[Editorial] False Confidence: Our Apology
by The Milton Measure on Friday, November 18th, 2016
We would like to issue an apology. Like many other publications, The Milton Measure became blind to what we thought was an impossibility: a Trump Presidency. We closed our last editorial by saying, “as a board, we are proud to endorse [Hillary Clinton], and we are confident that with this crucial endorsement, she will win Massachusetts en route to 270+ electoral votes on election day.” In light of what occurred on November 8th, this statement seems naive at best and farcical at worst. Our jovial tone feels inappropriate now, and we as a board feel we let down the Milton Community. We peddled false hope; we gave permission to celebrate before the battle was won, and we failed to take this most consequential election as seriously as we should have.
Therefore, we must try to understand how complacency infiltrated our journalism, and that process begins by looking at other publications. On the morning of the election The Huffington Post gave Hillary Clinton a 98.0% chance of winning the Presidency. This forecast hinged on irresponsible journalism and sent the message that this election was somehow safe, done and dusted, with a glass ceiling already lying in pieces on the ground. When liberals see this kind of number, 98%, they begin to question whether they should make time in their schedules to go vote if the result is already so settled.
In this social media age, we control what we digest. Our Facebooks spoon-feed us what we want to see. Mark Zuckerberg claimed in a New York Times article that “of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes,” but his statement misses the point. The problem is not that social media is lying to us, but that we get to choose what we listen to. And when we listen to, read, and discuss articles by publications such as The Huffington Post, which has become a slave to its liberal bias, we become isolated and educated in only one world view. We begin to believe Clinton truly had a 98% chance of winning.
At a school like Milton where we rarely have the opportunity to actually interact with economically disenfranchised white people — the demographic that overwhelmingly voted for Trump in many districts — we continue to bathe in a narrative where his misogyny, racism, and general intolerance immediately disqualify him as a candidate. The Milton Measure unfortunately fell into this trap as well, and our failure to attempt to rationalize voting for Trump led us to publish our overconfident and presumptuous editorial last week.
So instead of being hopeful or pessimistic, we will leave you this week instead with some facts regarding the future Trump administration. Donald Trump is our President-Elect because he won more than the 270 electoral votes required to become President, while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Donald Trump has appointed Reince Priebus, former Chairman of the RNC, to be his Chief of Staff, and he has appointed Steve Bannon as his senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist. Bannon is a man who did not want his children to attend a certain school because of the presence of Jewish students and who published articles entitled “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy” and “Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet” in his ‘publication,’ Breitbart News.
The question, then, becomes how do we move forward? The answer starts with acceptance. Accept that this is our future, and instead of protesting against a defined eventuality, focus your efforts on strengthening the values you hold dear. You can volunteer at and donate to Planned Parenthood, GLAAD, NAACP, NRDC, and the IRF. Don’t feel you have lost agency because of this election; stand up for what you believe in. You are America too.
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