Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for November 2020

The cult of Trump

For more than a decade I’ve been writing, from time to time, about the psychology of belief, and how people believe what they believe because other people believe it, and not because they know whether or not it’s true. Other people often means other people in their social group, or tribe, rather than all other people in general.

Until now, I’ve usually been critical or people in mainstream media or elite liberal circles believing in untrue stuff, or people believing in religion. But unfortunately, I now have to call out the fact that what one may call the red tribe has now gone all-in on believing that the election was “stolen” by the Democrats because of massive “fraud,” without any evidence that this is true.

Trump has somehow gone from being a real estate developer to reality TV star to politician and now to cult leader. (The general definition of a cult includes veneration of the cult’s leader, and belief in stuff that’s considered nonsensical outside of the cult. The cult of Trump is a secular cult; it doesn’t involve the belief in anything supernatural.)

I want no part of this cult. Any of my readers who are cult members should just leave and stop reading or commenting.

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Also, I don’t know how people can think that the electoral process is biased against Trump when Trump did way better than expected based on polls or logical thinking about the electorate. People who rightly called out Democrats for not accepting that Trump beat Hillary are now doing the same thing to Biden, but at a ten-times amped-up level.

If only Trump hadn’t discouraged his supporters from voting by mail, giving a big advantage to the other side (you want your supporters to vote by any which way possible), he might have even won re-election.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 23, 2020 at 1:08 PM

Posted in Biology, Politics

Covid-19 November update

Back in August I wrote:

We keep getting worse and worse at social distancing, we are sending kids back to school, a new wave of cases before we get a vaccine seems kind of inevitable. I predict between 400,000 and 800,000 U.S. deaths from Covid-19 before the pandemic is ended with a vaccine.

My prediction continues to be on target. The last update from the Covid Tracking Project is that we have record number hospitalized and record cases in one day, and if the trend continues this will keep getting worse. We already have 233,000+ deaths.

We are heading into Thanksgiving, and unless the government shuts down all the roads to prevent people from going places on Thanksgiving (and we lack the political will to do that), Thanksgiving will cause a major spike at a time when the virus is already out of control.

Trump insisted we are “rounding the corner” and that the media will stop reporting on Covid-19 as soon as the election is over. Trump is being proved horrible wrong. We are not rounding a corner, we are in slow-motion heading into a huge collision.

It’s also obvious that eventually Covid-19 will be so bad we will say “oh shit, this is bad, we have to change our behavior” and state governments will start closing stuff, but we lack the wisdom to close stuff BEFORE it gets like that, thus we condemn a few hundred thousand to unnecessary deaths because we are too stupid to do the right thing at the right time.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 12, 2020 at 5:17 PM

As Lion predicted, Biden wins election

I’ve been waiting for things to settle down a little before I wrote my I-told-you-so post. Since way back in 2019 I’ve been saying that Trump would not win re-election.

Part of the calculation was that polls were so in favor of Biden that, even if Trump beat the polls by a substantial amount, he would still lose. It turns out that Trump did beat the polls by a substantial amount in some states, so once again the polling industry did a crappy job. I’m going to have to side with conspiracy theorists here. The polls could only be so bad because the pollsters intended them to be bad because people like to vote for a winner, so creating the perception that Biden was winning would bring out more votes for Biden.

The above probably explains why the media never fully acted like Biden had the election in the bag. They probably knew all along that the polls were rigged to exaggerate Biden’s lead over Trump.

Another part of the calculation that Biden would win was that the mainstream media had given up on being nonpartisan, and would do everything they could in order to ensure a Biden victory. And that too is what happened.

Even though Trump did much better than I expected, he did less better than it seemed on the night of the election as more mail-in ballots have been counted. Trump may have doomed his re-election with his insistence that his supporters not vote by mail. As a candidate, you want people to vote for you by any which way they can.

At the end of all the counting, Trump lost the big-three rustbelt states of PA, WI and MI which he won in 2016, plus also probably lost GA and AZ, two states that have voted for the Republican candidate for president for longer than some people voting last week have been alive.

If only Trump had taken the virus seriously, he probably would have won another four years in office. But it’s a testament to the power of cult-belief that so many people voted for him anyway despite how bad he’s been and how he has continually lied and bullshitted about the pandemic.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 9, 2020 at 1:37 PM

Posted in Politics

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