Days of Change

Preference Arcade | May 29, 2017

Even though frogs are cold-blooded, they will not just sit around in hot water just because it is heated slowly. By the same token, the power of a preference cascade is dubious as well. Around 2012, Obama opponents were hoping for a significant change in attitude that would lead to Obama failing to secure a second term. He did end up losing millions of votes relative to 2008 (while Romney gained a million over McCain’s totals) but still won a second term.

The left has has lost their sense of reality, mostly manufactured, where Republicans were either a permanent minority or had to drop all the conservatism they embraced over a decade earlier. Donald Trump found success doubling down on border walls, torture and scorched earth toward anyone standing too close to a terrorist. Then he crushed the left by succeeding with old-fashioned rallies and personal attacks on Hillary Clinton. Mostly, the left could not conceive of being bad at running a campaign, the thing that ultimately lost Clinton the election.

Elections have consequences, but the left is used to eliminating score-keeping, enforcing speech codes and tearing down statues that commemorate things they deem bad history. They are now trying to create a preference cascade where people are either afraid or disgusted enough with Donald Trump that demands for an impeachment would be accepted. The problem is that another preference cascade got in the way.

A mob of people don’t suddenly wake up and decide to overthrow a dictator. People get progressively disheartened and worried for the way of life for them and future generations. Eventually, an event or series of events provides an opportunity. Conservatives did pretty well on that front in the 80’s and 90’s but stalled out by 2006. After Bush’s War on Terror victories, the GOP tried to maintain majorities by keeping the same people in office for a second decade.

A liberal made a movie about how her dad was “brainwashed” by Fox News and talk radio into being a “racist” conservative. In reality, Democrats who have been in the party since the Kennedy era have seen a party that has changed their ideology and priorities. Still, they held on through Bill Clinton and even voted for Ozone Man Al Gore. What started to change affiliation, not belief, for Clinton Democrats was the War on Terror. Hillary Clinton voted for the war, which should have been enough for her to beat Obama in 2008. Instead, it was the point where Clinton parted ways from her husband. She prioritized affirmative hiring and denying Muslim terror at the State Department.

The preference cascade for Donald Trump was significant, if not very large. He ended up with just under a million more popular votes that Bush got in his 2004 reelection win. This did, however, prove that what the candidate says or does may be more important than their political prowess. Also, people are not frogs.


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