Sunday, August 14, 2016

Trump is a gift that keeps on giving

A little while back I began worrying that while poll fudging would create a headwind the Trump Train could do without, electoral fraud could be the equivalent of barreling through a tornado. As Heartiste remarked regarding the former:

The same goes for cooking the electoral books. There will be bipartisan, unified Establishment opposition to investigating allegations no matter how egregious, evident and widespread. The reason I started talking about it is because it's something Trump needs to get out in front of.

Milo has pithily pointed to Trump's role as the chaos candidate as the single biggest reason to support him. Trump has earned that descriptor time and time again. Most recently he did so by addressing the same topic we're addressing here:

How spot on the Alt Right was in getting behind Trump. Even if he doesn't win in November, sowing these seeds of discord and discontent among white middle America will continue to push the US in the direction of political dissolution.

It's the eleventh hour. Either we turn it around fast--which may or may not happen with a Trump presidency but obviously will not with the hag--or we get back to working on secession.

Regarding his tax returns, I suspect Trump's handling it masterfully. He learns from his mistakes.

Consider how Obama leveraged the birth certificate controversy--of which Trump played a not insignificant role--to his own advantage. Leaving aside questions about whether or not what was shown to the public is legitimate because the vast majority of the public assumes it is, Obama allowed questions surrounding its existence to build for months and months to the point that they drowned out a lot of the other criticisms coming his way. Then he released the picture and just like that effectively negated months' worth of criticism.

Obama feigned a retreat and then after letting his overeager opponents break rank to follow, he wheeled around on them and smashed them up. Trump, who instinctively understands mass psychology, can use his taxes in the same way by releasing them in September or October.

His tax bill is probably relatively small and I wouldn't be surprised if his effective tax rate, at least for some years, is in the single digits.

That won't be a problem. Avoiding taxes fits easily into Trump's narrative that he wins at everything he does. He simply says "When I'm your president I'll win for you just like I won for my company and my family. I understand what's wrong with the broken system because I beat that broken system. As president, I'll fix it. I'm the only one who can. Hillary certainly can't."

The only reason to withhold his tax returns is if net worth is substantially lower than advertised--as in Trump isn't actually a billionaire--but his disclosure statements strongly suggest that not to be the case.


Anonymous said...

Something worries me: Why isn't Trump pouring on the ads?

He has the money.

If rumors are true where is his campaign staff as well? < If true.

But that he's not buying ads is true. Retail politics hasn't disappeared. Mind you he's definitely campaigning his heart out with rallies, speeches.

But why isn't he buying ads? This is truly worrisome.


Anonymous said...

I certainly don't know much about how the tax returns of a multi-billionaire work, but I'm wondering how tax returns can reveal anything about net worth? Assets and liabilities aren't listed on tax returns, and income isn't directly related to net worth.

I suspect the thing that will be hard to explain to the ignorant masses is why Trump, a billionaire, has a personal income that is nearly zero. Because that's what MY tax return would look like if I was a billionaire who owned dozens of corporations. My salary would be close to nothing, with most of my income being taxed when it is earned by the corporations.

Wealth is not income, and income is not wealth.

The Z Blog said...

I used to argue that the only people who cared about Obama's birth certificate were liberals and lunatics. The fact is, the people who kept the story going were all in the liberal media. In order to prove their thesis that only monsters and crazy people opposed Obama, they would trot out the birther story once a month. It was also a good weapon for the Left side of the meritocracy to use against the Right side.

Everyone else has always been indifferent to the birther stuff, given that everything about Obama is a mystery.

Random Dude on the Internet said...

I believe the reason why the tax returns haven't been revealed is that there's nothing to be gained politically by doing so. Given that CNN spent an entire day talking about Donald Trump eating fried chicken with a knife and fork, rest assured they will cobble together a false controversy from whatever Donald Trump reveals. The media knows the public is bewildered by the tax code, leaving it ripe for the media to just make something up. It won't win any Hillary supporters over and the independents and moderates care about other issues like the economy, national security, etc. more than tax returns.

