Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Informational Toxins

There are dueling articles in Business Insider this week. The first, by Oliver Darcy and Pamela Engel points out that if the GOP is to survive it has to do something about conservative media. It notes that any autopsy of 2016 (assuming, as looks likely, that Trump loses . . . bigly) must include a duel with the right-wing media that has used a number of pervasive falsehoods to entrance the electorate in malignant ways.

The second is an editorial by Josh Barro (who recently renounced his GOP membership) that says conservative media is only a symptom of the problem. The real problem, he says, is that the GOP donor class created a food-chain of think-tanks and policy-wonks that supported strategic un-truths that would sell donor-class benefits (low taxes on the rich) to the masses. Having ingested those lies, they are now beholden to a foundation of falsehoods which the right-wing media builds on.

The Omnivore loves Barro--but he is wrong here. He isn't wrong about the facts--no--but he's wrong about the root of the diagnosis. The Left has plenty of people selling various degrees of socialism with actual working test cases (the blasted wastelands of Canada and Sweden, for example) and yet Bernie Sanders lost pretty decisively. Why?

Toxic Information

Toxic Information is information that is (a) false, (b) emotionally coded so that you believe it, and (c) has an implicit call-to-action that is self-harming. An example of non-toxic false information is the belief that the moon-landing was faked. People believe this--but there's usually no way to act on it. Maybe you attend some conventions which are the conspiracy-theory equivalent of a guys bowling league.

The converse is the belief that vaccines cause autism which imperils your children and other children. One is just wrong. The other is outright dangerous.

A belief that lower taxes on the rich will stimulate economic growth doesn't impact your day-to-day life very much. A belief that black men are actively hunting police officers all across the nation may. The Omnivore started seeing informational toxins in the 2008 presidential campaign where Sarah Palin told audiences that Obama "palled around with terrorists." The image that this created in the right was absolutely incendiary and because it came in a vector that voters trusted (approved sources like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and so on) it bypassed critical faculties and left a flash-shock after-image of Obama as a literal saboteur of America.

When Obama won, it only got worse.

It was very, very profitable. It was profitable for advertisers who sold visions of apocalypse to people who felt disenfranchised by the election of someone who, in other times, would have been seen as a very moderate Republican (bailing out the banks and big industry, stepping up the drone wars, deporting thousands of illegal immigrants). Instead, the message that was sold--by people whom the right had given its trust to--was one of decline, disaster, and despair.

It sold a lot of gold certificates, freeze dried food, and an entire 'Freedom Caucus.' It created a complex ecosystem in media, advertising, and political policy. All of it carried an underlying emotional position: You are being robbed.

The web accelerated for everyone what Talk Radio had only been able to accomplish in the older AM-listening demographic. It allowed for the lightning-fast spread of stories that were too (emotionally) good to fact check. Obama was issuing executive orders to take over America. He was firing generals who would obstruct his coup. Military exercises were a cover for the coming imposition of martial law.

The problem wasn't that these were outrageous--UFO abductions were pretty outrageous--the problem was that when people believed them they acted in ways that had direct practical consequences (they elected conspiratorialists who actively played into these delusions, bought gold and freeze dried food, believed that the slaughter of first-graders was either a hoax or an administration attempt at imposing gun control). These lies mattered.

The Needle and The Vein

The Internet (especially social media) is the needle. The emotional wound that the collective right has suffered is the vein into which the toxin is shot. The Omnivore knows cardiologists who can't tell real news from fake news and post racist lies from white power organizations unwittingly (despite, they, themselves, having brown skin). The jokes about racist behavior being due to economic insecurity are pithy because the underscore the point that a major driver of the behavior we see isn't just about a bad economy or economic inequality--it's about anger that the lies validate.

Ultimately the carrier signal for this anger--the result of a narcissistic wound inflicted by an electorate that told a bunch of voters your feelings don't matter--a line used now by the alt-right who don't recognize the irony of its slogan--is conspiracy theory.

