Thursday, December 8, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Successful Men And Women

President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet-level appointments
and other staff choices have been so far quite impressive.
His opponents, including Democrats, others on the left and
the mainstream media are predictably not happy with most
of them. (Neither were Republicans and other conservatives,
it should be recalled, delighted with President Obama’s
appointments.)

The new president needs to gather around him men and
women he can trust, who generally share his views and will
follow his policies, and who have a high likelihood of success
in their work.

With most of his top appointments now made, there are a few
observations which can be made about them. First, there is a
remarkable diversity in them with figures from the
Asian-American, African-American, Indian-American
communities, as well as a very significant number of women.
There are several businessmen and high-ranking military
men. They are all, it should surprise no one, conservative,
and in many cases, quite opposed to the policies of the
soon-to-be-ended Obama administration.

But there is a common theme to virtually all of these
appointments, and that is that each of them has a record and
history of success in their work. What better predictor of
performance in public service is there than past  performance
in public and private life?

The federal government is now going to have a serious reset
of public policies. This is not only the consequence of Mr.
Trump’s victory, but of the voters decision to put the
conservative party in control of the Congress. It will not only
include the repeal of Obamacare (and its replacement with a
free market alternative) and the cancellation of many unpopular
executive orders and controversial federal regulations, it will
take place across the public policy board. There will be a new
foreign policy, new tax policies, new education policies, new
environmental priorities, and most importantly, a new
tone of voice from the “bully pulpit.” Mr. Obama, whether he
intended it or not, promoted a heightened “divisiveness” in the
nation. Mr. Trump’s challenge will be to lower the temperature
of political discourse.

All of the above lies ahead. Mr. Trump’s efforts might be or
might not be successful. There will inevitably be disagreements
with his words and actions not only by his opponents, but, on
occasion, by his friend as well.

However, his “team of rivals” and “team of successful men and
women” appointments so far mean that all Americans,
whether they voted for him or against him, have some credible
evidence that the political change made on election day, 2016
could have positive and hopeful results.

It’s time for the so-called mainstream reporting media, having
failed in their abortive coup d’etat to prevent Mr. Trump from
taking office, to take the collective chip off their shoulders,
and give President Trump a fair shake. The editorial media is
free to say what they will, and should, but I will repeat one more
time: The front page is not the editorial page.

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Copyright (c) by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 5, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: A Contagion of Mutinies

The latest election results from Europe confirm what The
Prairie Editor
has been contending for many months, that a
worldwide “mutiny of the masses” is underway, sweeping aside
establishment institutions and politicians --- and upending the
democratic political environments virtually everywhere.

Following the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the Colombia
referendum, and Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, we
now have the resignation of the Italian prime minister following
a rejection of his national referendum. Changing Italian
governments, of course, has been a common occurrence in the
post-World War II era, but this one is probably different, coming
with it an imminent Italian banking crisis that could upset the
whole European Union financial system.

But that is not all.

In Austria, a far right candidate for president only narrowly lost
this past weekend. The anti-establishment Pirate party in Iceland
has been asked to form the next government there. Mutinous grass
roots anti-establishment movements are poised soon to make
large gains, if not take power, in France, Germany, Spain and The
Netherlands. The Scandinavian nations, once the epitome of leftist
social welfare regimes, are moving distinctly to the right. Noisy
separatist movements are active in the U.K., Spain, Belgium, The
Netherlands, and Italy.  Economies are at the edge of collapse in
Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. All of the newly-independent
Eastern Europe nations are understandably nervous about the
aggressive posturing of a revived Russia under Vladimir Putin.

In short, there is a contagion of a mutiny of voters in the free
nations of the West.

The new American president, brought to power by this impulse,
now faces a complex shifting of the international order,
confounded not only by the voter mutinies in the free world, but
also by powerful challenges from the totalitarian states of Asia,
including China and North Korea, and from the deterioration of
Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil in South America. And I have not yet
mentioned the perpetual tinderbox of the Middle East with its
ongoing crises in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, as well as the threats to
the neighborhood from a capacious Iran seeking to dominate the
region. Finally, there are chronic crises in Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Southeast Asia, including the recent political rise in The
Philippines of an anti-American demagogue.

