Big data billionaire wages war on mainstream media

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

Donald Trump

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A computer scientist is behind the rise of Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon, apparently.

The Guardian had a breathless article this week about how big data billionaire Robert Mercer helped usher in Brexit and Trump.

Mercer helped bankroll Stephen Bannon’s Breitbart News.

And, more, his company Cambridge Analytica has "ace smarts" at analysing voters’ Facebook profiles, the better to target them with customised, manipulative ads.

Phew, that’s the rise of Trump explained.

As if. Blaming Facebook and fake news is a red herring.

Democrat PACs were equally wise to social media profiling, and had a better-funded effort, which is what helped them win the popular vote by 48% to 45.9%.

Trump won because Hillary Clinton lost touch with her party’s base; crucially in the rust belt battlegrounds of Michigan and Pennsylvania, which swung the Electoral College race.

Clinton was criticised for assuming these two states were in the bag when in fact the Bradly effect meant they were in play. But, similarly, the pattern of the Trump campaign’s spending (it bought only a token amount of TV ads in Michigan) indicates it was surprised by its own success.

The low-tech real story
Trump came to power because he sensed unease, and exploited it, on an instinctive level.

Working class voters in the rust belt states – and various among the anxious middle class – had come to fear and loathe globalisation.

They wanted someone who would punch Washington in the face and Donald Trump was that candidate.

They did not necessarily believe he could get many of his policies through, and found some of his behaviour stupid or embarrassing. But they did think he heard their pain. And they did believe he would upset the status quo.

They sensed, quite correctly, that Hillary Clinton didn’t have her heart in free-trade bashing.

The real answer
To win in 2020, Democrats need to stop making fun of the people who voted for Trump – and grit their teeth and start talking to them.

To continue to focus alleged manipulation by fake newsmakers and the likes of Mercer and Bannon (both of whom actually came on board after Trump had already sewn up the Republican nomination and firmly established his political brand with the electorate) is to avoid having that conversation.


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Brilliant well written

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In other words.
Hillary was so out of touch that she didn't realise that the people she was calling deplorable were traditional working class democrat voters who ended up voting for Trump because their own party had deserted them.

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Well done. Yes, Trump didn't steal the election - he won. And too many politicians and people at large need to get over this.

Apparently they and self elected mandarins of the media d.on't believe in democracy.

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Cassandra, might I suggest for your reading pleasure Peter Mair's book "Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy" which makes a large number of very interesting and often highly pertinent points about the decline of party-based democracy and the proposition that modern democracy, just does work properly without parties. He suggests that in an era when parties no longer are effective in performing their prior function, democracy itself is at stake. Highly relevant as one way to think about democracy and the impact of electoral politics in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand in the current times. Although there is material in there to debate, its an influential book of ideas which might make us all think more deeply about belief in democracy today!

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Spot on!

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"Democrats .......... grit their teth and start talking to them"
"Them" being Trump voters.
And just what do you suppose the Democrats should be saying to these people?
"Don't worry fellow americans, be as costly as you want to be, we will, like Trump, force your fellow Americans to buy what ever you produce"?
"How we going to do that? Well, we are America and we are going to block everything that is produced cheaper than we do"
All sung to the tune of Dixie

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Ironic that the Democrats seem least likely to actually accept democracy

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Ah, but they think themselves superior to the mob...Hilary Clinton made that very plain. They are The Chosen Ones, the film Stars, rock Stars (!) Celebrities- the Beautiful People, and we must follow them because they Know Best.

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Chris, the problem with your strategy is that people always know when you are gritting your teeth. Hillary 'campaigned' like an entitled queen. Look at the current Democrats, now sans Biden.
They act like the Buckingham Palace crowd. Pelosi, Schumer etc are eminences with entitlement writ large on their foreheads. You can only get down and dirty if you look and sound like you came from them (Trump was the branded and profiled exception 'cos he was an outsider with a 'movement' that the Republicans reluctantly joined. An exception.)

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But Hillary Clinton has come out in recent days saying she would not change anything , except win. She and her followers have learnt nothing.

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Hillary didn't lose touch with her party. Her party lost touch with reality in America.

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NZ should take a leaf out Trumps book.....because sooner or later we will have too....make no mistake.
Feeding china by purchasing everything we want will lead to disaster.

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It will happen when the baby boomers reduce in numbers so they are no longer a large voter bloc. Currently National labour and NZ first all target the grey vote. Only a matter of time before a new party manages to gain traction in NZ.

And those worse hit will be aged around 40 years old today.