Conspiracy theory is a fluid belief that all truth is ultimately subjective: there are no authorities. Nobody is ever cynical enough. In the world of conspiracy theory UN military vehicles are streaming across the border and nefarious Democrats are importing ISIS assassins to kill Americans for no reason whatsoever.

In this world The Media is controlled by a pyramid of unseen forces that dictate the behavior down to individual cub reporters to craft massive hoax-lies wherein nobody talks because of absolute fear of retribution. When you feel wounded and have no clear person to blame for it, conspiracy theory makes a perfect balm.

Once you have swallowed conspiracy theory everything else goes straight into your belief system without being filtered through your cognitive defense systems first.

Right-wing media monetized conspiracy theory like never before. Republican political strategy husbanded it and encouraged it towards their own ends. Now it is a distributed system. There is no longer just one or two message-makers at the top (remember the "Apologize to Rush Limbaugh phase in the 2012 election?) but legions. Now they aren't just selling a single, unified party line but each competing viciously for a piece of the lucrative pie.

The medium is no longer the message--there is no message beyond Give Us Money and Burn It Down. They're going to burn as much as they can before the money runs out.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Getting to 3rd Bate

In just 19 days are long national nightmare will be over. We have passed the final event with Clinton and Trump's 3rd debate hitting last night. Right now the race stands unambiguously for Clinton and last night, although Trump's overall performance was better than his last two, probably did little to change it.

Will Clinton Win?

Right now there are two main categories of thought: (a) Clinton will win, possibly in a 400 EV landslide or (b) the polls are way off and Clinton could tie or lose. The Omnivore has seen much of this discussion play out on Twitter and in other places. What are people saying?

The Polls Are Fixed: This is bigger than you might think. Several "leaked polling memos" (which were all absurd parodies) have circulated the Internet being lapped up by credulous, desperate anti-Hillary forces. Unfortunately the polls are done by hundreds of people across a vast ideological spectrum--it would take a massive conspiracy to forcibly manipulate them.

Addenda: The idea that massive "D+10" (Democrat representation +10) are falsified to make the poll pro-Clinton is a misunderstanding. The "Democrat/Republican" check asks who you most closely identify with--not how you are registered. The Omnivore is a Republican on paper but if asked which team he supports this cycle, the answer is "Democrat." As such comparing D/R numbers to voter registrations isn't tell you what you might think. A larger D-number is a result of one candidate winning, not the cause of it.

The Polling Doesn't Work: People ask how a survey of 500-1500 people can tell you where millions of voters are going. The answer is a bit complicated but it's more or less this: Firstly, this is how statistical sampling works. Our science is largely based on it. It works for things like electronic manufacture, medicine, and product testing. If you think your cellphone is pretty reliable, thank polling methodologies.

Secondly, the poll-aggregates are most meaningful at the state levels. The election predictors (538, PEC, The Upshot) look at state polls and weight the candidate's lead by the Electoral Vote score of the state(s) in question. As such, if Clinton is up +3 nationally (a slight edge) but somehow holds a +11 advantage in Florida (the biggest swing-state) Trump is in a lot more trouble than +3.

The Polling Doesn't Agree: Someone on Twitter told The Omnivore that in 2012 the polls were all within 4pts of each other--but this time they are not. That is true. However (a) all the polls on Huffington Pollster's page were within 4pts of Clinton +8 and (b) the Twitter-person was speaking of the polling convergence before election day. This is a well known phenomena which may be due to hardening of the population and may also be due to herding (no one wants to have miss-called the election so they may re-examine their numbers in light of what "everyone else is showing."

Herding isn't good--but it also doesn't apply right now.

Brexit: According to the Internet, polling averages got the Brexit-Leave/Remain score wrong. This isn't the case. Polling at the eve of Brexit showed a super-tight race with a moderate number of undecides. Pundits believed undecides would break for Remain. It didn't happen.

