PDA

View Full Version : The other reason Trump won



Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 10:07 AM
People are obsessing about the reasons that Trump won the election, and all of the attention is being placed on only part of the many reasons why the election outcome was what it was.

Certainly, we can reasonably include a number of factors. Russian hacking of the DNC, and more significantly, John Podesta’s private email account (caused, apparently, by his naivete in falling for a phishing attempt) were factors. James Comey’s irresponsible and highly unprofessional behavior in casting a huge shadow on the Clinton campaign before having any facts… and then essentially retracting after the damage was done, did a great deal of damage. Finally, Hillary Clinton’s strategy, which concentrated primarily on Trump’s character and behavior, turned out to be a bad strategy (which surprised a great many people, and certainly including me).

However, as much as I believe that all of those things were highly influential… and although I also believe that, were it not for those particular factors, Hillary Clinton would have won… there is still other factors which might be argued were every bit as influential to the outcome… and perhaps even more so.

I’m talking about the widespread dissatisfaction, primarily with economic conditions in the country, and the ever-present desire for ‘change’. This is a theme in virtually EVERY election, so much so that it can be assumed that every election will tout ‘change’ as an element of strategy. For example:

"A Leader, for a Change" (also "Leaders, for a Change") – Jimmy Carter
"Let's Make America Great Again (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Make_America_Great_Again)" – presidential campaign (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan_presidential_campaign,_1980) of Ronald Reagan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan)
"For People, for a Change" – 1992 U.S. presidential campaign (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton_presidential_campaign,_1992) slogan of Bill Clinton (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton)
"It's Time to Change America" – a theme of the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton
"Change We Can Believe In." Also, simply: "Change ." –campaign slogan of Barack Obama
"Ready for change, ready to lead" – Hillary Clinton campaign (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_presidential_campaign,_2008) slogan
"A Green New Deal for America" – Official slogan of the Jill Stein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Stein) campaign (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Stein_presidential_campaign,_2012)

Change, however, implies a dissatisfaction with a status quo. It would be pretty hard to argue that ‘change’ wasn’t demanded in 2008, while at the depths of the greatest recession since the Great Depression. It would have been harder to argue that ‘change’ was as pressing a concern at the 2000 election, when the economy during Clinton’s terms in office were fairly good for the economy…. But at the end of two terms of ANY Presidency, there will be a call for change, no matter WHAT the conditions are… it’s rare for a two term President to be succeeded by a member of his own party.

So, what were the conditions in the country that cried out for ‘change’…. And more importantly, were they a consequence of the policies and leadership of the outgoing President… or were they factors which transcend Presidential leadership… and were/are they factors which the incoming President can do a damn thing about?

I submit that these factors DO transcend Presidential policy or leadership; they are deeply embedded in the American condition right now… and Trump will be powerless to do much of anything about them.

Among the biggest factors are employment, unemployment, and the changing economic conditions for these things in the future.

By normal measures, employment right now is remarkably good; we’ve had something like 76 consecutive months of job increases, and the unemployment rate (using the ordinary measures by which we evaluate employment) has hit 4.6%... a level which is below the traditionally viewed ‘full employment’ level. (AT this point, someone is bound to come along and argue that the number is bogus, for a variety of reasons… and I’m not going to disagree, on the specifics.. but regardless of the methods or criteria, relative unemployment is still at record lows. I don’t care to argue with anyone who has bought Trump’s argument that unemployment is at ‘42%’… such people are delusional).

Still, the raw unemployment rate doesn’t tell the full picture…. And doesn’t address the underlying factors. Certainly, we have substantial ‘underemployment’. How this is defined may vary, but it will include people who are working part time who would prefer to work full time… people who are working low level jobs who have skills that should qualify them for much higher level work.

And it gets worse: people who are treated by employers as ‘contractors’ (involuntarily) in order to escape having to pay benefits and payroll taxes. (Fair disclosure: I am a ‘contractor’, which, in my particular case, is an advantage to me, and I work this way voluntarily).

The cost of labor is a huge factor in employer thinking; the minimization of labor is one way to increase profits, and for sure, it’s a major factor in what has gone on in the mindset of employers across the country. The trend to automation, for example, replaces factory workers earning $25 or more (plus benefits) with robots and other automation that costs $8/hr or less, when the expenses are amortized.

