February 25, 2016

"It used to be... that the lower and middle classes were stuffy and constrained by social convention while the freethinkers at universities and in the ruling class..."

"... got to experiment with unconventional ideas. If their experimenting got enough success, then it might eventually filter down to ordinary people. (The sexual revolution worked this way, more or less). But now it’s our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness, and it takes movement by the masses to give it permission to express a controversial view. That’s a major change, and it’s one that the ruling class isn’t likely to appreciate much. But having subjected itself to the chains of 'acceptable' opinion, what can it do?"

So ends Glenn Reynolds's new USA Today column "Glenn Reynolds: A Trump wave is on the way/As plebes make the Donald increasingly acceptable, expect elite Trump supporters to come out of the closet."

There's a lot in there about Brexit as well as the American presidential election and some detail about "preference falsification" — when people "hide unpopular views to avoid ostracism or punishment" — and "preference cascades" — when people suddenly stop hiding. I'm credited as an early predictor of a preference cascade for Trump — with a link to my January 21st post "The coming cascade of smart, educated people embracing Trump."

The wonderful thing about voting is that we do it in secret. You don't have to come out of the closet to express the opinion that has the most clout. And others see that the votes are there, creating the sense of safety. The viewpoint is indeed widespread. We've been stuck at a point where people have felt that only low-educated people liked Trump, but the news from the primaries and caucuses is cutting against that idea (an idea much-promoted in elite media). In Nevada, exit polls showed Trump leading in all groups. It's getting safer to say you support Trump. Well, it's safe enough that people in all groups are telling exit pollsters that they voted for Trump. So it's not just the secret voting. It's disclosure to at least one other person, the pollsters.

23 comments:

PB said...

It's not hard to predict a preference cascade for the leading candidate/team.

Everyone loves a winner.

Limited blogger said...

President-in-waiting Trump should be officially given the powers he's already exerting. This frees up Obama to begin his world wide going away party early.

mccullough said...

I'm not a fan of Trump or any of the candidates but he doesn't bother me. He'd be no worse of a president than any of the others and no worse than Obama and W.

There is definitely a silent majority tired of PC bullshit. But the office of the president has slowly debased itself since JFK with his good looks, nice looking young family. He was under qualified for president but he and his wife looked good on magazine covers. Glamor became important. Then Nixon went on Laugh-In while running for president in 1968, Regan had been an actor, Bill Clinton went on MTV, Arsenio Hall, etc. W went on Letterman and Obama's candidacy was an updating of JFK.

Add to this how the ex-presidents rake in money off speeches, etc trading on their presidency. Truman refused to do this.

Trump is the apotheosis of a he debasement of our electoral process, especially at the presidential level.



Nonapod said...

Was there ever a time when there was little obsession with "class" in America? Was there a time where Americans generally weren't subdivided and balkanized so severely? Where "wealth gaps" and 1% weren't in the common lexicon? I seem to remember such a time, before Obama. But maybe that's just some kind of false memory.

Curious George said...

Does Amanda know about this?

Birkel said...

mccullough, I am fixing something you wrote, free of charge:

"Add to this how the Ddemocrat ex-presidents rake in money off speeches, etc trading on their presidency."

You are welcome.

Sebastian said...

"it takes movement by the masses to give it permission to express a controversial view" Overstated. A long, long time ago, about 25 years, SSM was controversial. It didn't take a mass movement to give the "ruling class" permission to express it. Soon, a thought once barely imagined turned out to be required by the 14th Amendment. And of course, the ruling class still gets to decide what's "controversial"--it's anything Progs don't like.

MikeR said...

Well, I'm getting into the Acceptance phase of mourning.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Mark my words: It's just a matter of time until we get a preference cascade in favor of father/daughter gang bangs.

Brando said...

"Well, I'm getting into the Acceptance phase of mourning."

Enjoy the ride--the beauty of democracy is voters get what they want, and they get it good and hard. It'll be entertaining!

