Some thoughts on the recent US presidential election

A thorough explanation of what David Brooks calls magic. Modelling can work, if it uses relevant, up-to-date information and tackles a simple problem.

Normality = racism? I wouldn’t agree that Obama has redefined normal. Obama isn’t a regular guy. He’s utterly exceptional. It will be a long time until we see his like again. The House of Representatives, which in some ways is the best indicator of the national sentiment, didn’t turn into a beacon of social inclusion yet.

Racism on Twitter following the re-election of Obama

A quick, and very unsettling, examination of the search results revealed that this indeed was a good match for our target of election-related hate speech. We end up with a total of 395 of some of the nastiest tweets you might possibly imagine.  And given that we’re talking about the Internet, that is really saying something.

[both links above came via Daring Fireball]

Jon Stewart called it a landslide on Bullshit Mountain, but Bill O’Reilly had a moment of clarity. The white establishment (he excluded black people, Latinos and women from this) is in the minority. By his definition this will always be the case. The majority vote for someone who’s going to give them things. I dont find that offensive. The establishment doesn’t do that, because it already has what it needs. The 1% can’t buy the election, and that’s great. Seriously, although I’m sure it was inadvertent, there’s more acuity in this commentary than O’Reilly has managed in a long time.

Some people need help understanding the difference between a centrist and a communist. Wonderful, heat of the moment outburst.

The NYT led with an “overall shift to the right”. Such a shift is no surprise, if you remember that Obama absolutely caned McCain last time around. There is some talk about the popular vote and how 48% of voters don’t want what they got in Obama 2, and so there is now a big split. Lets have a look at the losers and their popular vote percentages in my lifetime [wikipedia]:

1976 Gerald Ford 48.0%
1980 Jimmy Carter 41.0%
1984 Walter Mondale 40.6%
1988 Michael Dukakis 45.7%
1992 George H.W. Bush 37.5%
1996 Bob Dole 40.7%
2000 Al Gore 48.4%
2004 John Kerry 48.3%
2008 John McCain 45.6%
2012 Mitt Romney 47.9%

We can see that Romney’s percentage isn’t particularly high by recent standards, in fact it’s typical. Historically, he can be considered a “strong loser”. Notably, he achieved a lower share of the popular vote than either Gore or Kerry. Narrow victories didn’t lead George W. Bush to consider the Democrats, and so Obama shouldn’t be troubled by the historically small victory margin. The USA has been evenly split since about the beginning of Clinton’s impeachment. These days, charisma (Clinton, GW Bush and Obama) is the main thing you need to be the president.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s