It is onto this extraordinary and daunting international stage that
the new president of the United States and his secretary of state
will enter and must perform on January 20, 2017.

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Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: A Democrat's Dilemma

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is the new Democratic
minority leader in the U.S. senate, and he is no doubt eager to
put his own stamp on his conduct on that institution, especially
as he succeeds the polarizing, mean-spirited Harry Reid who
contentiously held that same post before him.

Mr. Schumer’s liberal party is also coming off a presidential race
it had expected to win. It had also anticipated picking up more
than the two senate seats it did gain, and a net gain of more U.S.
house seats. Currently, it appears that the Republicans will have
52 seats in the new senate in January, and the Democrats will have
48 seats. The latter number includes two independents, Angus
King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont who caucus with
the liberal party. It also includes two very centrist senators,
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West
Virginia. Senator Heitkamp is rumored to be a possible cabinet
member in the new Trump administration, and should that
happen, her replacement in conservative North Dakota would
likely be a Republican.

Republicans also have advantage of Vice President Mike Pence
serving as the presiding office of the U.S. senate, with the power
to break any tie votes.

Mr. Schumer has let it be known, as have several of his liberal
colleagues, that the Democrats in the senate intend to be very
aggressive in blocking the initiatives and appointments of
President Trump. Since 60 senate votes are required for
bringing many laws to the floor, this could be an effective tool
for the liberal opposition.

But while Harry Reid was known for his hyper-partisanship
and highhandedness when he led the senate, Chuck Schumer is
known for his willingness to make deals. Moreover, the critical
prospect hanging over Mr. Schumer’s political head is what
might happen in the mid-term elections of 2018 when 25 of his
Democratic colleagues are up for re-election and only 8 GOP
senate seats are up. Many of those liberal incumbents are from
states that voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, and if the Democratic
opposition is perceived negatively by the voters because they
appear to be stalemating the government and blocking economic
recovery, the 2018 election could be a replay of 2014 when the
conservative party picked up 9 seats.

Historically, the first mid-term elections in a new administration
do not go well. Incumbent presidents and their parties lose seats
in the Congress. Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, George W. Bush
and Obama faced economic downturns. The short but spectacular
political career of Donald Trump, however, has seemed to defy all
recent precedents. The fact that his economic policies are designed
to stimulate economic growth and higher employment could break
this pattern of cyclical recessions in the short term and create a
positive outlook in 2018. That might suggest political disaster for
Democratic senate election hopes that year, especially if the liberal
party and Mr. Schumer were perceived as standing in the way of
national prosperity.

Making Mr. Schumer’s task even more complicated is the internal
party reaction to the losses of 2016. Already there is pressure from
the more leftist wing of the Democratic party, led by Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to move the Democrats further to
to the left, possibly under a new and radical party leader. This is
almost precisely what occurred in Great Britain recently when the
liberal Labour Party was defeated by the Conservative Party in
national elections. Abandoning the center left, Labour chose a
distinctly radical leader who made the radical wing of the party
feel good, but immediately sent the Labour Party poll numbers
into a nosedive (where they remain today).

Chuck Schumer is a very bright man, and an agile politician.
Although an aging and (many feel) discredited Nancy Pelosi was
re-elected as the minority leader in the U.S. house, the true
leadership of the national Democratic Party now passes to him,
at least until the next presidential election. With the
unconventional and unpredictable Donald Trump in the White
House, and Republican majorities in both house of Congress, the
senior senator from New York faces the biggest challenge and
most difficult choices of his political career.

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Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Interim Of Adjustment

The next seven weeks will be an interim of adjustment for
almost everyone in the public policy/political world. Both
winners and losers need to take, I think, some deep breaths.
It is not, in my opinion, a time for either gloating or despair,
but rather a time to get used to some new political realities.

Much is now being made in the media, and by pollsters, that
the nation remains “deeply divided.” Like all conventional
wisdom this past campaign season, this is likely less accurate
than it seems to be. In a period of change, divisions can
evaporate.

Donald Trump has defied conventional wisdom as no other
political figure has in modern times. He has won an historic
victory, but he did not win the popular vote, nor did he win the
electoral vote without narrow margins in some states. Now in
control of most institutions of state and local government, the
Republican Party has a critical burden to deliver reform and
success.

