Curb Your Enthusiasm

The Gallup organization has published a poll that arrives at what is to me a somewhat counter-intuitive conclusion: that Hillary Clinton’s voters are more enthusiastic than Sanders voters. From Gallup’s commentary on the poll:

PRINCETON, N.J. — As the 2016 primaries continue, with neither party’s nominee yet decided, Gallup finds sharp differences in the enthusiasm expressed by supporters of the various candidates. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, voters who support Donald Trump are the most enthusiastic by far, with a combined 65% describing themselves as extremely or very enthusiastic. This is nearly twice the level of fervor expressed by Republicans backing Gov. John Kasich (33%), and well eclipses the enthusiasm from those backing Sen. Ted Cruz (39%).

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s supporters are more enthusiastic than Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters, 54% vs. 44%.

I’m not surprised that Donald Trump’s supporters are more enthusiastic although that’s probably not the word I would use. Mr. Trump’s campaign is founded on cultivating enthusiasm among voters who share certain characteristics. Without enthusiasm what does Trump have? Certainly not thoughtful consideration.

“Enthusiasm” comes from the Greek words meaning, more or less, “filled by a god”. They’re filled with something, that’s for sure although maybe not a god.

But Hillary Clinton? That her supporters are enthusiastic certainly flies in the face of my own face-to-face encounters with her supporters which have shown something closer to the resignation of death row inmates than anything like what I’d call “enthusiasm”. Maybe the flip side of inevitability. Flip side. There’s an expression cast onto the ash heap of history. Like “ash heap”.

I guess the real proof will be in November. If Hillary Clinton’s supporters come out in numbers greater than or equal to those who supported Mr. Obama in 2008, I’ll concede their enthusiasm. Otherwise maybe not.

11 comments… add one
  • michael reynolds Link

    I would not describe myself as “enthusiastic,” but then I’m not much given to enthusiasm. In the Patrick O’Brian novels set in early 19th century Britain, the word “enthusiasm” is used derisively, and I tend to believe that enthusiastic people are ill-informed people.

    However, it is clear that Hillary is the best person currently running.

    Trump is a rather stupid psychopath. I love watching the way he thinks, precisely because he is a stupid as opposed to intelligent psychopath. It’s a case where one can watch the effects of pure instinct, unmodified by knowledge, understanding or even thought. Like watching an amoeba or something.

    Cruz is a repulsive, dishonest religious fanatic and all-around right-wing asshole. He’s the guy I want to run against because then it’ll be a straight-up policy/ideology battle and Hillary will crush Cruz, 60/40.

    Kasich is far more of a right-winger than people think. He benefits by contrast with his two hateful counterparts. But I’d be very worried about him in the general. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia all seem like states where Kasich could take it away in the general.

    I like Bernie Sanders, but here’s the entirety of the Sanders presidency:
    Day 1: Prepare ambitious list of stuff to do. Send to Paul Ryan.
    Day 2: Learn that said agenda currently lines Paul Ryan’s cat’s litter box.
    Day 3: Give angry speech.
    Day 4: Consider new curtains for the Oval.

    Whatever is left of the GOP after this bizarre campaign, it is still likely that Paul Ryan will be Speaker. And who on the Democratic side can go slug for slug, game for game with Ryan? Hillary Rodham Clinton, that’s who. Bernie will get nothing done. Hillary will get very little done. I’ll take very little over nothing.

    Can you feel the enthusiasm?

  • Can you feel the enthusiasm?

    Yeah, that fits my characterization pretty well.

  • jan Link

    Here in the United States we lament our lack of enthusiasm for the choices we have in the 2016,. However, it could be a lot worse. I was reading the following piece this morning, which gave me greater pause in considering today’s dissident voices being aroused in the , Trump camp. I at least temporarily clears the deck of standardized criticism regarding this election, giving space to consider the “whys,” for such an unlikely phenomena as Trump, in lingo and perspective other than that of the social progressive intellectuals or 2-party elites. It’s written by a former citizen of the USSR, who migrated over to the states in the 1990’s. And, IMO, it gives some credible insight as to how living under different governmental circumstances/conditions might be:

    Since I’m not allowed to vote, I remain simply an objective observer of American politics, judging the process from the perspective of a former Soviet citizen, who during the times of the glorious Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was forced to cast single-name ballots for candidates I didn’t know nor cared about. A total 100% voter turnout in practice meant total apathy: most people dropped paper ballots into the boxes without reading them. The occasional rare signs of passion were the ballots with crossed-out names and large capital letters saying, BLOODSUCKERS ALL; those were extracted by the KGB for handwriting analysis. Voting had become a periodic ritual of obedience and surrender before the powerful state and a reminder that we were all equal slaves in the eyes of our masters.

    Oleg Atbashian, the writer, goes on, aiming his reflections towards the current election:

    The strongest fire from all media portholes and loopholes is directed at the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, and his supporters. They are being described as uneducated, angry, vengeful, racist, xenophobic, and plain stupid. Authors of these assumptions, mostly writing from within the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, admit that they don’t even know anyone who likes Trump.

