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Follow-up: Disenfranchisement and the U.S. election(s)

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Two further items on disenfranchisement:

  1. I have repeatedly heard claims of a pact, of some sort, whereby some states want to ignore the respective state-wide popular vote in favor of the nation-wide popular vote when choosing their electors.

    This, if implemented, would be a gross disenfranchisement of the respective state’s population.

    Moreover, it would be constitutionally problematic in at least two regards: Firstly, it does away with the need to amend the constitution, thereby avoiding various checks-and-balances and violating the rights of the states and the people to have a say in how the constitution develops.* Secondly, it is contrary to the intentions of how the president should be elected. While this approach might (or might not) technically be within the considerable leeway given to the states in choosing electors, it is certainly against the spirit of the states of the federation electing who should be the “CEO” of the federation.**

    *Note the similar problem with judicial activism and the attitude that a small group of justices should be allowed to bend and alter the constitution without adhering to the prescribed manner—which was prescribed for a good reason.

    **Generally, the implementation of the U.S. as a federation appears to have grown weaker and weaker over time, with a considerable risk that it will soon be reduced to a single monolithic state and fifty ceremonial “states”.

  2. The sad truth is that elections (absent cheating …) are won by whoever manages to convince the greater part of the dumb masses. While I am not in a position to make a true quantification, I suspect that not even one-in-ten makes a truly informed and intelligent decision on how to vote, while well over half are driven mostly by emotions, egoism, and/or cheap propaganda, and while the remainder do try to vote reasonably but lack the information and intelligence to do so. The main difference between modern elections and the Roman panem et circenses is that modern politics is better at creating the impression of “serious” elections—what happens below the surface is not that different. Actually, there is one other important difference: a Roman politician, in my impression, bribed the people out of his own pocket, while the modern politician bribes with the tax-payers’ money.

    Indeed, it is striking how close to 50–50 elections tend to be, irrespective of the participants. If objective and informed choices were made, then 80–20 and 90–10 elections would be quite common; instead, 60–40 is considered a land-slide.*

    *I caution that while the rarity of 80–20 elections is an indicator of poor decisions, their presence is not a proof of good decisions; moreover, that it is important to look at aggregates, as e.g. a single 51–49 decision could result from the candidates coincidentally being almost equally good.

    The result is that the minority of voters whose votes really should count, those who understand how society, economics, and politics work, know their history, are highly intelligent, try to make rational decisions, can think critically, etc., stand a disproportionate risk that their votes do not matter. Say that (optimistically) these “good” voters cast 10 % of the overall votes, and that they go 8–2 (resp. 80–20) for candidate A over candidate B. This gives candidate A a leg up of 6 % of the overall vote, and all candidate B has to do is to win the dumb-masses 48–42 (roughly, 53.33–46.67, when scaled from 90 to 100) + one vote. Drop the optimistic 10 % to 1 % and even a near unanimous preference for one of the candidates is unlikely to matter.

Written by michaeleriksson

November 30, 2020 at 6:55 am

Disenfranchisement and the U.S. election(s)

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A recurring topic, argument, and/or pseudo-argument (depending on the details) is “disenfranchisement”. This ranges from legitimate concerns about legitimate voters having their votes uncounted (or, worse, switched to another candidate) for illegitimate reasons, to nonsense like “the Electoral-College system disenfranchises this-or-that group”.

While I will not go into a deeper discussion, I note that:

  1. In more-or-less any election, in any system known to me, involving a non-trivial population, a sizable proportion of the votes given will eventually not count in a meaningful manner. They have been given in vain or almost* in vain, because they were given to a candidate or party that did not win, and this fact alone is not disenfranchisement.

    *In e.g. the Swedish and German multi-party systems, a vote for a losing party might still result in a seat more in parliament, but this is nowhere near as valuable as actually being elected the governing party (or, mostly, one of the governing parties).

  2. Arguments that throwing out e.g a specific county due to poor controls, proof of voter fraud, or similar, would disenfranchise the legitimate voters in that county are partially correct and worthy of due consideration. However, they are not the entire story, and often it will be better to throw them out—if in doubt, to avoid future fraud.

