Trump Silent Majority and Unprecedented Win Debunked

Donald Trump and his associates would like you to believe that Trump won in a landslide of epic proportions because of his “silent majority.” I’d like to shed a few facts on both this majority and the scale of his victory. America is home to about 318,000,000 people. Not all are American citizens however, and many do not vote, so let’s look at the size of the population that voted.

The Silent Majority

It’s not been debated that Donald Trump lost the popular vote. He managed 62,418,820 votes of 127,073,303 votes. It’s unsurprising that Trump keeps discussing 3 million illegal votes, the margin he lost by; but let’s forget that and the electoral college for a moment and just discuss the scale of his victory and the unprecedented title it seems to have adopted.

Less than 40% of the country voted, and Trump did not receive the majority of those votes, so the real size of Trump’s election support is less than 19% of the country. That’s right, your President Elect is walking into the white house with less than 20% of the country’s support.

Where does that rank in history? There are just two US Presidents who performed worse in the popular vote: Hayes and Adams, both in the 1800s. No candidate in modern history has lost the modern vote by a larger margin than Donald Trump.

How unprecedented is this? Well not at all, but actually more so than the “blowout” Trump keeps claiming in the Electoral College. Let’s consider that.

The Unprecedented Electoral College Blowout

The problem with this story isn’t mathematical. The problem is that it’s an out and out lie. In 58 US Presidential elections, 45 had larger margins of victory than Donald Trump.

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Yes, Donald Trump is our President. Yes, I am confident that will not change for at least 4 years, unless someone manages to catch him in the act of the many illegal things he seems to be involved in. That being said, there is zero case for Trump winning in a landslide. Trump lost the popular vote by almost the widest margin in US history. Trump’s Electoral College win ranks #46 in history.

Debate away, but facts are facts, and these are immutable.

World of Tomorrow Ray Bradbury Song

This project has been a few months in the making and so much fun to do. It’s a big progressive epic in the style of Pink Floyd. It’s based on a story called There Will Be Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. It’s a poignant story about the last day in the life of an automated house that has outlived it’s owners due to nuclear war. Cheery stuff, but still beautiful. I only hope my song does the story justice. I decided to let the house tell the story instead of singing it with my own voice.

If you are interested in the production of it, here are some details of what I used. I record all of my audio through a Universal Audio Apollo 16 into Logic Pro X. I have just a handful of preamps that I can use if I’m not recording at line level. For this project, I only actually recorded my vocal for the vocoder. I used an SM-58 into a Focusrite ISA Two. I limited the crap out of the vocal so the vocoder would take on the more monotone, constant level that you would expect from an automated voice. I know text to speech is much better now, but I really wanted a vintagy vibe to the house as I was trying to take on some of that 50’s era vibe.

Drums are all Superior Drummer plus some loops from Damage and Evolve in the Komplete Ultimate library. I also added a few instruments from the orchestral percussion to get the gong and clavas. There are quite a few other synth loops or synths droning the basslines. They are from Omnisphere and Massive. The bass is a Fender Jazz V Elite played into a Sansamp RBI.

Guitar is all a Fender USA Strat into either a KSR Ares into a Two-Notes Torpedo Live for the dirty, and a Fractal AxeFX2 for cleans. There are multiple solos all with unique tones, some droning parts and the big chorus guitars. Actually a small amount of guitar for me.

I figured out doing the vocoder part with the built in Logic plugin but wasn’t at all happy with it’s synth abilities, so I bought Izotope’s VocalSynth plugin which worked very well.

There is surprisingly little overall effects going on. Here’s a photo of the session:

screenshot-2016-11-13-11-41-48

Starting with the master buss, it’s pretty simple actually. NLS is there since I’m using it on all the tracks. Waves SSL Buss Compressor for a little glue, Slate Virtual Tape Machine for some vibe, Waves L3 for some limiting and Universal Audio’s Manley Massive Massive EQ to tweak a little.

I’ll go through what I did to various tracks, but assume Waves NLS is first on every track. Drums got Waves C4 to squash the buss a bit and I used the Logic EQ to cut off the extreme lows and highs. I’ve also done that in Superior Drummer for the kick and toms. The kit just had so much bass, I had to get rid of a lot of it.