Today for the presidential election there are a lot of undecideds too--comparatively. However the head-to-head (Trump-v-Clinton) shows similar results to a 4-way race (adding Jill Stein and Gary Johnson). This means that if the 3rd party voters "break" they may do so in equal and opposite directions. It is also the case that with Clinton's lead, even if they all went to Trump it might not be enough.

The Big News From The Debate

We will have to wait either a day or a few hours for the flash-polls and a week for the regular polling to catch up with public reactions but we can say a few things for sure about the 3rd Debate.

Trump's Circus / Trump's Monkeys: Trump brought a host of weirdos to try to intimidate Clinton. Obama's half brother, the guy claiming to be Bill Clinton's illegitimate son, the Benghazi-Mom, a false-Benghazi-Girlfriend, Sarah Palin, and the spec-ops guy who was the inspiration for Mark Whalberg's Sole Survivor movie.

Clinton bought Mark Cuban (billionaire host of Shark Tank).

None of it mattered. But, like, Team Trump should start a band or something.

Trump's Bad Moments Were Bad: Clinton totally ducked a pay-to-pay question on the Clinton Foundation which, yeah. But Trump had more and worse missteps. Firstly, the headlines all have converged on Trump refusing to say he'd accept the election outcome. This may not convince undecideds that he is a safe / sane choice. Secondly, Trump responded to a Clinton attack on the sexual assault allegations by asserting no one had the respect for women that he did. The audience laughed.

Trump's refusal to disavow Putin was also on display--he wouldn't agree with American Intelligence that Russia was behind the hacks (this was pointed out by Chris Wallace, who did a fine job). Finally, in the end, there is speculation that Trump called Clinton a "Nasty woman" when she was speaking (he said something into the mic under his breath).

Even if he didn't collapse on policy (he did well for his voters on abortion, for example), this seems unlikely to be the event he needed.


Watch for new leaks: maybe one of them will be interesting and substantial enough to move the needle. See if the polling converges / tightens. Clinton may not have gotten a "bounce" from this debate either.

At least there aren't any more of these.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Questions About Trump

It is now 21 days until election day and Trump, by polling averages, is down about "two Brexit's worth" (that was 538's pod-cast's line). In other words, to even things up he needs a 3-4 point tightening and a 3-4 point swing (wherein it turns out that the common margins of error are going against him). There is no poll on RCP or Huffington Pollster that shows Trump winning by anything.

Barring a very, very deep gray swan, the goose is cooked (add additional bird metaphors). Even a won debate can swing at most 3-4 points--and the 3rd debate counts the least. So what now?

Question 1: How Does Trump Take A Loss?

The above is Trump on election night 2012. Trump's delegitimizing of the electoral process, the media, and government leadership at all levels is both new and dangerous in America. We have had 200 years of almost uninterrupted transitions of power and are the envy of much of the world in that regard. The one time a presidential election was considered illegitimate by much of the country, it resulted in the Civil War.

Trump might not know what the ramifications of his words are--but that just underscores how potentially disastrous he would be as a president and is as a nominee. The other possibility is darker: he does understand what he is doing and wants to drag America down with him if he doesn't win.

So: does he graciously concede if/when he loses?

Question 2: What Do His Supporters Believe?

Relatively smart people believe that Hillary might be coming for their guns. Very, very stupid people believe that Obama has been intentionally sabotaging the United States because of [ reasons ]. Trump's inner circle includes Alex Jones who is a first-order conspiracy monger (he has said that both Obama and Clinton are literal demons, smelling of sulfur and attracting flies via evil magic). It includes Steve Bannon who is an absolute bomb-thrower. More an anarchist than a conservative.

Trump's supporters will, largely, believe that the national election was rigged (in impossible ways such as in-person voter fraud or fraudulent elections officials, most of whom will work for the Republicans). Will they believe that Hillary plans to turn Black Lives Matter into a national police force to seize property from white people?

