‘Splainin’ in 2016

100 days to go till Election Day … which means, as always, that I have some ‘splainin’ to do. Because every 4 years people who are barely heard from during the midterms come out of the woodwork to tell me that even though they are deeply distressed by having to choose between two obviously terrible…

Australia Proves Something about Guns

The blood’s barely dried on the Orlando mass murder shooting spree, and people on Facebook are already dredging up the New York Times classics claiming that Australia’s gun ban and buyback program eliminated all mass murders forever. To show that I’m not exaggerating the article’s implications: In the 18 years before the Port Arthur massacre,…

Disqualification Round – GO!

Now that primary season is de facto over, it’s time to start making peace with the Trump nomination – and by "making peace" I don’t mean approving of it so much as letting go of my (largely negative) emotions about it and thinking it through. Because whatever else it is, Trump’s nomination is a significant…

It’s the Disposition, Stupid

Ideology is an indispensible category in the construction of political movements as well as in their analysis. But the longer you spend invovled in politics, the more you come to notice that it’s not particularly useful in explaining what motivates people to support politicians and movements. On the ground ideology is more like an ex…

Confirmation Bias is the Mindkiller

Consider this a sequel to yesterday’s post. Or at least a good bit of serendipity. Because you can’t really ask for a better example of the kinds of things that were wrong with yesterday’s WSJ article than Bobby Azarian’s Why do Some People Respond to Trump?: it’s Biology 101. The thesis here is an oldie…

The Aliens Among Us are You

I don’t have the data to prove it, so call it a hunch: one of the most commons ways educated people trick themselves into believing false things is failure to widen their perspective. A case in point that’s making the social media rounds this weekend is Allysa Finley’s WSJ opinion piece Trump Voters: Not So…

The Right of the Party

Let me just get my bias out of the way: I’m a #NeverTrump-er. I’m also not a Republican, so at least for now it’s not my call. The Republicans can nominate whomever they like for whatever reasons they like. I’m just one of hundreds of millions who gets a (rarely exercised, in my case) right…

1972

Comparisons to past elections are fun, especially when they trip you up. A lot of people, me included, have spent some time trying to fit the current contest into 1972. It’s like a puzzle piece that you have in your hand, and you know where it fits, but you can’t quite see it yet because…

About Them Superdelegates…

So, Bernie Sanders did pretty well in Iowa. He didn’t get the clear win he and a lot of his supporters were hoping for and believed was possible, but he still did well enough that everyone has to sit up and take him seriously now. Especially given that he’s probably going to clean house in…