The Bass got some compression via the LA2A from Universal Audio and some sweetening with the Manley Massive Passive EQ. You’ll see almost all the synth stuff got severely shelved. That Bass just adds up so I started cutting it at the source. That cleaned up the mix a ton.

The guitars got lots of subtle tweaks, but nearly all of them got Waves X-Noise. The Strat hum was just too much for me, I’ve now replaced the pickups to solve that problem, but these tracks were recorded before that, so I used a plugin to remove some noise.

Reverb is all from Waves R-Verb.

Oh, and TONS of automation.

 

Presidential Election Social Bias Simulator

It’s important to start by saying that this viz is in no way scientifically accurate, but it’s a very interesting tool to try and understand the kind of swings you can get by excluding social groups to varying degrees.

I am starting to feel more confident that Trump cannot win, but feel free to play with it yourself. You can control the following:

  • Margin of Error: This controls what is defined as contested. A setting of 1.5% adds a 1.5% Margin of padding above and below for a total of 3%.
  • Skews: These social shifts, account for the percentage of that population that the Republican Party stands to lose. A 10% Skew to the female vote shifts 10% of Republican voters in that social group and counts them as Democrat votes. 
  • Non-Party Voting: This controls how much of non-party aligned voters you a lot to Republican votes. 

As I said, this is simply a way to understand how easily states can shift, as well as how the Electoral vote compares to the popular vote. 

Enjoy!

An atheist mansplaining Christianity to Trump’s Evangelical Christian Supporters

2016-02-15-1455534387-1672884-nbcfiresdonaldtrumpafterhecallsmexicansrapistsanddrugrunnersLast night at a dinner conversation with coworkers, we discussed the election and were all equally confused at how Evangelical Christians have rallied behind Donald Trump. I’d like to speak to those people for a few moments. Feel free to read along, but this message is honest and to my friends and family back in North Carolina that intend to cast a vote for Donald Trump.

I’m an Atheist. I don’t make secrets of this. That being said, it’s time for some mansplaining. That’s right, an athiest is going to teach Christians about Christianity and why they cannot claim to be Christians and vote for Donald Trump.

I understand that you are scared. Your values are being challenged. Your home is being changed from friends and family to people you don’t know that sometimes don’t look like you. I get that you feel that abortion is wrong and you are afraid a Democratic candidate will allow other people to be free from your religion. I get that you honestly think that guns make you safer and the government intends to take them from you.

I spent my formative first 30 years in the South and I have seen the bad that can come from immigration. I do not deny that my family’s home town, that they built as a small community, was turned into a community they were simply a part of. I felt the fear of safety. I wouldn’t go play basketball at a park I grew up loving in Morganton, NC after dark. I am not going to paint this issue as entirely racist and not founded in legitimate fears.

That being said, there are a few things that have to be said before I drop this lesson on you. I’ve also traveled to other countries and seen communities where there are virtually no white people and felt their warmth. I’ve walked around at 3am in Macau China, and felt less threatened than I would have doing the same in downtown Las Vegas. I’ve been offered a dinner at a stranger’s home in Belize. I’ve only traveled a little compared to many of my friends, but it only takes a little to change your entire perspective.

Ok, enough of who I am and why I’m writing this. Let’s talk about Christianity. I found this amazing page on christianbiblereference.org that cleanly enumerated Christian values in a way I can’t imagine anyone could argue. I have a few selections from the article as well as some of my own commentary to share.

The bible speaks of Wordly values in contrast to Christian values. I think that’s a great way to frame our lesson.
Worldly values include wealth, power, pleasure, revenge, fame, vanity and status. These are the most important things to people who perceive no power or purpose beyond themselves. Worldly values promote jealousies, resentments and conflicts among people in accordance with the purposes of Satan (John 8:44, Acts 5:3, Romans 16:17-20, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:25-32, 2 Timothy 2:22-26, 1 John 3:8-10).
The values taught in the Bible are often the opposite of worldly values: kindness and respect for all people instead of power; humility instead of status; honesty and generosity instead of wealth; self-control instead of self-indulgence; forgiveness instead of revenge. Christian values promote peace and good will among people in accordance with the purposes of God. We will never achieve perfection in this life, but those people who strive to obey God often find a sense of joy and peace that no worldly rewards can match!

