came along and picked it up, and is uniquely qualified to spend it due to his fame and skills in rhetoric and persuasion.

213 Steve September 16, 2016 at 8:35 am

#9 – In the end, the alpha dog always wins.

214 Steve September 16, 2016 at 8:44 am

Per Kahneman, we decide first and then come up with reasons. For all self-congratulation and convoluted reasoning, the heart of the nevertrump movement is “He reminds me of that guy I hated in high school; no way I’m voting for him.”

215 Brian Donohue September 16, 2016 at 9:37 am

Funny, I attribute that quote to Dilbert (Scott Adams), from at least 15 years ago.

216 Steve September 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

Agreed. This is pretty much what Scott Adams is saying as well, but Kahneman said it (not specifically about Trump) with more footnotes…

217 Ricardo September 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm

This isn’t necessarily a critique of voters. The President has an enormous amount of power and responsibility and so it is entirely legitimate to draw conclusions about a candidate’s emotional maturity, honesty, and impulse control based partly on their behavior in public. People make these kinds of judgments when interviewing people for jobs or when dating so why not when electing the future Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces as well?

218 TMC September 16, 2016 at 8:48 am

“7. America is not ready for a woman president.” America would vote for a Thatcher, or (pre immigrant meltdown) Merkel.

What we learned is that we won’t for for her just because she’s a woman. Obama got the vote because he was black, and in order to ‘prove’ we are not racists. It has served America poorly.

Largely, Trump voters hope he burns DC to the ground.

219 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Nope. They don’t wanted DC burned to the ground at all. They are not small government voters. They want a large government, but with the proviso that it cater to their interests.

220 Phil Auerswald September 16, 2016 at 8:52 am

1) None of these. Determining factor is geography. Cities vote Democrat. Rural areas vote Republican. Suburban decides the outcome. Gains from economic advance are disproportionate accruing to cities. Evidence? Census report released this week. Incomes in principal cities grew by 7% in 2015. Rural incomes? 0%.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/business/economy/census-poverty-income-donald-trump.html
https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-256.pdf

2) This is not US phenomenon. It is global phenomenon. All explanations above are different degrees of parochial and miss the point. More re. the origin of populist surges everywhere here:
https://medium.com/@auerswald/the-origin-of-populist-surges-everywhere-1146f89e04bb#.6a7gu9hxj

221 collin September 16, 2016 at 8:52 am

In terms of Republican ideas, I would suggest Donald Trump is running on the idea of returning America back to how we remember 1960. That was the time when people had more of sense of place and community in which the economy seemed to be working for everyone. This is how we culturally remember 1960 not necessarily the reality.

Addtionally in terms of income gains, remember the rural and small town America did not see the 2015 gains income and it was the city folk that saw the gains. So to simplify white small working class did not see the recent gains the last 4 years while the minority working class in the city got all the gains.

222 chuck martel September 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

The majority of the US population can’t remember anything from 1960.

223 collin September 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

True….That is why I said how we remember America in 1960. We tend to think everybody lived like Father Knows Best which is not true. OA recent poll asked if things are better today than 50 years ago (1966 but close enough to 1960) and the majority of whites stated things were better then. Minorities polled agreed things were better today for obvious reasons.

I bet a good portion of High School students (especially non-college bound one) would say they would rather graduate high school in 1966 than 2016….Of course, they would not remember than High School graduate boys did not go into the workforce but they got drafted for Vietnam.

224 asdf September 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm

“We tend to think everybody lived like Father Knows Best which is not true”

Has any time period every been best for all individuals?

It was like Father Knows Best for the statistical majority, and this is borne out pretty well in the data as well as first hand accounts and cultural artifacts. Making life work well for most people is called a good society.

225 Roy LC September 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

1960? Oh nobody wants to go back to those bad old days, the last week of March 1965, the last really popular civil rights act was passed, the new Mustang was awesome, Rolling Thunder was going to work and we hadn’t even lost a plane in Vietnam yet.

And the charts looked like this:

http://tunecaster.com/charts/60/week6513.html

White folk not even born have no idea how awesome the world looked, of course a lot of non white people thought the future was looking pretty groovy that week too.

But this is a ridiculous point, Trump voters are reacting against changes since the 1990s as much as everything else combined, even in Michigan and Ohio, stuff well within the living memory of every voter. Trump’s claim he opposed the war in Iraq from the get go is as much as you need to know. If there is any time non leftist America wants back is that magical summer of shark attacks, Gary Condit and the dotcom bust.

226 AlanG September 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

Tyler missed my #9 – anti-intellectualism in the electorate

One only need go back and re-read Richard Hofstadter’s excellent “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” to see where this will end up. One sees this constantly in prospective Trump voter interviews. They all are bitter and think that by making America great once again will solve their problems. they object to the intellectual elites and are happy with the Trump glitz. IMO it’s now a 50-50 election and will stay that way. Looks like the good citizens of Florida and Ohio are going to decide the next President.

227 dearieme September 16, 2016 at 9:44 am

It’s a bit far-fetched to pass off the evil invalid as an intellectual.

228 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 10:35 am

The most dysfunctional and underperforming set of institutions in our society are the schools, top to bottom. Professors also talk rot as a matter of course and fancy no one but people like them should have any influence in society. There’s a reason people are anti-intellectual. The intelligentsia sucks.

229 Edgar September 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Is it “anti-intellectualism” to refuse to meekly suffer the contempt and scorn of the entitled, vainglorious New Class? Deploring the wretched others is really just a way for the status quo loving overlords to publicly pleasure themselves. F.H. Buckley nails it, writing:

“I’ve not observed that our New Class has the standing to justify its sense of moral and cultural superiority to the insurgents. It’s easy to find, in their obscenity-laden expressions of contempt for Trump and the deplorables, a nastiness so much more vulgar than anything said by the man they despise. Read their blogs, their tweets, about their favorite television shows. Can you picture them in an Oxford common room, a Sciences Po lecture hall? They are our new précieuses ridicules, and all they have are their pretentions and their hatreds.”
http://spectator.org/the-old-deplorables/

If the U.S. has intellectuals worthy of the label, one would be extremely hard-pressed to identify them.

