By Professor Doom
Hey, how about that last election? It’s so funny how many people are still puzzling over how the polls could all be so wrong, for so long, so consistently. I mean, Hillary was presented as way ahead, and after every debate, the mainstream media was only too happy to tell us that Hillary’s lead extended after yet another amazing debate performance by Hillary.
For me, it’s not much of a puzzle, because I know a little math. The answer is simple: we were lied to. Those weren’t polls, they were propaganda…it’s not mathematically possible in any real sense for so many legitimate polls to be consistently wrong, and so the simpler explanation, “they are lying” takes over. Every time some independent/legitimate poll said something different from the propaganda, it was shouted down as racist, or something similar, and discounted by mainstream media.
Academics, for all their supposed education, really aren’t that different in their confusion here. A recent post at Inside Higher Ed has a liberal deigning to tell other liberals what they don’t get:
A big issue for, well, some folks is they live in a bubble. Thus it doesn’t matter what’s said, it’s ignored or “discredited” by being called racist. The above academic tries to penetrate that bubble by being very, very, gentle. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t understand much himself, but let’s look at a few things:
“…care about them enough to listen to them with respect, you come away with a much clearer appreciation for the emotions that propelled Donald Trump to victory than you do by listening to NPR, scanning your friends’ Twitter feeds, or sitting at a table in a university cafeteria with like-minded colleagues…”
Part of what propelled Trump to victory was the patronizing (at best) attitude Clinton had (see also, “Deplorables”) and this liberal professor has much the same. At no point does he allow for the possibility that one could rationally choose Trump over Hillary, citing instead “emotions.”
“…take the easy route and brand his supporters — overwhelmingly white men — as racist or misogynist….Certainly some of the people who voted for Trump are racists and bigots. Surely we’re within our rights to think of the white supremacists, KKK sympathizers, and woman-haters…”
It’s so weird how these arguments always go one direction. If you vote against Hillary because she’s a woman, you’re misogynist. But how is it not possible for someone to be a man-hater and vote against Trump because he’s a man? A similar argument could be made about voting for Hillary’s party based on race…but I digress, the point is there’s no significant consideration of legitimate reasons for not voting for Hillary.
Even if I’m wrong about the “obviously we were lied to” conclusion, we’ll never get any better answers until the “thinkers” in higher education start opening up their minds to other possibilities than the crap being provided by the same fake media that told us Trump could never win.
The liberal then talks about a friend who’s very, very, poor:
I have a close friend who supports his family on a yearly salary of $48,000…
Wow, how much in a bubble do you have to be in to sneer at that salary as a small amount of pay? That’s quite a bit more than the median pay, so the close friend is doing well…I know I have no hope of ever making that much salary. And yet the Liberal thinks his friend is basically impoverished. Our institutions of higher education are overrun with Liberal-leaning academics, and until they get out of the bubble enough to know that most people in this country would LOVE to make $48k a year, there’s not much hope here.
By some bizarre alchemy, Trump the billionaire knew how to speak to these people.
I really want to emphasize how clueless this guy is: he’s a liberal, he’s going to explain to liberals what they don’t get, and his explanation for Trump’s success, and I’m quoting here, is “bizarre alchemy”…he’s basically explaining that Trump’s success is due to magic. Once again we're looking at a refusal to consider any rational reason for Trump's success. Seriously, this is what passes for legitimate explanation? The article itself is irrelevant.
The comments section, on the other hand, has much of interest.
There are the predictable “Trump sucks” type comments, but each such comment gets a “But Hillary is far worse.”
Ignoring such things, allow me to highlight a few more interesting comments:
You are exactly right, and I also have a Ph.D. As do many of my colleagues who, with furtive glances and hushed voices, spoke with me about their support of Trump.
The culture of fear in academia means few will speak out loud about a great many things, and not just supporting Trump. I don’t think people are terrified enough to lie to pollsters (at least in enough numbers to turn Hillary’s “landslide” into defeat), but I concede plenty of people in academia were terrified enough of the repercussions of not supporting Hillary that they lied about while on campus, at the very least.
It’s not just academia, of course. There were numerous examples of other people who found their career stymied after coming out for Trump (hi Scott Adams!). I can’t help but suspect the reason Trump couldn’t get celebrities to support him (beyond Scott Baio) is because the celebrities knew their Hollywood career would be jeopardized by doing so.
Back to the point, rather than tell Trump voters they’re racists and misogynists, shouldn’t academia consider the culture of fear that makes people afraid to give an honest answer to an anonymous pollster? That just seems a more productive mode of inquiry to me, because the clear retribution against people who say the wrong thing has an obvious chilling effect.
Here comes a biggie from another comment:
“TIME FOR BLUE COLLAR STUDIES”
What an incredible, obvious idea. Instead of breaking us up into groups based on identity politics (Afro-American Studies, Gender Studies, and such), why not start to consider the class warfare that’s a big part of today’s economy. “The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer” has never been more true than today, where it’s very clear much of the wealth is being funneled upward to the topmost tiers of the economic ladder. Ok, it has improved a tiny bit in the last few years. Still most people know they’re much poorer now after 8 years of economic policies that Hillary never came close to promising to change. I’m not saying Trump will necessarily change such policies…but at least he’s aware of what our government has been doing to its citizens.
Another poster is quick to explain why my excitement is misplaced:
Of course there are faculty who have a fundamental concern with the working class: Marxists.
Yeah, ok, maybe that was a bad idea after all, since having way too many Marxists on campus is part of what got us into this mess.
Anyway, I could go on, but the real takeaway in reading the well-over-100 comments here is how little this thread differs from threads I’ve seen on boards not populated with Ph.D.s. And so, I encourage any reader who goes to other forums to come here and see with his own eyes how academics are little different than any other group on the internet.