Why the media misses it

Election 2020

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Why the media misses it….

Preface

I know members of the MSM. I would even consider a few friends. To the ones I know, I don’t consider you in this group. Regardless of what you think of me :)

The mail-in voting fiasco

But first, a refresher. Here is what Nate wrote for this newsletter on July 14, 2020:

On the other hand, the American system is built, maintained by, and presumptive upon the personal integrity and responsibility of private individuals. The very act of sending someone a mail-in ballot assumes, first, that they are thoughtful and responsible enough to fill it out and send it in; and second, that no one will tamper with that vote. A people that cannot be trusted with a high level of personal responsibility for an election is not fit to rule itself. If our elections officials are going to pervert such a system, then we might as well engross a charter of powers for King Donald I tomorrow, because someone willing to abuse mail-in ballots is going to figure out how to abuse center-based polling, too. So, insofar as it is an affirmation of Americans' ability to take responsibility for themselves, mail-in voting is a good thing.

On the other-other hand, mail-in voting also requires competent logistics. Because ballots are official mail, though, they would be carried by the United States Postal Service. The United States Postal Service is incompetent. It would make a mockery of the American electoral system the American Green party were to get a candidate into the White House because almost every ballot in the country got stuck in a distribution center in Dallas and then got bounced back and forth between branch offices for six weeks because it was "undeliverable."

(I'm not bitter about my packages, USPS.)

And, of course, COVID

The first argument that anybody in favor of mail-in ballots is going to give you when it comes to mail-in voting is going to be an appeal to infections at polling places — a variation on Nancy Pelosi's classic "people will die if you don't do as I say" gambit. On that basis alone, we ought to hold the move for mail-in voting in suspicion. The Compliance-or-Catastrophe argument is a favorite power-grabbing tool of both the American Left (in the form of death, war, disease, and rampant happiness) and the American Right (in the form of the American Left). On the other hand, because many, many people have been deluded into unreasonable fears over the Coronavirus, which may result in functional disenfranchisement for important voting blocs, including the elderly, smokers, and CNN viewers.

So, should we support mail-in voting? Perhaps. There are systemic risks that it carries with it, though if they could be managed, it could be a useful method for dealing with elections. But we must not be hasty, and we must not surrender the power of the people to the cynics who are agitating for mail-in voting for political gain.

Then on July 28, 2020, I wrote this:

As we hit the home stretch of this election, we will spend at least one article a week keeping you up to date with what we think is going on and hopefully, by the time we get to December, we’ll know who will be the president for the next four years.

Let's be honest, back in July, how many in the MSM were talking about problems with mail-in voting? Not many. Why? Narrative over nuance.

If a reluctant Trump voter, Nate, and a third-party voter, Ryan, could see the writing on the wall, why couldn't the MSM? Let's go with the blind hog theory.

Full of bad ideas

The bad idea that the media is slow to grasp is that there are tradeoffs in life. I am typing this email. Therefore I cannot be playing Xbox. That is a tradeoff. A simple one, but it is one.

Voting in our country is viewed as a sacred right. I'm not trying to diminish the importance of our ability to vote. However, it is impossible to ensure that everyone votes. It is impossible to ensure everyone has an opportunity to vote. If you doubt me, then work through the problem of someone suffering a head injury that results in a coma before early voting starts, and doesn't awake until after the voting period has ended. Case closed.

Now, you might scoff at this, but the point stands. Once you acknowledge that it is impossible to guarantee that everyone will have a chance to vote, you have to start drawing lines. Luckily, in the coma illustration, it won't impact the election - we hope. To ensure we have an election, with a set voting time period, we eliminate the possibility of everyone voting.

The next tradeoff is that you have to ensure that only registered voters get to vote, their vote is counted, they don't vote twice, and their vote isn't stolen.

Each of these issues requires more rules and regulations. With each rule and regulation, you have reduced the number of potential voters that can and will vote.

As soon as you start talking about how voting should work, both sides throw up their hands. One side is afraid of voter fraud, while the other voter suppression.

Let's quickly examine both. Neither are easy to account for.

For voter fraud, at a minimum, you would have to call everyone who casts a ballot and ask the following:

A)Did you vote?

B)Where did you vote?

C) Go through each candidate on the ballot and ensure that their vote was tallied correctly.

Voter suppression is harder to track. If Mr. Smith didn't know that he had to bring his I.D. was his vote suppressed? I guess it depends on your perspective. That is not the same thing as Mr. Smith being deterred by the poll worker making him take an I.Q. test. So, in some cases, it might be a clear example, but in others, it would be based upon the opinion of the voter and the person recording the answers.

Again, this goes back to the tradeoffs. If you require two forms of I.D. to vote, then the likelihood of a fraudulent vote being cast goes down, but the amount of people who will dig out their passport to vote goes down as well. If you put polling places at every street corner with a glowing neon sign that says, "No ID required," you are going to get a huge turnout. Heck, some might even decide to do it twice!

It is this lack of nuance that the media lacks. It is the narrative that they are looking for. If X is good, then X is good. When something is shown to be problematic with X, instead of examining why we believed X to be good, is X good but needs some work, etc. the media moves on to the next narrative. Y is bad, and it must be because X is good. The new narrative replaces the old without examining if the old narrative was right, to begin with.

I don't know exactly where to thread the needle on the voting issue. This is not to say that we cannot find a solution that we all can live with. It’s just an acknowledgment of the law of unintentional consequences. We need to make small changes, measure the results, then improve from there.

Since the MSM told you how wonderful mail-in voting would be, what has happened? They accused the Trump administration of trying to manipulate the Postal Service. I'm not delving into whether those charges were legit, but I remember reading the headlines dumbfounded. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!?!?! If Trump is Satan, then allowing him more power over the election process is a terrible idea.

Even if Trump is innocent of the claims levied against him, it highlights the new system's problem. Now, the government has more ways to screw up an election. There is a reason you don't send cash through the mail! (However, if you are willing to risk it, I'll send you my P.O. Box.)

I'm not against mail-in voting, absentee ballots, etc. I'm also not opposed to a hard deadline when the polls close. What I am opposed to is radical changes to the system that make it less transparent, and then complaining about the problems we could have discussed before we jumped headfirst into this quagmire.

Both sides know what is likely coming. Lawsuits! Lots of lawsuits. Which is why I said in July, "As we hit the home stretch of this election, we will spend at least one article a week keeping you up to date with what we think is going on and hopefully, by the time we get to December, we'll know who will be the president for the next four years."

I don't wish for this. Instead, on November 3, 2020, I'm hoping that MSNBC is breaking the news that I won the presidency by a landslide. No, I'm not on the ballot. Make sure you request a write-in ballot to make sure this happens. In the unlikely event that is not how the night goes, brace yourselves for a long legal fight that will leave the country more divided.

Will Americans feel they were lied to? Yes. Will they blame the opposing party? Yes. Will they blame past presidents for various judicial nominations? Yes. Will they blame Trump, Biden, Bin Laden, and Putin? Yes, Yes, YES, and YESSS!

Will we understand much of the legal jargon that will be bantered from various courthouses? No. We will be left wondering if hanging chads were really that bad.

Don't worry, when that time rolls around, the media will be onto the next narrative, and I'll be here trying to nuance it all out....unless..of course..I win. In that case, party at my new crib!

So, what does the media miss? Actually, they miss the real narrative. That’s the crying shame.

Speaking of tradeoffs, I'll drop that subscription button just above the unsubscribe button. I understand the game, so do you. (Yes, it was a shameless plug at the end. Judge me as you will.)