Romney’s Math Is Stuck In His One Dimensional Political Fallacy

Romney and his supporters see the voters as existing along a one dimensional line going from extreme right to extreme left. Using this model they seek to place Romney just past the 50% mark between extreme left and extreme right. Thus, in order to win the Republican nomination, Romney plans to fool the conservatives that he is at the 25% point toward the right and then after nomination he’ll reposition himself at the 51% point by moving left.

The Nolan chart’s dashed line is the extent of Romney and his supporters one dimensional world. But the Nolan chart is two dimensional and Romney ignores the areas off his line. The reality is that Romney and his supporters live in a three dimensional world and voters are not in equal numbers on both sides of his Nolan line, nor even in the same two dimensional geometric plane. A better picture is a variant of the Nolan Chart which uses red for leftism and blue for rightism to show a more accurate weights to the numbers of voters in each group. These red and blue numbers are found in the Gallup survey which in 2011 showed 41% conservative, 38% moderate and 21% liberal.

Even this variant of the Nolan Chart does not show the three dimensional volumes of voters, of non-voters and of may-vote-this-time voters.   Unlike the Romney model, voters are not trapped one dimensionally between a Republican area and a Democrat area, they can come from anywhere in the voter-three-dimensional-volume and even from the usually-not-voting volume. The winning Presidential candidate will not attract voters just between their two fields along a one dimensional line, but from all three directions.

Obama wisely seeks the student-vote, the illegal-immigrant-and-supporter-of-illegal-vote, and the remaining Black vote from the Black-usually-not-voting-volume. Outside the always-vote-Republican-volume are lots of conservative people who have no respect for Republican nor Democrat politicians and when Romney moves to capture the voters between the Republican and Democrat volumes, he becomes less attractive as a typical Republican politician to these voters.

Wake up Romney, the weighted center balance point on the variant Nolan Chart is not in the Centrism area but across the line in the Rightism area.  A firm written commitment to Tea Party like fiscal principles and conservative values will attract the majority to you.   Failure to do so makes you appear as a pandering politician rather than a principled conservative, with the consequential loss of voters.

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  • Subliminal Watch

    Your individuals with vectors changes the center reference point of the axes to each individual.  Circumstances and temporal (time) can just be additional vector coordinates.    But even with this, there is no middle filled with one dimensional individuals for Romney to attract  Or a bad plan = poor results for Romney.  Romney must attract individuals, not an imagined group of one dimensional moderates. .Conservatism is a proven attractant for a majority which Romney must make believable.

    • n.n

      First we would need to define the center of our constellation which is universally representative. The circumstantial and temporal adjustments would not be represented as singular vectors but as weighted adjustments to every other vector. The reason for this is because the constellation would not necessarily and, in fact, is unlikely to shift in whole or uniformly, and if we define the center correctly, then the reference will remain unaffected. Most people do not experience a 180 in their perceptions and expectations during a lifetime. And the “moderate” position would be rightly considered a position relative to a group, society, or humanity, and would be defined by maximum correlation within that reference unit.

      I think classical liberalism, but American conservatism specifically (which I define as a hybrid of the first and the principles engendered by the Judeo-Christian faiths), is most attractive when individuals desire to both preserve their dignity and are capable of self-moderating behavior. With our philosophy, it is imperative that people respect individual dignity (and the inherent inequality it entails) and acknowledge that not everyone will enjoy a beachfront property in Hawaii. So, while American conservatism was indeed a powerful attractant for a majority, there has since developed a large minority or perhaps a slight majority who have been corrupted by dreams of instant gratification. This is not a concept which is naturally compatible with conservative philosophy. It is a concept embraced by individuals with delusions of grandeur, selfish interest, and increasingly the vulnerable.

      Incidentally, the left-wing perception and interpretation of the so-called “social issues” seem to fall squarely under dreams of physical, material, and ego instant gratification, which is the principal sponsor of corruption in society. This has artificially compensated for the proven attractant you mention. At one time, it was about assigning and preserving human dignity. Since that time, a population has arisen to demand more, and fails to recognize that preservation of that original principle must be mutually compatible and compatible with the natural order.

  • n.n

    To Subliminal Watch:

    I think we can consider every position as varying on a linear scale. The higher dimensions arise with the seemingly endless array of issues where a meaningful position is considered. There is further complexity when we consider that each issue does not exist independent of another, especially in the perceptions of the individual, which influence their actions.

    The high level classes of left, right; totalitarian, libertarian; etc., can be attributed to an explicit convergence which follows from individuals forming ever larger cooperatives.

    As for choosing a convergence point, party, representative, etc., each individual should consider their principles, concerns, desires, etc., as a weighted vector and then identify the closest correlation between the sum of these vectors and reality.

    Come to think of it, individuals can be modeled as these adaptive, multivariate vector constellations. This would be an interesting premise for a thesis. It assumes, of course, a certain stability; and therefore it’s accuracy would be highly circumstantial and temporal.

  • Uncle Rick

    It’s a lot simpler than that. I don’t know what the questions were on the Gallup poll or how Gallup interpreted the answers to determine how conservative or liberal people are. The term “moderate” is a complete misnomer implying that both conservatives and liberals are all extremists.

