Economic System

The Polling Disaster of 2020

As the 2016 presidential election drew near, it was clear that something was amiss with the polls. The contest felt tighter than the polls said, and Joe Biden’s substantial advantage in the polls appeared to be less solid than the polls suggested. Pollsters appeared to be on their way to underestimating Donald Trump’s vote, just as they did in 2016. That didn’t mean Trump was genuinely ahead of the pack or that he’d win – he didn’t – but it did indicate that the election was closer than the polls suggested.

Now it appears that my intuition was correct. And …

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Political Ideology

The Political Compass of Composers

Writers and painters have been more involved in major political conflicts than composers, and their viewpoints are often more immediately discernible via their work. So, how well do we know the great composers’ positions?

Woody Allen often said that whenever he heard Wagner, he felt compelled to invade Poland. Most others’ opinions are less evident in their work. However, we can listen to the difference between Wagner’s aggressive nationalism and Dvoák’s or Grieg’s delicate folk nationalism. Of course, there are additional hints in the case of opera. Mozart’s operas, for example, dealt with class conflict (The Marriage of Figaro) and …

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Political Parties

Election audits aren’t a replacement for thorough investigations.

Election audits are essential for understanding the 2020 election, but they won’t – and can’t – be the last word. They are not meant to be a smoking gun, and implying otherwise is both dangerous and ineffective.

Unfortunately, startling assertions on both sides of the political divide have instilled false and overblown expectations in Americans from all walks of life. There are several breathless accusations of hacked voting machines and sinister algorithms. Still, the most compelling evidence has always pointed to flaws exploited within the system rather than security breaches from beyond. There aren’t any foreign spies in the closet, …

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