Even the irrepressible atheist, I cannot at all argue with any of those values and with the exception of the part that I personally should worship God, I think they are all pretty damned good advice too.

Worship Only God

2fd9465400000578-3390812-image-a-51_1452283969158One day, a religious leader asked Jesus which of the commandments was most important:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (NIV, Mark 12:28-30)
The Hebrews of Old Testament times tended to lapse into worship of pagan deities and statues of animals or other objects, but anything that takes the place of our devotion to God becomes an idol or false god, and that is forbidden by the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-6). Jesus particularly singled out love of wealth as a false god (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13), and other Bible passages mention greed, covetousness, arrogance, gluttony and pride as being equivalent to idolatry.

These are some of the things that are not necessarily bad in moderation, but can become modern-day idolatry if we let them become too important to us:
  • Excessive attention to material things such as houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, physical appearance, entertainment, etc.
  • Pursuit of wealth, power, fame, pleasure or status
  • Excessive devotion to self, job, hobbies, country, ideologies, heroes, leaders, even family
I do not think that there is any need to explain how this relates to Donald Trump.

Respect All People

After saying “Love the Lord your God” is the most important of the commandments, Jesus continued,
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV, Mark 12:31)

The English word “love” has many different meanings, but the Greek word, agape, used in the New Testament, is commonly known as “Christian love.” It means respect, affection, benevolence, good-will and concern for the welfare of the one loved.
In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus made the point that we should extend our Christian love to all people of the world, regardless of race, religion, nationality or any other artificial distinction. We must practice that Christian love even toward our enemies! (Matthew 5:43-48)
So that’s pretty clear. Race, religion and nationality are equal. Interesting.

Be Humble

Humility or being humble is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Acting with humility does not in any way deny our own self worth. Rather, it affirms the inherent worth of all persons. Humility is exactly what is needed to live in peace and harmony with all persons. It dissipates anger and heals old wounds. It allows us to see the dignity and worth of all God’s people. Humility distinguishes the wise leader from the arrogant power-seeker (Proverbs 17:7, Matthew 20:20-28).
When Donald Trump speaks of his humility, he’s actually bragging about how humble he is.

Be Honest

Honesty and integrity are held as very important values throughout the Bible, and any deception to gain an advantage or harm another is prohibited by the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:16) and other Bible passages. Deception may be by false statements, half-truths, innuendo, or failing to tell the whole truth. It is all too common in advertising, business dealings, politics and everyday life. We must strongly resist the temptation to engage in any form of theft, cheating, deception, innuendo, slander or gossip.
Rationalization is a form of self-deception by which we convince ourselves that sinful actions are justified in order to achieve a good result, but this is really just another form of dishonesty (Galatians 6:7-8, James 1:26, 1 John 1:8). Holiness is in living by the commandments, not in achieving an end result (Matthew 4:8-10, 16:26). In Biblical teaching, the ends do not justify the means!
Basically, the Bible just described the way Donald Trump communicates.

Live a Moral Life

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Jesus gave a list of actions that constitute immoral uses of the body: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance and foolishness. The apostle Paul gave similar lists.
We often think of morality in terms of sexual sins, but according to Jesus, sins such as slander, greed, covetousness, deceit, and arrogance are equally immoral.

Slander? Greed? Covetousness? Deceit? Arrogance? That sounds just like our Donnie boy.

Be Generous with Time and Money

The Bible tells us to share generously with those in need, and good things will come to us in turn. Each of us has something to offer to someone in need. We can give our money and our time to charity, be a friend to someone who is sick or lonely, do volunteer work or choose a service-oriented occupation. We may give unselfishly of our time to our spouse, children or parents.
This does not mean we are obligated to share our time or money with people who are clearly not in need but just want to use or abuse us (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).
I’d like to reference this in relation to NATO, the way his charity operates, the way that he decided he would not support the health of his dead brother’s son and cut his family out of their will, and much more.

Practice what you Preach; Don’t be a Hypocrite

If there was any one group of people that Jesus couldn’t stand, it was hypocrites! The Pharisees of Jesus’ time were a religious and political party that insisted on very strict observance of Biblical laws on tithing, ritual purity and other matters. At the same time, many of the Pharisees forgot the true spirit and intent of the law and became self-indulgent, self-righteous, snobbish, and greedy. That led Jesus to remarks such as,
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (NIV, Matthew 23:27-28)
It is not the things we say that really matter; it is the things that we do (Matthew 7:15-20). If we claim to be Christians but do not let Jesus’ teachings guide our lives, we are nothing but hypocrites.

