Testing the Education Hypothesis in Virginia

This is a transcript from my radio show. You can listen live now.

There's a saying I use a lot. "Anecdote is not data." I am aware of private polling that senior Republicans and senior Democrats have that shows a majority of Americans want to get to the bottom of what actually happened on January 6th. You may not, but a majority of Americans do. The Republicans have done the polling. The Democrats have done the polling. Democrats have misread this polling. They think that it'll be a way to hurt Republicans in 2022 by tying it to Trump. That's not what the polling suggests at all. It simply suggests that Americans want some answers about what happened.

I will get people who will call the program and say, "Well, I don't care about it. I don't know who these people are, but me and my friends, we don't care about it." Anecdote is not data. You may not care about it, but people do. Let's take the McRib. I actually like the McRib. When the McRib rolls around, I go get one and a majority of my friends are horrified. They don't like the McRib. None of them eat the McRib. Well, that's anecdote. The data shows McDonald's brings it back every year because it does generate sales. People do like it and eat it. The data is, the McRib makes money for McDonald's despite the anecdotes I experience from friends and family. Ultimately, my anecdotal experience is not data.

Now, if you get enough anecdotes over time, and those anecdotes are randomly generated and entirely consistent, you know what they become? Data points. An anecdote is not data, but lots and lots of duplicated anecdotes over time become points of data. This data then points to a truth. Before we get to the truth sometimes, we can look at the data and we form hypotheses. Eventually, we get to test those hypotheses or those theories.

Right now, one of those is, does education matter? Are education issues really an issue that's going to fire up the American public on election day? The hypothesis from Republicans looking at the data out there is that, yes, this is an issue that will galvanize Independent voters in the Republican's favor. The Democrats’ theory is that only Republicans care about this issue. The Democrats have a Fox News poll that shows a majority of Independents and Democrats don't really care about the issue, and a majority of Republicans do. Republicans have their own polling that shows a majority of Independents and Republicans and a large minority of Democrats do.

Here in Georgia, over in Texas, up in Virginia, it's been liberal parents who've shown up, not just conservative Christian parents. It's been liberal parents who have shown up at schools to complain about Critical Race Theory. It's been liberal parents who have complained about mask mandates for elementary school. It's been liberal parents who have complained about school shutdowns. And Democrats, based on the data, look at this and say, "Well, these are anecdotes." Yes, it's true. Democrats may have shown up in these places. They may have opposed it, but they're the minority. Overwhelmingly, Democrats don't care about this. Overwhelmingly, progressives and liberals don't care about this. It's just the Christian conservative fringe. They're the ones who care about it. You're always going to get a few people to show up.

Democrats think it's an anecdote. Republicans though, think it's data. So both sides are shaping their hypotheses. The Republicans believe education is an issue that's going to work in their favor. The Democrats believe it's a non-issue. We're going to have a real-world test. It's called the gubernatorial election in Virginia. The data is beginning to suggest that the truth is education's going to help the GOP. How do I know this? Well, yesterday in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe sat down for an interview with a news station in Virginia. Each of the candidates, Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe, were given 20 minutes in their interviews. Terry McAuliffe cut short the interview with the news station.

Now the reporter has come out and said that they asked both sides to do the interview and they were given 20 minutes apiece. Terry McAuliffe stormed off the stage and didn't want to continue answering the questions. Here's the reporter from the news station talking about this.

Yeah, this doesn't look good for Terry McAuliffe. See, let me explain to you one of the downsides of authoritarian regimes. Oh, yeah. We're going there, folks. Authoritarian regimes have a distinct characteristic over time as a climate of fear pops up. Everyone becomes a yes, man. The people who would challenge, the people who would dissent, the people who would question, they either fall by the wayside or they're killed or exiled. They're silenced. Because the leader wants what the leader wants. The leader gets to the point where the leader believes what he thinks is right, because everyone around him tells him all the time that he's grand and glorious.

To the extent that the Democrats say Donald Trump was an authoritarian, Donald Trump did have a trait towards the end of his presidency where he was surrounded by people who told him everything he believed was true. Very few people challenged him. The people who tried to challenge him were, by other people, sidelined so they couldn't be there to challenge. Because those people wanted to be in the glory of the God-King Trump. I say that sarcastically, not pejoratively against the president. It's these people who treated him as if he was some sort of king and they needed to be in his presence. They wanted his affection. So they agreed with him because by agreeing with him, there was no argument or controversy. So the people who could steer the President in other directions were shown the door.

At least with Donald Trump, he maintained good relationships with those people. They went on to do other things. With the Democrats, look at David Shor. David Shor is the Democratic pollster who in 2020 said, hey guys, this rioting in the streets is going to hurt the Democrats. The Democrats canceled him. He landed on his feet, but he's the exception to the rule. See, it's interesting, the Democrats always said that Donald Trump was authoritarian. And then they themselves cancel anyone who dissents from what their views are. They pushed David Shor out of his data analytics polling firm. He landed on his feet somewhere else. He doesn't like to give up the name of his new company because he doesn't want them coming after him now.

In real authoritarian regimes, in the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, they just disappeared you. You weren't fired. You weren't silenced. You were killed. The Soviets became notorious about this. If you ever watched the Chernobyl series on HBO, it's a really well done, fact-based series. The Soviet bureaucracy was designed to tell Mikhail Gorbachev exactly what he wanted to hear. There was no dispute, no dissension. Gorbachev caught on over time, that he was surrounded by people who wish to tell him exactly what he wanted to hear.

The Democrats have purged anyone who could tell them the truth. Go back to David Shor. In 2020, he was saying the riots and defund the police were bad for Democrats. And the Democrats looked at all of the progressive pollsters who were saying people wanted to defund the police. So they pushed it. Did you notice how the Democrats said they did not want to defund the police and that's not a thing Democrats believe? Oh, it sure was. It was said enough by enough prominent Democrats and then implemented around the country. Austin, Texas defunded the police. Atlanta, Georgia, defunded the police. Minneapolis, Minnesota, defunded the police. Seattle and Portland defunded the police. Washington DC defunded the police.

They say, we're not defunding. We're just reprioritizing. Of course, the media fact-checkers who are a bunch of progressives fact-checked it as false. “They're not defunding. They're just moving the money away from the police to other things.” And there was a voter backlash in November of 2020. Democrats almost lost their House majority when they were expected to expand their seats. Republicans held all their governor's mansions and expanded their state legislative footprint across the country. The Republicans actually had a really good night in November. All because voters didn't like the defund message.

So now here come the Democrats, headed into 2022. The anecdotes, they still say, are just anecdotes. But after three weeks of Terry McAuliffe doubling down on parents having no right to tell schools what to teach and Critical Race Theory being good, he’s suddenly changing his tune.

The hypothesis is about to be tested in Virginia. Is it anecdote or is it data that parents are really hacked off about what's happening in schools? I'm willing to say, given the last-minute scrambling and panic by the McAuliffe campaign, their data is showing them it's not anecdote.

We will find the truth in just a few weeks in Virginia. If it's close or McAuliffe loses, we will know education and defund the police are still two big issues for the GOP. You will see the media and the Democrats scramble and claim “no one believes this. Nobody wants to defund the police. No one's teaching Critical Race Theory. It's a racist dog whistle. It's not going to matter.” They banked on the fact that no one cared about these issues because they purged all of the reasonable people from the Democratic party. All the data shows them it's an issue. And they say, that's not data, that's anecdote. Now there's going to be hell to pay for the Democrats because of it. It's going to set up 2022, and we know what we're going to be talking about for the next year.