25 comments for “

  1. Nadege
    November 9, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” — George Carlin

  2. Bob Jase
    November 9, 2016 at 8:47 AM


  3. Graham
    November 9, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    I had heard that Bernie Sanders supporters were saying they would do anything to keep Hilary Clinton from taking office. I’d didn’t think they’d actually go through with it.

  4. November 9, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    I was watching The Daily Show last night (they were tracking the results) and got the sinking feeling even then that the Doom was upon us.

  5. November 9, 2016 at 9:20 AM


    If you’re talking about the election, there are still things we can do to prevent Trump from getting everything he wants. America is still a constitutional republic, with checks and balances. Its not like the American people just elected him dictator for life.

  6. November 9, 2016 at 9:26 AM


    I think those Sanders supporters are going to regret what they’ve done very soon. I was and still am one of his supporters, but I was smart enough to understand that it would be better to take our chances with Clintion than the elect an arrogant, bigoted idiot, like Trump. People in the “Bernie or Bust” camp are going to regret what they’ve done very soon. Even Sanders himself understood that he had lost, and that the danger of a Trump presidency was just to great, not to get behind Clinton.

  7. jamesrav
    November 9, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    we’ll just have to see how this pans out. Two immediate things come to mind, 1st the old saying “be careful what you wish for” , and 2nd, what is Stephen Colbert going to joke about the next 4 years?

  8. Chris
    November 9, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    I spent over a half hour this morning talking to my sobbing 22 year old child in another state (graduate school). Now I really hope that the checks and balances of our constitution work, and that the Electoral College does what it was mean to do: veto stupid voters.

  9. November 9, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Well, for what my opinion is worth to you (nothing, I’m guessing), it’s never as good as you hope, and never as bad as you fear. The real problem as I see it is that both houses of Congress went Republican, too. That’s where the real harm is done.

  10. November 9, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    My concern is what people will take away from this:

    * Extremism in the quest for power is no vice. (Anything goes, because it worked.)

    * One party rule is the goal of democracy. (Perpetual polemical war with the other party worked.)

    * When “others” vote, we lose “our” country. (The path to victory: enact laws that aim to purge the rolls of “others”; have ID requirements that effectively disenfranchise “others”; eliminate early voting and such like poll options used by “others”; intimidate “others” when they go to vote; appoint judges and DOJ officials who think these tactics are withing the rightful power of government.)

    Sounds like fascism when I read it back to myself.

  11. Chris
    November 9, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    Well at least we have definite proof that anyone can become President of the USA just as long as they possess a Y-chromosome.

  12. Derrick
    November 9, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Unfortunately, I do not share the optimism (naïveté?) of those who are hopeful that somehow The Donald will behave differently once in office than he has behaved for the last 70 years. I just hope that we will be able to pick up the pieces and move on in four years.

  13. November 9, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    Despite my dark comments above, Derrick, I think there are some valid reasons to be optimistic (and not just because I live in Canada, above the fray).

    Remember, Trump fought frequently with the Republican leadership — and remember how they cowered before him, for fear of a backlash from the voting base. It’s possible the GOP, with the election over, will be emboldened to put some checks on Trump (they’ve been practicising that with Obama for eight years, so they know how to do it).

    Also, Trump does have a plan to substantially reform the corrupt relationship between government officials and lobbyists. Congress will be against such measures, but reform will have bipartisan support among the electorate. If Trump is all about himself, he might pivot — as needed, on a case-by-case basis — to cultivate support from both DEM and GOP voters who are sick of the Washington establishment. Trump would be a natural for the “bully” pulpit, thrashing a corrupt Congress — again, if he wants to.

    And, of course, Trump will inevitably have his own “blue dress” moment (or some equivalent), which will make it difficult for him to maintain support from evangelicals and old people. Trump will be “one and done,” certainly, as he self-destructs under the pressures of the job.

    So, I can see a way that Trump could do some good…if he chooses to (and that’s a huge “IF”). And if the GOP establishment fights him, Trump could punish the party by appealing to working and middle class DEMs, and perhaps a few DEMs in Congress, on select issues. And then he’ll be gone after 2020.

    “Let me tell you, America, I’m going to be the BEST ‘worst president ever.’ Trust me on that. Trust me.”

  14. Graham
    November 10, 2016 at 5:10 AM

    I have had several people I know from the states send me messages claiming that the students rioting in the States after the election result are in fact the “Bernie or Bust” who are now discovering that the world is not just like their internet based echo chambers.

