761 Trump. Election. More

Update, 11 Dec 2016:

Bombshell Secret CIA Report Says Russia Aimed To Steal White House For Trump  (The Washington Post, via The Huffington Post)


Two headlines, two newspaper articles that sent a chill down my spine:

Donald Trump's election win marred by Russian hacking, 

but Americans look away


Donald Trump has already defeated the news media, 

and it's unclear what we can do about it


The story about the US election so far is that Trump won on account of 1) the unemployed blue-collar workers in the “rust-belt” states, and 2) because of the uproar that was caused by Hillary Clinton’s horrendous pre-election comment about the “basket of deplorables”.

But it turns out there is more to it, much more. For a start (and trust me, I’m not the type to fall for conspiracy theories), for a start we have the extraordinary situation of the Russians having exercised a crucial influence on the election, helped by Wikileaks; here is another article that is hugely disturbing:

Why was I blocked by WikiLeaks on Twitter?

But above all ... get a load of this:


"Perhaps, as some have suggested, Trump tweeted his ridiculous lie about millions of fraudulent votes on Sunday in order to distract people from this lengthy investigation in the New York Times of the overseas partnerships that present unprecedented conflict of interest problems for his foreign policy. But even if that wasn't his intent, it's what happened - and he accomplished some other things as well.

"The first thing it does when Trump kicks off a frenzy like this one is thrill his supporters (and I'll admit that I was among those who said that just playing to his base wouldn't be enough to win him the election). Here's how the cycle works. First, Trump says something outrageously false, but which his supporters either believe already or would like to believe. Then Trump gets criticised in the media for it, and his supporters say, "There they go again, the liberal anti-Trump media." Instead of convincing everyone that the claim was false, the criticism only reinforces for Trump's fans the idea that nothing the media says can be believed, which further undermines their ability to act as neutral arbiters in any debate.


"The more outrageous his claim, the more coverage it gets. At first, a disturbing amount of that coverage just passes along what Trump is saying, particularly in headlines and brief mentions on television, which often take the form of "Trump says world is flat." Then the news media find their footing a bit and begin explicitly calling him out for the falsehood. But the more it ends up looking like an argument between Trump and the media, the more that even Republicans who are skeptical of Trump will get pulled to his side, because they've long been invested in the idea that the media are hopelessly infected with liberal bias.


"The entire sequence of events enables Trump to create a meta-message, which is that there's no such thing as truth and no such thing as genuine authority. Think about it: the president-elect is claiming that an election that he won was beset by fraud, because he heard it from a lunatic radio host who thinks that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged using child actors and the September 11 attacks were carried out by the US government. At the same time, the conspiracy-theorist-in-chief is turning away the intelligence briefers who are prepared to deliver him daily updates on the world's hotspots and potential dangers to the United States - what one might call the actual conspiracies we have to be worried about.

"The question isn't whether the news media will be able to cut through to the truth - that's the easy part - it's whether anyone will listen when they do. So when Trump makes his next ludicrous claim, what are the options?"

Paul Waldman, Washington Post


All this, I have to say, if anything re-inforces my lingering belief I wasn't so totally wrong when I suggested before (blog 758):

Voters should be grouped according to their IQ: Below average IQ voters get 1 vote; average IQ voters get 2 votes; above average IQ voters get 3 votes. 

Actually one could probably argue people should get either 1, 2 or 3 votes according to their level of education!