Election 2016

The election is over and the next President of the United States will be Donald Trump. To many people like myself, we imagine someone voting for Trump and it fills us with rage and frustration. However, with my empathy hat on, I know that the people who voted for him feel the same way about me. There is a huge gap between us.

Its tempting to imagine our electorate as a normal bell curve. Left is liberal and right is conservative.

However, the truth is that 50% of the voting public did not even vote, so this is just the top part of the curve. Also, the curve doesn’t actually look like this. It looks more like this:

There are not that many people in the middle. At least it seems that way when you watch television. You are either an ultra-liberal hippie who just wants to tax everyone and steal the money or an ultra-right wing racist nutcase who just wants to fire guns at brown people. It’s hard to tell the truth. Where does reality start and entertainment end?

It fills me with despair that I predicted this outcome in March. (Based on my Presidential Election Charisma Rule). I love Hillary, but I voted for Bernie in the primaries because I thought he had a better chance of winning. I think he would have beat Trump. I also believe Joe Biden (whom I voted for in 2012) could have beat Trump.

The problem with Hillary primarily was that she was not charismatic. She was competent and smart and would actually do a good job. Unfortunately, that is not what wins elections. We are not that bright of a people. She won the primary because of the super-delegates. This was a mistake on the democratic party. One that we will pay for dearly in the coming decades. Yes, decades because of supreme court nominations.

On the subject of polls, they were clearly way off. I don’t think I will trust a polls for a very long time. Here is my hypothesis of what happened. “Likely voters” are determined by poll data from previous elections. In this election, Trump energized a previously dormant constituency, white uneducated males. They typically don’t vote.

Remember the charts above. 50% of the chart is missing. It’s the iceberg under the water. This time, a significant portion of those people voted. They weren’t counted in the polls because they typically don’t vote. It is a real lesson in how you can change the formula by tapping into the untapped.

In the end, I am disappointed, but I understand what happened. It’s like when I design something that people find “difficult to use”. There is no use in fighting it and saying, “They are just dumb!”. I have to go back to the drawing board and make it better.

I hope the Democrats take this lesson to heart and start working on their presentation skills. If you (Democratic leadership) need some UX help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

One last thing: President Trump…please try not to start a nuclear war. It would be bad.

 

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