Will they think that Hillary's first order of business will be to escalate to a nuclear war with Russia? How might they react to that?

Who could tell them differently that they would believe? - Of the people they believe, who would have the character to do that?

You see the problem.

Question 3: Assuming Trump Loses Bigly, What Happens to the GOP?

If the GOP were truly dedicated to appointing pro-life justices they would have nominated someone other than Trump. If the GOP were interested in a big tent that included all (or almost all) Americans, they would have nominated someone other than Trump. If the GOP were not stained by misogyny and racism, they would have nominated someone other than Trump.

Trump is a caricature of everything "myth" (now, unfortunately in air-quotes) about the GOP. His internal support from the GOP--both the voters, the Republican National Committee, and leadership--despite defections or semi-defections--indicates that he is, in fact, the standard-bearer.

The GOP clearly needs a new standard: Trump's downsides (undisciplined, bomb-thrower, indifferent to facts, willing to change positions in the course of a single paragraph of speech, dislike of staples of politics such as the use of teleprompters to give polished speeches, lack of transparency in business dealing, and incredibly thin-skin and tendency to personal insults) were all fantastically obvious from the start.

In short: he was what the GOP wanted--he is what the GOP got--and the need for him overrode the entire conservative value set (small government? Not Trump. Gun-Rights? Trump supports No-Fly-No-Buy, social conservative? Trump is pro-gay rights and does not ask God for forgiveness).

So what next?

Keep in mind that a lot of the GOP will want to run Eric Trump in 2020.

The RNC / Nominating Procedure
The canary in the coal mine will be whether or not / how the GOP changes its nominating procedure. More super-delegates? A requirement of government service to get into the race? A set of disqualifiers? More control "at the convention"? Whatever they decide, if the decisions will prohibit another Trump, it means they have decided to challenge the Trump / GOP Base. This would be ballsy as it could break the party on contact.

Unfortunately: apparently Reince Priebus plans to run for another term and large factions of the RNC support Trump strongly. If there is no significant change it means the party is committed to stasis.

Don't Break The Mid-Terms
The Omnivore finds it unlikely that the GOP will do anything to further alienate their base until after the 2018 mid-terms as they will plan to regain control of congress. That's sensible--but it may come at a cost.

Already John McCain has said that the Senate will oppose EVERY Hillary SCOTUS judge--no matter what. Coming from McCain, this is pretty wild. It may be because he needs some crazy in his voting demographic and he has denounced Trump so he has to get it organically.

That said, if they actually do this--and if the Democrats have a majority--they may overplay their hand. If Garland is placed on the court and there is a 4-5 break, SCOTUS would most likely hear a case about gerrymandering and rule against it. This would damage the GOP's ability to ensure a majority in the house.

If they plan on raw obstructionism, as McCain has telegraphed, a Democratic Senate majority could use that as cover for breaking the filibuster ruling, after which they could install whichever justices they want (i.e. Barack Obama). While this would be deeply unpopular with the GOP base, The Omnivore could see it selling reasonably well to the American people as a functional government, even if very liberal, is preferable to a non-functional one.


Trump has the ability to damage both conservatives and American politics very, very badly. He seems on course to do both. That this was pretty clear and not the result of a shocking John Edwards-style scandal should give everyone pause.

But it won.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Round Two: FIGHT!

For The First Time in Debate History, The Candidates Didn't Shake Hands

Last night Hillary and Trump had their second show-down. While the numbers are not in, Trump clearly did some prep-work for this one as he managed to both land some blows (using Republican talking points on Obamacare, and his counter-punch on Abe Lincoln) and, despite a bad first-30-minutes, maintain composure throughout the rest of the debate.

The Omnivore is going to score it a draw on points with some good news for Trump:

  1. The Bar, It Was Low: People were watching for a complete collapse and it didn't happen. He might not have proved deft but he didn't disgrace himself on stage.
  2. He Played To His Base: His base will have a lot to be happy about there. He threatened to put Hillary in jail (more on that later) and he had his Bill-Clinton-Accuser moment the hour before. Both are ill advised as general strategies but will strongly appeal to his constituency and were competently pulled off.
  3. The Moderates Debated With Him: He dodged around some questions and provoked the moderators to press him. That will play well for him in the coming days with Republicans.

