November 5, 2020 · C.E. Carter
For the second term in a row polls were forecasting a fairly wide margin of victory for Democrats. Election forecasters Andrew Gelman (an academic influence in my own life) and Nate Silver’s (FiveThirtyEight) models predicted a 90% chance of Biden winning the election. Silver’s model predicted an average of a 150 electoral vote difference between Biden and Trump. Other models made similar claims about Hillary Clinton’s chances and margins of winning the 2016 presidential election. Now, I’m also privy to fact that low probability events can occur and do occur all the time. I’m also aware that probabilities are subjective, meaning that the choice of probability model and the choice of data matters directly affects the determination of the probability. That said, the forecasters have been consistently wrong on the margin of victory and on the prediction of an actual win, so they are either picking bad models or using bad data. I’ve personally read over the model specifications for some of these things, and I don’t see any glaring biases or incongruencies that would affect a prediction this badly. Most statistical models are designed to be flexible to the data. Instead, I think this is a case of garbage in, garbage out, meaning that I think it’s the fault of the polls. FiveThirtyEight national poll averages showed anywhere from an 8% to 10% spread between Biden and Trump leading up to the election. Biden was clearly favored to have a landslide victory. Popular vote counts, as of today, show a 2.4% spread in favor, and a nail biting election that we still aren’t sure the outcome of. In 2016, the results were even more dramatic, all to ask: how much do you actually trust the polls? How much do you trust the mainstream media? Why are they so fundamentally untrustworthy and unrepresentative of reality? What even is a poll?
Well, if you’re even remotely clever, you’ll figure out that, rather than being an attempt at measurement, a poll is probably a tool used to manipulate the public attitude. The only reason the numbers wouldn’t line up with reality is because someone is intentionally fudging them. For a poll, that’s literally the only thing that can be happening. I suspect biased informative sampling: poll more people you know to be Democrats than Republicans. Make more calls to urban areas than rural ones. Mix and match with data on social media that would allow you to infer political standing of users. There are lots of ways you could come up with this kind of gap.
Fundamentally, the Left doesn’t want the truth to be represented, because they don’t want a fair election. This is the fundamental difference between the parties. The Right sees the American Republic as mostly good, because she was founded on principles like liberty, Christian ethics, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and checks and balances of power. The Left sees the Republic as evil, for the same reasons. In the past, disputes between Left and Right have been disputes over implementation, policy, and administration; we agreed on the fundamental principles, but disagreed on their implications. Under the old system, there was more in common between political opponents than there were differences. By contrast, the new system is not a question of the practical things, but their theoretical underpinnings. Left and Right are now opposite ends of a fundamental divide in worldview. We no longer argue, for example, about the practical matters of how justice ought to be served, rather, we argue about the theoretical underpinnings of what justice even is. America, upon the Left’s examination, is so chock full of evil that even the fundamental systems of the Republic are irreparably corrupt. In their mind, the only solution to a cracked foundation is to tear the whole house down, and that’s exactly what they plan to do. They are open about it. They call the crack “whiteness”, “systemic racism”, and “capitalistic oppression”, and the wrecking ball is “social justice”, “The Great Reset”, and “revolution”.
When you think the rules of the game are fundamentally wrong, you aren’t afraid to break them. The Right believes that the Constitution structures the Republic according to Christian conceptions of justice, governance, and liberty. This is a consequence of the fact that the Right believes (or at least used to believe) that the ideas of the Constitution are mostly right and good, since they are rooted in a transcendent standard of goodness: the Triune God of Scripture. The Left believes that the Constitution is a piece of paper with bad ideas written on it by a group of bad men, that could easily have other ideas written on it by other people. This is because the Left is functionally atheistic, and to them, mob rule is functionally the transcendent standard of goodness.
As a matter of civics education, people adopt the pedagogy of Plato and Schoolhouse Rock. We like to think it’s as simple as we make it out to be. But when power is at stake, the law of politics according to Machiavelli win against the platitudes of Plato. When the chips are in the pot, you should expect Machiavellian behavior from every stakeholder, and that means lying, cheating, stealing, and corruption. No doubt the Republicans reaped the benefits of their fair share of voter fraud and voter manipulation over the years. But if we were to infer motive, we would expect that the Left would have a far greater stake in this election than the Right would. The Left believes that this nation is fundamentally evil and corrupt, and a Biden win would place one of the most progressive, anti-Christian, anti-Constitution senators in the history of the United States in the office of vice president, no doubt for the sake of invoking the 25th Amendment and moving her up into the presidency. This, combined with a Democrat-run House of Representatives, would give the Left tremendous advantage over the trajectory of the country for at least two years, and maybe four, and maybe eight. This is the golden opportunity for the Left to do some real damage to the Republic, and they’ll chase that outcome no matter how many rules they have to break. That is why you are seeing strange and unethical voting practices from the Left, like the strange polling numbers, the discovery of 138K ballots in the battleground state of Michigan that just happened to be all Biden votes, or the rampant voter manipulation and mail-in ballot re-postmarking discovered by Project Veritas. Dishonest measures like this should spur you to disgust, no matter who does them. Yet, the Left sees these as necessary measures towards their end of dismantling the Republic and replacing it with what they think is good according to their worldview: totalitarian opposition to Christianity, installation of socialism and socioeconomic regulation, reformulation of justice to accommodate Critical Race Theory, and rule by executive order. All of that to say, expect some sneakiness and prepare for the worst.
The circumstances of this election are already in play, and it is unclear what the outcome will be. Regardless of what the next 72 hours reveal, the Right must think long-term about what it will take to defend the Republic against domestic threats. Worldviews are threats too. As such, conservatism can no longer afford to compromise on its values, and in order to do this it must return to an inerrant verbal plenary view of the root and final authority of those values: Scripture alone. The only way this re-Christianization will occur is exactly in the way that any kind of Christianization occurs, by the preaching of the Gospel and the ordination of discipleship to obey all the commands of our Lord.