Saturday, June 24, 2017

They Get Everything Wrong


Throughout my adult life, I've been a skeptic. Back in the days before social science departments fell prey to fill-in-the-blank studies, professors in the social sciences taught that a healthy dose of skepticism and a balanced approach to life's questions was the path to learning. Skepticism, in healthy doses, used to be called common sense.

Yet, today's political world leaves me a skeptic's skeptic.

I no longer believe in polls of any kind. A quick look at today's polling shows Trump's approval rating fifteen points between the highest approval and the lowest. (In case that doesn't click, fifteen points is a large statistical discrepancy.) Yet no one in the media seems to notice the absurdity of such a discrepancy.

The polls were spectacularly wrong with the presidential election last year. Democrats and republicans alike truly believed that Hillary Clinton would win the election. The political pundits knew it. The news media knew it. Yet, the election wasn't even close in terms of the electoral votes. Some polls were 180 degrees from being accurate.

More recently, the polls showed Jon Ossoff, the democrat who ran against Karen Handel in Georgia, leading in the recent special election. The obscene amounts of outsider money spent on Ossoff should have ensured his election. The news media jockeyed for position to claim the election was a referendum against Mr. Trump and his policies. Yet, the polls and the predictions were absolutely incorrect, and Handel won. The news media then tripped all over themselves to claim the election had no meaning whatsoever.

This year, we've been subjected daily to news stories which have promised a dire end to the Trump administration over his supposed collusion with the Russians. Even at the outset, the charges leveled at Mr. Trump and his campaign were so far-fetched, they should have been laughed at by any rational person.

Naturally, after months and months of harping about Russian collusion with no evidence to support their claims, those who promulgated the story now lash out in every direction, trying to find something on which to blame their failure to predict the election. Yesterday, it was Russian collusion. Today it's obstruction of justice. Tomorrow, it may just as well be small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri who came to earth with the sole purpose of electing Trump.

The people who run the polls, the reporters who dominate the news, are not rational. They are ideologues who swamp the internet, the airwaves, and the newspapers with predictions based on what they would like to see happen, rather than what is. The news has filled with blatantly inaccurate predictions and with crass, violent rhetoric. All this is now reported as "news."

This inability to come to grips with reality is delusional. The shouts of the crazed media in reporting their version of reality only demonstrate these delusions. The agonized cries of the delusional media spread the mental disorder throughout our society. That they are proved wrong again and again and again doesn't correct their delusions. Rather, like a religious nut standing with a sign that predicts the end of the world, the media make a bigger sign and shout louder.

Which is why I am now a skeptic's skeptic. I reject what the polls say. I reject the predictions of the pundits. I reject the media who publish their delusions as news. They have all shown themselves to be what they really are, political hacks who live in a fantasy world of wishful thinking and who have deluded themselves into replacing reality with their fantasies.