Plus, it might mean ending the Clintons' political dynasty--just think how all their "foundation" donors will feel if she loses and cannot deliver on the pre-paid graft. And Bill--after convincing Trump to run because he was sure it'd get his wife elected--imagine his face if his wife actually loses to Trump!

Sure, it'd be a rocky time after he takes office, but so be it.

traditionalguy said...

The three stages of political Trump Conversion (credit Apostle Paul):

1) Hear by the spoken words of the faith in his message, and

2) Express your acceptance in public, and

3) Vote by immersion of your ballot.


Good news is that you then feel rejoicing instead of feeling heavy mourning for America.

Mitch H. said...

Eric the Fruit Bat: You don't remember the Sixties? I remember "If All Men Are Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?"

I feel like I woke up one morning and found I was living in a nation of cannibals, their brains rotted with prionic lesions. It's like a real-world 28 Days Later.

Freder Frederson said...

So advocating torture, racism, and xenophobia are "unconventional ideas". Every time I think Glenn Reynolds can't get more offensive, I find out he can.

Michael said...

Frederer F

WTF? You obviously did not read the linked article.

Balfegor said...

Re: Eric the Fruit Bat:

Mark my words: It's just a matter of time until we get a preference cascade in favor of father/daughter gang bangs.

Oh, you Neo-Victorian prude! Why so uptight?

mccullough said...

Birkel,

You are very ignorant and partisan.

Reagan was the first ex president to cash in on the big speech money. $2 million on a speaking tour in Japan in 1990. HW and W have done it as well. Clinton took it to a high level.

None of them had Truman's integrity. He was a great man in a way they are not. He refused to trade on the office of the presidency. These others have cashed in on it.

mccullough said...

"You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Unless you are Reagan, HW, Clinton, and W.

Robert Cook said...

"Was there ever a time when there was little obsession with "class" in America?"

Maybe in that brief post-WWII period where VA benefits allowed many men to go to college who would never have previously been able to, when post-depression banking regulations halted the regular cycles of bank boom and busts, and much of the labor force was unionized, when more Americans than ever before enjoyed rising affluence and could taste the "good life."

Now that we have reverted to the type of society that was endemic prior to the depression and WWII, where the rich are again becoming rich in vast disproportion to the majority of Americans, and where many Americans are un- or underemployed, with stagnant or shrinking wages and disappearing benefits, where financial security is once again a chimera for more and more Americans, people are once again conscious that they are being screwed from above.

n.n said...

Their unconventional ideas were recently portrayed in a photographic layout. Tragically, at the height of human consciousness, and with the benefit of aristocratic luxury and leisure, they only managed to reinvent the liberal practices and trials of yesteryear.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe in that brief post-WWII period where VA benefits allowed many men to go to college who would never have previously been able to, when post-depression banking regulations halted the regular cycles of bank boom and busts, and much of the labor force was unionized, when more Americans than ever before enjoyed rising affluence and could taste the "good life."

I am sure the fact that all of our economic competitors had been devastated by warfare had little to do with it. It was all FDR statism and Harry Truman's Democrat affiliation and grudgingly, Ike.

Michael said...


Robert Cook

The way to that idyllic post WWII America is to bomb all of the manufacturing plants in the world not owned by us. Like before.

Then unionize your tits loose.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

In Nevada, exit polls showed Trump leading in all groups. It's getting safer to say you support Trump.

And we can just imagine the desperation - well, hysterics - in the faculty lounges and the Editorial cloisters of media opinion-makers. After all they've done to patronize the lowly citizens by depriving them of candid discussion of important governing principles such as illegal immigration, and PC behavior, and the parody of foreign policy by the Administration, those damn primary voters are selecting the WRONG CANDIDIDATE despite the strongest signals emitted by those opinion-makers.

Talking about micro-aggressions and safe spaces is useless. Those voters have demolished the safe spaces, and committed one macro-aggression each, to leave the 'preferred leaders', and our learned Editors and Knowitalls lying defeated in the mud.

Lem said...

"The wonderful thing about voting is that we do it in secret."

I said something along the same grounds back in December, referencing Trump and the secret vote.

Link