    Specifically, throwing them out when the election results were altered will reduce disenfranchisement. (Assuming that correcting the results, which would be preferable, is unrealistic.) Say, for easy numbers, that the true vote was 10,000 to 9,000 and that fraud alters this to 10,000 to 9,000 + 2,000 Allowing the results to stand would disenfranchise the 10,000 legitimate voters for the legitimate winner and the “people” as a whole. Throwing the results out would disenfranchise whom? Not the 10,000 whose votes would have been in vain, anyway, had the fraudulent result stood—they were disenfranchised by the fraud. Not the 9,000 whose votes would have been in vain in a fair election and who would have been given an unfair advantage through the fraud. Certainly not the 2,000, who did not exist in the first place, or voted without having the right to do so, or whatnot. The people as a whole? No: it too was disenfranchised by the fraud and throwing the county out lessens the error of letting a result opposite of the “will of the people” stand.

  3. Replacing the Electoral College with a direct “popular vote” would not solve any problems in a magic manner.

    Firstly, campaign strategies would change and there is no guarantee that e.g. Hillary would have won the popular vote in 2016, if the popular vote had counted. What if Trump had just ignored two smaller battle-ground states, thrown a major effort into California, and shifted the vote enough to take the popular vote while losing two states more?

    Secondly, any imagined disenfranchisement (using the word loosely) problems would just move. For instance, someone somewhere reasoned that voters in this-or-that non-swing state would be disenfranchised, because no-one cared about their problems and all candidates spent their efforts on Florida et co. Change the system and what happens? Florida, California, Texas, New York will get plenty of attention, but Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, …, not so much.

    (In addition, this points to a more fundamental problem, where politics is reduced to bargaining, bribes to the voters for elections, etc. Here the Electoral College is at least a slight counter-weight—and it could be a considerable one if the College was strengthened to the degree that its members were elected as individuals who then made an independent decision about who should be POTUS.)

  4. If you want to experience true disenfranchisement, look at Germany: Here the alleged Conservatives and the Social-Democrats form coalition government after coalition government, making voting borderline pointless.

Written by michaeleriksson

November 24, 2020 at 10:21 am

“Trump is evil for not conceding” and other nonsense

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A particular annoyance around the POTUS election is the apparent obsession with (a) whether/that Trump concedes the election and (b) the presumed need to forcefully remove him from office (or his physical presence from the White House, or whatnot).

Even discounting the fact that Trump has very, very legitimate reasons to not concede as things currently stand, this is highly irrational, evil rhetoric, or plain insanity.

Firstly, for the losing party to officially concede is a mere courtesy—it has no major* legal or other practical effect. Here I strongly suspect that it is either a matter of further demonizing Trump through illegitimate means or of trying to avoid the very real possibility of Trump winning in court. Neither is an acceptable motivation, especially as it is of great importance that the gross misbehaviors involved in this election are investigated even should they not actually have changed the outcome or eventually turn out to be too hard to prove and/or remedy.

*Looking at details, there might or might not be some set of circumstance where the conceding party reduces his own options or where a concession would necessitate some secondary actions to be legitimate. For instance, continuing various law suits around e.g. election integrity or the results from some specific state or county might be harder and/or pointless. (However, not even that is entirely off the table, as there are other concerns than “who won” involved, including getting rid of bad eggs and ensuring that future elections are run differently.)

Secondly, there has not been one shred of proof that Trump (should he not win) would even attempt to remain in office past inauguration day. This is a very clear case of further demonization: just claim “Trump is so evil that he will never leave unless we send in the Navy Seals*” and some stupid people will believe it. He is effectively accused of the intent to commit a crime** in two months time—and pronounced guilty without proof, without any true current indication,*** and without even having had the opportunity to commit the crime.

*And why the Navy Seals is unclear to me: not only do they seem as an illogical choice, but their involvement would, in turn, stand the risk of being an illegal act. I have not investigated who is the proper choice, but the Secret Service seems much more plausible, as do some law-enforcement unit executing a court order.

