Today’s terrific post is at The Stream. The Bad Science Behind Trump’s Opposition. It’s the best post. The best. It just is. I don’t know. I have friends in journalism. Top guys. Win all the big awards. One of them asked me, they asked, “Briggs, why is The Stream so great?” I said: look, it’s the greatest, especially this post. It really is. Everybody should go there and read this post. The writing is the best. It just is.
Before I begin, let me remind you of the ancient wisdom of not shooting the messenger. Given that…
Many folks aren’t too happy with the way the primaries are going. To say that angst, agitation, and anxiety are on the ascendant is an understatement. The Washington Post in particular is acting like listeners to Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds broadcast. It’s full-on panic over there, with their writers running in circles with their hands over their ears—which makes it hard to use their keyboards, as we see next.
Here is a small sample of headlines that appeared just in the last couple of days:
- Clinton should prepare to fight dirty against Trump (she never would have thought of that on her own);
- Chris Christie’s despicable endorsement of Trump (in which Trump is called “a know-nothing buffoon”);
- Donald Trump’s ‘Captain Underpants’ campaign (which declares any above a third-grade education should have “trouble understanding the appeal of Donald Trump”);
- [MY FAVORITE].
The last is my particular favorite…
Tell me. Where else have we seen lately academics loving their models too much? I’ll tell you: pretty much everywhere, from global warming to sociology to psychology and now to political science. Their multifarious failures are the natural consequence of insulating themselves from reality.
The writer of the “No one thought” piece is one Daniel W. Drezner, “a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.” He said:
Trump is winning because no significant Republican coalition seriously tried to oppose him when there was still time for it to work. And the reason no powerful Republican coalition emerged to stop him is that the GOP believed all the analysts who said Trump had no chance. In other words, the political science theories predicting that someone like Trump was highly unlikely to win a major-party nomination were so widely believed that they turned out to refute themselves.
That bit of reasoning is what my old father would call a Messerschmitt. If the political science theories were true, or even mostly true, then Trump wouldn’t have had the success he has had so far. If they were true, they should have been believed. He has had success (to say the least), thus the theories must have been false. The question then becomes why. What could they not have accounted for?
Two things, I think. One, insiders are wedged so tightly inside the establishment…Two, democracy itself…
Now to democracy itself. In this case, democracy means direct election of a president by citizens. Tell me this: what proportion of the electorate—which is ever expanding, incidentally; there are even proposals for allowing non-citizens to vote—understands the complexities of the office of the presidency? The question answers itself…
Go there and read the rest. Pay attention to the inference (which I allow the reader to draw on his own) that all democracies doom themselves in the same way.