Friday, August 5, 2016

Psychologist: Trump emits a fractional anticipatory sore-loser response

Trump and his Trumpers and Trumpettes seem not to know s#!t about how elections work. Obama in his press conference on Thursday proves it. Here are snippets from the story.

Recently, Donald Trump, who is badly trailing in polls to Hillary Clinton, has begun claiming that the presidential election will be "rigged" against him. It’s a nonsensical claim with no basis in reality — and, as Dara Lind writes, it’s dangerous to public confidence in the electoral process.

At a press conference Thursday, President Obama was asked to respond to Trump’s concerns, and was briefly at a loss. "I don’t even know where to start on answering this question," Obama said with an exasperated half-smile. "Of course the elections will not be rigged! What does that mean!"

Obama went on to explain that the election process is run on the state and local level, not by the federal government. The idea of a nationwide rigging, he said, is "ridiculous" and "doesn’t make any sense." He added: "I don’t think anybody would take that seriously."

After saying that the federal government would try to make sure people’s voting rights are protected, and that there’s not any sort of hacking of voting machines, Obama explained what he thought was really going on here:

I think all of us at some points in our lives have played sports, or maybe just played in a schoolyard or a sandbox, and sometimes folks, if they lose, they start complaining that they got cheated.

But I’ve never heard of somebody complain about being cheated before the game was over! Or before the score was even tallied!

But we all know that Trump is a sore loser. What Obama was going after, I think, is the systematic undermining of our election process before the process even starts by Trump and his minions. See my previous post on that which asks "What if Trump loses?" We should expand that to ask what if Trump just thinks he might lose. In my academic field, Experimental Psychology, we might once have called that a fractional anticipatory sore loser response.

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