The Net-Net: What Changed?

The general consensus is that Trump managed to stop the bleeding (defections of sitting Republicans) but has not expanded his base. The Omnivore holds that this is probably correct--and expects some tightening in the polls in the coming days. On the down-side, a lot of Trump's pitch was to Sanders supporters and while The Omnivore knows (and boy, does The Omnivore know) that the Sanders hard core will not vote for Hillary, it seems unlikely that he has convinced them to vote for him.

If he goes from down-six to down-four after this, it isn't really a turn-around.

Warning Signs

Clinton's strategy has, thus far, been to win the post-debate cycle conclusively. This, with the help of a press-corp that widely considers Trump a political disaster in the making, seems likely here. Firstly, we have been warned that more (and 'worse') oppo-dumps are coming. If true, this is going to create a new firestorm that will eat up any post-debate glory.

Secondly, Trump said that he would jail Hillary Clinton if he won. One of the reasons that Obama did not go after the Bush administration for potential war crimes--even though the leftist who supported Obama dearly wanted that--was because it would fracture the country. Trump's strong-man-esque threat to appoint a special prosecutor to jail a vanquished opponent who about 50% of the country will have voted for would be as likely to end the republic as anything that has happened in this race so far. The fact that his base dearly wants that is less troubling than that he would pander to them on that count.

Finally, Trump did play the Bill Clinton Rape Card. In one sense this is necessary: he is about to be hit with all kinds of sexually-based opposition research and the only way to mitigate it is to get some on Clinton too. On the other hand, the oppo--will be directed at him (on the ballot) while his will be at Clinton's husband (not on the ballot) with a kind of inference-based "She threatened / enabled" this behavior. 

Whether or not that turns out to be a good idea or not (it isn't), the attempt to execute this strategy in the first place is going to turn the personal-heat-level on the election up to a boiling point. That isn't good for the nation

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Nuclear Meltdown

Yesterday the bomb dropped--on the edge of the make-or-break 2nd debate, a video was uncovered that showed Trump making vulgar, regressive remarks about women. That's the nice version: the objective version is that he was talking about, at least, committing sexual harassment while (a) his wife was pregnant and (b) against a married woman who rejected him despite him buying her furniture.

Today the fallout starts to hit. There have been at least nine defections from previous endorsers. His appearance with Paul Ryan, scheduled for today, was first switched for Pence and then switched for no one.

When Paul Ryan showed up, the crowd allegedly gave him grief for distancing himself from Trump. On CNN, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had to ask another contributor to "stop saying [the word pussy]" because "her daughter was watching." The other person (Anna Navaro?) pointed out, correctly, that Trump was using that word.

CNN ran the footage un-bleeped. For the first time, the New York Times printed the words 'fuck' and 'pussy' on its front page.

If the GOP  Nominee were anyone else, Clinton would be having to explain her "Open Boarders" speech in the Goldman Sachs transcripts that wikileaks got hold of. Arnold Schwarzenegger instead, made a blip in the news cycle by quitting The Apprentice.

But the GOP Nominee IS Donald Trump. What does that mean?

For Anyone Disappointed In Trump


Seriously. As Hot Air's Allahpundit pointed out, "we wanted politically incorrect and we got it." Yes. Yes we did. It's not like Trump was an unknown quantity. He had massive name recognition, none of it for being a choir boy. He was a thrice-married adulterous millionaire (billionaire?). He was proudly ignorant of foreign policy, lost without a teleprompter, and embraced name-calling as a national strategy.

He told you who he was in the primaries.