230 Johnny B September 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm

It is not just that people are anti-intellectual or anti-elite. It is that they see that most people without college educations are competing with Mexico and China for their jobs, while the elites and intellectuals are in protected industries that face no outside competition (i.e., government, education, etc.), and mostly by design from the elites (free trade, no vouchers for schools, etc.). This is what motivates people to vote for Trump in large numbers. And the number of people in the unprotected class is much larger than those in the protected. Add to all that that Hillary is a proven liar — watch the video again of her dropping and being flung into the van like a sack of potatoes — and say to yourself, “she’s just toughing out pneumonia.” (Go ahead, try it.) Then you see that Trump wins in a landslide as long as Philly doesn’t vote 120% democrat.

231 Brian Donohue September 16, 2016 at 9:04 am

1. Immigration is a banner under which a variety of aggrieved parties, ranging from perfectly legitimate to quite unsavory, have coalesced. It’s a microcosm of a general resentment and felling of helplessness against (take your pick): the managerial class, the administrative state, the out-of-touch elites etc etc.

This is democracy, which is both (a) the worst form of government except for all the others, and (b) a system against which the best argument is a five minute conversation with the average voter.

2. Also, Hillary is not a strong candidate. Lots of people criticize the drawn out American election process, but the grind is part of the test. She got her clock cleaned despite a nice head start in 2008, almost lost to a sparring partner this year, and now looks like she’s running on fumes.

232 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 9:52 am

but the grind is part of the test.

We seemed to get along passably without the grind prior to 1972. Hubert Humphrey won the 1968 Democratic nomination without entering a single primary, announcing his candidacy just four months before the convention. William Scranton was the runner up at the 1964 Republican convention. His campaign lasted all of six weeks. Ronald Reagan was the show candidate at the 1968 Republican convention. He announced his candidacy the day he arrived in Miami.

It’s hard to disentangle generational problems from process problems, of course. Cannot help but notice that the only quality candidate who has managed to compete passably for the Democratic nomination in the years since 1992 has been Wesley Clark. The Republicans have done better (the Younger Bush, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee). That’s six quality candidates in six elections. The grind isn’t working for us.

233 Brian Donohue September 16, 2016 at 10:43 am

This is due to the democratization of the primary process. As late as 1968, insiders played a huge role in the nomination process. There’s no reason why political parties need to adhere to democratic ideals in choosing their candidate, but this is the world we live in now. Arguably the old system produced better candidates, but if it’s gonna be democracy, I prefer a drawn out process for maximum tire-kicking.

The general election campaign has always been only a few months long, unless party nominees are both identified early.

234 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

This is due to the democratization of the primary process.

Brian, we could elect delegates to the convention over two Saturdays in June, and hold both conventions in August. There’s no need for this ‘progressive dinner’ style shlepping all over the country for five or six months, or for the opening lallapalooza in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Better yet, we could elect the convention delegates in June and have the convention in August elect national party officers, adopt a platform, and showcase their candidates, rather than choose their candidates. Registering a candidacy for the general election could require either placing a deposit with the Federal Election Commission or submitted petitions signed by elected officials to the Federal Election Commission (one or the other). If the adopt the practice of ordinal balloting for the presidency, with tabulation according to the conventions of the alternate vote, we won’t need the primaries or the convention to winnow candidates at all. Preparation for the election would consist of fundraisers and/or low-key meet-and-greets to collect signatures from state legislators and the like.

235 Bob from Ohio September 16, 2016 at 11:17 am

It is amazing to me how the Dems cleared the field for her so aggressively. Her weaknesses were apparent in 2008 and have not gotten better as she aged.

236 Lord Action September 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

My guess is they thought “there’s no way we’re winning this one,” and gave her her shot. Sort of like McCain in 08.

Then the Republican primary happened.

237 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Given the disarray in the GOP the Democrats have expected absolutely to win this one.

238 Brian Donohue September 16, 2016 at 3:48 pm

I think I disagree. Funnily enough, this mentality worked out for Bill Clinton in 1992. Early on, the Dems wanted Cuomo, who thought it was a bad bet, characterizing the GHW Bush campaign as: “I won the war (Desert Storm) and the other guy is a bum.” So, we got The Seven Dwarves. I thought Clinton got KO’d by Gennifer Flowers, but The Comeback Kid was made of sterner stuff (Perot helped too, of course.)

In this case, I think The Left felt like they were riding the Tide of History, notching impressive wins in the social sphere, capped by gay marriage as law of the land. They were expecting a coronation for The Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

Getting her nose badly bloodied by Bernie the Sparring Partner should have been a sign.

239 Art Deco September 17, 2016 at 11:28 am

So, we got The Seven Dwarves.

That term was current in 1988, IIRC, not 1992. The competing candidates in 1992 included Bob Kerrey, perhaps the most prepared and multitalented candidate to enter the Democratic race in 30-odd years, and Jerry Brown, who certainly was not a dwarf-politician either.

240 Matt September 16, 2016 at 9:24 am

I’d say mostly 3. The economic benefits exist but are not evenly distributed. Times of austerity naturally lead to fractious politics as people squabble for a piece of the shrinking pie.

241 celestus September 16, 2016 at 9:28 am

5 is definitely true. You can see from a history of Hillary’s approval ratings that whenever she is running for something her approval goes down, and then even by past standards her approval ratings have plunged during this campaign: http://www.gallup.com/poll/193913/clinton-image-lowest-point-two-decades.aspx It’s so true I don’t think you can put any evidence behind 7.