Mr. Trump’s appointments will not be greeted with pleasure
by his opponents. They are not meant to do so. A cabinet and
its staffing are meant to enable a president, especially in 2017,
to effect reform. So far, Mr. Trump’s appointments seem
designed to enable him to work closely with the U.S. house
and senate to make reforms happen.

The Democratic Party is now faced with two very important
decisions. One is to decide who are the voters it wants to reach
out to in the future. This is especially key because the coalitions
of recent decades, so carefully assembled and successful, might
not fit the needs and expectations of voters next year and
beyond. I have already noted that the British Labour Party,
following a national defeat, chose to go the left with the result it
has lost support, not gained it. The second key decision is to
decide how to respond to President Trump and his new
administration. With only a small margin in the U.S. senate,
Republicans will need some cooperation from Democrats on
some issues. Liberals will need to decide whether their
legitimate role as the opposition excludes cooperation and
negotiation, and how their decisions on this will be perceived by
voters.

Republicans, on the other hand, need to decide not only how to
make change and reform government policies, but also how to
work with their Democratic colleagues. When the Democrats
were in control, their leaders, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi,
essentially ignored their opposition --- and the result was
disaster. Their highhandedness led directly to political defeat
in 2010 and 2014. This might be the result for Republicans in
2018 if they forget that they did not win all thr votes in 2016.

The Democratic nominee for president received more votes than
the Republican nominee did on election day, but she did not win
a majority of votes cast. Liberals, therefore, should not assume
their brand of public policy represents a majoritarian view. In fact,
so many of their supporters located in only one kind of location,
If conservatives can follow through with more appeal to inner
city voters, the Democrats are in more trouble than they now
imagine.

In fact, the 2016 election has revealed a new electoral playing
field. Both liberals and conservatives need to think very
carefully and creatively about what they will do next.

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Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The Loudest Noise Ever Heard On Earth

The loudest noise ever heard on earth did not come from a rock
music group, nor from a bomb exploding. It happened one
morning in August, 1883 in a part of the world thousands of miles
from the U.S. and Canada, and even thousands of miles more
from the then-dominant economic and military powers of the
world, all located in Europe.

That was 133 years ago, and although the intervening 20th
century held historic disasters, terrors, inventions, discoveries
and holocausts, there has really not been anything like it since.

It not only was the singular natural disaster of modern times,
it provided noteworthy turning points in modern political and
technological history.

No one now alive was alive when it happened, and there were
no recordings, films, videos, smart phone photos , or even selfies
of it, and perhaps most amazing, very few persons today know
anything about it.

Believe it or not, it could happen again.

Let’s start with the facts.

We now know the center of the earth is made of very hot molten
material. We know that hot center is surrounded by a thick belt of
rock-like material which, for the most part, keeps the molten
material, from reaching the surface of the earth, either on the
ocean floor or the planet’s land surface. But there are exceptions.

The earth is covered with geologic “plates” at the top of the
rock-like belt containing the molten center. These plates, under
pressure from the hot center are in constant, but very slow, motion,
and on occasion collide with each other along “fault” lines. The
movement of the plates and the faults is very, very slow, but also
results in huge pressures that, from time to time, are relieved by
land or sea earthquakes or through volcano explosions. There are,
in fact, thousands of small earthquakes taking place every year,
and numerous “active’ volcanoes spewing out steam and/or lava.
Scientists have learned much about all of this over the past
century, and have created some very sophisticated devices and
equipment not only to detect earthquakes and volcanic activity,
but also to try to predict them before they happen. Every year
or so, we observe major seismic events whose natural power is
measured by a Richter scale formula. Seismic events above about
5.5 on this scale are not only widely felt, they can cause major
damage, and injury especially above the 6.5 level. Each decimal on
this scale represents double the energy produced by a seismic event.
Thus, an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale has ten
times the power and energy of a similar event that measures 7.0.
Seismic prediction, however, so far cannot be more than guesswork,
and probabilities of when new earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
will occur are expressed in decades or longer.

There were two major eruptions of the volcano on the island of
Krakatoa in 1883, and although the second one was by far the
largest, and the one known best in history, the first one made some
special history of its own.