    As for myself, I think that when the Left abandoned Martin Luther Kings dream that one day people would be judged by their character (And Trump fails the character test miserably IMHO) and not their skin colour or in this day and age sexual orientation they left themselves wide open to this because the Right has had greater experience at playing identity politics.

  15. Stanley
    November 10, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    As the second lowest IQ in my family and being in the progressive minority in the same cohort I flinch when people equate disagreeing with their opinions with stupidity. People who disagree with you or me clearly have different priorities from you and me, but among the people I know, these priorities are not well correlated with intelligence.

  16. Walter Unglaub
    November 12, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
    – H.L. Mencken, 1926

  17. Jeff Pedigo
    November 15, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    These comments are especially disheartening coming from a skeptic-focused readership. Nearly without exception, the mainstream media (the major networks, notable news agencies & papers) made it appear that support for Trump was nowhere near enough to beat the Clinton machine. The machine that hired people to incite violence at Trump rallies and then blamed Trump himself for inciting the violence. The machine that leveled and falsely amplified accusation after accusation against Trump based on the most mundane of facts or poorly worded comments. The machine that was shown to have colluded with the DNC to ensure that their candidate received the nomination at the expense of Bernie Sanders and others. The machine that was shown to have colluded with certain reporters and media outlets to portray their candidate in the most positive light, even as she was caught red handed lying about her behavior and performance as Secretary of State. The machine that couldn’t even be honest about the health of their candidate. I didn’t see a single headline about how Clinton cheated in at least one debate and probably others “from time to time.” No headlines about what other “demonstrations” she and the Democrats have paid for, what additional debate questions she may have received in advance, etc. The fact is that obviously, the majority of major media in the US either dishonestly or incorrectly misread, misrepresented and mischaracterized their readers and the electorate. Either way—dishonesty or incompetence—that’s a problem, and it should be the mission of the skeptic community to demand that they apply the same standards to political reporting as we demand they apply to science and other types of reporting. Don’t stop at headlines—read the articles, check sources, evaluate the possibility and level of bias ….isn’t that what how we as skeptics should be absorbing media?

  18. November 15, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Skeptics are people too and we have personal values that play into every opinion and decision. If some Trump supporters can say his “locker room” talk didn’t matter, then we can say the emails didn’t matter. If they can say that his racist comments weren’t genuine then we can say the “deplorables” sentiment was taken the wrong way. We can do this all day. It doesn’t matter. We voted as much with our hearts as our heads and there are volumes of scientific papers that tell us that humans react in such irrational ways. We aren’t going to stop doing that, probably. Definitely.

    That’s why I posted a picture instead of commentary. That’s why people are venting. We are dealing with complex outcomes from a complex society of many different “publics”. Your comments, totally unsupported by any reliable evidence, are just another reaction.

    We all try to do our best. We’ll keep trying.

  19. November 16, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    I was listening to Mr. Pedigo until I got to the part about the “mainstream media” (usually a loaded term which apparently is held in contrast to Breitbart News Network, Fox & Friends, Hannity and the Twittersphere), leveling and falsely amplifying “accusation after accusation against Trump based on the most mundane of facts or poorly worded comments.” However, it’s clear that the media simply reported and repeated Trump’s own words and tweets. And if they were poorly worded…well, words matter. And then when Mr. Pedigo goes off the deep end with “couldn’t even be honest about the health of their candidate” I have no idea what he’s going on about. This smacks of the perditious rumors about Clinton having Parkinson’s, having a stroke, being “mentally impaired” and lacking “stamina.”

  20. Jeff Pedigo
    November 17, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Hi Guys,

    I meant nothing conspiratorial in my use of the term, “mainstream media,” which is why I included the additional parenthetical. Likewise about the Clinton team’s dishonesty about their candidate’s health. (Why couldn’t they have just been forthcoming about her pneumonia?)

    At any rate, to say my comments are “totally unsupported…”? Indeed, keep trying. It’s painfully clear that the media did not simply report Trump’s words. They added loaded phrases and speculative paragraphs in between them, all under sensational and often misleading headlines.

    (Kind of like jveeds did to my comments about Clinton’s health. I know it wasn’t malicious, but all I said was that her team couldn’t be honest about her health—which is a fact. They were not honest about her health. The “deep end” jab and the rest are all fine for blog post commentary, but that’s exactly the kind of thing we continue to see in what’s supposed to be fact-based reporting by national news organizations.)

    All one need do to confirm this—by and large—is to just do some skepticism.