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Yep, at present the government seems hellbent on using only policies that drive up property portfolios and down labour costs for businesses, to the benefit of their boomer voters and at the expense of young and future generations of Kiwis.

A big selling of New Zealand out from under young Kiwis, pushing home ownership ever further out of their reach.

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Disruption can be good. But I'm not a fan of most of Trump's policies, which tend to favour jingo-ism and short-term gain over economic literacy. New Zealand has an export-led economy, so China up is good news, the US clamming up bad news.

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Political parties are still focusing on left vs right, blue collar vs white collar. A couple of years back a UK university released research of 7 new categories of social make up. These might not exactly fit NZ but will be close. Political parties need to adjust to target new social structures as communities are changing under new social pressures, I.e. those emanating from advancement in communications, technology and transport. Not to mention life quality and expectancy.

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Interesting comment - below I think is the study and categories they came up with Clare -

Elite - the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals
Established middle class - the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital
Technical middle class - a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy
New affluent workers - a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital
Traditional working class - scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66
Emergent service workers - a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital
Precariat, or precarious proletariat - the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital

The researchers said while the elite group had been identified before, this is the first time it had been placed within a wider analysis of the class structure, as it was normally put together with professionals and managers.

At the opposite extreme they said the precariat, the poorest and most deprived grouping, made up 15% of the population.

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The rot was started by Clinton in 1999, when glass steagall act was repealed. This allowed the banks to please themselves; the consequences now being inflated asset prices feed by printed money to save the 'too big to fail banks' from bankruptcy.

The side effects will now improverish the masses through unsustainable accommodation costs, with no solution other than:
1. Big price crashes, or
2. Government cost relief.
Both solutions wont be favoured by the elite; so we are likely to see a long period of pain. All because of Clinton.

While Trump is no silver bullet, at least he has not prostituted himself in the extent the Clinton's have to the banksters.

Bring on a tax to capital; focusing on those that have got their ill gotten gains through the banking system.

As for NZ inc, we can only hope our creditors keep supplying us loans. We've been sold down the road to overseas interests, by successive governments.

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Nonsense. Governments have not sold us down the drain to any body. The owners of private property have exercised their right to sell their assets to whom they please.

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Ultimately the governments (around the world) have failed to address the offshoring of people's jobs to cheap labour overseas, followed by the offshoring of people's chance at home ownership to newly rich overseas buyers.

The USA has seen this revolt and election of Trump following the abandonment of the lower middle class.

There's every chance we'll see a similar revolt as people realise they're being paid peanuts while competing not only with overseas labour but also with a workforce imported to drive down wages, while trying to live in houses for which they now compete with overseas money.

Sure, it's individual Kiwis who have been selling NZ out from under future generations, but the governments make the rules of how and to whom property can be sold. We now see the example of Vancouver, where the authorities are finally ceasing their abdication of responsibility and starting to think of the needs of young locals, with the resultant 15% foreign purchase stamp duty.

It's not realistic to expect people whose genius was being born at the right time NOT to sell NZ off to all comers; this is why government policy needs to consider whether it's a good thing for young and future Kiwis to have to compete for their homes with meager wages vs. international funds.

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What do you think has caused the price inflation of real estate in the past two decades? Its been governments lack of foresight to legislate that loans can not exceed 4-5 times peoples ncome.

Now we are slaves to overseas banks, with no solution in sight.

Have you not considered the effect of the sale of state monopoly assets has had on the wider population? Now we have the highest costs of living in the world; thanks to the belief that competition will come.

Time to take your head out of the sand, and recognise governments sales strategy has been flawed, and failure to regulate monopolies is and has been screwing the middle class; to the benefit of overseas interests!!

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"Democrats need to stop making fun of the people who voted for Trump – and grit their teeth and start talking to them."

Classic stuff from sneerer-in-chief Chris Keall.

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Trouble with the democrats is that they place more stock in the inane ramblings of a Hollywood limousine liberals than the working class who have been royally abandoned by the party over the last 8 years, the last election was theirs to lose as will be the next one

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Democrats won the vote. Republicans won the gerrymandering.
All the comments here about policy are unreal!
Clinton may have made 1 stupid comment
Trump plainly lied about everything and continues to do so.

Hopefully we do not ever get a press in NZ that happily reports blatant lies like the US press - without any effort to point out the lie

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Our NZ press already happily reports blatant lies like the US press. Just look at the repeats from the Washington Post every day in the NZ Herald and the left wing rubbish printed in our Sunday papers.

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Oprah Winfrey v Vince McMahon next election ;)
And a ladder match showdown for the job on pay per view to raise some dollars for the poor old U.S. taxpayer

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