End of the world

We’re All Going to Die: Making America Great Again!

trumpamerica

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America promised the end of America as we knew it. He brought the hope of a new America. America for the American people. President Trump is going to Make America Great Again.

So he says. Although many may doubt him, he means it. And the President has a plan.

Scores of Americans are apprehensive about this plan and retain stern skepticism about the greatness of America under the administration of Donald Trump. Especially as the President has had tremendous difficulties in shepherding his vision of America into reality.

Yet the President will not be deterred. President Donald Trump will Make America Great Again. The old vestiges of the American oligarchy will be destroyed. Before the new America the old must end. Existentially.

While the President’s method seemingly lacks method, it’s a process. It’s a fairly simple process.

Drastically cut spending on domestic programs so as to take away the safety net of many Americans. Ruin the environment via significant cuts to the EPA and massive steps towards deregulation. Abolish the healthcare of millionsRoll back financial regulations intended to protect people from predatory practices and stabilize the economy. Disadvantage many Americans in the job market. Further widen the chasm of partisanship which engulfs the United States. Alienate even the United States’ most staunch allies and isolate America from the world.

Only the strong survive.

Then, finally, the United States of America is no more. Only those with the demonstrated ability to endure perpetual waves of malady, survive the miasma of the heavens forcefully opened by carbon emissions, remain gainfully employed despite chronic job wars, and to stave off the intolerance of those of dissimilar political mind will abide.

These lucky few get to go to Mars. This is where the new America, the great America, will be established.

Donald Trump will Make America Great Again, he just needs to first eliminate the weak.

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We’re All Going to Die: Perigee-Syzygy

The perigeesyzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, otherwise referred to as a “Supermoon”, “is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon (“syzygy”) with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit (“perigee”), resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth”. Last night’s Supermoon appeared bigger and brighter in the night sky than it had in nearly 70 years. Fourteen percent bigger, thirty percent brighter and shines thirty percent more light than a moon at its farthest point to be exact, according to NASA. It is not expected to appear as close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.

The “Supermoon” terminology is actually not used by scientists. It was invented by the astrologist Richard Noelle in 1979. Jackie Faherty, an astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History told NPR that the term “didn’t have much science behind it, except that he coined a term for when the moon was full, when it was 90 percent of the closest distance it could be to Earth. And a couple of years ago, it just caught on… I think it’s just because someone took the word ‘super’ and put it in front of the word ‘moon'”. Scientists use the “perigee-syzygy” terminology because it accurately describes the coincidence of the Earth, Sun and Moon lining up with the simultaneous closeness of the Moon to the Earth. When both a perigee and syzygy occur and the moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun we get a Supermoon.

However, the Supermoon is actually largely an optical illusion. The full moon always looks large along a horizon because our brains can’t adequately interpret the size of the moon with the buildings and the horizon in the foreground. The phenomenon is still largely unexplained, but there are a number of possible explanations for this “moon illusion”. The Apparent Distance hypothesis, the Relative Size hypothesis, and the Angle of Regard hypothesis are but a few. In fact, 24 different hypotheses have been offered to explain the illusion, but no one has emerged victorious. The most important factor is apparently the sight of terrain, but other factors such as the angle of regard, posture and oculomotor commands matter as well. In essence, it’s a matter of perspective.

Image credit: NASA. The moon's orbit is closer to being a circle than the diagram suggests, but the exaggeration helps to clarify. The moon is closest to Earth in its orbit at perigee and farthest away at apogee. When the full moon aligns with perigee, as it does on November 14, 2016, then it's a perigee full moon.

While the Supermoon assuredly offers tremendous photographic opportunities, some believe it also portents malady. Tides on Earth are mostly generated by the Moon’s gravitational pull from one side of Earth to the other. These are greatest during the full and new Moons because the Sun and Moon are aligned on the same or opposite sides of Earth. When the Moon is closer to the Earth the higher the gravitational pull, leading to larger variation between high and low tides as well as higher spring tides which may cause abnormally high flooding in coastal areas. Thereby, this Supermoon is expected to cause flooding along the East Coast through mid-week.

Similarly, the Moon’s gravity can also cause small ebbs and flows in the continents called land tides or solid Earth tides. An increase in tectonic activity during the 1-2 week period surrounding a Supermoon may result in an increased possibility of an earthquake, volcanic activity and/or tsunami. As a result, there has been speculation that natural disasters may be casually linked to Supermoons. While there is no empirical evidence of such a casual link, astrologers believe Supermoons are capable of triggering natural disasters around the world. According to spiritual community website Oranum, “some of the biggest natural disasters in recent history have taken place during supermoons, such as the 2011 Japanese Earthquake, the 2005 Indonesian Tsunami and the 1992 and 1993 Midwest floods, superstorm and blizzard”. And as a Supermoon occurred in October, last night saw a super Supermoon, and Earth will see another Supermoon next month, there will continue to be an unusually significant amount of stress placed on the Earth’s internal energy balance.

