My Prediction, Part 2

I predict that my fortune does not lie in political forecasting.

All of the experts thought that the race would be close; I did not. Is it stupid to disagree with the experts? Yes, most of the time, it is. It goes against my grain to say so, but it’s true. It sure was true last night.

We live in a time where it’s difficult to trust anyone. Not only is there the age-old tendency for people to lie in such a way as to serve their own agendas, but we now have the problem of people having to cover their backsides legally or professionally. Hypothetical example: suppose Asians outscore Caucasians on an intelligence test (which, so far as I know, they do). You simply cannot express an opinion that they are genetically superior. If you want to keep your status as an expert and retain whatever professional employment you have, you simply must attribute the high scores to something cultural, even if you believe the opposite of what you’re forced to say. Onlookers learn not to trust experts when they see that going on.

On election eve, 1980, I was selling encyclopedias for a living in Greenville, South Carolina. As I drove out to a home, I heard All Things Considered on NPR (National Public Radio). The reporter was interviewing an expert. “What’s going to happen tomorrow, Buzz?” The expert replied, “Beulah, it’s just too close to call.” Yeah, right. The next day Ronald Reagan won 489 electoral votes compared to Jimmy Carter’s 49.

What was that expert’s problem? I suspect, but cannot prove, that he was a ’70s lefty and simply couldn’t go on NPR and say Beulah, the nation has abandoned us wholesale and the election is over before it even begins tomorrow. That right-wing demagogue Reagan represents a huge majority of America now; he’ll win by a landslide. What’s worse, in a mere 24 hours the Republicans are gonna control of the Senate for the first time since 1955. I could just puke! No, integrity be danged, he was going to swallow hard, keep a straight face, and say what he had to in order to keep his standing: “It’s just too close to call.”

Well, I knew last night that the expert opinions had been against me. I also knew that, apparently, polling has become a fine art and the results are accurate. But I decided to bet it all on a long shot anyway. Kerry seemed like such a poor candidate, I expected the table to tilt Bush’s direction at the last hour and all of the dishes to come sliding his way.

Oh, well; hopefully it’s over now. I apologize to the thousands of readers whom I misled. And I send my condolences to Osama bin Bedsheet, holed up somewhere in Sandyland, scanning the horizon daily for the American messenger that’s going to usher him into the presence of Allah. So long, big guy. I know you tried.


  1. Good post. If you don’t mind, mention me to the thousands of readers you have. (I say this lightheartedly, of course, and excluding rancour.)


    P.S. I think you should do a post on why you believe it is stupid to disagree with experts. I would read it.