Many European nations ban the publication of poll results within a month of an election. The reasons are several, but among them are, 1. Not to use polls to sway voters, and 2. Not to set up expectations that may turn out to be incorrect after the actual votes are counted.
The second of these seems especially important for the U.S. right now. The narrative seems to be that the election is effectively over. That was the same narrative four years ago. Because the polls said otherwise, people have refused to believe the outcome for four years.
What’s the likely response if there’s another surprise outcome? I think we can well imagine, having gone through a warm up during the summer of 2020. Polling at this point is doing little good, and may end up doing a lot of civic harm.
(Of course, this observation doesn’t address the viability of such a ban in the U.S. It would likely be struck down on first amendment grounds. But that doesn’t obviate the good sense of limits on their publication shortly before an election.)

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More from @PatrickDeneen

30 Sep
Everyone keeps complaining about how terrible our political candidates are. Why aren't we discussing instead how, as citizens of a democratic republic, we get the leaders we deserve, since they are ultimately a reflection of who we are?
This acknowledgement would require a deeper dive into modern theories of citizenship & representation. While we call ourselves a republic, the deeper assumption was that the people could be concerned with private things, yet a public-spirited political class would arise.
Still, what would keep them from ruling solely based on their own interests would be the motivation of ambition - "ambition must be made to counteract ambition." The famous checks-and-balances of our Constitution.
Read 6 tweets
17 Sep
Much of the commentary on WAP and "Cuties" has focused on the question of censorship - whether justified or not. But the more fundamental issue is whether culture (popular or otherwise) is broadly understood to support or offend the sensibilities of its audience.
Wendell Berry gets to the nub of this issue in his 1992 essay, "Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community." He notes a shift in different understandings of the role of artists and makers of culture, grounded in whether one sees one's art as _part_ of a community, or standing outside.
Berry, in the title essay: "I would distinguish between the intention to offend and the willingness to risk offending. Honesty and artistic integrity do not require anyone to intend to give offense, though they may certainly cause offense….
Read 13 tweets
10 Sep
Thread: A longstanding narrative in the modern West is that conservatism is the ideology of the elite; progressivism is the ideology of the people. This narrative has been mainly advanced by a left-leaning intelligensia.
This dominant narrative is a prototypical form of "Whig history." It neglects both the inherent elitism of progressivism (see "Mill, John Stuart") and the inherent populism of conservatism (see Burke, Edmund).
Conservatism was born when a new elite emerged: an elite whose main ambition was to replace existing cultures with an "anti-culture." Conservatives like Edmund Burke and Disraeli sought to align the traditional, aristocratic elite, with the innate conservatism of the people.
Read 10 tweets
8 Sep
In most countries, what Americans called "conservatives" for the past two generations are called "liberals." Conservatism has been historically aligned with the working class. They contended with Marxists for their allegiance. We have returned to form.
Whether the working class aligned with Marxists or Conservatives hinged on a main question: are the people revolutionary, or are they conservative? That is what is playing out in our current politics.
Read 4 tweets
7 Sep
A decade ago, my critics on the Right attacked me for being an agrarian. Today, LeftCaths apparently think I’m a big fan of suburbia. They are all wrong: natural law dictates we are meant to live in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. QED.
As I made clear In this now infamous essay. firstthings.com/web-exclusives…
Major influences on these views came courtesy of JH Kunstler’s “The Geography of Nowhere”; Philip Bess’s “Til We Have Built Jerusalem”; and, more recently, @clmarohn ‘s “Strong Towns.”
Read 5 tweets
31 Aug
Some thoughts on campus culture, which I think echo a number of things @yhazony have been arguing. Most campuses have an overwhelmingly left faculty and administration, but a somewhat more mixed student body. The more elite the institution, the more left-progressive the students.
Yet, arguably *especially* at elite schools, the reception and formation of their relatively small number of conservative students is very important, since they are likely to go on to have influential positions in various key institutions.
On a campus where conservative ideas and intellectual tradition is either ignored or maligned, conservative students will form their own groups and clubs, even “underworld.” And, lacking faculty direction and guidance, will often simply aim at upsetting the dominant liberal ethos
Read 8 tweets

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