6, I’m afraid, is becoming true in the sense that we have had blacks go from 80-80% Dem to 90-95% Dem, Hispanics go from 60% Dem to 70%+ Dem, Asians flipping from Rep to Dem, Muslims flipping from Rep to Dem. White people getting in on identity politics to the degree of becoming 60-65% Rep seems like a pretty likely reaction (and hard to call it horrifying and illegitimate). I don’t really buy 2, though. If Trump wins it’s because he’s getting at least some Obama 2012 (and certainly Obama 2008) voters and when people are asked to choose between Trump and a third Obama term it’s a landslide win for Obama.

9. The 48 Laws of Power work.

242 The Other Jim September 16, 2016 at 9:36 am

9/16/16 — the day Tyler Cowen entered the bargaining stage.

While both Clinton and Trump would be disastrous Presidents, a clear joy of the latter winning would be watching the stunned silence of people like Cowen and Krugman, et al.

Especially when the silence is occasionally broken by HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?!? articles. Gee, what a mystery. How could a career criminal, who has been nationally disliked for 20 years, with brain trauma an inability to avoid passing out on a 77-degree day EVER have lost an election?

Could it be racism? Or is it sexism? MY GOD WE HAVE TO FIGURE THIS OUT!

243 Bob from Ohio September 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

+1

If Trump wins, the next 24 hours will be the best ever! The tears, pooping of pants and rendering of garments by the left will be so, so entertaining.

And I wish both would lose!

244 Johnny B September 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm

That’s easy for you to say, you don’t live in Canada…

245 Blake September 16, 2016 at 12:38 pm

The stunned silence of Cowen & Krugman won’t give me joy, but if people like Erick Erickson & George Will stay angry at the Republican Party, seeing it would be a clear joy.

246 Floccina September 16, 2016 at 9:50 am

I go with #5, she and most of the political establishment are in denial about there interventions in the middle east.

Hillary Clinton’s political experience is 1 term as senator and being secretary of when nothing worked out well.

She does not have a good on screen personality, in fact she is very bad on the stump.

She is relic being against legalization of marijuana for recreational purpose.

Her proposals on woman’s issues seem downright anti-man.

The only thing keeping her in the race is that Trump is so bad!

247 GoneWithTheWind September 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

When you delved into “racism” I think you fell into the left wing trap. Obviously Donald Trump is not racist. This is the common slur that the left automatically throws at anyone who opposes their Marxist/Leninist agenda. To even go along with this crazy meme is troubling and makes you appear naive. Ironically I am listening to Hillary speak to the Black Womens Agenda group and of course she is spouting racism to a group who are racist AND sexist (as defined by their own title). Odd little juxtaposition.

248 Just Saying September 16, 2016 at 10:24 am

How About This:

1) Trump has more fervent supporters than Clinton does, and so his supporters are more likely to be engaged and spreading the word.

2) National Clinton fatigue.

You called it third term fatigue, and you were right to feel that wasn’t quite right. What it is is CLINTON fatigue. 8 years of Bill, Hillary as senator, Hillary as Secretary of State, a perpetual candidate…the really motivated voters on the left (young progressives and the “liberal-tarian” Silicon Valley types) wanted someone newer, which is one reason why Bernie was so popular. Bush faced a lot of the same thing – not GOP fatigue, but Bush fatigue.

249 John Mansfield September 16, 2016 at 10:27 am

One part of #7 (different kind of woman president) is the distaste for electing the wife of a former president. Electing Bush, son of Bush, was questionable, but it was the first time we’d done something like that since Adams, and maybe we would do it again in another couple hundred years. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t treat it like a one-off thing, and Hillary Clinton ran for president, and then Jeb Bush, and the next generation of Bushes and Clintons are overly speculated about as future candidates. A lot of us would like to put an end to that kind of thinking, which won’t happen after the second Clinton wins.

250 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 2:41 pm

The smart money says Chelsea does not have the focus or the drive.

but it was the first time we’d done something like that since Adams,

We’ve done grandfather-grandson (Harrisons), and Uncle / Niece’s husband (Roosevelts). Woodrow Wilson’s son-in-law, WH Taft’s son, and John Kennedy’s brothers all had a decent shot at it.

251 Ann O'nymous September 16, 2016 at 10:45 am

Clinton is corrupt. Period. She set up the private server because she knew she will email some things that will show her as corrupt if revealed by FOIA investigations. Even if it turns out she didn’t in the end, she expected she would, and she knows herself better than anyone else. There is no way around that – Benghazi, classified information, the foundation, these are all a side-show. The evidence is in her, purposefully, setting up a server so that the public doesn’t know what she is doing while being paid by the public.

A theory of Trump’s success is that we cannot survive corruption. We can survive bad policy. We can survive idiots. We cannot survive South America-level of corruption, wife of a corrupt president becomes the new corrupt president. So, sure, this guy is the biggest moron who’s ever run (see, Democrats, this is what a moron looks like, not Bush, who misspoke a word here and there). Any clean candidate would have beaten him (and Clinton might, too). But the Democrats decided to nominate the Oracle of the Cattle Future Market…

252 miko September 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

What about the flip side of 5?
Trumps a far stronger candidate than many people still think.
Everything he says (no matter how stupid it sounds to you) , is calculated (tone, repetition etc..) to elicit the right emotional response from some select group of people.

253 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Yes, but the group of people he appeals to is a decided minority. Look at how his polls cratered when he was shooting his mouth off left and right after the GOP convention. It’s only been since his handlers put a muzzle on him that his chances have improved.

254 albatross September 16, 2016 at 4:19 pm

I think miko’s right. I’m not sure Trump is in general a strong candidate–I don’t see that he’d have done well in the 2000 or 2008 elections, for example. But his strengths have aligned very well with the situation he’s found himself in this election–the crowded Republican field, the frontrunners (Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton) who were extremely well-supported by the establishment types, but weren’t too appealing to most voters, the current financial and moral state of the media (especially cable news), a large set of people being fed-up with PC and taking offense as a strategy, and especially widespread disillusionment with the ruling class and their consensus on how to govern. Those combined to create an environment in which Trump is punching massively above his weight class.

