How to Tell a Truth with Numbers

How to tell a truth with numbers. *A* truth.

Gallup has complied a year end poll, to determine how people feel about their life in the current political environment.

Q: Are you better off than you were three years ago, or not?

61% say they are better off as compared to 45% in previous poll. Sounds good, right? In an effort to match apples to apples, Gallup posited the question in relation to the previous incumbent President. So..we’re talking, as compared to Barrack Obama. As compared to Obama between terms, so…that means from the beginning of 2012. three years before that, is 2008-2009. Which is the beginning of the global financial crisis that had the US reeling.

Honestly, I am surprised only 45% said their lives were better off at that time, although the economy had not yet recovered and was in recession at end of 2011. I can’t blame Gallup for matching apples to apples, but this data doesn’t tell us anything, except that people tend to feel better when the world doesn’t feel as if it is collapsing.

People felt as if they were doing better this time around as compared to the 2012 to 2008-2009 comparison, and surely there is empirical data that would support sound reasons for people to have that feeling.

Now this is much more interesting:

Q: Is America as respected throughout the world as it was three years ago, or not?

38% say yes. 59% say no. Again this is matched apples to apples with Obama; compared to what someone would think in relation to 3 years earlier, so again 2008 2009.

A lot to think about here, isn’t there.

For Trump’s term(s) we are comparing beginning of 2020 to 2016. We have to think, hold on, shouldn’t that be 0%? Don’t we all know that clearly the US is viewed much less favorably on average throughout the world? How about if we ask the Europeans? Gallup did.

What is really odd about the US response is, why would Americans think the US wasn’t viewed more positively in the world in 2012, then in 2008-2009? 30%? when clearly EU had a very positive feeling about the change to Obama. I don’t know. I suspect US citizens were feeling bad about our part in the global meltdown and ongoing Middle East bullshit at that time. No idea.

Back to Trump, how could we possibly come to 38%? Because:

70% Republicans feel that is the correct answer

9% Democrats fell that is the correct answer

32% independents feel that is the correct answer.

It doesn’t matter what the world might think. How do you feel the world thinks, or even better, how do you feel the world should rightly think.

To Trump’s followers, the US *is* stronger as a nation and their leader keeps everyone else guessing what he might do next. Other nations fear the US and therefore respect the US. Even if they say that they do not respect the US, it is because they fear the might of the US, as they should. So- their feelings are incorrectly expressed. Our feelings are correct.

Polls like this are a truth. They are not uniformly or even realistically the truth.

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