You stage elections and you make public policy...

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020

...with the electorate you have: Again, we'll link you to a post by Kevin Drum. He's echoing a point we noted yesterday:

DRUM (11/6/20): While we all sit around pondering the political universe while we’re waiting for Pennsylvania and Georgia and Nevada to announce final results, I would like to post a chart that I’ve posted many times before. It’s from Gallup, and it shows how many people consider themselves liberal vs. conservative:

[Chart shows that 37% of Americans identify as conservative, while 24% identify as liberal.]

The good news is that liberals have been making progress over the past few decades. The bad news is that we’re still a small minority. Only about a quarter of the country considers itself liberal, way behind the number who consider themselves conservative. Like it or not, this is the playing field...

Driving home that basic point, consider this:

As we type, Biden is leading Trump by roughly 4 million votes in the popular vote. That margin will surely expand as California continues to tabulate its large volume of outstanding votes.

That said, consider this. As in 2016, so too as of now:

In the states known as The Other 49 (the fifty states excluding California), the number of Trump voters currently matches or exceeds the number of Biden voters. 

In a similar vein, Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by roughly 2.9 million votes. She won the popular vote in California by roughly 4 million votes. She actually lost the popular vote in The Other 49.

Returning to the current state of affairs:

Even after four years of President Trump, roughly half the voters outside Cali voted for his re-election.

We aren't saying their judgment was right. We aren't saying their judgment was wrong. We're saying that this state of affairs creates an intellectual and moral challenge for our own self-impressed tribe.

History says that we in our species tend to loathe "the others." Yevtushenko suggested a different approach:

"No people are uninteresting," the poet said. This leaves us with the ultimate question:

Which side are you on?


30 comments:

  1. "In the states known as The Other 49 (the fifty states excluding California), the number of Trump voters currently matches or exceeds the number of Biden voters. "

    This is manifestly untrue. If it were true, Trump would have beaten Biden in states such as GA, NV, AZ, PA, MI, WI, and so on. He did not. That means that the number of Biden voters has exceeded the number of Trump voters in several other places, enough to add up to more electoral college votes for Biden.

    Why does Somerby say this stuff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby is trying to say that excluding Biden strongholds, Trump has as many voters and Biden, but that isn't true either. If you exclude NY and NJ, you still must account for all the rest of New England and the upper midwest and fucking GA.

      Biden won more states because there were more Biden voters in those states than Trump voters.

      Somerby is trying to hint that Biden has no mandate because the country red. NOT TRUE. The election showed that Trumpies do not run the country any more. Their party was soundly beaten, repudiated, cast out of office. They are not the majority in any sense. They are not the "true Americans" and they are OUT.

      And no, we are not going to pretend they matter any more.

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  2. I'm not self-impressed but I am impressed by Biden and Harris. So sue me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't loathe all of the others, just the worst ones. Some of my friends mistakenly voted for Trump because they have always been Republicans and similar shitty reasons. But they are nice people.

    I do loathe Somerby. He should know better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Which side am I on? The force is with me. Somerby has gone over to the dark side.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "In a similar vein, Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by roughly 2.9 million votes. She won the popular vote in California by roughly 4 million votes. She actually lost the popular vote in The Other 49."

    This makes no sense. She lost the popular vote in some states and won it in others. To wind up 2.9 million ahead, she would have lost votes in some large states (as happened in TX and FL for example) but that doesn't mean she lost all 49 of them. She won plenty of states, which had to have meant she had more popular votes in those states than Trump did. If Somerby's version were true, she would have only won CA. And he is not counting the large amounts of votes she won by in NYC and NJ.

    Somerby has a point, which is that you cannot tell who has won or lost which states solely by looking at the popular vote, but you also cannot claim that Hillary was supported by fewer people than Trump simply because more of her votes came from populous states with large cities in them (such as IL).

    Somerby is trying to advance a version of the tired old conservative trope that conservatives dominate the country because the states they win encompass more square footage than the ones Democrats win. And that raises the question of why a supposed liberal is once again bringing up conservative memes.