Off-shoring is yet another way to beat back labor costs…. But it’s NOT a recent trend, by any means, it’s been going on for decades. My own previous employer, back in 1990, was compelled to do the same. We had a factory in Norwood MA with many very-long-term employees, assembling electronic products. From the early 80’s on, the company had invested in a great deal of automation (especially surface mount technology, which employs ‘pick and place’ robots to eliminate the and placement of parts) but eventually, even that level of automation didn’t help. The ‘burdened cost’ of labor in that factory (wages, benefits, overhead) had reached $47/hr. Consequently, the entire manufacturing line was shipped to a contractor in the Philippines, where the labor cost, including the contractor’s profit, was a mere $2.50/hr. (To the company’s credit, the labor force received extremely generous separation benefits… 13 weeks of continuing salary and benefits, plus one week for every year of service. One fellow I knew who had been with the company for decades continued to receive salary and benefits for nearly two years… I myself received 49 weeks, although my separation was voluntary… the company had wanted me to stay). Today, that manufacturing operation is managed by just three employees in Massachusetts.

(cont'd)

Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 10:08 AM
(cont'd)

With the decline of manufacturing, service-oriented employment rose to take up the slack… but those people who might have been earning $35/hr plus benefits doing assembly work and other manufacturing tasks, are now earning $15/hr picking shelves for Amazon.

Similarly, employment benefits have declined. The once-common ‘defined benefit’ (i.e., pension) has been largely replaced with ‘defined contribution’ plans (i.e., 401(k)’s and the like). I won’t disagree that many people have done well, in rising stock markets; in the past 8 years alone, the S&P 500 has risen at a compound annual average of nearly 15%... although it was preceded by a far less profitable period, as well. The real reason for the switch from defined benefits, to defined contributions, wasn’t really for the purpose of doing better for employees… it was to reduce the costs for employers, and thereby boost the bottom line. Properly funded pensions (i.e., those not raped by employers) would have returned quite handsomely. Furthermore, far too many 401(k) plans induced employees to invest far too much in their own company’s stock; I recall one co-worker who always selected the company stock as the only investment in his 401(k), which is a very foolish thing to do.

All of this files in the face of what used to be the common wisdom regarding productivity. In decades past, increasing productivity bore fruits which were shared between employers and employees alike; it had always been considered that increasing productivity meant increasing wages… but in fact, we’ve had three or four decades of virtually flat wage growth. Such is the consequence of both automation and off-shoring; we produce more goods and services per worker, but we’re doing it with fewer and fewer workers.

To be sure, there are small pockets of employment which are unfulfilled. Mike Rowe, of ‘Dirty Jobs’ fame, points out the lack of skilled trade workers, and the need for more two year technical school graduates. Similarly, there’s a shortage of people with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) training….

Such jobs should pay well, but also require expensive education… especially STEM employment, where a four year degree could cost $250K or more these days. Furthermore, these jobs constitute a small number, in comparison to the population, and wouldn’t materially affect the malaise of the nation.

So….

What can Trump do about any of this?

My contention: there is virtually nothing he can do. The rather lame effort to ‘buy’ a few hundred jobs at Carrier in Indiana (by spending Indiana taxpayer’s own money, while failing to secure hundreds of other jobs that Carrier will STILL off-shore) is a silly, and useless approach… not extensible on anything like the scale which Trump would need to do, to deliver on his promise to keep manufacturing jobs in the US, let alone bring any back).

Like Republicans before him, Trump’s only approach seems to be yet another round of ‘trickle down’ economics, the concept which has been repeatedly tried and failed. By collapsing corporate taxes, anyone who thinks that this will induce manufacturers to keep manufacturing jobs on-shore, let alone bring any back, is delusional… these tax breaks mean additional profits, and no manufacturer is going to convert a profit bump into a profit loss…. Voluntarily. Trump’s notion of creating a tax holiday to permit companies to repatriate offshore profits has been tried before, and has failed miserably…. Except, of course, to increase profits for stockholders and bonuses for executives. All of this will skyrocket the deficit and debt, in the tradition of Republican presidents before him… which, naturally, can always be blamed on Democrats, who actually tax and spend far less than Republicans. The worst possible outcome: Trump might try a trade war, which will hurt American companies that export, every bit as much, or more, than the companies it might help.

