Whilst the US election is still being decided, I have jumped the gun over all other commentators, and got my wise post-election explanations in first.
After every election commentators aver that “the country is split” and then explain how a massive fault line runs between the winners and the losers. This is interesting, but it is not clear how any election could be conducted without the country being split, because even a large majority vote would reveal that the smaller number of losers were split off from the winning majority. It is precisely because people are not all of one mind that elections are held, in order to find out which view is supported by the majority.
The next delusion, particularly when one party’s vote is very similar to the other party, is that the voters all collaborated in not giving either party a majority. That is to say, that there was a version of the Parliamentary pairing procedure whereby one Member of Parliament agrees with another Member from the opposite party that both will not attend a debate and will not vote, and will instead go to attend to other matters, commonly a mistress. (If it turns out to be the same mistress, I presume the arrangement breaks down somewhat).
In the case of a finely balanced election result, this type of pairing arrangement, commentators pronounce, has percolated through to the general public, who have decided that neither party deserves unfettered access to power. Perhaps. However, how does an equal vote by telepathic balancing compare to the simpler case of two sides virulently disagreeing with each other, but being unable to muster enough votes to crush the other side? Sometime the country is split, and has very different views as to which policies are required. The parsimonious explanation is that neither side was able to gain advantage, despite their best efforts. Balancing with the other dreadful lot was the last thing on anyone’s mind.
So, the results of the election always have the same underlying features: voters chose which party to support for their own idiosyncratic ends, and the commentators explain their supposed deep reasons after the event. That does not mean that I turn my eyes away from those sub-group analyses beloved of political specialists. What will I be interested in seeing after the US election?
Most of all I wonder how years of education, which supposedly indicates an ability to evaluate arguments, will correlate with actual votes, and thereby to test the popular supposition that the better educated voters will shun the Republican candidate. I assume that sex and age will have a minor influence, but the latter might show bigger differences, with older voters more cynical and more likely to vote Republican. Race should not matter at all, because if America is a melting pot then policies not polities should prevail. It races vote en bloc (say more than 65% in one direction) then the woe betide the republic, which will become disunited genetic states.
Yes, I know that years married will probably be the best predictor, as Steve Sailer has shown, with the longest married being the most Republican, the one night stands most Democrat, but I was saving that for last.
Does the US have a mechanism for doing the whole thing again and again, a Hanging Chad constitutional loophole which iterates a bootstrapping procedure to overcome the poverty of historicism?