Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Trump Analogy

I keep hearing really stupid comments about the Trump campaign. Such as "He is the presumptive nominee", or "in any other primary, he would be assumed to be the nominee" or "anyone else with that many delegates would be considered the nominee" and so on.

Sorry, no. In any other race where no one had secured  the necessary delegates and the competitor had not conceded, things would be just as they are now. In a race with candidates still running and no one with 50%, we would be hearing about delegates and second and third votes and everything we are hearing now.

The problem is, we are not familiar with this situation, as the last few times it happened were not in our lifetimes, but there have been several brokered Republican conventions and, surprise, in several the nominee did not have the most delegates going into the convention. The only reason we do not think about these past conventions -- besides Americans' general indifference toward, and ignorance of, history* -- is that they took place so long ago we don't remember them ourselves.

But, as this is such an unusual situation, I shall offer a simple analogy for everyone who says Trump should be the nominee because of his delegates, or that Cruz should drop out, or at least we should call Trump the presumed nominee. To better understand the situation, let me ask you this: In a baseball game, if one team leads by 7 runs at the end of the seventh inning, are they the winner? Should the other team concede? Should everyone refer to them as the "presumptive winner"? If not, then how do you make those assumptions about the Trump campaign?

I know it won't help, and we will continue to hear that Trump should win, even if he does not have 50% of the delegates, and so on, but I hope, at the very least, this analogy has shown a few how silly such arguments are.

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* I don't normally agree with those who speak about America's poor education, or our ignorance. In my opinion, the majority in most countries is relatively ignorant. Knowledge -- or rather knowledge as knowledge, knowledge for its own sake, rather than specific, practical information -- tends to be important to a relatively small group no matter what nation. Other individuals may have a hobby, or an interest, where they have special knowledge, but by and large, most people do not have an interest in accumulating a broad knowledge on numerous topics.

However, I do note that Americans, perhaps because our own local history is relatively short, tend to have less interest in history than most. Oh, we have people who know every detail of every war, who reenact battles, who can recite the family lineage and so on, but we just seem to have a great deal of indifference to the big picture, the broad sweep of history. Not everyone, but a lot of us.

The best example would be when the absurd film Gladiator was in theaters and I griped about how bizarre it was to see a film where an emperor was killed 8 years early in his reign by a non-existent general to restore a republic that was never restored. The reaction of almost everyone was "who cares?" However, had the film depicted Abe Lincoln in a fist fight with Hitler to save Gandhi from robot sharks, everyone would have declared it absurd. The point being, we have an interest in history, but only over a very brief span of time, and usually only on those topics which are prominent in pop culture, anything beyond that tends to be quietly ignored.  (I made similar comments on an IMDB board.)

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