Trump Foundation. Clinton Foundation. Enough said.

Don’t Be Self-righteous

No one is perfect; we are all sinners in one way or another (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8). Living a moral life means taking responsibility for controlling our own behavior. If we say or even think we are better than people we consider to be “sinners,” we are guilty of the sin of self-righteousness. It is not our right to look down on, criticize, judge, condemn, or try to control other people. Judgment is to be left to God.

Jesus said, do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. (NRSV, Matthew 7:1-5)
This does not deny the right of governments to maintain law and order and collect taxes. Jesus and other New Testament leaders supported the authority of civil governments (Matthew 22:15-22, Romans 13:1-7).
A lot to unpack here. Trump does not ever admit a mistake or apologize when he is proven wrong. Name a time you have heard him say anything positive about another politician who is not a sycophant? It’s not plausible that every decision Hilliary Clinton has ever made was bad, but that’s the way Trump wants you to believe.

Oh, and pay your taxes Donald.

Don’t Hold a Grudge

Jesus said there is no place for hatred, holding a grudge, revenge, retaliation or getting even in the life of a Christian:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. (NIV, Matthew 5:38-40)
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (NIV, Matthew 5:43-45)

Bearing a grudge and seeking revenge are never appropriate responses to a perceived wrong. A grudge destroys the grudge-holder with bitterness, and revenge only escalates hostilities. Jesus told us we must reconcile with our adversaries, forgive their transgressions, and let go of the anger that may tempt us to commit an act of revenge.

Oh man. Any slight creates a grudge that is never released. When Christie endorsed, Trump jokes about his weight in front of him at a rally. Judge Curiel? Alicia Machado? Withholding his endorsement of Paul Ryan and John McCain? Jerry Seinfeld? John Stewart. The list is nearly endless. They say something negative about him, he assaults them with 10 times the intensity and one tenth of the decency, and then continues to carry feuds for years, decades….

Forgive Others

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NLT, Matthew 6:14-15)
God is merciful and forgives our sins and failings. In the same way, we must be merciful and forgive other people who sin against us or do us harm.

Bible references: Matthew 5:7, 18:21-35, Mark 11:25, Luke 17:3-4, Colossians 3:12-14, Ephesians 4:32

I don’t think Trump has ever forgiven anyone not named Donald Trump.

The Final Word

Even as someone who does not believe in God, I can recognize the core principals within these words and can find no fault in them. I am guessing that if you were to stand before the judgement you fear, you will find yourself wanting if you were given the chance to choose between your conviction in man’s indictment of Hillary Clinton, or God’s complete and utter indictment of Donald Trump, and you chose Trump. Tell me again how I twisted these words to support my argument? I’m dying to know.
Word.

I guess Donald Trump is a lot like God

I spend a lot of time introspecting my own thoughts and opinions, and I might have just come up with the most interesting, and probably offensive (to some) thought path around why I shouldn’t be judgemental of people who support Donald Trump, and you shouldn’t either…..

When someone tells me about their faith. They know I am a cynic and an Atheist, so they often try to explain their faith in terms of how they have personal beliefs that are so strong that they contradict evidence of facts, science and sometimes even common sense.

I often wonder how intelligent people I know are not Atheist, because I truly do not understand that kind of faith and have no mental reference for it. I live in the world of facts, data and the search for truth.

Get ready, here is the offensive part. Donald Trump’s supporters believe he cares about them when there is no evidence to support it. They believe that he has the answers and if we all believe, he will fix everything. They believe that he can and will do good even when he has a track record of doing things that are truly horrible. They look to books written many years ago, and ignore the constant stream of evidence that disprove their words. They believe he has a plan when he does absolutely nothing to explain it.

So yea, I guess that faith is faith. You can believe something into being true, for you. From an Atheist point of view, Donald Trump is a lot like God, that is; capable of taking credit for all the good that happens, washing over all the bad that happens as someone else’s fault (no irony that he called Hillary the devil I guess, lol) and inspiring millions of people to believe in him even when evidence proves you shouldn’t.

Woof.