Voters & Prospect Theory: Trump Lessons Part 3

Voters & Prospect Theory: Trump Lessons Part 3

This concept from Behavioral Economics is important in understanding why Trump won. Simply put, prospect theory posits that individuals are risk averse when facing favourable prospects but are more accepting of risks when faced with losses. In the case of the US elections, a significant number of voters had negative feelings about their current situation and their long-term prospects. They also felt Clinton would be unable to fix these problems, which they perceived as been systemic to the American political order. This made them less averse to taking risks such a voting for a wild card candidate…

Ideology: Trump Lessons Part 2

Ideology: Trump Lessons Part 2

The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally. This was a great line from an article in The Atlantic and Trump’s billionaire backer Peter Thiel said much the same thing  I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally. … I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally, so when they hear things like the Muslim comment or…

Picking your battles: Trump Lessons Part 1

Picking your battles: Trump Lessons Part 1

The problem from a political campaigning perspective with the type of handwringing articles we’ve seen about Trump’s sexism and racism is that they focus on the wrong thing. This happens in Sri Lankan politics too. In the latter, there is a tendency in some circles to focus on the wrong aspects of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s popularity and vote base. While it’s true that most if not all racists are Mahinda Rajapaksa fans, not all MR fans are racist. They vote for him because he represents a nationalist pride (including in economics…