    Conservatives suck and so do their pets. There is no reason to pay them any attention now that their whiney bitch of a leader is being tossed out of the White House. Trumpies love to stomp all over everyone else, but their stomping days are over. My only lament is that we aren't the types to take revenge, because it would be sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is it Somerby's point that Democratic votes shouldn't matter as much as Trump votes, because there are so many Democrats living in cities, all in the same states?

    He seems to be saying that the half of the electorate outside of large population areas should matter more than the ones in CA, NY, etc. Why don't all votes count equally?

    We had 4 years of a president who didn't want to help anyone who lived in a blue state. Our president denied aid to CA for wildfire disasters, for covid PEEs and equipment, and he wanted to impose martial law on the cities with sanctuary laws or active protesters. He didn't treat all of the states as if they were equally important to him, at all. He played favorites. Is Somerby afraid that Biden and Harris will be as wrong-headed as Trump was?

    If not, what exactly is his point? He seems to imply that Hillary didn't really win the popular vote because so many of her votes came from CA, but 2.9 million more people, actual living, breathing people, voted for her compared to Trump. And those people all got the short end of the stick from Trump because they did so. That alone is a good reason to have voted for someone else in 2020. But that isn't what Somerby is saying. He is saying that those outside of CA should matter more because they are spread out across the nation and don't live all in one state. Why should that matter? I see no reason on earth why it is important, except as a reason to do away with the electoral college, but Somerby isn't saying that either.

    It sounds like he is begging Democrats not to treat the other party the way Trump treated us.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ““No people are uninteresting," the poet said. This leaves us with the ultimate question:
    Which side are you on?”

    I’m sure a lot of Nazis were “interesting” in some sense.

    Doesn’t mean I should take their side.

    ReplyDelete
  8. “History says that we in our species tend to loathe "the others.”

    It’s true that Republicans loathe their political opponents. Their champion Loather in Chief was Trump.

    Perhaps Somerby could note, just as a matter of pro forma, that Biden explicitly ran on a message of reaching across the aisle, of being president of all Americans, in stark contrast to Trump.

    ReplyDelete
  9. “It’s from Gallup”

    I.E., it’s a poll.

    Is it any more accurate than the election polls were?

    ReplyDelete
  10. People who live in California live in the US. You just can’t drop them off of the map.

    ReplyDelete
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  13. Somerby is dumb as shit, and so is Drum.

    In modern vernacular, conservative is a broad term, liberal is not; furthermore "liberal" has been vilified for decades, "conservative" has not. In reality, the poll indicates the opposite of Somerby's nonsense - 63% of the country is not conservative, the US is mostly liberal, progressive, Democratic and to the left.

    The vote indicates that cities are not conservative, while rural areas are. This neither suggests any loathing by non conservatives, nor any requirement to pay conservatives any attention. They live out in the country, let them be, they are free to do what they want with their cousins and farm animals.

    The dwindling existence of conservatives does not create an intellectual or moral challenge. Somerby asserts this without evidence. Somerby challenges us to consider conservatives in a way that would empower the worst aspects of humanity. More power to him, but a strange request that few, if any, are likely to take up. Who knows what goal Somerby has in mind, but it seems borne from frustrated narcissism.

    Please tell me what is interesting about Laffer or Friedman, or David Duke, or Moscow Mitch, or war-mongering Bush, or sexists, or racists? Somerby may have a perverse interest in such disturbed types, it is odd that he tries to foist that on others.

    It so happens CA is the fifth largest economy in the world, very liberal, and largely sets the agenda for the country. The US would be nowhere without CA. If this upsets you, sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Somerby has been vilifying liberals for years himself. So he has contributed to the problem.

      Delete
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  15. the blogger is a sick angry white male codger. what the frick is the basis for tabulating vote totals by california and non-california?

    last time I looked, California is also part of the US.

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  16. I am surprised the sick angry white male blogger hasn't said "trump clearly won, not counting california"

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