The small island of Krakatoa is located in the Sunda Straits, a few
miles to the west of today’s Indonesian large island of Java. Java is
part of a group of geologic islands that then was then known as the
Dutch East Indies, and was located between Australia and the Asian
mainland that included French Indochina, Burma and Malaysia.
The great nearby British and Portuguese colonial port cities of
Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau were then in their heyday. The
Dutch had begun to colonize this group of islands in the early 17th
century, and had been cruel and exploitive masters  of the mostly
Islamic native population. On Java was located the colonial capital
of Batavia (now Jakarta) where the the Dutch governor general
ruled in the name of the Dutch king.

On Sunday, May 20, 1883, residents in the area nearby the small
island of Krakatoa first became aware that its volcano was
becoming active. A tall thin plume of white smoke arose from the
peak of its 2500-foot cone-shaped mountain, as ash and pumice
filled the air and settled on everything in its path. By May 23rd,
word reached the nearby colonial capital where recently installed
transoceanic telegraph cable ( a recent invention) was connected to
a Lloyd’s of London insurance agency office. At about 3:40 p.m.
that afternoon the telegraph operator sent a message about the
eruption at Krakatoa to London where it was received a few hours
later. In the next day’s edition (May 24) of the London Times
appeared a 19-word article:

Volcanic Eruption. Lloyd’s Agent in Batavia, under date 
of May 23rd, telegraphs “Strong Volcanic Eruption. 
Krakatowa Island, Sunda Straits.”

Thus, began humanity’s first real-time global communications
on the planet Earth, something which the whole world takes for
granted today, and which in its latest form includes satellite
television transmission and the internet. If you will, it was
civilization’s first true sense of globalization. Fascination with
the volcanic eruption in the little South Pacific island instantly
went, in today’s terms, viral. This worldwide interest was, it
should also be noted, eagerly promoted by the only international
news establishment of that time, Reuter news service.

But Krakatoa soon went silent, with only a small continuing
white plume rising in the sky to indicate that beneath its surface
something was still going on. In Java and nearby islands all went
back to normal. The world, and the neighborhood, soon lost
interest.

Until Monday, August 27, 1883 at 10:02 a.m.

Twenty hours and fifty-six minutes earlier, on a warm and sunny
Sunday afternoon, the first explosions at Krakatoa were heard,
and they continued throughout the night with smoke, pumice and
volcanic fire increasingly filling up the sky and sending huge waves
into the Straits.

But at precisely 10:02 a.m. there occurred something never before
recorded or experienced by modern human beings, a noise so
violent and loud that it was actually heard thousands of miles
away. This climaxing explosion utterly destroyed the entire land
mass of the island and the volcano, and sent it in billions of dust
particles for miles into the air, and then around the world. The
blast changed global climate for years. The resulting two
gigantic sea waves or tsunamis did most of the human damage,
killing most of the 36.417 fatalities and all of the 165 villages
destroyed. Hundreds of thousands were injured, and probably
millions were displaced. On the island of Rodriguez, 2968 miles
from Krakatoa, the explosion was heard. To this day, it remains
“the longest distance ever known between the place where
unamplified and electrically unenhanced natural sound was
heard and the place where the same sound originated.” A popular
science writer of that time explained to his readers what that
meant  --- someone in Philadelphia hearing a sound in real time
that originated in San Francisco.

The volcano of Krakatoa disappeared from view, but it did not
go away. Over the past thirteen decades, it has continued to be
active under the sea, and, in fact, has created a new Krakatoa
island with another cone-shaped small mountain, Since the 1883
eruption, seismologists has learned a great deal about the
ever-changing geology of the earth, the tectonic plates which
cover it on land and under the sea, and  much more scientific
understanding of earthquakes volcanoes and tsunamis.