255 John Mansfield September 16, 2016 at 10:56 am

As others have pointed out, Trump is a third-party candidate who figured out that the path to win was first to hijack the Republican party, a bit like when Bloomberg became a Republican in order to become mayor of New York City.

How would this all be playing out now if he had hijacked the Democratic party instead? Suppose, say, that there were no Barack Obama, McCain had beat Hillary Clinton eight years ago, and after 16 years of Republican presidents, the country was ready for a Democrat.

256 derek September 16, 2016 at 10:58 am

I said to a friend about 4 months ago that we are seeing a turning point in globalization. Trump is ahead of this curve and benefitting.

What has struck me repeatedly over this election is how many times I’ve heard serious people go on and on about how this or that Trump is awful, crude, whatever, then at the end saying he is right about something.

Trump is having the time of his life. Who knows what he is thinking, for anyone this is a long shot. His speech at the convention gave slight hints of wonder at how he had got there. He took a weeks long media mobbing and came out as popular as he went in. Now he is going up against the Clinton machine, getting outspent 5-1, and pulling ahead. He has become the unlikely underdog that is the classic american story, he will have substantial numbers of people rooting for him.

The media is venal. I think the health thing this weekend and the silence since is as clear an indication that anyone could have that nothing that these people say is worth listening to. Only racists, homophobes, misogynist, islamophobic deplorable people would even think that she has some health issues. That basket gets bigger every day.

I watched the Ceausescu speech the other day. That look of shock is priceless. We will see a few of them over the next months.

The disdain that elite opinion demonstrates towards Trump is the same disdain that is openly expressed by politicians, bureaucrats and media towards people outside their comfortable circle.

The Comey Clinton skate sticks in people’s craw. That sniper movie that was popular last year had an interesting line. They were lining up some target, there were some women or kids, and through experience these could be real threats or simply civilians. The spotter said something to the effect that if you get it wrong you will be in Leavenworth. Yet Clinton got off. One wonders how many horse heads Comey found in his bed.

The political strategists who have the real power in these elections are utterly detached from reality. That is what destroyed the Republican field. They actually believed their bullshit that money and data could control people. They got smacked, and good riddance. The Clinton spin miesters are wizards at everything except building trust and confidence, which is her weakness. This is the most delicious part of this election.

Remember. The financial and political establishment is only in their place right now because the Treasury and Fed managed to drum up anywhere from $7-12 Trillion dollars to bail them out. Otherwise they would be a mess on a sidewalk, hanging from a lamp post or selling apples on the street. Someone will calculate one day that this transfer of wealth was from the less prosperous to the more prosperous parts of the country.

The reality now is that for most people, if you want to avoid problems and do reasonably well over the long term, you do not ever do as you are told. You don’t borrow huge amounts of money to go to school. You do not send your kids to middle school without serious daily effort to make sure they don’t get screwed up. You do not do anything that attracts the slightest attention from any level of government because they will clean you out. You do not borrow at low interest rates to buy inflated assets. You do not eat what they say to eat, you do not think what they say to think. You do not put yourself in a position where some bureaucrat could pad their pension fund with money they steal from you legally, because they will.

And you don’t ever tell a media or polling person what you really think.

257 Blake September 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

I think you underestimate how many bureaucrats are the people the elite treat with disdain, partly reflected in the elites desire to end pensions.

258 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Remember. The financial and political establishment is only in their place right now because the Treasury and Fed managed to drum up anywhere from $7-12 Trillion dollars to bail them out.

The companies ‘bailed out’ were Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, auto industry components and (to a much lesser degree) AIG. The remainder got bridge loans, which they paid back.

259 Peter Akuleyev September 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

#9. Conflict gives life meaning, and therefore peace and prosperity are inherently unstable. Basically people are bored and will vote to upset the status quo. Clinton means 4, maybe 8, more years of Obama. For most people life has been kind of meh. Not bad, materially better than ever, some good TV shows and nice craft beers, but no great ideals to get excited about, no life or death struggles. We had a similar situation in 1914 where the most prosperous populations on the planet decided after years of rapid economic growth to start a huge war about nothing in particular, just because life seemed too easy and wasn’t making sense anymore according to the older value systems.

260 chuck martel September 16, 2016 at 11:14 am

Events have a way of complicating things. The North Carolina HB2 law, for instance, which prescribes that physically unaltered individuals using public bathrooms use the one that matches the gender on their birth certificate. The uproar over an unenforceable law that simply encodifies what has been normal since public bathrooms came into existence is one more pseudo-liberal imposition on the deplorables. The response by organizations like the NCAA is predictable but ridiculous as well. This whole episode plays into Trump’s campaign and he will use it.

261 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Trump is not a social conservative, and he sounds tin-eared when he tries to talk like one. Earlier this year Trump actually expressed support for trans people, then walked it back when his handlers reminded him he needed support from the Bible Belt crowd. But SoCons who trust him are going to be very rudely disabused if he wins.

262 albatross September 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm

There’s an important distinction, though. You don’t need to be a social conservative, and you don’t need to have any animus toward trans people, to think that the uproar about HB2 was unreasonable. This is not a common position described in the media, but I suspect it’s a common position among people who bother to think about the issue.

263 chuck martel September 16, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Support for trans people, supposedly .03 % of the US population, isn’t the point. The point is that bathrooms have signs on them that say MEN or WOMEN. Does it make a scintilla of sense that a person with a male configuration should be offended by being required to use the men’s bathroom? Should a woman not be offended by a man waltzing into the female bathroom? Who gets to offend whom? And why? This goofy situation has nothing to do with the rights of trans people, it’s just another attempt by an even smaller minority than usual to force themselves on the rest of society with the assistance of the academic community, in this case the NCAA.

