Sunday, October 2, 2016

Trump revives talk of rigged elections

As Trump's campaign continues its no good, very bad week, he seems to be reviving talk of rigged elections, despite pledging in the debate to accept a Clinton victory, should it happen.

Over the summer, I did a multi-part series called "Zero-sum politics" about Trump's view of everything as a zero-sum game, his consequent inability to accept "losing," and how that might translate into problems like claims of a rigged election should Clinton win.  Here's the executive summary.

Trump's basic nature is to think of things in zero-sum terms.  That makes losing unthinkable to him, and he must explain away losses.  A rigged election is a convenient way to do so.  However, he is also probably too lazy to act in any serious way on that.  Should he try, he would be limited by the extent to which his supporters believe in the basic constitutional framework of the US system rather than existing leaders, and there is a big difference.  Even so, real movements require ground-level leaders who haven't emerged and aren't likely to emerge.  Republican leaders, such as they are, have incentives to try to stop Trump anyway, but they must begin to act before the election to quash talk of "unskewed polls" and such.

For those who want to read the whole series, here are the links.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

And, since it's Sunday, here's a bluegrass-y cover of a 90's alterna-crap song that I always hated.  This, I like.



    Zero sum, yes, but from a guy who can't understand multi-round games. EVERYTHING is about winning. NOW. There is no later. There is no strategy.

    1. There are tactics, and the tactic of claiming a rigged election is a possible response. However, as I said, he is probably too lazy to follow through. More importantly, the posts in the series examine Chong, Hirschman, and other political science stuff to show what would have to happen for real trouble to occur from his followers in response to the tactic. Basically, reading lists from the comps. Then again, you didn't take the Behavior comp, as I recall. (Cue sanctimonious claims about how the Behavior comp was a giveaway to the Americanists...)

    2. I had to take comps uphill, both ways, in the snow!

    3. Since it never snowed in Berkeley, I take this to mean that you took your comps while riding the ski lifts in Tahoe on one of your snowboarding expeditions. Some of us did real work instead.