The real reason Fox News got the 2012 election so wrong still hasn’t been discussed extensively, at least not in my view. It had just as much to do with the desire to see Romney win as it did with the conservative’s near unanimous dismissal of science, and their tendency toward viewing humans as independent, individualistic agents.
If human beings are are so predictable that Nate Silver can forecast our voting behavior based on a negligible sliver of sample data, then what does that say about us? Are any of us the embodiment of exceptionalism, American or otherwise? Or are we just a slightly more advanced conformation of Pavlov’s dogs?
Those who believe that humans are made in the image of God are always awaiting miracles as a way of affirming their faith, and that faith informs them that humans are profoundly spirit oriented, and highly capable of harnessing our collective will at any given moment in order to pivot in a totally new and dynamic direction. Freedom, they call it. Romney’s ascension, that would’ve proved it.
But are truly free beings ever wholly predictable and flim-flamable? Well, no. But Mad. Ave. can convince us to buy anything. And politicians can convince us to believe anything.
We should all come to terms with the truth that, in terms of the grandness of the universe, we are highly unevolved critters. Most of us prove that rule, not the exception, and if true believers on the Right want to buck that notion, they can begin by thinking outside of their own four corners. Believing that Romney was bound to win no matter what, solely because he was one of the faithful, wasn’t indicative of free thinking, but rather, a modern day assemblage of magical thinking.