So, will Americans in the rural districts and the heartland, who clearly bought Trump’s line, hook, and sinker, end up seeing any improvement in what they perceive as their economic decline?

Time will tell.

John Smith
12-19-2016, 10:29 AM
I'm thinking of 2000. Nader was a factor. Purged voters were a factor. The butterfly ballot was a factor.

Take any one of those three out of the equation, and Gore wins.

One of Hillary's problems was NAFTA, although, the facts, are that we were losing jobs rapidly before NAFTA, and I doubt anyone reading this has ever seen an actual before and after comparison.

A poll out the other day shows a large chunk of Trump voters believe HE won the popular vote. A good chunk of GOP voters still don't believe Obama was born in the US. When our deficit was actually coming down, Paul Ryan was telling us it was going up

Bernie Sanders, the one who doesn't go negative, attacked Clinton with innuendo during the primary. When asked to substantiate his claims, he could not, but the damage was done. His own words, attacking her, IMO, prevented him from pulling his voters into her column.

Then there is the media itself. They gave Trump free wall to wall coverage. They made the emails the daily story The headline was 'MORE EMAILS LEAKED" The fine print was: nothing significant in them.

You would think those states where Obama saved jobs by saving the auto industry would NOT vote for Republicans who opposed that bail out, but it didn't seem to sway them.

Never count on the voters. People vote against their own best interests frequently.

Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 10:33 AM
I think the purpose of my screed above was to try and separate out the 'technical factors' in the election outcome, from the 'underlying' factors.... i.e., the generalized dissatisfaction. The reason I decided to write about this was the fact that, in most of the interviews with voters that I've seen, ordinary people were unable to really specify or define their generalized dissatisfaction. That doesn't mean it wasn't 'real', at all... but if the voters themselves couldn't spell it out, it would be worthwhile to consider what might have made them feel that way.

Sky Blue
12-19-2016, 10:37 AM
People outside of California are fed up with the policies of the Democratic Party.

For all the threads about "why Trump won," none focus on the policies of the party, which have historically decimated it, by every measure.

David G
12-19-2016, 10:38 AM
Nice explication.

Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 10:44 AM
People outside of California are fed up with the policies of the Democratic Party.


Yeah, they're 'fed up' with Democratic policies, all right:




Personal disposable income has grown nearly 6 times more under Democratic presidents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_%28United_States%29)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product) has grown 7 times more under Democratic presidents
Corporate profits have grown over 16% more per year under Democratic presidents (they actually declined under Republicans by an average of 4.53%/year)
Average annual compound return on the stock market has been 18 times greater under Democratic presidents (If you invested $100k for 40 years of Republican administrations you had $126k at the end, if you invested $100k for 40 years of Democrat administrations you had $3.9M at the end)
Republican presidents added 2.5 times more to the national debt than Democratic presidents
The two times the economy steered into the ditch (Great Depression and Great Recession (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-2000s_recession)) were during Republican, laissez faire administrations

Tom Montgomery
12-19-2016, 10:55 AM
Norman, you are forgetting the issues of God, guns and gays.

elf
12-19-2016, 10:58 AM
No. You can marshall all the logic and facts you want, but they won't.

Sky Blue
12-19-2016, 11:07 AM
Try these facts:

13 Senate seats
57 House seats
13 Governorships
23 state legislative chambers
913 state legislative seats

If Democrats are unable to accept that these wholesale and historic losses are not a repudiation of Democratic Party policies and leadership, then the time spent in the wilderness will no doubt be long and hard.

These are the Party's losses over the last 8 years. It's not the Russians, people.

Peerie Maa
12-19-2016, 11:09 AM
If it is true that HC did win the popular vote by a good margin, you could argue that Trump one because your electoral system is crap.

All of this toing and froing about the Dems screwed up, Hilary was unelectable and so on is so much dingoes kidneys. More people voted Dem - for Clinton than voted Trump. So arguing that the Democrats screwed up is not supported by the totality of votes cast.

Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 11:09 AM
Try these facts:

13 Senate seats
57 House seats
13 Governorships
23 state legislative chambers
913 state legislative seats


Congratulations. Now lets' see what they deliver.

Sky Blue
12-19-2016, 11:13 AM
Congratulations. Now lets' see what they deliver.

Do you acknowledge that these results constitute a rejection of Democratic Party policies and leadership?

Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 11:20 AM
Do you acknowledge that these results constitute a rejection of Democratic Party policies and leadership?

No, not really. They reflect not Democratic policy, but overall economic change in this country that NO politician can completely resolve. Will trump change the trajectory of productivity versus wages? Will he reduce the deficit and debt? Will he end the continuing cycle of increased wealth and income inequality? Will people in the heartland actually be better off... palpably better off, in four years?

As I pointed out in my screed, 'change' is a cliche, and when the populace has a great deal of unfocused angst, change will occur in the leadership of the country.

If Trump stumbles, if he incites international incidents with his bumbling and uninformed tweets, if he skyrockets the debt, if he fails to deliver on his outrageous promises, then guess what:

...in 2020, people will be looking for 'change' again.

Duuuuhhhhh!!!!

The problem is this: the Republicans now own it.. EVERYTHING. Whether they can deliver, is questionable. Consider what Sam Brownback 'delivered' for Kansas, for example.

Tom Montgomery
12-19-2016, 11:24 AM
Baldly stating what I think those facts represent could get me banned.

David G
12-19-2016, 11:26 AM
Norman - those facts also represent two more things. The efficacy of modern-day propaganda, and the concerted strategic savvy (but moral bankruptcy) of the Republican party.

Sky Blue
12-19-2016, 11:51 AM
Along with pretty good coffee and pancakes the place was mobbed with red Make America Great Again hats. Conversation on almost every table was football, and how Trump crushed it, and they were finally gonna get that *igger out of the WHITE house.

Sure, Joe. I'm sure it was just like that.:rolleyes:

Peerie Maa
12-19-2016, 12:25 PM
Sure, Joe. I'm sure it was just like that.:rolleyes:

Do you often call people liars when they are not within arms reach of you?

John of Phoenix
12-19-2016, 12:36 PM
Do you often call people liars when they are not within arms reach of you?Seems AWFULLY rude to me.

:D LMAO :D

John of Phoenix
12-19-2016, 01:09 PM
It's like broadcasting I'm a ignorant redneck racist and I'm proud of it.Rockin' the Celebration of Being Stupid.

elf
12-19-2016, 01:20 PM
To make matters even more interesting, I saw a memo today which implied that Pence was the one receiving the daily top secret briefing.

If that is the case there is absolutely no possiblity that it will make any difference whether Trump is unelected, or impeached.

Glen Longino
12-19-2016, 01:24 PM
Rockin' the Celebration of Being Stupid.

They run in packs like coyotes and hyenas!

Glen Longino
12-19-2016, 01:31 PM
Pence is even scarier than Trump!
He believes the world will end suddenly in conflagration and that he, along with other Christians, will go to Heaven while I and other Heathens will go to Hell.
Imagine him having his finger on the button to help God get rid of his nastiest creation, humans, once and for all.

David G
12-19-2016, 02:11 PM
Pence is even scarier than Trump!
He believes the world will end suddenly in conflagration and that he, along with other Christians, will go to Heaven while I and other Heathens will go to Hell.
Imagine him having his finger on the button to help God get rid of his nastiest creation, humans, once and for all.

Yes... the 'Stepford Candidate'.

TomF
12-19-2016, 04:53 PM
Hasn't stood up yet.

Norman Bernstein
12-19-2016, 04:57 PM
Sky you got some proof or an apology ? Be a stand up guy/gal and pick one.

Careful. As I've learned, the hard way, 'calling out' someone displeases the moderator... wouldn't want you to spend another term in banned camp. Let the lack of response stand for itself; shaming the guy won't work... people with no shame cannot be shamed by anyone else.

Sky Blue
12-19-2016, 05:05 PM
Sky you got some proof or an apology ? Be a stand up guy/gal and pick one.

Apologize for what? Sorry, but I find it very difficult to believe that people were happily sipping their coffee and dropping n words "from almost every table."