For People Who Didn't Like Trump But Supported Him Anyway

It might be time to admit there is something wrong with the Republican party. If the GOP were serious about stopping Hillary, they would have nominated Marco Rubio . . . or Tim Kasich . . . Maybe Lindsey Graham? If you go, well they weren't conservative enough, you're part of the problem. Ted Cruz is plenty conservative--but he's also the Scorpion in the tale of the Frog and the Scorpion. So, eh.

The question is this: do you recognize, even at this late date, that Hillary Clinton is not just the only alternative--but a viable one? That handing the country over to Trump would be, potentially, an existential disaster? No. Okay then: you're part of the problem too.

Questions Going Forward

  1. If the word "pussy" or "fuck" gets used at tomorrow's debate, will they bleep? Or will it be Rated-R?
  2. Will Trump make way for Pence? (No). Will the RNC stand up to him (No).
  3. How far will Trump's defenders go? Will they assess that it is, really, OK to grab women "by the pussy"? As a society we need to decide . . . is it?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Kaine v. Pence

If the first presidential debate is the one that matters most, last night was the general election campaign that traditionally matters least. At least Clinton supporters should hope so because Pence more or less won. While the full "numbers" are not available yet, the early reports are that Pence likely beat Kaine with the general electorate and, more importantly, wooed traditional conservatives.

Kaine's Strategy

Kaine's strategy was to be a formula Vice President attack dog. He came out of the gate too hot and constantly interrupted Mike Pence when it was Pence's turn to speak. Ineffective moderation led to the debate being an often unintelligible free-for all. Kaine's strategy was to try to hang Trump around Pence's neck but he only had a modest degree of success with this due to Pence's adroit, if false, denial that Trump had ever said those things.

Pence's Strategy

If Kaine was trying to be a central-casting VP, Pence was auditioning for President. He was poised, dignified, and generally unflappable. None of the moderation questions went to his potential weak-spots (such as gay rights) and he generally, like Kaine, just immediately answered any question with an un-related anti-Clinton talking point.

Pence's straight-up denial that Trump ever 'said those things' is likely a preview of how the GOP plans to move past Trump should he lose in November: Pretend it never happened. It may work.

The Post Debate Predictions

Nate Silver noted that Pence might, weirdly, be positioning himself to "win the debate but lose the debate cycle afterwards." Indeed, this morning there were more stories on The Omnivore's feed about Pence's Trump-denials than Pence's stronger performance. We'll see if that's the case over-all in about 2 days.

It was also stated that Pence may have upstaged and annoyed Trump. Trump, during the debate, tweeted insults at the same time that Pence was being indignant about Clinton's 'insult-driven' campaign, re-tweeted a white supremacist, and tweeted in ALL CAPS several times. It is not beyond the pale to speculate that Trump might be upset at being shown-up by his #2.

But keep in mind that it's also possible that given Pence's success, Trump might see his performance as a model strategy for Sunday's debate (whether or not Trump has the discipline to execute on it is anyone's guess).

In any event, this debate was good for Trump voter's morale. In 2012 after Obama tanked the first debate, Joe Biden came back and hammered Paul Ryan, stemming the emotional bleeding. When Obama came back strong in the 2nd (and 3rd) debates, the Democrat's ship was righted. This template still exists for Trump, increasing the stakes for Sunday night and improving the chance that Trump will show up.

Whether there will be any significant movement in the polls is a question we'll have to wait for.

Friday, September 30, 2016


Five days after the first presidential debate, the numbers are in and Trump lost. Not only was he declared the loser in every professional poll but his numbers, across the board, have declined by about 4% on aggregate. This should not be surprising:

  • Trump was clearly unprepared. The bar he had to pass was to not look like a bloviating bully for 90 minutes as the most important exam of his life and he couldn't do it.
  • Despite an initial burst of strategic attack (which lasted about 16 minutes) he was otherwise unable to execute a strategy, made unforced errors, and, by the end, lapsed into absolute incoherence (on the Birth Certificate issue).
  • Worse, he stumbled blindly into the Alicia Machado trap. Clinton was prepared for any sexist opening--the Alicia Machado ad was already put together and polished. When he provided an opening, she hit him with it.
  • Now, five days later, Trump is still keeping that story alive, despite all logic.

