Sunday, May 16, 2021

Literary Corner: Soci(opathic)al Media

Trump plastic drinking straws, 10-pack for $15 from Save America Shop.


Let's Stay Home

by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

The polls were a joke. I won States
in a landslide that I was predicted to lose
days before the election. Other states
had me purposely so far down
that it would force people, even fans,
to say “Let's stay home Darling. We love
our President, but he can’t win.”

The Former Guy's "social media" site, Save 🇺🇸, is turning out so far to be more antisocial, in that he is the only one who is allowed to participate other than by purchasing the merch from the Save America Shop or just sending money, which is, as we know from Buckley v. Valeo, speech, but that isn't the speech that the audience gets to witness, which is literally nothing bu an uninterrupted sequence of tweetoid productions all with the same headline— 

Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

—with none of the leavening his Twitter feed used to supply, memes or videos from Dan Scavino, no retweets or pretenses that he follows anybody else, and no comments or replies: I like to give it some postmodern punctuation and call it a "soci(opathic)al medium", since it seems to be predicated on the nonexistence of everybody but him.

Though I do in fact think he gets some ghosting assistance from Stephen Miller; he showed up in one of today's posts in a Millerian triplet, "crooked, disgusting, and very dishonest media outlets" (even there, I think Trump is responsible for the "very").

The post itself, from which the poem is drawn, is dedicated to making sure everybody knows House minority leader Kevin McCarthy was lying on Thursday with his remarks following the purging of Rep. Elizabeth Cheney from the House leadership for insisting on the legitimacy of the last presidential election:
“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” McCarthy said outside the White House after he and other congressional leaders met with President Joe Biden. “I think that is all over with. We’re sitting here with the president today.” 
"Hey, I'm questioning it!" says Trump, in this case with reference to presidential preference polling leading up to last November, and focusing on a Wall Street Journal report (covered by News and Guts) of an expert panel finding that the 2020 election polls were the worst polling failure in the past 40 years, overstating Biden's support by 3.9%, though they don't deny, as Trump does, that Biden did in fact win the election. The Former Guy feels that bad polling is itself a form of election rigging:
In one state that I actually won, but the results were rigged, ABC and the Washington Post had me down by 17 points. Even the rigged final result was extremely close. It’s called SUPPRESSION POLLING and it should be illegal.
This was evidently Wisconsin on 28 October 2020, when Marquette Law School's poll had Biden up only 5 points among likely voters

The 538 average had Biden ahead by 8.4% on the eve of the election, whereas he only won by 0.63%, which is indeed a huge error. The WSJ analysis chalks it up to changes is people's willingness to answer poll questions, with Trump voters being much less willing, presumably because they knew their choice was repulsive and made them look disgusting, or possibly because they thought Trump had told them not to:

one possibility was that Democrats were more willing to answer polls than were Republicans. Alternatively, Republicans who were willing to talk to pollsters might have been those most open to supporting Mr. Biden, while Republicans who declined to be polled may have been more supportive of Mr. Trump. If the latter possibility were the case, then merely increasing the number of Republicans in a survey wouldn’t solve the accuracy problem.

Another possibility is that Mr. Trump in 2020 brought a set of new voters, unaffiliated with either party, to the polls, and that these voters turned away from taking surveys due to Mr. Trump’s criticism of polling.

Or possibly because the pandemic, with its unprecedented levels of absentee and early voting, distorted the picture they were able to assemble.

Trump, of course, seems convinced, as he often has, that they just fabricated the numbers to make him look bad, and discourage people from voting for him, in "SUPPRESSION POLLING". Even fans! Which isn't completely impossible, voters are indeed discouraged when things are looking bad for their candidate, and sort of forget to show up, or get in a hurry or run out of energy on their way to or from work. Not, though, the way it happens in this  Darling story, as you might call it, parallel to the Sir stories, the window onto how Trump imagines normal people go about deciding what to do on an Election Tuesday, couples who call each other darling. I think of them in a living room, dressed in some kind of 1930s silky loungeware, having drinks before dinner perhaps, William Powell and Myrna Loy. "You know, darling, I almost forgot, it's election day! We ought to go vote!" "Of course, darling, what a lovely idea! I do love our president! I'll just get my coat." "But then, his polls are looking pretty dismal." "Oh dear, is that right?" "Washington Post says he's 17 points behind the low-energy interloper here in Wisconsin." "Then he can't win!" "Perhaps we shouldn't bother after all." "Let's stay home, darling." There's a touch of Ionesco in that, and it enchants me.

No comments:

Post a Comment