**Whether literally or figuratively is currently unclear to me.

***In contrast, speculation around Biden (voluntarily or involuntarily, de jure or merely de facto) being replaced by Harris in the not-too-distant future has a much higher plausibility. The claim remains speculation, but it is a legitimate concern (and one that actually would have a practical effect—unlike with Trump and the next item). Also contrast claims around future policy and actions in office made based on a candidates own stated plans and those that are baseless, horribly exaggerated, or taken out of context, as with the horrifying Goldwater will cause WWIII propaganda.

Notably, neither the non-concession nor the lack of current cooperation with a transition is a such a shred of proof: The former is similar to saying that “someone who pleads ‘not guilty’ will refuse to go to jail if convicted (which just proves how extra super-duper guilty he is)”. The latter is irrelevant, as Biden is not the “president elect” at this stage—and would not be so even if the election had been beyond reproach. He only becomes the “president elect” if and when the electoral college says so—and until then any cooperation by Trump would be a mere courtesy.

Thirdly, even if a losing Trump declared himself the still-POTUS and somehow did manage to occupy the White House, what would that practically change? Except for logistic inconveniences, hardly anything: As with the Presidential Twitter* account, his status as this-or-that would automatically be transferred to Biden with the inauguration ceremony. This is not some scenario from a fantasy novel where sitting on a magic throne or wearing a magic crown gives someone the right of command regardless of who is the acknowledged king.

*What motivated me to write this text was a claim in a Swedish news source that Twitter was handing the account over to Biden, given undue weight and the appearance that it was something happening here-and-now. Reading deeper, it was clear that Twitter had asserted that it would be following the same procedure as when Trump was inaugurated and transfer the rights at the time of the inauguration (implicitly, with reservations for the eventuality that Trump wins and makes the transfer unnecessary)—complete and utter non-news, in other words.

Excursion on pre-accusations and distortions:
I have a strong impression that this type of pre-accusations and distortions do not merely arise out of incompetence, sensationalism, or another “traditional” weakness of journalists, but as outright manipulation attempts. Consider similarly the pre-accusation that Trump would not concede the election, no matter the result—there was not one shred of proof that he would refuse to concede a legitimate and uncontroversial loss, but now, when he has very legitimate reasons to not concede an apparent loss, these legitimate reasons are ignored in favor of “we told you so”. Similarly, news reporting around various race-related court cases is often heavily distorted, creating an impression that there is a very clear case, that the accused did have certain motivations, or similar—and if a court, even quite legitimately, finds the opposite later, well, then cries of scandal, racist jurors/judges, and whatnot ensues. And then comes the riots … For an example, the same Swedish news source referred to Kyle Rittenhouse as a right-wing extremist, which is (a) disputable, (b) irrelevant in what currently appears to be a clear-cut self-defense case. But, no, the reader is to think “evil Nazi” and ascribe a motive of hate and malevolence. Also see some earlier, more detailed, discussions of similar topics, e.g. texts around George Floyd (at least, [1], [2]).

Written by michaeleriksson

November 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm

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The U.S. election and the destructive Left

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That politicians lie, cheat, and steal to get power is nothing new. Often, I find myself thinking in terms of “to what degree” instead of “whether”—and, with the current U.S. election, it is “to a very high degree”.* There is another aspect, however—why? What is the purpose of getting power?

*I have seen enough by now to consider massive Democrat cheating indisputably present (but I re-raise the questions from [1]), to which massive (conventional and social) media distortions have to be added. As for the Republicans, I do suspect that there is a deliberate exaggeration of the cheating and/or the available proof, which would then be an example in the other direction, even be it a more understandable one of trying to make a right out of a hostile wrong through an own wrong.

Historically, many have done if for personal gain, many have done it to change society for what they consider the better, many have done it in the genuine conviction that they would be better leaders than the competition, etc.

Looking at the modern Left in the U.S., I am often puzzled, however. Yes, many fall into the above categories, e.g. through misguided* attempts to improve the world, but some appear to be bent on nothing but destruction, the tearing down of the existing society, culture, whatnot—for no obvious reason and with no obvious replacement. This ranges from the anti-intellectual destruction of colleges, to the tearing down of statues and disparagement of anyone previously revered,** to destruction or distortion of fiction (see excursion), to looting of stores.