264 Erik H. September 16, 2016 at 11:19 am

1. His views are the right views, more or less, and American voters recognized this.

More accurately “Her views are the wrong views, more or less, and American voters recognized this.”

I don’t think most folks are voting on “best,” I think they’re voting on “least worst.” That’s a different analysis.

2. A quite significant percentage of America is very directly racist. I don’t mean statistical discrimination here, I mean “downright racist.”

This still depends on how you define “downright racist.”

Blacks in the US are in a very bad position socially, which shouldn’t be in dispute. But though most folks think that those differences are mostly socially caused (which would normally be ‘non racist’) they also acknowledge that the groups differ in expressed actions and characteristics. Which is to say, they simultaneously think blacks are genetically-identical and blameless for differences, and also agree that blacks are lower-performing on a variety of important measures.

Those folks are hard to characterize.

5. Hillary Clinton is a weaker candidate than many people had thought. Maybe so, but that has to be unpacked a bit more.

Well, she is certainly less personable. Also, Hilary has aligned herself with particular movements (notably BLM, Mattress Girl, and other social justice things) which are essentially anathema to large segments of the population.

265 August Hurtel September 16, 2016 at 11:19 am

The collapse of the U.S.S.R. was much more obvious, especially with the symbolism of the Berlin wall being torn down, or Yeltsin on the tank, etc…

But this is the collapse of the American Empire, an empire many still refuse to believe exists.

One of the clues is this ‘mandate of heaven’ effect. Trump does all this stuff all the pros say is stupid, but he wins anyway. Now, maybe there’s something to this idea he is a master persuader, but more importantly his opponents seem to fall apart of their own volition. Hilary seems to be doing this literally, but the G.O.P. idiots he beat did a similar thing in a somewhat less corporeal fashion. They were too corrupted and weak to, for example, not sound like retarded war-hawks hell-bent on starting a war with Russia. This line must certain be necessary to maintain funding, because it certainly is not something Americans want.

266 Floccina September 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

On #2 how did Hispanic American manage to get AA when Italians, Portuguese, Greeks did not?
Reihan Salam not lily white himself posted this: https://twitter.com/reihan/status/775070458257534977
Evidently 29% of black Americans, great citizens that they are (the HBD folks are wrong about that), agree to this statement: “Today discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.”
Is it really always racist to be against AA for Hispanics?

267 VJV September 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

Some observations about this election and the political/economic situation generally, in the spirit of Tyler’s post:

1. The Republican establishment literally has no reason to exist anymore. Trump has put plain their utter moral and institutional bankruptcy. They hate Trump, and yet they could not stop him, even though Trump did even not have the support of a majority of the primary electorate. When he won the nomination, they more-or-less went along with it, selling out both their supposed principles (Trump is not a conservative, not really) and the country. The Republican Party, or at least the institutional Republican Party, no longer serves any purpose and deserves to die.

2. The Democratic establishment isn’t in quite THAT bad shape, but it’s still a mess. The Democratic primary was not close, but the fact that cranky 70-year-old socialist got around 40% of the vote is a bad sign. I don’t think there’s enough evidence right now for anyone to make an informed prediction as to what will happen to the Democratic establishment. However, the total chaos in the Republican Party makes the Democrats overconfident.

3. Hillary Clinton is a bad presidential candidate. This should have been obvious to everyone all along – lest we forget, she already lost her “inevitable” nomination to an upstart (albeit an unusually skilled one) once, in 2008. She has never had high favorables, except during the Lewinsky scandal and when she was Secretary of State. A cranky 70-year-old socialist gave her a scare in the primary, and now she’s running neck-and-neck with a third-rate carnival barker. Hillary Clinton may have her merits, but she is not good at running for President.

3a. I do not mean to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s lack of skill as a candidate is a reflection on her personally. Mostly, it is not. Plenty of despicable people are good candidates; plenty of honorable people are bad ones. Personally, I dislike Hillary Clinton, but I do not think she is nearly as awful as many of her opponents make her out to be. She’s a normal politician, more-or-less. Why is she so despised? I suspect it is some combination of Clinton fatigue, lack of charisma, sexism, and an unusually testy relationship with the media.

4. In a recent 538 chat, Nate Silver summed up the state of the race thusly (I’m paraphrasing): “The fundamentals point to a toss-up. Trump loses ten points for being an historically awful candidate, but then gains seven points back because Clinton is also a bad candidate.” I think this is pretty accurate.

5. The polls have, since May-June, vacillated between more-or-less a tie and a roughly 8-10 point advantage for Clinton. I suspect it will remain this way. The electorate is unusually fluid this year, third parties are doing well, and both major-party candidates are historically disliked.

5a. That said, when Clinton gets a microphone to remind people of just what Trump really is, she tends to do well. I find it frustrating that she does not do this more often. (Full disclosure: I am unenthusiastic-but-not-reluctant Clinton supporter, and am terrified by Trump.)

6. This country needs to stop shooting itself in the foot. The WORLD needs to stop shooting itself in the foot. Most of our problems can be solved. (The only possible exception here is climate change, but that’s not why people are so angry and even that is at least arguably somewhat solvable.) The economy is in decent shape. There are fixes out there for healthcare, for infrastructure, for student debt issues, for income inequality. Terrorism is a concern, but it is not an existential threat. We’re making progress on racism and sexism and bigotry. Most of the solutions to our problems will necessarily be imperfect, but there is nothing happening right now which is irrevocably awful, there is nothing happening that screams for the need to blow the whole thing up. And yet we are on the verge of doing so.

