It’s easy to make a fearless election forecast when the stats are already showing a “>95%” lean towards a particular candidate. As of this writing a kick-ass New York Times up-to-the-second election results monitoring board is showing a needle that has gone squarely into the “very likely” field in a speedometer-type widget labelled “Chances of Winning Presidency – Trump”.
So Trumpocalypse is at hand. I heard that passenger jets will start dropping from the sky by the hundreds the minute after Donald Trump is proclaimed US President. Did Accenture come up with a Trumpocalypse Consulting Service in the lead up to US Election Day 2016? If not, too bad. They could’ve made a lot more money than they did during the Y2K panic attack that gripped the world back in the late 1990s.
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One questions why, in the age of ubiquitous technology, did America’s finest “experts” grossly underestimate Trump’s popularity. I think this reveals the big irony of social media and its much-touted ability to collect data that could be used to gauge the pulse of the land. While social media provided an awesome platform on which it became easy for hipsters to come together to both cheer on Clinton and demonise Trump, it also gave those cheerleaders a tool to shout down those who begged to differ to them. So, it seems, a whole swathe of people who harboured plans to vote for Trump held their tongue in polite company while the “decent” crowd, over tweets and Facebook posts, took their socially-safe position and incessantly crowed in unison about the noble liberal ideals they insisted were at stake in this year’s elections. In the process they encased themselves in a fatal echo chamber where they further inbred their mutual high-fiving shoutouts and isolated themselves from the real world beyond social media.
And therein lies the problem in driving something underground using the sheer weight of a sentiment erroneously perceived to be the “righteous” one. You lose the ability to track something that’s gone under the radar under the sheer weight of a demonisation campaign coming from the so-called “decent” community. America’s liberal encampments at its hippest coastal cities were basically battling an ill-understood foe — one that was both invisible and had shape-shifting abilities lurking in the shadows watching and gathering low-hanging intel from the tweets and Facebook posts gleefully fielded by the latte-sipping classes.
So here’s what really happened: Hipsters and their propensity for self-righteous chatter had overstepped the line and crossed into ill-thought-out condescencion towards people who harboured conservative and politically-incorrect views. The conservatives and un-PCs were driven underground where they regrouped and waited. They may have even convinced a critical mass of Americans who would normally not have gone out and voted to do so this year. Criticise the latter for being dumb and ill-bred, but the collective outcome of what may seem at first to be an anger-driven, disorganised, and chaotic coming-together under the Trump banner turned out to be an unprecedented emergent intelligence capable of acing an important election in the planet’s mightiest nation.
The hipsters lost yet another continent to the conservatives.
Poor Hillary Clinton. She should’ve taken election winning lessons from Philippine “vice president” Leni Robredo.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.