*Higher minimum wages, “single-payer” (i.e. “we all pay but have no say”) medicine, and similar are likely to do more harm than good in the long term, often mid- or short term, but I can at least see the wish to improve the world behind them.

**If this had stopped with “X was a proponent of slavery—off with his head”, it might have had some degree of legitimacy, but the bar is ever changing, to the point that even e.g. Lincoln is increasingly considered an evil, old racist who must be stomped out. Indeed, some three years ago, I spoke of how Robert E. Lee might have been seen as worse than George Washington merely because Lee lost his war and Washington won his—today, this example would no longer work, because the bar has moved to almost universally make Washington one of the bad guys in Leftist propaganda.

What is to follow in the wake of this destruction? A brand new world re-born as after the mythological Ragnarök? How? Tear down the economy, destroy science and education, abolish free speech, remove democratic processes in favor of automatic Democratic rule, whatnot, and what do they actually expect? If there is a new world other than anarchy or a Mao-style, Cultural Revolution China-clone, even Huxley’s “Brave New World” might look positively beneficial in comparison. It would certainly be a worse world than the one that we have now. (And, yes, that includes for Blacks, women, and whatnot—the claims of e.g. systemic racism are not even remotely born out by actual facts.)

In “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, a destroyed and controlled world was arguably a means to keep some group of people in power. Possibly, some current Democrats are willing to pay that price in order to get power—but would they succeed? Even in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, it seems to me, the machinery created to ensure power had gained a life of its own and enslaved even the highest ranking characters that actually appeared.* Of course, here we see an overlapping problem with the current U.S. Democrats: even those who might profess more moderate opinions have usually failed to take a stand against destruction, lies, and anarchy. Whether they have deliberately used it to gain power or merely failed to speak up for fear of losing power (or have simply been to stupid and uninformed to understand the potential consequences), the fact remains that they have not moved to stop it—and that they, too, might eventually be caught in the machinery and devoured.**

*The situation might or might not have been different among even higher ranking officials, but I doubt that the exception would have extended outside some single supreme leader of the Stalin mold—and he might have had to watch his back, lest he ultimately ended up like Robespierre.

**What will happen is yet written in the stars, but it is easy to imagine a scenario where Biden and Pelosi are booted fairly soon, Democrat icons like JFK are derided as Dead White Men, and even a transsexual Black Lesbian Feminist is thrown out for not being up-to-date with the ever changing rules of Newspeak and Thoughtcrime. (Indeed, in academia such things already happen.)

What else might be said for the past: People tried to build and create, not tear down and destroy. What was built might not always have been something seen as positive by everyone (e.g. colonial empires), might sometimes have proved a bad idea (e.g. Johnson’s “Great Society”), or otherwise been problematic (moon rockets from a cost–benefit perspective?), but it was for some constructive perception of good—and, often, it was an outright good, as with many scientific and artistic accomplishments.

Today? Today, it is seen as a greater accomplishment to “prove” that accomplishments of old were somehow “evil” than to create something (even) better.

Excursion on fiction:
For examples of destruction relating to fiction, I see at least three over-lapping problems/symptoms:

  1. Deliberate distortions of existing works, e.g. through PC censorship or re-writes. Cf. e.g. an older discussion of Blyton’s works.
  2. Re-boots, re-workings, continuations whatnot that are untrue to the originals, usually in a PC or otherwise Leftist manner. This includes e.g. replacing white male characters with black or female characters, putting words in characters mouths that break with the “spirit” of the character, and similar. A particular issue is the distortion of highly male-centric works into female-centric. Consider e.g. the entirely idiotic and redundant re-make of “Ghostbusters” (arguably, the ultimate “male buddies” movie) with a female cast. Or, very recently, consider the continuation of the “Bill and Ted” franchise:* The original premise is that Bill and Ted change the world with their music, reaching greater stardom than The Beatles and Jesus put together, and usher in era of peace and excellence (or some such nonsense). The third movie, almost thirty years after the second, re-frames this to the daughters of Bill and Ted changing the world with their music, while Bill and Ted are complete failures.**

    *In all fairness, I have never quite seen the point of this franchise, but the originals were extreme “male buddy” movies and it is a great example. To boot, the re-framing was so cringe-worthily obvious even in the early stages of the third movie that I stopped watching well before the half-way mark—it was not a twist, it was, in today’s world, a highly predictable cliche.

