Eight Immediate Thoughts on President Donald Trump

This was first posted on our Facebook page on November 10th, two days after the election.

Putting the blame solely at the feet of third party candidates would be inaccurate.
Neither Johnson nor Stein were particularly good candidates. Johnson argued ideologically that the free market can somehow fix climate change, and seemed to argue that the Sun’s inevitable expansion meant dealing with the issue pointless. While not as overtly bad, Stein’s campaign misused basic terminology like ‘free trade’, and failed to work out a fixed policy on Brexit.
Although votes are still being counted, it appears that Trump will pick up fewer votes than Romney in 22 states; Clinton will pick up fewer votes than Obama 2012 in 46 states. Obama 2012 in turn picked up more than 3.5 million votes fewer than Obama 2008 – perhaps voters were disillusioned with a candidate and party whose message relied on ‘hope’ and ‘change’?
For all the criticism that should be made of Trump, there was a positive (if vague) message mixed make-america-great-again-hat-by-gage-skidmore-2016-06-18 in among the negativity – he claims that he will ‘make America great again’. Other than the opportunity to elect the first female president (which doesn’t seem to have been a high factor for most voters), what was Clinton’s equivalent? It’s easy to be critical of Trump’s substance, but his message was a somewhat positive one. Positive messages enthuse people. That’s probably how Obama 2008 and Trump were able to motivate relatively high turnouts, whereas Clinton (and Obama 2012) could not.

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The Centre Ground Cannot Hold

In this essay we will explore the notion of ‘centre-ground’ politics, why this ideology is coming to an end, and the part it plays in the 2016 American presidential election. We’ll do so by looking at the reasons for Bill Clinton’s successes; take an unsentimental look at which of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would be less terrible; try to explain why so many people are attracted to Donald Trump; and we’ll look at the performances of America’s ‘third party’ candidates in this election cycle. We’ll then make the case that electing Hillary Clinton would not be a pragmatic necessity, but the start of a bright dawn for the American left.

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Taylor Swift at the School for the Deaf: Thoughts on Online Polls

Following the first Clinton-Trump Presidential debate this week, Trump supporters were taking to twitter, citing online polls as evidence that their candidate performed more strongly, often under the hashtag #TrumpWon. Trump came out on top in a number online polls – so he won, right?
Not quite. To understand online polls, you have to understand how they work. Most online polls are used as a form of promotion, often with a prize as incentive. As one example, in 2012 school textbook company Chegg ran an online promotional competition, with the prize being $10,000 for the top five schools, and a Taylor Swift concert for the winner. The obvious intent here is for schools to encourage their students and their families to enter the contest in order to get more resources for the school, with the use of a major performer used as a flashy and attention-grabbing gimmick to enthuse students.

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