Thinking About The Big Hedge

I was terrible at the polling process when I worked at the Chicago Tribune in politics for one big reason, I hated hedging everything you had to write. Basically, it amounted to this, “If people were voting today and nothing changed, Candidate X would win and Candidate Y would get his butt kicked all the way to Kalamazoo.” Then you would have to say something about how X got in that place and why Y was so screwed. Editors were so shy about this they felt they had to explain the phrase “margin of error,” without really explaining it, just to cover their butts.

The fact of it is that none of that mattered.

Not now and not ever.

Voters would do what voters will do. Assuming it didn’t rain in Chicago, lots of them would go to the polls and smear a clearly Democratic glaze over everything. Still, Imprisonable Republicans sometimes became governor, just like imprisonable Democrats. You would look back on all of this and say, “How could be have been so dumb.” But it wasn’t just dumb. It was cowardly.

No more Cowardly Lion in this corner. Here’s what the king of polling thinks, that the Biden edge might or might not last.

What the hell good is that?

Not much good at all. But it’s not the Times fault or anyone else’s. It’s our penchant for wanting to call things at exactly the wrong time. Voters will vote, either by mail or in person, in November. Then we will know how badly President Trump gets his butt kicked, no matter what he says about fraud and not wanting to accept the results.

Here is my prediction and some reasoning behind it.

People who say President Trump is going to win because of “the economy” don’t know anything about President Trump or the economy. Face it, the nation is sinking in a cesspool of its own making, now up to about its chin in such a shite pudding you can’t believe it. The very rich remain very rich and the very poor remain the very poor, and those in the middle remain the blessed beneficiaries of anything Congress can think of that might make it a little easier.

Folks are working from home in such a massive and successful way it raises questions about the need for downtowns at all. What would Chicago be without Chicago? That’s the big question that confronts us. It’s not about Trump, it’s about the vast changes that have slipped onto the highway of life in the past six months. Whatever happens, you’re not going to recognize your old life at all. You’ll have a new life. My prediction is you will all be fine, eventually. Don’t get the flu in the interim. It could kill you.

President Trump will be defeated because, even on his worst day, Joe Biden is so much more a better man than Trump that justice cries out for his election. Why do I feel that way?

Look at Portland. Those people, like it or not, are Americans, just like you and just like me. And yet we have suspicious secret police in fancy gear slipping in there and giving them shit, under Trumps’ orders, for expressing their First Amendment Rights, in most cases. Some dude with chalk is not going to bring this country down. Let him scribble anywhere he or she wants.

Take joy in the free expression. Get some chalk and invite some kids to decorate your sidewalk, too. It looks very nice and fun, not at all threatening.

And while we are at it, this is not the right time for the forces of darkness to push the nation toward collapse, no matter how much they think it deserves it. You are not going to change history by setting a police car on fire or torching the local precinct house or shooting fireworks at a bunch of young men in uniforms who are most likely as worried as you about being where they are on the street.

Try voting.

That would send a lot stronger message than pulling over some pigeon-shit stained statue of a racist on horseback. Most people couldn’t tell what they did in history to save their lives because in addition to being very good people (and I mean that with all my heart) we’re dumb as bricks about history.

Don’t be fueled by anger or stupidity. That’s a bad combo. Just look at the president, a model if ever there was one of what happens when anger and stupidity combine. He’s also a filthy liar, but that’s piling on at this point.

And don’t be upset by media hand wringing and its tendency to hedge everything right up to its eyes in the business of political prediction. After all, we’ll know soon enough and in our lifetimes, we’ve never had a president who more roundly deserved a defeat.

Make it so.

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