    (Off topic, but related, there are many new works that today are framed with e.g. a female lead, and often an unrealistic or unnatural one, where a male lead would have been picked ten or twenty years ago. A movie description that begins with “Sheriff” is almost bound to use “she” or “her” as the next personal pronoun, and so on.)

  3. Works, notably movies, that deal with destruction or other forms of upheaval. Consider e.g. the recent development of the Marvel movies, which include the destruction of Asgard, for no obvious reason, in the Marvel version of Ragnarök, the later near-extermination of the Asgardian refugees, for no obvious reason, and the destruction caused by Thanos, which, for no obvious reason, remains almost entirely in place even after the heroes “win”. Here we see a trend of impending doom and destruction that is not averted by a happy ending. Or consider the sheer amount of disaster and post-apocalyptic movies. Or consider how disproportionately many franchises (e.g. “Divergent” and “Hunger Games”) deal with the premise* of an evil government that must be over-thrown, preferably by a teenage girl.

    *Do not get me wrong, I am not entirely unsympathetic to this premise, in light of the real world.

Written by michaeleriksson

November 19, 2020 at 5:04 am

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Follow-up II: Some observations around the current U.S. election(s)

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A further follow-up to my observations around the U.S. election(s) (cf. [1], [2]):

  1. In my original text, I spoke of Sweden and “voting-by-mail”. Here I dropped the ball, in part because my status as an ex-pat has made me eligible for mail-voting (“Brevröstning”, literally “Letter voting”) the past 23 years, in part because of unfortunate terminology and/or a faulty memory regarding my years in Sweden: What is available in Sweden is early voting (“förtidsröstning” / “before-time-voting”), which until 2006 went by the confusing name “poströstning” (“post voting”). This “post”, however, referred to the location within post offices—not posting by mail (by the voter).
  2. I have read a few further accounts by election observers. A considerable problem seems to be that the observers are powerless to do anything but observe (indeed, even their right to observe is often obstructed to the point of pointlessness) and there appears to be no other true control instance.

    There really has to be someone who has the right to say “You must not do that!” and be obeyed—possibly, even the right to interrupt* the counting and have the staff replaced or bring in the police** to enforce compliance. It must somehow be possible to stop the abuse as it goes on, not just report about it days later, when the damage might already be incurable.

    *A delay of hours or even a full day is vastly preferable to a fraudulent or grossly incompetent count.

    **Here there are a lot of details to resolve to prevent both a violation of secrecy and the risk of using the police in an abusive manner. These go far outside the current scope.

  3. The current events demonstrate some problems with the secret-ballot system: consider e.g. if all votes where listed with voter name on a web-server, where anyone could verify how many votes had gone to whom, whether the own vote had been correctly registered, whether the senile old grandma and the dead grandpa had “voted”, etc.

    Unfortunately, this brings a slew of other potential problems, like coerced voting and retaliations against those who voted for the “wrong” candidate—something of great relevance in light of the rabidly anti-Trump/anti-Republican attitudes of many in the current U.S. (Or e.g. against SD in Sweden or AfD in Germany.)

    (Which is the lesser evil will depend on the circumstances in the respective country at the respective time, but it is noteworthy that when I first heard of the secret-ballot, likely in school, my reaction was “How is that supposed to reduce cheating?!? What it does is open the doors wide for cheating!” Whether I was just naive or whether Sweden was still a sufficiently “nice” country at the time, that I cannot judge decades later. It is clear, however, that the secret ballot closes one door while opening another.)