6a. So why? I don’t really know. I suspect it’s America coming to terms with a new reality. Some of that is the decline of old certainties about race and gender, but I don’t think it’s all of it. Here’s a thought: the idea of inevitable material progress, which has driven both the US and Western civilization for decades, if not centuries, is…changing. From here on out, our level of material progress may be marginal. At the same time, the US while it will remain a global power (and probably the global power) for some time, is relatively less powerful than it used to be. We need to come to terms with these two realities. They do not spell the end of the world. But I think there does need to be some kind of cultural shift, in our values, in our relationship with work and our expectations of the economy, in our conception of America’s place in the world. Hopefully, someday, this will happen and things will be set right again. I just really, really hope that it happens without a spasm of serious violence or war, because I’m not sure civilization can survive that.

268 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

#1 and 32 in your list point to the hard fact that the elites, of all; persuasions and ideologies, are not living in the same reality as most people. It’s not that they don’t have answers, they aren’t even sure what the questions are.

269 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

I meant #1 and #2

270 VJV September 18, 2016 at 11:48 am

I don’t think you’re totally wrong, but it’s not so cut-and-dry. To wit:

-The GOP elite has been unwittingly sowing the seeds of its own destruction for a long time. While some of their demise is owed to the sometime cluelessness of elites generally, they are in particularly bad shape for two reasons which quite specific to themselves. 1) They created a monster that they thought they could harness for power. For awhile, it kind of worked, but now the monster has swallowed them whole. 2) Conservatism as an ideology mostly didn’t work. You could argue it was somewhat helpful in the 70s/80s, but since then it’s been a pretty abysmal failure. Noah Smith said this better than I can: http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/trump-happened-because-conservatism.html

-The issues facing Democratic elites are, I think, more in-line with the issues facing elites generally which are…ambiguous. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say that elites are “not living in the same reality as most people” – or at least that this effect is substantially larger now than it was in the past. If you want to argue that elites and everyone else live in separate realities, I’d say, OK, but that’s always been more-or-less the case. The distance between the two realities probably has grown over the past 15-30 years. However, I think elites are kind of starting to wake up. Obama’s election in 2008 was, to an extent, a weathervane pointing in this direction, and now you’ve got the Trump and Sanders phenomenons. Moreover, economic fragility has now climbed the income ladder to such an extent that it is touching, if not elites themselves, than people that elites come into regular contact with. While elites still probably do not fully appreciate the full extent of most folks’ problems, I think, given time, things will trend in the right direction on that front.

-Which brings me back to my shooting ourselves in the foot point. I’ve grown increasingly convinced that a lot of what is happening right now is due to certain economic forces intersecting with vast trends in culture, and possibly even more so, technology. Remember, the mass Internet is still only about 20 years old. We still haven’t figured out how best to use it.

-Somewhat to the side: it is currently impossible to say to what extent the Sanders phenomenon represented a real threat to Democratic elites, and to what extent it was a manifestation of general dislike of HRC personally/Clinton fatigue. My best guess is it’s a mixture of both, but I don’t think we’ll really have a clear picture of what’s going on in the Democratic Party until we have a primary election without a Clinton on the ballot.

271 Lee A. Arnold September 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

VJV, excellent comment.

272 prairie economist September 16, 2016 at 11:51 am

If he wins, it’s because he accidentally became the media-created Messiah.

Since 1980 (at least) the Republican ideal: someone who is not a government guy…knows how to make piles of money…does not need the government’s money (or anyone else’s) and therefore is not beholden to anyone…has swag…doesn’t take crap.

Check.

Fox News and the Republican machine create the idol. He makes money, never holding office. The Apprentice makes him a relatable authority figure. Tap into people’s fears, stir well. Add contemporary tolerance of his marital life. Mix in unimpressive opponents.

President.

They could not un-create the idol. To the masses, it looked just like him.

Funniest.Thing.Ever.

273 prior_test2 September 16, 2016 at 1:24 pm

‘Since 1980 (at least) the Republican ideal’

I’m guessing that Ross Perot is laughing at this, possibly with a giant sucking sound.

274 Sean September 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Is their a difference between racism and relative status?

I think people vote for what is in their best interest. Clearly barack obama boosted black status. Does trump do the same thing for whites? Not sure that is pure racism, but relatively people want to be in the higher status group.

That being said I think their are a lot of undercurrents that are stronger that viewing trump as racism. And I think a lot of it has to do with status. Remember also I believe something like 80 million americans have an IQ under 90. Neither mainstream party is offering these groups a future (I don’t count trump as gop). They both at their core operate under neoliberalism and the idea of a meritocracy. I think lots of trumps ideology plays into the fears of falling behind in a meritocracy.

275 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Um, white people are in the higher status group.

276 msgkings September 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Non-college educated whites are no longer high status

277 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:40 pm

Who’s calibrating the scales?

278 Damien September 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

What about Trump being better at campaigning? Seems like a direct cause of winning.

279 Cooper September 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

It’s #5.

It can’t be anything else.

Clinton is a profoundly poor campaigner. Whenever she is running for something, her approval ratings plummet. Her skills at peruasion are weak and she has thirty years of political baggage.

The Bill Clinton years are a distant memory for voters under 40 and those over 40 are skewing Republican anyway.

Young voters are breaking for third party candidates (almost a third support Johnson/Stein) and if that holds up it will cost her numerous swing states.

It’s not that Millennial Change Voters are enthused about Trump, they’re just not excited about Hillary.

280 JonFraz September 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Re: I would try “the Democratic national establishment doesn’t understand why much of America trusts it so little, so it keeps on doing and saying unpopular things. Those things include elevating some candidates and also encouraging them to take particular stances.”

Except then Obama’s victories and current popularity are hard to understand. No, Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses (win or lose) are specifically hers, not a generic problem.

Re: but only the Republicans are running on ideas.

Odd, because the analysis from the intellectual, non-knee jerk Right says the exact opposite; the the GOP has run out of ideas and the endless invocation of Reaganite “ideas” have become nothing more than worn-out mantras lacking relevance for today’s world and problems. (Depending on who’s talking the proper alternative ideas range from the civic-minded Reform Conservatism of Ross Douthat and Reihan Salem to the white nationalism of the Alt Right)

281 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm

current popularity are hard to understand.