Obama is pretty much a black box candidate. We know little or nothing about him and it apparently didn't matter to enough voters where he had comfortable victories in 2008 and 2012. Trump has spent most of his life as a Democrat hanging out with other Democrats where he is used to how the Democrats play the game. Republicans like Mitt Romney would roll over and give up everything and still lose the game. You don't win the game by playing by the rules, you win the game by making the other side play your rules. That's why Trump stands a much better chance of winning than McCain, Romney, and Dole ever did.

Audacious Epigone said...


Heavily concentrating a massive media blitz in a few select states in the last couple of weeks, I hope. Intentionally keeping Hillary guessing on which states. He's even campaigned in Maine and Connecticut in the last couple of weeks!


Right, but the income sources make reverse engineering a ballpark estimate pretty easy.

Parenthetically, wealth correlates more highly to IQ than income does (not surprisingly).


Agreed, but Trump was one of those putative "lunatics".

Random Dude,

Well put, thanks.

akarlin said...

There's a ton of statistical ways to detect electoral fraud. It's simply not something you can realistically hide (as happened in the 2011-2012 Russian elections).

Of course, a problem is that courts of law, so far as I know, don't generally tend to accept mathematical proofs as arguments. :|

Still, I don't expect this to happen. It will be very obvious if it does and there will be mass protests against HRC at a minimum.

The Z Blog said...

My read on Trump's birtherism was that he was trolling the media. He does this so much I tend to start there with almost everything he says. Like most people, he finds Obama's origin story to be less than plausible. The birther stuff is just a way to signal to the masses that he shares their skepticism.

Trump does a lot of signaling.

Audacious Epigone said...


Will the protests be larger than the average Trump rally? Trump has consistently and regularly turned out crowds larger than any other presidential candidate in US history and outside of the Alt Right almost no one is aware of it. Ask the typical SWPL. He'll have no idea.

There will be no political or media will. If it occurs it'll be relegated to the internet, some talk radio, and the National Enquirer.

Whatever the actual occurrence and public reaction, it's a brilliant move to float it out there like Trump's doing.


I have no idea if the putatively legitimate birth certificate that Obama presented is actually so. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama's origin story is BS. Jack Cashill has marshaled pretty compelling evidence that the first couple of years are total tripe. But in this tactical context, it's not really pertinent. Obama came out of it pretty well.

Sean Fieldng said...

"How spot on the Alt Right was in getting behind Trump."

To paraphrase Rorschach, you don't seem to understand. The Alt Right did not lock in to getting behind Trump, Trump locked in to getting behind the Alt Right. It's crystal clear one of his close associates has been a VDare reader for years, and red-pilled Trump about two decade old VDare ideas like the unpopularity of amnesty throughout a broad sector of White America, the increasing gap between the (((GOPe))) and its base, the Sailer Strategy and the increasing problems the Dems have in holding their coalition of the fringes together.

We are the brains, Trump is the voice and the guts.

Cicatrizatic said...

Can someone provide a justification for why the media's poll samples are completely out-of-line with current party identification? I am asking in all honesty.

I am well aware of the fate of the 2012 Romney poll un-skewers. The sampling of the final 2012 polls (conducted in late October) lined up with Gallup's October 2012 Party ID information. The Gallup Party ID survey showed D+5 in October 2012. The final, late October, early November presidential polls all sampled anywhere between D+2 to D+6. The margin on election day was D+6. The poll samples in 2012 were fine, they didn't need to be un-skewed. The polls that were used a D+2 or D+3 margin were actually too favorable to Romney.

The July 2016 Gallup Party ID survey shows Party ID as even (28% Dem, 28% Rep), although for most of 2016, the Ds have held a 1-3 point advantage. Based on this, it would seem that a D+1-3 margin would be appropriate.

In the last ABC News/Washington Post poll, their margin is D+10. See the last question in the attached page:

We are of course well aware of Reuters' sampling skew.