    The Battleground Poll is conducted every election year and at various times between elections. It is funded by a Republican research outfit and a Democrat outfit and conducted by the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Science. While questions change from poll to poll, every election year poll has one common question. Do you consider yourself a) Strongly conservative, b) Somewhat conservative, c) Moderate, d) Somewhat liberal, e)Strongly liberal, f) Undecided.

    In every such poll those identifying themselves as conservative make up between 59% and 62% of respondees, liberals 28% to 31% and moderates never more than 5%.

    Now consider all the presidential elections from 1972 to the present. This is Bob’s blog, so I won’t burden you with a detailed anasysis. The bottom line is that Americans don’t like to elect liberals to the White House.  In 1996, Bill Clinton, running for re-election, still did not get a majority of the popular vote. Why didn’t Dole win? Because the conservatives base of his party stayed home. You have to go back to 1976, when there were 47 million fewer people in the country, to get a lower voter turnout. As Jerry Pournelle says, the GOP nominated the one candidate who couldn’t beat Clinton.

    All those elections say the same thing. An unabashedly conservative Republican can totally ignore the middle and still kick the crap out of any Democrat in a national election. The GOP old boys club just doesn’t get it.

    If Romney wins and does the usual “moderate Republican” thing, then there is a better than even chance we’ll get Hillary in 2017. The Tea Party needs to get deeply involved in Republican party affairs right now, since that is where candidates are chosen.

    Richard “The Professor” White
    Austin, Texas

    • Subliminal Watch

      Professor, you’re right, polls are controlled by the questions.   My point is that voters, conservatives, liberals or whatever are not properly evaluated as voters in any linear model.   I.e. In Pennsylvania, I met many gun loving always vote Democrat people. Where are they placed on the linear scale?    In truth, you need a three or four dimensional model varying with time/events.    In answer also to Machine:   My purpose is to pin Romney to an agenda and then if he wins, showing him this is what works.   Dole, McCain and, likely, Romney are milquetoasts who’ll praise their opponent’s good intentions to pander to an imagined moderate voter.

      • Uncle Rick

        Point taken. There have been many efforts to plot political ideas on a chart to see where everyone is with respect to everyone else. Some are more useful than others. I like Jerry Pournelle’s chart, found here:

        among other places. The discussion page is marginally interesting. I agree with one of the comments that Nazism belongs toward the top of the chart, as it advocated perfecting society by the rational application of what they thought were scientific principles. That’s debatable, of course, and I’m willing to change my views on that, given a persuasive enough argument.

        Not that it matters, of course.

        • eNeecie

          I have a problem with the Pournell chart. It places Communism at the top of the Reason chart. Communism  is based on the belief in the perfection of society through the perfection of man. This belief is not based on any scientific evidence, but rather the wish for “heaven” on earth.

          On the other hand, Conservatism, like Libertarianism, is based on the nature of human beings as they are now, not how they could be in some imagined utopia. Conservatism reveres facts, logic, and reason.  So I think the up/down scale is screwed up.

          In any case, the main problem with the Pournell chart is that it does not have a scale for Individual freedom versus collectivism. This is the main difference between the Left and the Right. Fascism is not an extreme “Right” view because, like Communism, it is a collectivist ideology. Nazism was an extreme view of collectivism because it sought to perfect society not just through the elimination of political foes as in communism, but also the elimination of people it thought to be genetically inferior. Nazism didn’t just want to perfect society; it wanted to perfect the human race.

          If you travel on a Collectivist–>Individual scale, you go from Monarchy Communism/Fascism/Feudalism to Socialism to Modern Liberals to Centrist to Conservatives to Libertarians to Classical Anarchists. And the progression from State Worship to the State as the Ultimate Evil follows roughly the same progression.

          Of course, no one fits nicely on any of these charts because they are trying to simplify very complex ideas. However, I think more people in this country lean more towards individual freedom than they do towards collectivism. It would be nice if we had a candidate who could clearly make the case for individual freedom.

          Romney would have a problem convincing people he believed in individual freedom because of Romneycare. Yes, there is a legal and constitution difference between ObamaCare and RomneyCare, but there isn’t a moral difference.

          • n.n

            For most people, individually, ideology is measured in degrees on every issue. It is not until we form ever larger cooperatives that we observe convergence to the singular classes of left and right, totalitarian and libertarian, etc.

            The only consideration I would offer Romney and the medical insurance law attributed to him, is that some of the most undesirable aspects of that law were passed by a Democrat majority, and people already pay, implicitly, the cost of providing services to the poor, irresponsible, and illegal aliens. In fact, it is that hidden cost shifting which is at the root of ever-increasing inflation, deficits, and progressive corruption.  It seems there are better, local solutions; but, they like consolidating power in a central authority.

          • Subliminal Watch

            To eNeecie and the Professor,  you both realize there are other axes to compare systems and other definitions for placing on those axes.   Rational implies logical, but logic depends on the first premises you  use.  Communism is not rational, because it fails the scientific test of of application, but is rational, if you insist its premises are to be used.  The point of my post is that voters and people cannot be placed along a one dimensional line and conclusions from such an assumption don’t match the real multi-dimensional world.    The middle that Romney wants to move to doesn’t exist and moving to it alienates potential supporters.

  • The Machine

    Even if he does what you ask, in writing, many will still view it as a politician’s lie…