    Please understand that I’m not trying to stir anyone up or troll anything here. I just see a massive amount of willful misinformation being thrown about on the national stage—about science, yes, but about so much more, too. That’s why I value sites like this. Thank you, very seriously, for keeping it going, Sharon. I can imagine it’s a drag sometimes. Especially moderating the comments! : )

  21. November 18, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    I don’t remember any lying or deceiving about Clinton’s pneumonia. I saw the campaign team being, at worst, less than forthcoming. But I don’t know that something temporary as pneumonia, or the flu, or a cold, falls into the realm of critical disclosure that one expects of a candidate — unlike some debilitating condition that could affect a person’s ability to perform the duties of the office. And it’s those kind of debilitating conditions that were being foisted on the public by the non-mainstream media, surrogates, et. al. I mean, those were serious accusations, which, if true, would certainly call Clinton’s ability to govern into question. But pneumonia? Not saying you have pneumonia is not lying in the way that lying about a fake university is, for example, or about personally seeing “thousands and thousands” of people celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey or about someone being born in Kenya when they weren’t, or about someone founding ISIS when they didn’t. Those are what I consider lies.

  22. Jeff Pedigo
    November 20, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Being less than forthcoming is dishonesty in my book. (Or…everyone’s?) As for the rest, I think it’s far more likely that Trump misremembers events and gets taken in by bad info just like everybody else. The founding ISIS charge was obviously intended as a cleverly sarcastic insult. Probably not that clever, but sarcastic nonetheless.

    Sharon’s right: both sides can write off all sorts of stuff whether it’s justified or not.

  23. November 21, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Trump seems to “mis-remember” a lot more than the average bear. And when he’s not “mis-remembering” he has a habit of practicing MSU (Making Stuff Up)–things like the thousands and thousands of 9/11 celebrants which he couldn’t possibly have seen, or saying that Clinton and Obama were the founders of ISIS or that he personally hand-picked the faculty for Trump University, or that Trump University is even an actual “university” (it isn’t) . Of course, one can blame the media for reporting what he says but one can’t simply chalk it up to some kind of mainstream media bias. He actually says these things and then refuses to correct himself or admit that he was exaggerating or speaking metaphorically.

    Now, the reference to “the machine that hired people to incite violence at Trump rallies” turns out to be, at least in the case of the Austin blogger, a complete fabrication by someone who says he was too busy to fact-check what he posted. And worse, Trump regurgitated it, because apparently Trump is too busy himself to check facts in what is being called a “post-truth” era.

    I stand by my view that not everything that is “less than forthcoming” is a lie. Having pneumonia is not a crime, it’s not even a misdemeanor. If she had said “Oh, I have a touch of bronchitis,” that could be a lie.

  24. November 23, 2016 at 3:17 AM

    > The founding ISIS charge was obviously intended as a cleverly sarcastic insult

    Not remotely true. Hugh Hewitt gave Trump a chance to give a more nuanced answer, but Trump doubled down. And check out the very last line in the excerpt below: Trump strongly implies he doesn’t give a damn about truth, it’s all about effect. Very cynical.

    From the transcript:

    HH: I’ve got two more questions. Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.

    DT: No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.

    HH: But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.

    DT: I don’t care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?

    HH: Well, that, you know, I have a saying, Donald Trump, the mnemonic device I use is Every Liberal Really Seems So, So Sad. E is for Egypt, L is for Libya, S is for Syria, R is for Russia reset. They screwed everything up. You don’t get any argument from me. But by using the term founder, they’re hitting with you on this again. Mistake?

    DT: No, it’s no mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it. I give him the most valuable player award. And I give it to him, and I give it to, I gave the co-founder to Hillary. I don’t know if you heard that.

    HH: I did. I did. I played it.

    DT: I gave her the co-founder.

    HH: I know what you’re arguing…

    DT: You’re not, and let me ask you, do you not like that?

    HH: I don’t. I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS. That’s what I would say.

    DT: Well, I disagree.

    HH: All right, that’s okay.

    DT: I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about.

    HH: That’s…

    DT: If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS.

    HH: That’s true.

    DT: Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS.

    HH: And that’s, I’d just use different language to communicate it, but let me close with this, because I know I’m keeping you long, and Hope’s going to kill me.

    DT: But they wouldn’t talk about your language, and they do talk about my language, right?

  25. November 23, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Pretty darn clear. All the talk of Trump’s apologists saying every time he shoots off his mouth (or Tweet) “Well, he didn’t really mean that.” or “He was just using hyperbole,” or “What he really meant was…” is like the Clay County Development officer saying that when she referred to Michelle Obama as an “ape in high heels” she wasn’t being racist…she was just commenting on Michelle’s lack of attractiveness.

Comments are closed.