    There’s a big probability that Trump supporters are, in fact, all around them, even in their own families — and the reason why these writers don’t know it, is their own snobbery. No one likes to be called stupid, his IQ questioned, or presumed to be an unthinking herd animal, and many simply don’t have the time to stop and explain their reasons whenever a #Nevertrump activist feels like trashing Trump voters. Many simply choose to remain silent.

    He goes on to give his observations as to why there is so much discontent/discord out there in the American wilderness — from the “little” people no one ever gives much attention to except as references to those in “fly-over country.” Even though I live on the West Coast, I always thought this grouping of others, not in my own neighborhood, to be dripping with condescension.

    Doesn’t this also describe how the majority of Americans have felt in recent decades, being constantly shamed into silence by the “progressive” media, education, and the cultural establishment? I know this too well, having worked in New York’s “progressive” corporate environment. My co-workers would ask me about life in the USSR and I would tell them exactly what I thought about socialism and political correctness until I realized that most of them didn’t like my answers and I was only hurting myself by speaking my mind. Some gave me frightened looks, others stopped talking with me. I might as well have told them that life in the USSR was similar to life in New York, where people had to learn to keep their mouths shut and to look over their shoulders before saying anything remotely political. So much for emigrating into a free country. It felt like history was about to repeat itself. Until now.

    Even though I continue to seriously believe the deceitful HRC will grab the POTUS mantle — by hook or by crook — I’m also starting to see more of an upside to the chaos being stirred by Trump. He has dared to trample the feelings, ideology of everyone — no matter the party affiliation — and talk about misgivings, resentments, fears that are simply non-PC or hush-hush in the world we live in. While I don’t like Trump myself, maybe there are reasons why he has developed a place setting among so many people in this election.

    At the conclusion of this article are notations from people who support Trump. They, frankly don’t fit the stereotypes that some here are fond of describing those with different POVs . In fact, be aware that bright, creative, professional sensitive people are not all robo social progressives in their thinking or their dreams of a better country.

  • michael reynolds Link


    Not all Donald Trump supporters are racists, but most racists are Donald Trump supporters.

    The rhetoric and bile surrounding Trump’s rallies more or less confirms this, but that’s anecdotal. We know, if nothing else, that the Donald has appealed to working class whites who have been victimized by a decaying industrial economy but are deeply confused about who’s or what’s responsible. As I argued in December, “It’s not Mexicans or Muslims or some other minority group outsourcing jobs or buying elections or rigging the tax code in favor of special interests – corporations and their deregulating cronies in office (on both sides) are responsible for that, as are the broader forces of globalization and neoliberalism. And yet the ire of the typical Trumpite is directed at foreigners and black people.”

    The driving force of Trump’s campaign, in many ways it’s raison d’etre, is racial and cultural resentment. Indeed, support for Trump is positively correlated with racial resentment, according to a recent American National Election Study (ANES). The disaffected whites clamoring for a big wall on the border at his rallies are a reminder of what’s lurking beneath the nationalist fervor. If a luxurious wall on the southern border was of any practical value, we’d be having a different conversation. But, as the inimitable John Oliver pointed out, Trump’s wall is not only useless – it’s obscenely expensive and counterproductive.

    The wall is a symbolic gesture, a metaphorical middle finger to the nebulous “other.” It won’t bring back any jobs; it won’t resuscitate the manufacturing sector; and it won’t make America any whiter or safer than it already is. But for the disillusioned Trump voter, it’s a palliative nevertheless.

    As prominent Republicans like Paul Ryan scramble to stop Trump, decrying the tone and divisiveness of his campaign, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll confirms that Trump is succeeding precisely because of his tone and divisiveness. Republican voters were asked a revealing question: “Which of these do you think is a bigger problem in this country – blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites, or whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics?”

    Whether you think that’s a good question or not is beside the point. What’s interesting is the responses and how they matched up with support for the various Republican candidates. To begin with, a plurality of Republican respondents (45-19) said that the bigger problem is whites losing out, which is what you’d expect from a party that embraced the “Southern Strategy” forty years ago.

    However, when the Washington Post looked closer to see how the people who believed whites are losing out planned to vote, the results were unsurprising: 54 percent self-identified as Trump voters, compared to 37 percent for Cruz and 35 percent for Kasich and Rubio. That’s a fairly significant gap.

    It’s worth noting that not all of Trump’s support stems from racial angst. His voters are also disproportionately likely to be suffering economically, as Max Ehrenfreund and Scott Clement recently noted. But what this survey suggests is that the Trump voters tend to believe their “losses are being caused by other group’s gains.”

    The polls are clear: white racial resentment is a major contributor to the Trump campaign. Go to the article, follow the links to the polls cited. It is not an accident that Trump is endorsed by overtly racist organizations, like David Duke’s KKK.

  • TastyBits Link


    It is no use trying to convince anybody who keeps shouting “racist”. What you can be absolutely certain is that they are a racist, and nothing will ever change their mind.