A 52% approval rating after six years underwater with the electorate is not what is understood as ‘popularity’.

282 Scott M. Koser, CFA September 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

This list is being too intellectual about the issue at hand. It is simply the “mad as hell crowd” vs the global elite.

People in the C suite, NYC, DC, Silicon Valley and Hollywood are doing fine in a Fed induced world in which GDP and the SPX are maximized. That is the Global elite crowd. They don’t have to deal with TSA, sorry schools or the great unwashed.

The “mad as hell crowd” could be anywhere in the USA, but lets use Indiana. Used to make $30 a hour with benefits, plant closed and went to Mexico. Replacement job is $13 a hour at Lowes, 25 hours a week, with very skinny benefits. Working, producing, playing by the rules, but getting left behind. Could care less about GDP or the SPX because it doesn’t benefit them.

As Summers recently said, a Governments first obligation is the Welfare of its citizens. One candidate is saying “I feel your pain” in a very different way and getting results. Hang on, it is going to be a long 52 days.

283 VJV September 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Two points, here:

1) Gore received more votes than Bush in 2000. I do not deny the constitutional or legal legitimacy of Bush’s victory. However, the “third term party fatigue” argument is really about voter sentiment, so if you’re going to use the 2000 election as an example in favor of that argument then you must allow for the fact that Gore won more votes.

2) We don’t really know if, or to what extent, “third term party fatigue” exists. Since WWII, there have been seven elections in which one of the two parties had occupied the White House for two terms or more: 1952, 1960, 1968, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2008. The incumbent party won in 1988, and 2000 and 1960 were essentially ties. That means that the challenging party won a clear victory in four out of seven contests – and one of those, 1976, was fairly close and had the specter of Watergate hanging over the incumbent. This is not an especially convincing track record, nor is it a statistically significant sample.

I do think there is something to the idea that it is generally easier for the challenging party to win in elections such as these. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, and the outcome of elections seems driven more by the particular circumstances under which each election is conducted than by broad historical trends.

284 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Eisenhower won the peripheral South, as had Hoover in 1928. Barry Goldwater was the first Republican to carry the Deep South.

285 Eric Rasmusen September 16, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Median voter theory. He’s a liberal but clearly to the right of Hillary.

286 Shane M September 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm

My lone observation is that Trump says so many outrageous things that it takes the air of the room. No other message can get through. It happened in the Republican primaries, and seems to be happening presently.

I do think Hillary is generally a weak candidate, but that doesn’t explain Trump imho. I think many who dislike Trump aren’t necessarily fans of Hillary.

287 albatross September 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

I suspect that something like #2 is at least partly right, but “racist” doesn’t describe it well.

There is a sort of consensus worldview w.r.t. race, religion, ethnicity, etc., which is at least paid lip-service to by most educated middle-class and up Americans. Among the sort of people who work in media, professors, finance types, etc., I think it is very rare to talk to anyone who doesn’t accept that broad worldview. Trump routinely says and implies things that really strongly clash with that worldview. Some of those are proposed policies, like banning Muslim immigration. Others are factually-incorrect statements, like saying that Mexican immigrants are bringing a lot of crime here. Others are factually-correct statements, like saying that blacks commit a lot more crime that whites[1]. Some are simply statements of opinion, like being dismissive of BLM.

The thing is, those statements come off to a lot of educated middle-class people as being jarring and offensive. And then, Trump supporters go ahead and support him despite (or maybe because of) those statements, and it reads to a lot of people like racism.

My guess is, it’s not exactly racism, it’s failure to accept the educated middle-class worldview w.r.t. race, ethnicity, religion, etc. When statements someone else makes seem offensive, that’s almost never about whether they’re correct or justifiable given available data–it’s about whether they’re outside the window of acceptable statements in your social circle. I think someone like Tyler looking at Trump supporters and assuming they must mostly be racists is a bit like a conservative in 1970 looking at a bunch of antiwar activists and assuming they must mostly be Communists. From the 1970 conservative’s worldview, protesting the draft and refusing to go to war in Vietnam reads as Communist. From a 2016 educated liberal or libertarian’s worldview, wanting to massively restrict immigration and bad Muslim immigration reads as racist. In both cases, there’s some truth to that assumption–Trump has genuine racist supporters and there were plenty of actual Communists protesting the Vietnam war. But there’s also something else going on–the people in both movements are working from beliefs sufficiently different from Tyler’s POV / the POV of a 1970 conservative that it’s really easy to misread what they really believe.

[1] Weirdly, at some point, Trump retweeted some oddball source on black/white crime rate differences that had the numbers wrong. It would have taken very little effort to tweet correct statistics, from solid sources, which told the same story, but I guess it wasn’t worth the trouble to him. Or maybe he thought it actually would play better for him to send out incorrect numbers that told broadly the real story of what was going on.

288 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Others are factually-incorrect statements, like saying that Mexican immigrants are bringing a lot of crime here.

See Heather McDonald’s writings for general audiences. Illegal alien crime is a problem.

289 albatross September 16, 2016 at 5:05 pm

One other sideline on Trump supporters and racism is this Reuters poll. It’s pretty obvious that Trump voters have, on average, a rather more negative view of blacks than the supporters of other candidates. (Though not an immensely more negative view, as far as I can tell from the data.)

One irony here is that at least three of the five questions in the survey are things you could imagine answering pretty well with widely-available, high-quality data. But the answers you’d get by doing that would register as racist by the common educated middle-class worldview on race.

For question #1, you could look at IQ tests, NCLB tests, high school graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, college graduation rates, Nobel prizes, Fields medals, chess ratings, makeup of high-tech fields, etc.

For questions #4 and #5, you could look at crime statistics, incarceration statistics, data on murder victims, etc.

