Propaganda Sucks Even When You Know It’s Propaganda: Part 1

A week ago I was baffled by news reports showing Hillary steadily gaining and Trump sinking in the mud. I drove 400 miles and saw only three Hillary yard signs amid perhaps a couple hundred Trump signs.

I do not like it when information from the news (or perhaps I should say “news”) contradicts evidence I see with my own eyes. I don’t take well to misinformation. Propaganda is toxic.

The clearest logic was to dismiss the polls as hopelessly inaccurate. Yet, Mitt Romney’s hapless faceplant taught me to be wary of “the polls are wrong” thinking. Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes I merely wish it were true.

I was not the only one feeling an undercurrent of cognitive dissonance in polling. I got several comments which matched my observations.

A list of places from which I’ve received a comment that amounts to “lots of Trump yard signs but not many Hillary signs”:

  • California (San Francisco)
  • Tennessee (Gatlinburg)
  • Connecticut (Suburban)
  • New York (Upstate i.e. rural)
  • Pennsylvania (northeast)
  • California (Tuolume County, northern)
  • Colorado (northern)
  • Pennsylvania (North of Pittsburgh)
  • Pennsylvania (Poconos)
  • Florida (Punta Gorda)

There were a few signs of life from the Hillary side:

  • New Jersey (south): Trump everywhere, Hillary signs suddenly appear in union halls last week in Oct.
  • New Mexico (southwest): A few Trump and then suddenly many Hillary all at once.
  • Washington D.C.: No signs. About 2 dozen Hillary bumper stickers, no Trump. Old Obama/Biden stickers outnumber current Hillary/Kaine stickers! (That’s hilarious!)

One with details that matched the “neck in neck” race I’d expect:

  • Michigan
    • Around Detroit: 40% Trump / 60% Hillary
    • St. Clair Shores / Mt. Clemens: 70% Trump / 30% Hillary
    • Ann Arbor: 100% Hillary (apparently a pocket of true believers!)
    • Ann Arbor Suburbs: About 50/50

Locations of road trips like my 400 miles with lots of Trump and only 3 Hillary signs:

  • Missouri -> Kansas -> Colorado (Denver) -> Utah -> Nevada (Las Vegas): Trump everywhere not many Hillary
  • Washington (Touchet) -> Oregon (Freewater): Trump everywhere not many Hillary
  • Utah (Salt Lake City) -> Washington (Seattle): Trump everywhere not many Hillary

If I missed or oversimplified your comment please forgive me.

Just as I was counting yard signs so was Massad Ayoob at Backwoods Home (link):

Is there a possibility that we have been misled about the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton Presidency? One dares to hope.  Am I the only one who has noticed we’re seeing far fewer “X For President” signs on homeowners’ lawns than we have in past elections? It would be in keeping with the general lack of enthusiasm we’re seeing for either candidate. That said, though, most places I go when I do see those lawn signs, there are a lot more for Trump than for Clinton.

Can we have – gasp – been misinformed?

Meanwhile Scott Adams (who has been scary accurate) went back into the “Trump will beat Hillary like a drum” camp with an oddly emotional and less rational argument (link):

I’ve been trying to figure out what common trait binds Clinton supporters together. As far as I can tell, the most unifying characteristic is a willingness to bully in all its forms…

…As far as I can tell, the worst thing a presidential candidate can do is turn Americans against each other. Clinton is doing that, intentionally.

…I endorse Donald Trump for President of the United States because I oppose bullying in all its forms.

…Today I put Trump’s odds of winning in a landslide back to 98%. Remember, I told you a few weeks ago that Trump couldn’t win unless “something changed.”

…Something just changed.

Emphasis is Adams. I’ll also note that Adams tries to sound cool and collective and this post differed in tone. I suspect the Hillary side boiled his biscuit until he couldn’t remain dispassionate any longer. (“Yesterday, by no coincidence, Huffington Post, Salon, and Daily Kos all published similar-sounding hit pieces on me”.) I found this the least persuasive of Adams usually well reasoned articles.

Random articles of solid anti-Trump persons flipping started showing up.

Here’s an example by Derek Hunter at TownHall (link):

For countless reasons I’ve covered over the last year, I dug in my heels… …I was steadfast in my opposition to the man.

But then he couldn’t stomach the press bias (same thing that was bothering me):

…what’s changed is me. Not through introspection and reflection, but through watching the sickening display of activism perpetrated by a covert army with press credentials.

Bias has always been a factor in journalism. It’s nearly impossible to remove. Humans have their thoughts, and keeping them out of your work is difficult. But 2016 saw the remaining veneer of credibility, thin as it was, stripped away and set on fire.

Here’s an example by burned Bernie Sanders supporter Cristopher Willard (who also echos my “I will always vote against nepotism/dynasty” logic) (link):

Either a Bush or a Clinton has been in power for 20 out of the 28 years since 1989, or 71 percent of the time. Electing Mrs. Clinton would increase this to 24 out of 32 years, or 75 percent of the time. Thomas Jefferson warned about dynastic rule…

…Bernie supporters, in the long run, have more to gain by supporting Trump, because if anyone has the potential to challenge dynastic rule and business as usual it is an outsider. Sure for many, Trump is an unknown, but he’s an unknown outsider, and this is important.

So what’s the point of all this? The point is I looked and looked for some sort of rational way to comport my observations with polls that showed Hillary pulling away from Tump like a Mustang racing a Yugo.

It was all too depressing. Then came that damned AMC Gremlin.

More in next post…

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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4 Responses to Propaganda Sucks Even When You Know It’s Propaganda: Part 1

  1. Hal P. says:

    Last week my wife and I went up to East Tennessee in Western North Carolina to look at the colors. In driving around all the back roads, I saw exactly 2 Hillary signs, the other100 or more were Trump signs

  2. Pingback: Propaganda Sucks Even When You Know It’s Propaganda: Final Post | Adaptive Curmudgeon

  3. Thor's Hammer says:

    You called it my friend. I was incredulous on election night. Now somber reality has sunk in. We can only hope that he is ‘man’ enough [sic] for the job of commander in chief.

    • It is nice when observations made with my own two eyes match election results. It’s comforting.

      I find it amusing that the press is currently running around in a a blather of confusion trying to explain what just happened. Some of their theories are pretty far out. It’s as if a dipshit blogger looked up and said “I see that the sky was blue yesterday so I think it might be the same tomorrow” and the press responded with the orange sky theory that is derived from navel lint and the price of tea in China.

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