Carl Diggler is the breakout pundit of the 2016 election. He predicted every winner of every Democratic winner on Super Tuesday this spring—which means he predicted more races more accurately than 2008 wunderkind Nate Silver. Oh, also? “Carl Diggler” doesn’t exist: he’s written by Felix Biederman and Virgil Texas for CAFE (those pictures are of a Russian stock photo model).
While, sure, he’s a joke, Diggler is also dead serious. For all the reverence we pay our pundits (and for how unbearably seriously they take themselves), they’re right no more often than two guys in their twenties joking around on their laptops. In fact, they’re right less often. So, instead of talking to some real asshole who doesn’t know anything, we thought we’d get our election advice from a fake guy who actually knows a lot!
You famously predicted every Democratic winner on Super Tuesday, without doing any polling, or even really looking at polling. How did you do it? One word: gut. Two words: Beltway experience. Three words: fathers know best.
My multifaceted predictive matrix doesn’t rely on fancy numbers or mathematical formulas. It relies on simple things like people, historical outcomes, and racial science.
For example, I could easily determine that while conservative voters in western red states preferred Ted Cruz due to his bathroom politics and homophobic cake shop advocacy, smooth brained Evangelical voters east of Missouri prefer racial animus to bathroom animus. When I picked Oklahoma for Bernie Sanders, it wasn’t that I carried number x to the exponent of y. It was more that I knew how Oklahoma Democrats are a scraggly gang of teens who hang out in parking lots and are waiting for word from Pete Wentz before they cast their ballots. People, and I do mean horrifying and revolting people, decide elections. Not data.
A lot has been made this year of polling – from Brexit to the Republican primary, it’s seemed that polls have been uniquely unreliable this year. Why is that? Polls take small groups of people and attempt to draw conclusions by multiplying them to scale, but there are simply too many people who change their minds too frequently for them to give accurate readings in such an anomalous year as 2016. Instead of generalizing frequently incorrect results off of small samples, I look at groups of people such as the Oxycontin addled MMA fans of the Midwest and the sun baked cretins of Hawaii to figure out what they feel and believe rather than just their preference at a given moment. Insight into the types of human trash that vote in so many states will give you the right answer almost every single time.
You’ve had some choice words for former punditry darling Nate Silver, calling him a coward and a “simpering whelp.” What do you find most off-putting about him? Very easy: his cowardice. On his shoddily prepared children’s learning website FiveThirtyEight, Silver and his numbers wusses would frequently fail to make picks in important states such as Montana and American Samoa due to inadequate polling for them to make their coward calculations with. How can you claim predictive powers when you forfeit the predictions themselves?
One feature of campaign reporting this year has been hand-wringing about the rise of Trump and what it says about the future of our democracy. What do you think accounts for his appeal? Very easy: the LOL factor. Middle America lives a hard life. They wake up every day to 40 voicemails pertaining to copper they or a love one stole to finance an opiate habit. To shake their dreamless sleep from their porcine bodies, they down garishly designed energy drinks and get in their trucks on their way to the coal mine, the racist novelty T-shirt store, or wherever they work. They spend grueling hours looking at Eminem-related memes as their supervisors castigate them. When it’s time to clock out, they think about the life that could have been if they didn’t get that football injury, if they hadn’t been impregnated by a man they didn’t love, anything that would have given them a different life than what seems like purgatory on Earth. To silence the screaming reminders of a life that wouldn’t be hell, they down shot after shot of sugary liquor until they’re drunk enough to go home and microwave dinner for their kids.