Bizarro World Election

This election has nothing to do with political science. It’s now pure science fiction.

216px-classicbizarroA well-worn science fiction genre involves an alternate or parallel universe. According to the last person to edit the article on Wikipedia, a parallel universe is a hypothetical self-contained reality co-existing with one’s own–a universe where the very laws of nature are different – for example, Apple before Steve Jobs passed away.

My parallel universe point-of-reference is Bizarro World, the Superman spinoff DC comics that I read in the late 60s and 70s. Then, as now, I enjoyed satire. I especially enjoyed the self-directed satire of Bizarro World which gave the creators and fans of Superman the chance to make fun of themselves while staying true to the core story.

Of course, the core story of Superman was parallel universe fiction, as well. For example, in Superman, they have telephone booths.

There is so much about Donald Trump and the current Presidential election we are enduring that makes me think of Bizarro World. That Donald Trump is a role model for entrepreneurship is straight out of Bizarro World. Only in Bizarro World is serial bankruptcy a business model to be admired. Only in Bizarro World is using 3,500 lawsuits and countless threats of more lawsuits something that business owners do. (Supporting tort reform and fighting against nuisance lawsuits is what business owners have done in the real world for as long as I can recall.)

Last night’s second presidential debate was pure Bizarro World. I can’t even begin to list the things said and the strategy used by Trump that surpass explanation. But equally strange were the post-debate talking heads who started scoring the exchange as if there were no context to the debate — as if what was said during the debate actually matters.

The pundits who are still discussing this election as if it’s about what someone says in a debate are living in a parallel universe.

This election has nothing to do with political science. It’s now pure science fiction.

Being Presidential

The way a leader talks.

Last night’s Presidential Debate (the first of three) will be memorable for many reasons. For one, it’s an endorsement of the concept of preparation.

I’ve been wrong so many times about Donald Trump in the past year, I’ll skip any guess of what will be memorable about his showing, other than his continuous sniffling which he today says had something to do with his microphone.

For me, there was a paragraph that when seen in transcript form is so perfect, you realize that even the grammar was rehearsed by Clinton. But when it came to establishing which of the candidates are presidential, it slammed the book on that question for me.

Here’s the quote:

Words matter when you run for president, and they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America’s word be good. And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and some worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I’ve talked with a number of them. But I want to — on behalf of myself, and I think on behalf of a majority of the American people — say that our word is good.

That’s what preparation is all about.

This clip from the debate should start with the quote a 1:29 into the video.

Why Trump Doesn’t Tweet About the Olympics or Polls

Just because.

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Why Trump Doesn’t Tweet About the Olympics

“The Olympics is about the worst thing that could have happened to the Trump train. Here’s a candidate whose message depends entirely on convincing Americans that they’re living in a failing nation overrun by criminal immigrants. And for the past two weeks, tens of millions of Americans have been glued to a multi-ethnic parade of athletes, winning easily. “Make America Great Again” has never felt more out-of-touch than it does against the backdrop of tenacious, over-achieving American athletes driven by their own journeys in pursuit of the American Dream.”

VIA | Politico.com

Trump Isn’t Tweeting About The Polls Anymore

“Trump rarely tweets about polls these days. Indeed, he’s done so only four times in the past 30 days. During the same period in the primary season — as far out from the Iowa caucuses as we are from Election Day now — he tweeted about polls 103 times.”

mehtaenten-trump-twitter-1

VIA | FiveThirtyEight.com

Scott Adams’ Trump Prediction Update

dilbert_character_top-89a98cb02f28bb33abaea4fd2068728cScott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, is the only person I’m aware of who, at the beginning of GOP primary season, said that Trump would win in a landslide. If I had not observed Adam’s insight into the economy previously on his blog, I would have dismissed his prediction. While humorous, his theory rang true because it was based on his belief that Trump had superior persuasion skills because he was willing to lie about anything and everything. His prediction obviously held together through the primaries.

Yesterday, however, he shifted his prediction.


Quote from Scott Adams:

“For background, I endorsed Hillary Clinton (for my personal safety) but I’ve been predicting since last year that Trump would win in a landslide because of his superior persuasion skills.That situation changed this summer when Clinton abandoned her losing strategy of sticking to reality. Apparently the Clinton campaign now has help from some of the world’s top Master Persuaders, including, I believe, the one I call Godzilla. It seems that these highly-skilled influencers advised Clinton to steer clear of facts and reason and scare the hell out of voters by painting Trump as a thin-skinned, unstable racist. That approach is working.”


(UPDATE, 8/11 p.m.) Today, I’ve been thinking about Adams’ observation (or theory?) that, in essence, whoever can be the boldest-faced liar is a better persuader and thus, is more likely to win. If that’s the case it explains how Trump’s latest seemingly self-destructive claim that Obama and Clinton are the founders of ISIS is not wacky, but brilliant.

No, really, Obama really is saying this. Literally, not metaphorically. Not, “ISIS was created as a reaction to…” But that Obama and Clinton literally started ISIS. Even when conservative radio talkshow host Hugh Hewitt, a Trump endorsers, gave Trump three chances to correct what he meant to say, this is what he said:

Trump: “No, I meant that he’s the founder of ISIS, I do.”

Hewitt: But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.

Trump: I don’t care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that—that was the founding of ISIS, OK?

Hewitt: (Obama and Clinton) screwed everything up. You don’t get any argument from me. But by using the term ‘founder,’ they’re hitting you on this again. Mistake?

Trump: No, it’s no mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it…You’re not, and let me ask you, do you not like that?

Hewitt: I don’t. I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS. That’s what I would say.

Trump: Well, I disagree.

In other words, Trump is doing his best to get back the Scott Adams vote.

Presumptive

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 5.10.00 PM

In years’ past, I’ve heard the word presumptive used to describe a political party’s nominee during that period after the primaries have determined a winner, but before the convention delegates make it official.

But this year, it has seemed to be used so much during the past couple of months, that I decided to check Google Trends. Sure enough, it’s been a banner year the word presumptive.

I’ve been trying to recall what words were used in the past instead of presumptive. Likely? Assumed? Anticipated?

Perhaps the reason presumptive was googled so much this year was wishful thinking by people hoping the two presumptive nominees would change their minds and decide to run for office in another country.