Again: what statements come off as offensive and upsetting has very little to do with factual accuracy or having a justifiable argument. It’s probably much more about what ideas you’re used to hearing, and what ideas you’re used to seeing widely attacked.

290 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Bingo. It’s largely about affirmations delineating in-groups and out-groups.

291 Evan September 16, 2016 at 5:12 pm

I think Tyler overlooks the role of speech. The way Donald Trump speaks is one of the most important factors in this election. He speaks like a working class white male. Hillary Clinton speaks like a professor of women’s studies at a New England liberal arts college.

292 Art Deco September 16, 2016 at 8:39 pm

No, Democratic pols speak like the Dean of Students. A women’s studies professor would have much more jargon-laden speech and would in general be much kookier. HRC is a standard-issue professional-class woman in her attitudes, just aggressive and unscrupulous to a degree such women generally are not.

293 Lee A. Arnold September 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Trump says one thing, then he says the opposite, he denies the facts, he lies — and it doesn’t matter. His supporters do not care what he says. They are supporting him because he’s their guy, and they hate Hillary. It’s the in-group phenomenon of “motivated social cognition”, the modern tribalism in which facts are secondary, dismissible. It was always active in politics on both sides of course, but the GOP has been basing their message on an increasing number of lies for a few decades now, and Trump has laid it open, and they don’t even care.

If Trump is elected, it will be very bad for the country because he is teaching kids that it is all right to lie.

294 Lee A. Arnold September 17, 2016 at 5:02 am

You may not like Bill and Hillary, but they are predictable and consistent. Most of the stuff has been made up by their opponents.

295 Chris J Breisch September 16, 2016 at 8:25 pm

I’m gonna go with, “because he will have won more Electoral Votes.”

296 Mike C September 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Communication amongst the community has improved. Today, the media no longer has full control of what the community hears. Although they still try. It is more difficult for a politician to hide how poorly they are at solving problems. With the world experiencing the greatest refugee crisis since World War II, Hillary’s solution is to accept 60,000 refugees of 60 million into thee US?

297 Mark Bahner September 16, 2016 at 11:54 pm

Best theory: #666. These are the end days.

298 Doug Winter September 17, 2016 at 3:05 am

Surely when you say “America is not ready for a woman president” you meant to phrase this rather more like point 2 “A quite significant percentage of America is very directly sexist”?

299 Alex from Germany September 17, 2016 at 7:46 am

1) Despite the media-hypocrisy about Trump, reading what Trump’s ghostwriter had to say about him, I really do believe that he’ll blow up the planet.

2) all stated reasons are good ones, but I can fiddle more with: Comparing the two candidates, Trump most recognizable “agenda” is anti-establishment. Thats a huge plus with anyone who wants “change”. The same goes for the largest voter-bloc of em all: the non-voters are more likely to be engaged by Trump, rather than Hillary Clinton.

300 albatross September 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

How would we determine which candidate was more likely to get us into a nuclear war? Trump might well be more likely then Hillary–he definitely comes off as a loose cannon. But it’s not obvious to me how we would even make an intelligent guess.

301 JJ September 17, 2016 at 7:55 am

Tyler,

What’s with the 3 or 4 items that basically collapse to racism/sexism/ some form of malice? Have you never heard of Hanlon’s Razor?

This is just pathetic, lazy, sloppy thinking. I expected better from you than to give these silly lefty talking points consideration.

Consequential, overt racial hostility is almost nonexistent in common society, and surely nonexistent amongst elites with status and wealth.

As a Black woman, I can affirm personally that I have never once experienced the faintest bit of racism in my entire life.
White people are tripping over themselves to get blacks and women to succeed. It’s ridiculous.

Why listen to the bizarre hallucinations of Black Lives Matter and professional race hucksters? What positive evidence
of racism do you have other than blacks aren’t performing how you *think* they should?

Get a gosh darn clue.

302 Scott Gustafson September 17, 2016 at 3:31 pm

One of the latest right/wrong track polls shows 47% of Democrats, 86% of Republicans and 73% of Independents think that we are on the wrong track. Given that, how would a loss by a political insider be surprising? This is a version of #1. Don’t know if Trump has the right policies, but Clinton promises more of the same and those are clearly thought to be wrong.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/docs/2016/2016_Reuters_Tracking_-_Core_Political_9.13_.16_.pdf

303 Li Zhi September 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm

I find it astounding that a supposed economist has better things to say about HRC’s positions than the Donalds. But then again, TC never impressed me much as an economist (nor as an analytical thinker), but that’s probably my illusion of believing I know more than I really do.
Where specifically – after all the rhetorical nonsense is put aside – do HRC positions offer better policy than TD’s?
I’d flip the post: If HRC wins, what is the best theory of why? To me, it’s obvious: because she is not as toxic as the Donald. She’s milk of magnesia to Donald’s castor oil.

304 Paul September 18, 2016 at 1:35 am

Read Scott Adam’s blog. He’s been getting it right for over a year.

There are lots of examples. Here’s one from April 29:

“What I see in Clinton’s health is an unusual level of variability. Sometimes her eyes bug out, sometimes they are tired and baggy. Sometimes she looks puffy, sometimes not. It would be easy to assume fatigue is the important variable. And that is clearly a big factor. But notice that the other candidates have little variability in their physicality. Trump always looks like Trump. Cruz always looks like Cruz, and so on. Sometimes we think we can detect fatigue in their answers, but visually the other candidates appear about the same every day. Clinton, on the other hand, looks like an entirely different person every few days. That suggests some greater variability in her health. And that’s probably a tell for medications that are waxing and waning but rarely at the ideal levels. Or perhaps the underlying conditions have normal variability. Or both.
…… …
I give Clinton a 50% chance of making it to November with sufficiently good health to be considered a viable president. “

305 Anymous September 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm

There is no need to over-analyze. If Trump is elected President, it is the American people getting what they deserve.

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