Why the U.S. Progressive Left is Misreading the Democratic Base
Two words: Boaty McBoatface.
Who is Boaty McBoatface, you ask? You might also ask why pop-star Pit Bull once played a tiny town in Alaska. Or why Greenpeace named a whale Mister Splashy Pants.
The answer to those questions, and the reason the new progressive strong-arm of the Democratic Party is seriously misreading the Democratic voting base, and overestimating support for extremely far left policies, is the same:
The cutting-edge scientific polar research vessel, Boaty McBoatface, was ignominiously christened in 2016 after an online contest to name the underwater submersible went, let’s just say, awry. The naming contest was hijacked by a group that organized online into a kind of mob, and completely skewed the results of what essentially amounted to a poll.
“What should we name this vessel?” was the poll question. An actual, genuine sample of the city’s population, or even the nation’s, would have likely yielded one of the many other perfectly acceptable and reasonable names.
The vessel’s owner, Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council wasn’t exactly thrilled; scientists and scientific journals were outraged.
In a perfect polling world, Boaty McBoatface would now be called the Shackleton, after the world-famous polar explorer, or the Endeavor.
Ah, but polls aren’t perfect, are they?
Polls are by definition flawed from the outset. They reflect a sample of people willing to be polled, not a sample of everyone. People with strong opinions on the subject, one way or another, are generally more willing to answer in a poll.
Most people, however, simply don’t care enough to participate. People have lives. Some people have lives that include three jobs, school, a family and little time to indulge in rigging online voting contests or twitter flame wars.
The number of these online contests that are hijacked by a large online group are myriad.
In 2007, Greenpeace sponsored an online naming contest for a killer whale. Mister Splashy Pants beat out Kaimana (Hawaiian for “power of the ocean”) and Shanti (Sanskrit for…