Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why I Refuse To Get 'Hair On Fire' Unnerved As Tuesday Night Approaches

Bill Maher - almost turned into the "whiny little bitch" he mocked last night, as he was overcome by fear and trepidation facing Tuesday night's outcome.

Even Bill Maher last night on 'Real Time' appeared to mutate from cool comic dude into nervous Nellie, despite comedian Martin Short's best efforts to calm him down. "This is serious, folks! We could lose on Tuesday! We could have a President Trump!"  Yeah, it is possible, but not probable as I will show.

It is tragic to see the putative Left, liberals, moderates, and even Hillary's campaign turn into panic mode barely days before November 8th. There is nonstop hysteria, neurotic urgency, endless phone calls and bombarding emails - asking to help man phone banks, donate "even one dollar" or "go door to door".  We must stop Trump or die!   Sorry, but I refuse to go the 'hair on fire' route. And to substantiate that claim I have consistently deleted all political emails without opening them, killed all unrecognized (unidentified) phone calls, and reduced any viewing of political TV or pundits to maybe 10 minutes a day, if that. In other words, I am refusing to allow external forces and media nabobs to direct my consciousness or occupy it.

Sadly, this isn't the same for too many, who appear unable to filter out all the hubbub, driving them into a state of persistent anxiety.  Many of Janice's 'Colorado Care' friends, for example,  have complained about losing sleep over this forthcoming election decision: "Where will we go if Trump wins?", "How will we save our sanity?" "What will we DO?"  

Janice herself, to the extent she is in contact with them (and watches Rachel Maddow every night), has become infected with this same election anxiety though I must say she still sleeps like a top. But this group is by no means unusual. Read any of the Left blogs or websites and one sees a nonstop flow of uncontrolled anxiety - much of it since certain Right-leaning renegades in the FBI pushed leaks on HRC. The threat forced FBI head James Comey to go public, producing the biggest "October Surprise" since Reagan's in 1979.   I am referring, of course, to the “October Surprise” whereby Reaganites (known at the time also to be strongly supported by the Republican Heritage Council with Nazi links- see, e.g. Russ Bellant’s book: ‘Old Nazis, The New Right and the Republican Party’, 1991, pp. 41-44)) used back channels to make a secret deal with Iran to postpone release of the 52 American hostages in return for arms sales after the election.

So, in a way, this FBI release in conjunction with the Wikileaks drips (showing HRC is merely a typical political animal),  are kind of a "slow rolling coup" to use Maher's fretful term.  But let's bear in mind that technically a coup occurs within an already existing government, to remove the  leadership and Hillary hasn't been elected yet. Is  it then a "pre coup"? Maybe, but I still maintain it is not enough to get hysterical over.

Over and over, I tell Janice  - when she expresses overt anxiety  -  to turn off the damned news, stop listening to the blow dried fools in the media and their forecasts, and stop paying attention to national polls - as everyone should. Former Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe had a term for this incessant anxiety preceding an election outcome: "bed wetting".  It denotes all the neurotic behavior and fretting we behold in so many right now, including the usually composed Bill Maher.

But it's all overwrought and misplaced. I too, was enraged after a clique of Breitbart zombies in the  FBI- based in New York -and  linked to the alt-right orbit, threatened to leak email info on Hillary. These agents (who should have been replaced by now)  thereby forced Director Comey's hand to beat them to the punch and give a pre-emptive non-statement.  The effect was still devastating and has caused some poll numbers to go down for Clinton. But it doesn't mean she's "lost" the election. On the contrary, I am convinced it's roused even more anger on the other side to have her back and see this through to ensure the Reich winger troglodytes don't prevail.

As Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, noted in an Op-Ed yesterday morning, the tightening national polls don’t deserve as much attention as they get. “The best campaigns don’t bother with national polls,” he wrote. I agree fully with that assessment.

Unknown to too many it is state polls that are much more relevant, particularly those (like here in Colorado)   that use the most sophisticated methodologies, taking advantage of voter files, for example.. And when one dispenses of the national polls that are inducing so much bed wetting and instead looks at state polls, one sees they continue to look strong for Hillary Clinton.  This is why I am not pissing in my pants like so many, or suffering from restless nights with little sleep or popping Xanax or valium. I also don't have my face glued to the 24/7 politics news cycle.

Looking at the relevant state polls we see that Clinton leads by at least six percentage points in a group of states that would give her 263 electoral votes, seven shy of victory. For all intents, this is all the anxiety prone need to know to make them feel more comfy with Tuesday's outcome.  For Trump to pull out a victory at this point, we'd have to assume all the state voter files are in error,  the samples are not random at all and most poll respondents are liars.  I simply do not buy it.

Further, she leads by fewer than six points in another four states that combine for 59 electoral votes. To win, Trump would need a sweep of every state he leads (including Ohio and Iowa), as well as some where Clinton leads, like Florida, North Carolina and either Colorado or New Hampshire. In a few of these states, like Colorado, the early vote is encouraging for Clinton.

The national polls, on the other hand, have statistically very large sampling errors because it is much more difficult to get a reliable random sample from 146.3  million  registered  voters. Charles Seife, in his excellent book,'Proofiness - How You're Being Fooled By The Numbers' explores the problem of getting random samples within large populations (pp. 97 -105) and I encourage readers to check it out. The one use for polls in Seife's opinion? (p. 97):

"These polls allow the news media to keep people tense and entertained while crossing the vast, lonely electoral desert between the primaries and the results of the general election in November. And as election day approaches the polling gets even more intense"

And, most important:

"Polls are pseudo events, meant to get attention, to be talked about and to shape public opinion. Though a pseudo event might have information, that information has been massaged and molded with  one purpose in mind."

Generally, that purpose is specific: to keep the public focused on a "horse race" so high TV ratings can be sustained. It is not in the media's interest to sponsor a blowout. The closer the better to keep eyeballs glued to the endless fake drama captured by the breathlessly babbling class.. Hence also, a vehicle to sustain anxiety as election night draws closer.

My advice to people is to turn off the TV, get outside and get some fresh air, and leave the political fever to the pundits.  And for god's sake, ignore the national polls!

For those who are unable to, here's a good book to read ('It Can't Happen Here") by Sinclair Lewis. Take note of the similarity of blowhard Buzz Windrip to Donald Trump and be aware Lewis' book was written many decades ago.

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