Given the nature of the American two-party system,* the runup to every presidential election is a clash of worldviews. But this year, the clash has gained a specificity and an urgency that are hard to ignore. Predictions from both sides of the aisle are being put forward with near-religious conviction. On one side, you've got people like Scott Adams, who is convinced that, not only will Trump win, but he'll win in a landslide—a conviction that is utterly unsupported by poll-aggregators like 538 and RCP. On the other side, you've got leftie tweeters like Jon Lovett (90,000 followers—not exactly a small voice in the Tweetosphere), who writes, in reference to the second presidential debate, "This is the worst thing to happen to Donald Trump since the time he spent his whole life being a horrible human being," and, "If this night is reassuring GOP leaders, they are delusional. That. Was. A. Bloodbath."
Supposedly, the people from both sides of the aisle are looking at the same video, audio, and transcript evidence, yet they come away interpreting that evidence in such wildly different ways that a detached observer can't help but conclude that either (1) some extremely strong reality-distortion filters are in place, or (2) one side has an accurate grasp of reality while the other is utterly—as Lovett puts it—delusional.
So November 8 will be the day we find out who's right, and that's exciting. Who does have the better grasp of what's going on? Who has the superior understanding of human mass psychology? Personally, I still can't call this race. The poll-aggregators say one thing in favor of Hillary Clinton, and they say it with a conviction rooted in mathematical obviousness; the "wizards," meanwhile, point to subtle factors that the polls aren't considering—unquantifiable traits like persuasiveness, or occult factors like "the shy Tory," i.e., the person who will quietly vote for Trump but who won't admit his vote out loud. Poll-wise, the numbers tell the story of an imminent Hillary victory. But the wizards have evidence for their side, too: this article, for example, is a caution against believing your own Twitter feed: many Republican leaders might be abandoning Trump, but the base—the voters who count—strongly feel it's necessary to abandon "NeverTrumpism" and stand by the GOP candidate.
Which worldview will prevail? Whose interpretation of events is superior, being rooted in reality, and whose is merely built upon wishful thinking? In less than a month, we're all going to find out. I wonder if there'll be riots.
*Yeah, yeah—some folks say that it's really a rigged one-party system, with Democrats and Republicans both cynically on board the globalist machine, in contrast to Trump and spirit-of-Brexit nationalism. Still, bear with me: the left/right distinction remains relevant.