Don't worry, I'm publishing this deliberately
This is emotionally very difficult to read.
What's most chilling to me is how much of Trump's second term "agenda" outlined here could just become the first term (or non-consecutive Trump second term) agenda of the next GOP president. Without Congressional action, I'm not seeing much chance at permanently authoritarian-proofing the FBI, DOD, CIA, etc. either.
The question raised at the end is interesting too. I think the legitimacy of the federal government would have nosedived in some blue states if Trump won an electoral college victory with an even larger popular vote defeat. I do wonder what states like CA, MA, NY would do if their voters began insisting they openly defy the federal government on certain issues.
Could we also get the Hillary Wins one?
I'll just share this ... when Trump started to pull away in Florida, I was pretty shaken there for a few hours. I still can't believe it was this close. Without the pandemic, I think Trump would have won. I don't know how I feel about that.
Striking how similar this is to most of the existing post-election discourse, despite Biden's win. Would be very curious to read the Clinton wins pre-write if you're able to publish it in the future (sadly the democracy of the Twitter poll let me down here). All of the things that went wrong for the Clinton campaign have been so thoroughly examined that it would be very interesting to read what your interpretation of what went right would have been if those few votes had swung differently.
Shorter Yglesias: We just dodged the Mother of All Bullets.
(At least that's my takeaway from this seemingly 90% accurate piece).
It's notable that even though Trump lost, most of the article is still true. Low trust voters did cause another polling miss, and the majority of America's voters will not get their wish given the outcome in the Senate and pre-existing situation at the Supreme Court
I'm a big proponent of the multi-world theory of quantum physics. A common, if minor, misconception many people have of that theory is that the multi-world splitting is primarily binary choices (this happened or that happened at a quantum event, and two worlds are created). I think this is mainly due to the popularity of the Schrodinger's cat example, which is either alive or dead.
But most of quantum theory revolves more around large sets of probabilities. The wave function states that an electron has an x% chance at being found at one of many positions/momentums. And when you take a measurement, the theory states that the world splits into one variation for each possible configuration you could have measured. However, some possibilities are FAR more likely than others. At the tail end of those wave functions are nearly infinite possible locations of nearly infinitely small probability. Perhaps your electron isn't in your lab at all, but is on the moon instead. Such ridiculousness theoretically CAN happen, and according to multi-world theory, you do in fact get a universe where that does happen.
The mental/mathematical construct used to deal with this is universe thickness. The higher the probability of a quantum measurement, the "thicker" the resulting split universe. This gives us an analogy to "conservation of mass" with the new concept "conservation of universe thickness", where the sum of all the thickness of all the resulting universes after a measurement equals the thickness of the universe before the measurement.
I'm sure some of you readers already know all this, so I apologize for the unrequested mansplaining. MattY's "Trump Wins" post brought this to my mind today, as there is now a set of universes where Trump won. I wonder how "thick" those universes are? According to 538's pre-election polling data, those universes should account for less than 10% of the pre-election universe. But, as I understand it, convention wisdom is that the polling data was wrong, and Trump had a much better than 10% chance going in.
I wonder what that number really is? What percentage of the pre-election version of us is now living in a two term Trump world?
Well this was traumatic.
On the NEJM note: It's not clear to me that low trust people know about or care about institutions like NEJM. I wouldn't be surprised if the first time many people heard of the journal was after they endorsed Biden. I'd be interested to know if people think an endorsement from NEJM simply signals to Trump voters that medicine is one more institution that they should not trust while not meaningfully changing the minds of any voters. However, I also take the point that Trump is such an authoritarian mess of a human being, that NEJM might have felt they needed to throw whatever weight they hold behind Anyone But Him. I would love perspectives from health care providers about whether or not they are seeing a lack of trust in medicine, beyond Covid or before Covid happened. I get that many people don't trust public health officials, but I was under the impression that trust in "medicine" was still fairly high, I worry this erodes it.
I want to offer two cheers for the bad polling this year. With Biden ahead in the polls by ~8 points, 538.com put his odds at winning at 90% because he could survive even another large polling error -- and that's what happened.
Had polls been accurate, showing Biden with a 4 percentage point lead and all the swing states effectively tied, I and millions of other Democrats would have been driven insane with worry and terror. We would have been living in mortal fear that even a small (and normal) polling error in Trump's direction would have delivered the election to him. To find out after the election that the polls, this time, were actually accurate, and Biden won, would have been joyful, but the scars of that dread I think would have lived on.
I much prefer that the bad polls spared us that period of existential angst and at least gave us the hope that Biden would win fairly easily, even though we didn't get the landslide we were hoping for. Sucks what happened in Congress, but Trump winning would have been an extinction event.
And for those who think the fear of losing and narrow polls would have energized Democrats and motivated all of us to work harder, I direct you to Markos Moulitsas at dailyKos who would have absolutely none of that: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/10/15/1986564/-For-the-love-of-god-please-stop-with-the-run-like-we-re-10-points-down-nonsense
His view is that winning is contagious and energizing. I agree.
So again, thank you for your crappy performance, pollsters!
careful - Trump is going to latch on to this as more evidence of his landslide victory
Abandoning electoral politics because the electoral map is at the moment skewed against you more than usual doesn't seem like the long slow boring of hard boards.
I had a stress dream about just the idea of reading this.
Interesting call for social disobedience at the end - I think that would’ve defined 2021 and by 2022 dem pols would’ve been apologizing for it all over again.
Happy Thanksgiving! What does Tk stand for, in the paragraph where polling numbers were presumably to be inserted?