Book Reviews

What Happened? (Book Review)

Preview: Who’d You Vote For, Er… Against? The Aftermath

Author – David S. Holland


Spotlight by: Ralph Peluso, Literary Editor

Zebra Rating – Polls Still Open

David S. Holland, an Alexandria resident, has had careers as a lawyer, consultant, federal government employee, and military officer and now political author. He attended several area universities in pursuit of his education: UVA, William & Mary, GW, George Mason, and of course NOVA. Last year Zebra reviewed David’s work, “A Snarky Look at Presidential Elections.”

Based upon polling data at the time he predicted which candidate would win. We also discussed his plan for a follow up project, a post mortem of the 2016 presidential election. This is a preview to his planned follow up to his original work.

David admitted he saw Hillary as the overwhelming winner. This was based on the fact the most vocal negative sentiment from traditional media sources was aimed at Donald Trump. So what went wrong?

“Well, more Americans clearly had more undesirable feelings about Hillary,” David answered, “Extremely negative.”

“Granted that is what occurred, but how was it misjudged in the polls and what does that mean for elections going forward?” I asked.

“Great question. Social media. Potentially this can throw future elections of the POTUS into chaos. The old way of looking at things is gone. The era of the 24-hour news cycle is now 24 seconds. Traditional analytics and ways of evaluating trends need re-evaluation. Even after candidates are elected, they’ll continue to be on guard during their entire term. Information, rumor and conjecture are instantaneous. Each administration is under persistent and diligent scrutiny. I could not imagine even JKF surviving given what we know about his affairs and information not shared with Americans during high stress times. Society has become enamored with and awed by the most outrageous things. Details once kept from the American public, like the timing of D-Day are common knowledge quickly. Today there are no secrets. It hurts my head to think about the implications on the American political system.”

The election game has changed thanks to technology. I had to ask David, “So why was the Trump sentiment missed?”

“Social media is used in a divisive manner by a segment of the population without a voice in the past. The loudest of the voices now fall to what I look at as the lowest common denominator. When that happened, Trump voices fell silent. I’ll have to study this phenomenon to make an informed judgement.”

I am looking forward to David’s sequel, and I am certain he’ll bring some interesting insight into the American political fray.

Zebra Rating – Get out the crystal ball—polls are undecided.

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