Donald Defeats Data

Hi.  We’re back… for a second.

We here at TJP declined to cover the 2016 Presidential (or any other) election for a variety of reasons, most of which are… boring.  But we did want to share a few musings in the wake of what is certainly the most revolutionary election in recent U.S. history.

To preface: we’re not big fans of Donald Trump.  Throughout his campaign, we were waiting for the punchline… and all we saw was a man consistently signalling that he is unfit for the decision-making required by the job and unready to embrace and defend the Constitution and its values.

Regardless, Trump’s victory

Old-fashioned intuition and ambition just crushed the data-driven world

For quite some time, we’ve been told to rely on the experts: the statisticians, the educated class, the entrenched experts with no stake in the outcome, in so many aspects of life.  The folks who painstakingly review methodology and data to arrive unbiased results.

Nearly all of those highly-educated elites have just had their professional lives rendered meaningless by a boor.  The pollsters, the campaign advisers, the data crunchers, the pundits,  the gurus… we’re not exaggerating when we say that thousands of professionals have lost their essential credibility. Their jobs were to analyze and advise, and yet the gulf between their thoughts and what actually happened could not, in reasonable terms, have been wider.

A different kind of man was right, though.  Trump.  The guy who eschewed traditional campaign structure, who took no advice from the political class, no money from the elites.  The guy whose proposals and style were, at every turn, despised and derided by the established experts.  That same guy took home more of the Hispanic vote than Mitt Romney, despite an xenophobic, afactual stance on immigration. Without defining his exact appeal — that’s above our pay grade — his campaign was at all times rooted in his intuition and boldness, and never in the data.  And he will soon be the President of the United States of America.

We can try to explain why this happened, but this is certain: we should not accept as credible any explanation that doesn’t fundamentally rethink the basis of the “expertise” that an entire industry accepted before this election.

Trump’s win signals potential for a new era of citizen government

Regardless of whether you like Trump, his victory demonstrates the possibility of meaningful citizen-led government.  Yes, he’s a filthy rich Manhattanite, but his ideas and campaign were at all times his own.  His persona and positions never melted into something acceptable to the entrenched political class like so many candidates with potential before him.

We hope that his victory encourages more candidates from outside the current political culture to mount campaigns that are theirs, not a party’s, not the established donors’, and not Washington’s.

Trump’s 100-day plan isn’t all bad

Really.  Take a look.  We bet there’s stuff in there that you like.  Plus, remember that he’s a deal-maker.  And that the Federal government is run like a Venn Diagram.  And that he has almost zero coalition behind most of his wackier ideas.

Considering his shockingly good acceptance speech, Trump could actually get a few things done.

Trump’s victory poses real dangers of populism in the U.S. right

One pundit put it well: Trump’s appeal seems similar to that of Hugo Chavez: a strongman who blames outsiders for the ills of a disenfranchised, angry portion of the citizenry.