  • michael reynolds Link


    I just linked to poll numbers. Is the poll a lie? Are the respondents lying? How vast is the conspiracy to convince people that Trump gets significant racist support? Is David Duke in on it? How about Storm Front, also part of the Big Lie?

    Dude: reality. Locate it. See if you can move in.

  • TastyBits Link

    @michael reynolds

    I have no idea of what conspiracy you are talking about, but you can try to hide your hatred of black people from your fellow progressives. I would suggest that you not bother. Most of them feel the same way you do. They have no more use for black people than a bull has for tits.

    Black people. especially the poor version, are good for political purposes and nothing else. That your opponents do not have even that use for them does not make you all some great and wonderful saviors.

    You all are no different than the white plantation owners. Poor black people are something to be used, but they are not actually human enough for you to allow into your lives. You can fool the vast majority of white people who have only ever lived in whitopia, but that sh*t ain’t gonna work on me.

  • michael reynolds Link


    That was crazy even for you.

    Pray tell: what are black people doing for me, in your theory?

    Bear in mind, being a Democrat does not help me, personally. I voted for both Barack Obama and Jerry Brown in the certain knowledge that they were going to take a big bunch of money from me. I get nothing from government that any other citizen doesn’t get. And the bulk of my income comes from middle class white families.

    So. . . how exactly am I a plantation owner? My marginal rate between state and fed is 52%. Where’s my profit? What am I getting?

  • TastyBits Link

    @michael reynolds
    That was crazy even for you.

    As crazy as the foreign policy that I was 100% right about? Oh, I guess I was supposed to forget that. Don’t bother. I guess nuking a city just because the population happens to be almost all Muslim is the act of a sane person. Get back to me on that one.

    There was nothing about profiting, and the only way you could interpret it that way was to deliberately distort my meaning. You all must think that everybody is an idiot. In your case, it is especially offensive.

    You know damn well that it was in a political context, but for anybody else who intends to be an a$$wipe and use this a$$hole’s mischaracterization, I will correct the record.

    The Democrat party uses black people to get candidates elected, and as soon as the election is over, they toss them aside like they are shitstains on a pair of dirty underwear. When the next election rolls around, the Democrats rinse and repeat. If you are going to compare your political opponents and anybody you do not like to plantation owners, you had better make sure your shit does not stink.

    You are either a Democrat or not, but I think most people here will agree that you are a full on Democrat. Since Democrats are better than Republicans, you do not get to dissent from the party, and their sins are your sins.

  • jan Link


    Your comments seem to be generated from “living the life” rather than simply stating an arm’s-length analysis, mostly based on democrat/republican propaganda and/or talking points. Both sides of the aisle participate in telling what they deem as truth through ideological talking points and cherry-picked data that collaborates their politics. In fact, I don’t believe those, steeped in political ideology, are able to view the world through anything but the gauze of their selected party’s agenda.

    As for the democrats, that’s why facts regarding the withering of black community’s opportunities under democrat rule — dealing with employment, poverty stats, crime and so on — is denied and falls on deaf ears. That’s why acknowledging a greater polarization between the R and D’s, races, genders, classes, is muted, and blamed mainly on some kind of personal racial hostility towards our bi-racial POTUS. Mitch McConnell’s opening salvo is looped as mainstay proof for their “racial bias excuse.” Then there is the wagging of dem fingers at republicans, citing obstructionism for everything from our tepid economic recovery, the over-estimation of public support and savings under the PPACA, and for their numerous foreign policy debacles.

    Basically, the U.S. has not become a better place through the direction and management of almost 8 years under democrat policymaking.

  • TastyBits Link


    Historically, New Orleans is not a Southern city. It is French, and the French Creoles hated the Americans. The Free People of Color were not just free slaves. They were people born free, and they were black, brown, Native American, and mixed. They owned property (including slaves) and had rights.

    Black Creoles mirrored the French Creoles, and they were as exclusive and aristocratic. The old Black Creole families have diminished, but you did not just join their clubs or marry their daughters. French Creoles were far more tolerant of Black Creoles than Americans.

    There is and has been racism in New Orleans, but there are a lot of other factors in play. In the city proper, it is also hard to avoid being exposed to black people, and for better or worse, you see them in person doing real things. It is not The Jeffersons or The Cosby Show.

    Also, I try to keep up with Minister Farrakhan. I know you are having heart palpitations, but he tells it like he sees it. He has no political agenda, and if anything, you would agree with at least half of what he says. This is why the progressives hate him. He wants what is best for black people not white progressives pretending to want what is best for black people. (You should check out what the Muslim black man thinks about Trump.)

    I think that the Black Lives Matter is the beginning of the awakening of the black community. It will take some time. This Trump thing can be traced back to 2006, and it is probably not finished. Black people have been played, and they will not need anybody to remind them. If Trump supporters want to help, they just need to say, “Yep, we got played too, but this is how we fixed their asses. Game on.”

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