Tom Montgomery
12-19-2016, 05:14 PM
Careful. As I've learned, the hard way, 'calling out' someone displeases the moderator.
True. Also be very careful about declaring that someone is on your ignore list. That is also now deemed to be rude by the moderator.

I have always been surprised by the reaction of Bilge "conservatives" when I have related about family and coworkers referring to President Obama as being a ******. A coworker told me 4 years ago that the reelection of President Obama, "will be the last free election we ever see in the USA." Then there are the jokes about shooting "cans" and clever racist twists on the word "renege." Bilge "conservatives" have consistently denied any association with such vile garbage. And yet I have heard this sort of remark consistently for the last 8 years These are the expressions of their fellow political travelers.

I guess I simply reside among a different social strata than the typical Bilge "conservative." Being a prole and all.
.

Tom Montgomery
12-19-2016, 05:17 PM
Apologize for what? Sorry, but I find it very difficult to believe that people were happily sipping their coffee and dropping n words "from almost every table."
I do not, as I explained above.

Evidently you and I inhabit two different parts of America.

oznabrag
12-19-2016, 05:31 PM
True. Also be very careful about declaring that someone is on your ignore list. That is also now deemed to be rude by the moderator.

I have always been surprised by the reaction of Bilge "conservatives" when I have related about family and coworkers referring to President Obama as being a ******. A coworker told me 4 years ago that the reelection of President Obama, "will be the last free election we ever see in the USA." Then there are the jokes about shooting "cans" and clever racist twists on the word "renege." Bilge "conservatives" have consistently denied any association with such vile garbage. And yet I have heard this sort of remark consistently for the last 8 years These are the expressions of their fellow political travelers.

I guess I simply reside among a different social strata than the typical Bilge "conservative." Being a prole and all.
.

They may be right on that score.

McMike
12-19-2016, 08:18 PM
People outside of California are fed up with the policies of the Democratic Party.

For all the threads about "why Trump won," none focus on the policies of the party, which have historically decimated it, by every measure.

Disagree. Most people outside of California don't know what either party's policies are, never mind being fed up with them. Ignorance and gullibility were in equal measures to Clinton being the worse possible candidate for the situation and most of this situation is that large swaths of the electorate is hopelessly ignorant.

Durnik
12-19-2016, 09:08 PM
...
A coworker told me 4 years ago that the reelection of President Obama, "will be the last free election we ever see in the USA."
...

They may be right on that score.

Yep.

johnwill
12-20-2016, 12:08 AM
"large swaths of the electorate is hopelessly ignorant."

Indeed.

PeterSibley
12-20-2016, 12:12 AM
Trump voters live in electorally valuable states http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?215164-Animal-Farm&highlight=

oznabrag
12-20-2016, 10:31 AM
Still nothing

If you are waiting for an apology, you're in for a long haul.

Sky Blue
12-20-2016, 11:01 AM
The ability to become self-effacing and apologetic is the highest form of humanity. If SB is incapable of that then even though he waxes poetically on other subjects of mutual interest, I have no further use for him and will put him in ignore.

Do what you need to do, Joe. No peeking!;)

TomF
12-20-2016, 11:03 AM
Do what you need to do, Joe. No peeking!;)Have we reached peak SB? ;)

Sky Blue
12-20-2016, 11:08 AM
Bye, Joe.

Sky Blue
12-20-2016, 11:16 AM
Have we reached peak SB? ;)

Joe really unloaded on me, completely unsolicited, when I did a post about leaving the bilge after another round of just sheer nastiness by certain of the usual suspects here. It was completely over the top, and one of the nastiest and rudest episodes I've ever observed here, and I don't think I'd had more than a couple of conversations with Joe prior to that time.

And he now comes to preach about apologies and higher forms of humanity? Once again, it's not particularly credible.

David G
12-20-2016, 11:25 AM
Have we reached peak SB? ;)

Yes. Some time ago.

At one point I had hopes for him as a correspondent. But his flying of false colors (as a thinking conservative) was slowly but surely exposed. So I've know that he was FOS (Free Of Significance), and unmindful or uncaring of the fact, for months. Dunning-Kruger? I doubt it. A severe case of Confirmation Bias? Possibly? Waste of time? Indubitably. My own personal solution was the IgnoreList.