In the latest CBS poll, their margin is D+6. See the weighted column in the embedded pdf at this link:

Another item of note - all of these media polls that use live phone calls to landlines are currently using registered voters. Based on 2012, it appears they don't switch to filtering for likely voters until October. Not sure why that is, but it is notable.

Also, some of these media polls used overly-skewed Dem samples in the summer of 2012 (D+9, etc), before tightening their margins in October to better reflect the then current Gallup data.

So I expect they should do the same here, and naturally, it will reflect a closer race.

The polls that use likely voter models (USC Dornsife, People's Pundit Daily, Zogby, Rasmussen, Bloomberg) all show Clinton only leading by 1-4%.

So again I ask - why the skewed samples in the current media? My opinion is that they can use un-representative samples in the summer months and get away with it because nobody is going to judge them on the polls they conduct in July and August.

Random Dude on the Internet said...

Most people never think to look at how a poll is conducted, sample size, how did they derive their samples, etc. They just see "Trump losing by 6 points!"

It's nothing more than a weapon to depress the "high energy" of Trump's base and try to pump up the energy in Hillary's low energy base, which is still fractured from holdover Bernouts who may defect in large enough numbers to Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or even Trump himself. The media is hemorrhaging credibility for this election and people are noticing. Trump's social media presence is much larger than Hillary's, Trump speeches often have tens of thousands of attendees, but we're being told he's behind by 8-12 points? People aren't buying it.

Journalists are turning into kamikaze pilots willing to destroy their careers to take down Donald Trump. We might see a lot of media mergers, mass layoffs, and closures after the election is over. Fortunately people are finding outlets like Breitbart, which although biased, doesn't spend 24 hours a day lamenting the idea of a Trump presidency. Maybe from the rubble of the current media can credible journalism arise again. I'm being optimistic but you never know.

Audacious Epigone said...


Your honest question might as well be rhetorical. Realizing a self-fulfilling prophecy is the goal. Don't have much to add beyond Random Dude's response. Re: RV v LV, the pattern is consistent--again, of the polls listed in RCP current average, Hillary is up 4 points among LVs but 8 points among RVs. LV is a much better measure for obvious reasons. If Trump has a 4-point unseen advantage a la Brexit, it's even.

If it looks tight or Trump pulls ahead through September and October then the polls can 'calibrate' to reflect that and still get close to an accurate result in the last couple of rounds of polling before election day. If Trump executes a media blitz in these same weeks, as I suspect he will, the polling outlets will even have plausible cover ("Trump's last minute campaign onslaught is closing the gap!")

Audacious Epigone said...

Sean Fieldng,

I've seen different variations of that and also that Trump read Ann Coulter's Adios America book and recognized what a huge piece of low-hanging fruit waiting to be picked. Was this VDare contact the one who pointed Trump towards Sessions?

Sean Fielding said...

AE, I'm not privy to any special information, and even Peter Brimelow has been careful to write that he only suspects Trump had a staffer or two who urged him strongly in the VDare direction. But we know a few things: Sailer is the greatest journalistic genius of his generation and lots of people from the right and center of the spectrum know it. He influenced a lot of smart people with his HBD discussion group. Multi-millionaire NYT writers have been ripping him off for years. Because of Sailer and insider writers like 'Federale' and 'Washington Watcher,' lots of Beltway people are longtime closet VDare readers.

My guess is that the main connection between that penniless, unacknowledged think tank for the American Nation known as Vdare, Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump has been Stephen Miller, former Sessions communications director.

Like Sailer says, it's amazing how many powerhouses these days are named Steve. Now we've got another: Bannon.

Audacious Epigone said...

A couple months ago I left a comment at Steve Sailer's asserting that Miller had to be an iSteve reader. Steve didn't confirm or deny but I wouldn't expect him to. That link is certainly plausible. Explicitly, I mean. Implicitly it's not just plausible it seems assured.