There were also political consequences from Krakatoa. Simon
Winchester, author of Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded
(HarperCollins, 2003), points out that  Krakatoa helped inspire
one of the first Islamic fundamentalist anti-Western movements
in modern times, a movement partly provoked by a local cleric’s
earlier prophecy that a volcano would erupt, and partly by a
then-small group of radical Islamic figures in Saudi Arabia who
used the eruption as an opportunity to incite terror against the
Dutch in southeast Asia. The Dutch army suppressed this
movement at the time, but Indonesia gained its independence in
1949, and is today the largest Moslem nation on earth (total
population of 260 million). It still lies on major Pacific Ocean
fault lines, and a new Arak Krakatoa island still sends up a thin
cloud of white steam into the air.


(Winchester’s excellent book is recommended for those who 
want to learn more about the details of the Krakatoa event.)
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Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.







Saturday, November 19, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: For The Time Being, A Republican Nation, But......

The nation, after the 2016 elections, is now overwhelmingly
a Republican governed country at the state and national
levels. If there is any ambiguity about this, it is at the U.S.
supreme court, where there is a very temporary tie between
liberals and conservatives. This tie, and the direction of the
lower federal courts, however, will soon lean to the right as
the new president has promised to name conservative judges
for the next four years.

The U.S. house and senate, most governorships and state
legislatures are now in Republican hands, and appear likely to
remain so for some time. Only in large U.S. cities (and a few
states) are there islands of dominant liberal political control,
and these are, or have, urban centers facing continuing high
unemployment, growing crime, and rapidly increasing local
taxes to pay for fixing decaying infrastructure and expanding
public services.

Only eight years ago, it was almost the opposite. Then,
President-elect Barack Obama could look forward to a
Democratic Congress, many more Democratic governors and
state legislatures, and the eventual prospect of naming three
(and seating two) members to the supreme court --- and lots of
liberal judges to the lower federal courts. Books were written
smugly predicting an endless era of Democratic and liberal
majorities and control by “progressive” governments.

The first major domestic reform act of this liberal hegemony
(and it turned out, also its last) was the Affordable Care Act, also
known as Obamacare. But instead of the traditional ritual of
negotiation and compromise with the political opposition to
ensure widespread acceptance of a major reform, the new
president and his congressional leadership allies chose to push
the legislation through without even reading their own fine print.
It was an enormous mistake, and the opposition to Obamacare
did not ever go away. In the mid-term elections of 2010 and 2014,
the conservative opposition made large gains, and although
Mr. Obama won re-election in 2012, his party did not regain
domestic control as the federal government settled into
stalemate. As foretold even before its enactment, Obamacare
crashed and burned just before the election, and contributed
notably to the Democrats’ 2016 defeats.

At the same time, numerous conservative state governors and
legislatures took over and seized the agenda for domestic
reform. Their local successes stood in powerful contrast to the
stalemate in the nation’s capital.

Only through executive orders and unending new federal
regulations was the liberal Obama administration able to hold
any grasp on U.S. domestic policy, but these acts were also
very unpopular and contributed further to a growing antipathy
to progressive government and its philosophy.

This historic ideological failure and its brevity should be a
cautionary tale to the new president, his administration and the
Congress. No matter how right conservatives believe their cause
is, and how successful they are confident their policies will be,
there is no substitute for building and maintaining strong and
enduring grass roots support. The careful construction of this
support will require negotiation and consultation not only with
the opposition party, but within the conservative coalition itself.
This coalition finally came together for the 2016 elections, but
as we all now know, it could easily come apart when the hard
work of governing takes place after the election.

Speaking of cautions, the Democrats, now reeling from their
historic defeat, seem poised to choose a radical member of
Congress to lead their party. I suggest they take a hard look at
what happened when their equivalent British party, Labour,
chose a radical member of parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, to lead
them. Labour subsequently saw themselves marginalized in
British politics as the new leadership advocated unpopular
policies and measures that most British voters simply could not
accept. For the Democrats to marginalize themselves now, at a
moment when they are weakest, seems to be more suicidal than
“progressive.”

There are no permanent conditions in the politics of a democratic
republic, Today’s victories can, and often do, lead to tomorrow’s
defeats. Rhetoric and ideology are easy matters when compared
to the hard work of actually governing. At the beginning of a new
era, and the end of another, both sides might well profit from
thinking themselves carefully through what they will do next.

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Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All right reserved.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The Media In Tantrums

Many in the establishment media, having got 2016 wrong,
now are indulging themselves in an orgy of preemptive
rationalization of what happened on November 8, 2016. It
reminds me of a children’s temper tantrums.