TomF
12-20-2016, 11:27 AM
Joe tells the truth as he experiences every bit as starkly whether expressing pleasant opinions or the other kind. When he changes his mind or is shown to be mistaken, he's as blunt and honest in his apologies.

As a result, his well goes pretty deep here. Even among those of us who usually gentle our own words.

Sky Blue
12-20-2016, 11:34 AM
Joe tells the truth as he experiences every bit as starkly whether expressing pleasant opinions or the other kind. When he changes his mind or is shown to be mistaken, he's as blunt and honest in his apologies.

As a result, his well goes pretty deep here. Even among those of us who usually gentle our own words.

Good for him. I quite frankly couldn't care less about that, or your particular thoughts on it, TomF, not being sure why you've interjected yourself into any of this. What has any of this to do with you, TomF?

You're just here taking shots. Not impressed.

oznabrag
12-20-2016, 11:36 AM
Joe really unloaded on me, completely unsolicited, when I did a post about leaving the bilge after another round of just sheer nastiness by certain of the usual suspects here. It was completely over the top, and one of the nastiest and rudest episodes I've ever observed here, and I don't think I'd had more than a couple of conversations with Joe prior to that time.

And he now comes to preach about apologies and higher forms of humanity? Once again, it's not particularly credible.

We, 'the usual suspects' have been very, very kind to you.

We have laboriously described to you the behaviors you exhibit that draw such onerous opprobrium to you.

Your response has ALWAYS been to ignore our kindness and constructive criticism.

Your "leaving the bilge after another round of just sheer nastiness" was simply a self-righteous hissy fit you perpetrated in order that people would feel sorry for you.

Then your Moron King got elected, and you came back to double down on the spewing of forked-tongued, supercilious propaganda.



I think your principal problem in life may involve a singular lack of gratitude.

In my opinion, we (the usual suspects) have been generous, gracious and kind in our concern and assistance to you in the matter of your trying to understand why it is your ideas are not seriously entertained here, and you just throw it back in our faces because we don't worship the ground you walk on.


You really are a lot like your Hero, Trump.

TomF
12-20-2016, 11:41 AM
Joe and I go back a long ways. You stand with your friends.

My initial "peak SB" quip was intended to be funny, riffing on your "no peeking" comment. What I've written since are responses to posts you've addressed directly to me.

Sky Blue
12-20-2016, 11:43 AM
Joe's a big boy, TomF. He can handle it.

TomF
12-20-2016, 11:46 AM
Joe's a big boy, TomF. He can handle it.Sure. But that's not the point.

David W Pratt
12-20-2016, 03:32 PM
Interesting article in the NYT today about the Electoral College wrt this election
Spoile ralert: it doesn't insult anyone

Osborne Russell
12-20-2016, 03:42 PM
Well the fact remains that's exactly what happened. Let me tell you why. The ENTIRE cafe was completely 100% filled with white people - even in the kitchen (I looked). The little town is UNBELIEVABLY small so EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYONE. The only outsiders who come in are old white guys on harleys who obviously shared the towns political views and us. So they all feel comfortable that they can be as utterly racist as they want to be. It was free form racism as far as the eye could see. Most of the customers knew each other well and table hopped from conversation to conversation.

It would have been a beautiful charming slice of Americana had it not been so UGLY in it's heart. I actually really like places like this and it was beautiful country driving the mountain pass.

I know about this intimate form of racism first hand.

I don't see how you could live in this country and not be. You'd have to not get around much.

They love a safe space to speak their mind, and it's hard to find, so when there is one, it has the effect of concentrating the product. So they talk lots about what they have to squelch elsewhere. Otherwise a great pressure builds up.

From the article in Norm's post about General Flynn in Nazi Land:


Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the Duma, or lower house of Russian Parliament, said there was a need for open dialogue to improve ties with parties across Europe, United Russia reported from the signing of the agreement. This was especially important, Mr. Tolstoy was quoted as saying, “in today’s politically correct world, when everyone is hiding their real thoughts and feelings.”

I think this is one reason the polls were so inaccurate before the election. People were wary of declaring to a stranger that they would vote for Trump. But they seethed with anger at having to face the proposition that it was a matter of shame.