  4. I am used to Leftist hypocrisy, but what I have seen since the U.S. election beggars believe. Above all, that the likes of Biden have the audacity to speak of e.g. “healing” and “unity” is so outrageous that I (a professional writer!) have problems finding words. There have been years of hate-propaganda, unwarranted attacks, whatnot from exactly these people, driving people apart, awakening hatred, aggravating or creating conflicts,* and now these people speak of “healing” and “unity”!?!?!? It is sick, it is twisted, it is inexcusable.

    *Notably, not limited to the Republican–Democrat divide, but also e.g. racial agitation

    What has happened to Trump is basically four or five years of the one kid punching the other in the face and then blaming him for “being so ugly that I was in the right to punch him”. This now followed by the punched kid going to see the school nurse, and the puncher speaking loudly of friendship (and how he is the one who will bring friendship about—as long as the ugly people have the decency go elsewhere or to wear paper-bags on their heads).

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November 11, 2020 at 7:03 am

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Election fraud / Follow-up: Some observations around the current U.S. election(s)

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As a brief follow-up to my observations around the U.S. election(s):

I have done a fair amount of reading lately, including on the recurring topic of electoral fraud. I would like to pass on two of the more interesting pieces:

https://monsterhunternation.com/2020/11/05/the-2020-election-fuckery-is-afoot/: A discussion of the many red flags currently present. It covers a lot of the same ground that I might have covered, had I written an own piece on the topic.

https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/11/06/a-pro-bono-lawyer-for-trump-campaign-shares-what-he-saw-in-pennsylvania/: The claimed* experiences of a Republic election observer.

*I have no reason to doubt his truthfulness, but I cannot personally vouch for it either.

I try to keep an open mind on this issue, including correcting for potential bias from what I want to be true (i.e. that Trump won) and the fact that most of my sources might be pro-Republic/-Trump, but it is very hard at this juncture: with the sheer mass of red flags, claimed eye-witness accounts, whatnot, the conclusion of massive* fraud is almost unavoidable. This especially in light of the equally massive problems pre-election, including grossly unethical and partisan manipulations by e.g. Twitter and Facebook.

*As opposed to minor fraud, which is indisputable (and possibly unavoidable; and not necessarily limited to one camp).

There remains at least four interesting questions:

  1. Was the fraud sufficient to actually affect the result of the election? (And, no, this is not a given, even with the razor-thin margins in some states—a cheating party might still have won without cheating.)
  2. Will the scope of the fraud be sufficiently investigated and corrected?
  3. To what degree was it an organized act and to what degree just individuals acting on their own?
  4. Assuming a high degree of organization above: To what degree was Biden, Harris, the DNC, whatnot, informed or instigating? (Note that it is quite possibly for massive and organized fraud to have taken place without e.g. Biden having any knowledge of it.)

Excursion on women and voting:
In my original text, I forgot to mention the issue of women making poor voting choices. These choices should come as no surprise to those who follow demographics and voting, but it is worthy of mention in light of a few pre-closing texts, notably [1]. I have not yet seen any numbers for 2020, but it is notable e.g. that there was very large male–female difference in 2016, and that I have seen similar skew towards naive pro-Left attitudes and votes among women on a great number of occasions in the U.S., Germany, and Sweden. The effect sans-Hillary might be smaller than in 2016, but the 2020 figures are very likely to show another would-have-been-a-landslide victory for Trump among men.

Written by michaeleriksson

November 8, 2020 at 10:19 am

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Some observations around the current U.S. election(s)

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I could probably, already, write two dozen texts on the current U.S. elections, but I will condense my observations to a few core points (this blog remains closed-in-principle). This especially as the main results are still in the air and might require weeks to finalize.

  1. Changes in voting patterns among Blacks and Hispanics are promising: it might be that there is still hope for the Republicans even as demographics change and/or that the Democrats have to reconsider their “identity politics” and “bribe/manipulate the minorities” approach.
  2. The political landscape with and without California is radically different.
  3. Both presidential candidates are heading for a higher number of votes than any prior winner. With a growing population, comparisons from election to election can be misleading, but it is a sign that Trump is nowhere near as loathed in the mainstream population as mainstream media like to paint it.
  4. There have been a great number of verified problems with electoral fraud, including concerning mail votes, which strongly imply that the U.S. system is in need of an overhaul, including better identity checks and greater verifications of voter registries to avoid “the voting dead” and individuals voting in several states.