At This Point What Do You Say?

Today, if you are still supporting Trump (and if you supported him on Sunday, you are) you have to be fairly lying to yourself. This is a man who:
  1. Lacks self-control at an elemental level. He didn't do the homework, failed the exam, and then complained about it in depth--but not to anyone involved's face.
  2. He is running on a foundation of lies: his voters (as encouraged by him) believe he won the debate because of Internet polling. This is massive innumeracy and he, the would-be leader of the free world, is encouraging it.
  3. He has demonstrated a stunning willingness to use and promote cruelty aimed at people less powerful than him. However, he can't "take it" when it comes to having things like his own words used against him.
Acidic Super-Chef Gordon Ramsay would make a better president and be less abusive than Donald Trump. That's ignoring the boost he gives to racists in America. Even if you don't find yourself racist--and believe that Donald is not racist--it is inarguable that racists are cheering his rise.

The Questions To Ask Yourself

Today, if you are still supporting Trump (and if you supported him on Sunday, you are) there are a few questions you should answer, at least for yourself.
  1. Do you think he was decisively beaten in the debate? That's what the numbers show--if you think it was more or less a tie--or that he won, you are succumbing to conspiracy thinking. If you are, it is because you have a need to believe he won that overrides your cognitive functions. It isn't a matter of opinion (you can think you liked what he said better--but the idea that he unambiguously won is provably false).
  2. Is there any amount of support for white supremacists that Trump could have before you'd drop him? If he was an out-and-proud Klansman or Nazi, would that do it? If the answer is "Yes" then consider that he is courting those voters the same way that he is courting you
  3. If he could not get his act together for the debate, is there any evidence at all he could do it for the presidency? If not, is it possible for a president to be catastrophically bad (if you answered: "Yes, Obama!" then consider that Obama is notably collected. Perhaps over-cautious? Trump is a hot-head who is easily baited. Do you really want that guy in charge?)
  4. There are newspapers that in a cumulative 400 year history have never endorsed a Democrat. They are endorsing Clinton. USA today has never before endorsed a candidate. This year they are endorsing Clinton. These are conservative sources (or pretty neutral in the case of USA Today). Could they know something you are not admitting to yourself?

The Answer Is: He's Not Clinton

"But Omnivore," you say, "we must stop Clinton at all costs!" The Omnivore's response to that is "Why?" We were told we had to stop Obama at all costs--the country is still standing. We were told that We had to stop Bush at all costs. He got us in two very, very expensive wars but the country is still standing. We were told we had to stop Bill Clinton at all costs. He got two terms and the economy expanded and the National Debt (which, you say, is VERY, VERY Important) was wiped out--for a time, until Bush.

"Ah, but Omnivore," you protest, "if all that is true, then maybe the country could survive Trump?"

Perhaps--we are a hard nation to kill--but Trump is an anomaly in ways the others, and Hillary, are not. He is supported by a resurgent White Supremacist party--something that has never happened in modern history. He has no governing experience of any kind and, most importantly, shows little appetite to learn things. He has demonstrated, when the chips are down, that he will attack someone who slights him--this is a man who cannot apologize and, notably, has not even asked God to forgive him.

These are qualities that Hillary simply does not demonstrate. She is contained. She can shut up. She is not easily baited. She is studied. She may be all the bad things you say / believe / have been told--but she is not a disciple of Vladimir Putin. She does not parrot Russian talking points or polling conspiracy theories to the national media. She does not have an Alt-Right hero (Stephen Bannon) as the head of her organization.

If the answer as to why you are voting Trump is that he's not Clinton, consider that this may be true: from what we have seen--from only what we have seen--he is much, much worse than Clinton at this President thing.

Those are the facts.