There are people who can’t believe Donald Trump is going to be president.
And there are people who pretty much knew he would win.
Warning: I’m going to be doing some generalizing here.
As Nate Silver writes in a long, interesting piece at fivethirtyeight.com, the polls were not that off, but the media’s preconceptions were. In other words, the data didn’t fail; the people reading it and reporting it to you did.
If you believe that the Presidency should be the grand prize of people whose profession is politics, who’ve played the game and climbed the ladder rung-by-rung, you can’t believe this.
If you think that proposing greater spending on a problem equals greater concern for solving it, you can’t believe this.
If you believe that a person’s previous party affiliation, address, income, job description, marital status, sexual preference, gender, ethnicity or race predestines their vote, you can’t believe this.
If you only hang out with other people who fit the above-mentioned three “ifs”, you can’t believe this.
On the other hand…
At least once a week, for a year and half, I had talk show callers, Uber drivers, store clerks, truckers, war veterans, nurses, small business owners and a host of other people tell me Donald Trump was going to win this thing.
Time after time, just two strangers talking over the news. Even when I didn’t ask, they told me.
Often, they said it with hope or enthusiasm. Less often, they said it with dread.
All of them said it with confidence that it was going to happen, and that Hillary was not going to happen. Not going to happen. Remember I told you, they said. Mark my words, they challenged. You’ll see. Way before the conventions, the debates, the bus tape, the Comey letter, the “dossier” from Russia with love.
They convinced me over time. These encounters kept happening, around town, and anywhere I traveled.
Ever hear the quote, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”?
According to the “‘Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” this proverb has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21 (‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’)
Trump still has a lot to prove, but so too do the people whose job it was to cover this election.
Jeremiah’s got their number.