Among their proclamations, they are contending that the polls
were not wrong, that the 2016 results are not a political
realignment, and everyone but the nominee herself was
responsible for Hillary Clinton’s epic loss.They have also
promoted a campaign of false information to attack one of
the new president’s first appointees.

As one of the few national journalists who got 2016 mostly
right, I have some contrary views to these assertions.

In early 2015, I wrote that then-presumptive Democratic
nominee Clinton was a poor candidate and a potential disaster.
I suggested that after two terms of President Obama, the U.S.
electorate was inclined to elect a Republican. Later in 2015,
however, I did not see either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump
emerging in their nomination contests, and only after Mr. Trump
kept upsetting predictions in early 2016, did I realize that he
would be nominated and could even win the presidency. I then
put forward the notion of a “mutiny of the masses” as the
explanation of Mr. Trump’s rise. These “left-out” Americans,
many (but not all) of them blue collar workers,  including
previously secure Democratic voters, were rising up against
the political establishments of both parties. In the face of an
unprecedented intrusion of bias into news reporting about the
presidential contest, I suggested that there was a “media coup
d’etat.
” Thanks to frequent citations by Newt Gingrich and
others, this went viral over the internet and the national news
radio and TV networks.

Now, in the aftermath of this extraordinary election, many of
those who got it wrong, I think, continue to misread the results.

I say again most polls were wrong. In some cases, they were
very wrong, but in other cases their final numbers were “within
the margin of error” so their apologists are claiming that they
were, in fact, accurate. I make this point: polls are not facts;
they are indications of what is going to happen. It was based on
these polls that most pundits predicted a Clinton victory. The
fact that they were “within the so-called margin of error” does
not take them off the hook. In 2012, most final polls indicated
that Mitt Romney was going to win. He lost. Most polls indicated
(many albeit within the margin of error) that Brexit would fail.
If polls give the wrong signal, and the public is led to  the wrong
conclusion because of that signal, then I suggest the polls were
wrong. No complicated arguments about margins of error and
mathematical nuances can fix this fact. Why were they wrong?
They were wrong because most of the polls made incorrect
assumptions about who would turn out to vote in their arbitrary
“weighing” of the raw polls results. Those few polls which got
the results right were regarded by most pundits as “outliers”
and likely wrong because they did not “weigh” their data as
the polling establishment did. It turns out that the outliers were
notably more accurate in 2016.

There was a small group of us who suggested that the polls
were wrong because the “mutineers” --- alienated from the
political and polling establishments --- were not being accurately
measured. Just before the election , a number of pundits
confidently predicted these “silent” voters did not exist, or if
they did, there were as many of them who would vote for Mrs.
Clinton as would vote for Mr. Trump. Notably, liberal pollster
Nate Silver commented uneasily just before the election that he
saw an unusually large number of “undecided” voters in the
final polls, but he concluded that Mrs. Clinton would likely win
anyway. To his credit, Silver forcefully rejected those polls which
gave Mrs. Clinton a huge margin, but in the end he proposed
three possible outcomes --- Clinton winning by a landslide,
Clinton winning by a smaller margin or Trump winning by a
narrow margin. Those, of course, were obvious outcomes, but
Silver opted for Clinton as his last call, and thus did not repeat his
success in 2012.

The New York Times, one of the charter members of the media
coup d’etat, has now more or less apologized through its
publisher, and promises to do better next time. (Let’s see if that
promise is any more reliable than those made by most
politicians.)  Most of the other major media outlets have not yet
even indirectly and publicly owned up to their improper news
coverage of the campaign, but readers and audiences already
know they got it wrong. I have stressed that editorial journalists
did nothing improper since they were understood to be expressing
their opinions and not offering news, Nonetheless, several
prominent op ed writers on both the left and the right went
overboard in their denunciations of the man who is now the
president-elect. Let’s see if they now give Donald Trump a fair
chance.

Beware of any more smug conclusions from pundits, especially
those who got 2016 wrong. In 2020 they might be right again, but
it won’t happen by interpreting 2016 wrong after the fact as much
as they did before the fact.

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Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.