    Even assuming that the fraud has remained small scale, Trump has been proven correct here.

  5. But then there are considerable concerns about potential large scale fraud, e.g. in Pennsylvania. I leave unstated whether such has taken place, but there are definitely sufficient signs to warrant a thorough investigation. (Unfortunately, chances are that one will not take place if Biden wins.)

    Some of the things that I have read makes me think of Tammany Hall … (But, unlike some Republicans commenters, I am at this juncture open to the possibility of more innocent explanations, over-interpretation on behalf of observers, coincidences, and similar.)

    The odd swings in some states that looked like Trump wins (also see excursion) are particularly suspect: The gradual changes seen in e.g. Georgia are one thing; massive sudden changes like in Michigan another.

  6. Polling has misestimated the results considerably (also see excursion), and better methodology is needed.
  7. The approach of media in reporting and “calling” results has been very detrimental to the process and might have mislead many readers/viewers/voters/whatnot.

    While I do not necessarily subscribe to the “deliberate misreporting to discourage Republican voters” theory,* there are still dangers involved. Notably, there is a considerable risk that perceptions of which candidate is trying to “steal” the election, which candidate is engaging in malicious litigation, and similar, can change depending on who had the higher count of electors at what time. For instance, premature pro-Biden calling and belated pro-Trump calling have lead to situations where Biden seemed to lead with e.g. 264 to 21x (with 270 needed for victory), but where fair counts might have had the candidates within a dozen electors at the time.

    *If in doubt, because this could backfire: just like a Republican might think “we have already lost, so I will not waste my time by voting”, a Democrat might think “we have already won, so I will not waste my time by voting”.

Excursion on the experience:
The experience of this election has been extremely frustrating and depressing—the more so, as a Biden win might equate to complete dominance of hate-mongering, pseudo-science, and whatnot through e.g. racist homeopathy-level nonsense like “critical race theory”. Similarly, that equality of outcome dominates equality of opportunity entirely, that feelings matter more than facts, and so on.

In the months leading up to the election, I had been told again and again that the polls where wrong, that Trump supporters where underrepresented or did not openly support Trump when polled, and similar. While I hoped that this was true, I remained cautious, fearing that this might have a component of wishful thinking. In the course of the evening and night*, this actually seemed to be pan out: Trump looked to be heading for a major victory, well over 300 electors, and with chances at both the House and the Senate for the Republicans.**

*I live in Germany, which is six or more hours ahead of the U.S.

**But, in all fairness, I am not certain that having POTUS, House, and Senate belonging to the same party is a good thing, as some division can check the power of the politicians.

When I went to sleep, Trump could afford to lose three or four of the states where he had a lead (but where the state had not yet been “called”); when I woke up, he had lost the lead. Not only that, he had lost it in a very abrupt manner, which does not seem to fit a natural development of the count.

Right now, the House takeover has not manifested, the Senate still hangs in the balance, and the only way to avoid a Biden victory might be successful litigation, recounts, and corrections for fraud*.

*That fraud has taken place is clear. Whether it has been so large as to have an effect and whether it has been organized or more haphazard is still uncertain—and whether it is correctable is even more uncertain.

Excursion on Sweden and Germany:
Sweden has used voting-by-mail successfully for decades, with little or no fears of fraud. Apart from the longer tradition and more time to iron out any problems, Sweden has a central registry of residence, the state keeps much closer tabs on the citizens,* there is one single state (no double voting), and e.g. identity theft is much harder. Germany is somewhat similar: there are multiple states and multiple registries, but the laws about registration of whereabouts move on an outright totalitarian level—to the point that the citizens are legally obliged to register and de-register themselves more-or-less immediately when they move, are required to provide proof of residence (e.g. through written confirmation by a landlord) when doing so, and even hotel visitors must give full names and addresses when registering at the hotel.

*In most cases, I consider this a bad thing, but in some cases, e.g. voter registration, it can have advantages.

Written by michaeleriksson

November 6, 2020 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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