Some also believe Supermoons cause mental illness and other cognitive maladies.

A Supermoon,a largely a psychological phenomenon, may flood coastal cities across the globe, spark natural disasters which will can the the lives of those not afflicted by the flooding, and may cause others to lose their minds. Thereby, a Supermoon has the potential to destroy the minds, bodies and lives of humans around the world. Last night’s Supermoon was the largest in 68 years. And it was only the second of three.

The Chicago Cubs win the World Series. Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States. Now this Supermoon with another to come. Coincidence?

Have a nice day.

We’re All Going to Die: CNN

Image result for end of the world

The 24-hour American basic cable and satellite television channel Cable News Network (CNN) debuted on June 1, 1980 at 5:00 pm ET. On that opening night, Ted Turner, owner of Turner Broadcasting System and principal founder of CNN, vowed that,

“We’ll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event. We’ll play the National Anthem only one time, on the first of June [the day CNN launched], and when the end of the world comes, we’ll play ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ before we sign off.”

At the time many took Turner’s pledge as a joke, or at least a metaphor for CNN’s devotion to providing news to America 24 hours a day. But now, thanks to an former CNN intern we know this was not a joke or a metaphor, it was a promise.

The video, which has been the subject of speculation in the media and  a legend around CNN for decades, is real and has been unearthed. On CNN’s MIRA archive system under the name “Turner Doomsday Video” is an old recording, in a standard definition and a 4:3 ratio, waiting to be played. It so closely matches the description given by Turner on that opening night in 1980 that it must be to what be was referring. It is Turner’s promise. There is no date signifying when the video was actually added to CNN’s system but has survived the expansion of the news network and multiple changes in ownership. It is labeled with a simple restriction:”HFR till the end of the world confirmed”.

turnerdoom

Some CNN employee must “hold for release” the doomsday video until the end of the world has been confirmed. Only then, when the end of the world has been confirmed, will the video be publicly released.

Maybe it wasn’t on CNN, but the broadcast of this video does fulfill Ted Turner’s promise. And now that you have seen the video the world must be coming to an end.

Have a nice day.

We’re All Going to Die: Zombie Apocalypse

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Today zombie will walk the streets of your city. They will walk into your place of business. You may see them at school. You may see them at your children’s school. You may see them at a party. They will meander past your residence. They may stop at your house looking for a treat. You may know a zombie this Halloween. Most likely these zombies are of the costumed variety. Perhaps big fans of “The Walking Dead“. Or “Fear the Walking Dead“. Maybe they just got around to seeing the movie “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies“. Or decided to read “World War Z” after seeing the movie adaptation. But are you sure? Can you be absolutely positive that it is a costumed zombie standing right next to you and not an actual zombie? Are you prepared if that is a real zombie?

The Department of Defense is prepared. The United States military is constantly is preparation and contingency mode. The national security of the United States depends on our military being prepared for any event which threatens U.S. citizens and the homeland. Including a zombie apocalypse. “CONOP 8888” is an unclassified zombie survival plan, a how-to guide for military planners trying to isolate the threat from a menu of the undead and destroy them. Gordon Lubold of Foreign Policy discovered this document buried on the military’s secret computer network (and yes, it is real).

The stated purpose of CONOP 8888 is as follows:

“This plan fulfills…contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command [USSTRATCOM] to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde. Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population — including traditional adversaries.”

And as detailed by Lubold,

“CONOP 8888 is designed to ‘”establish and maintain a vigilant defensive condition aimed at protecting humankind from zombies,”‘ according to the plan’s purpose, and, ‘”if necessary, conduct operations that will, if directed, eradicate zombie threats to human safety.”‘ Finally, the plan provides guidance to ‘”aid civil authorities in maintaining law and order and restoring basic services during and after a zombie attack.”‘

“The ‘”worst case threat scenario,”‘ according to the plan, suggests a rather dark situation: a zombie attack in which there would be high “transmissibility,” lots of zombies eating lots of people, zombies infecting humans at a rapid rate, and little or no immunity and few effective countermeasures.

“Under “Zombie Threat Summary,” the plan highlights the different kinds of zombie adversaries one might find in such an attack. They include not only vegetarian zombies (“zombie life forms originating from any cause but pose no direct threat to humans because they only eat plant life”); evil magic zombies (“EMZs are zombie life forms created via some form of occult experimentation in what might otherwise be referred to as ‘evil magic'”); and also chicken zombies.

‘”Although it sounds ridiculous, this is actually the only proven class of zombie that actually exists,”‘ the plan states. So-called “CZs” occur when old hens that can no longer lay eggs are euthanized by farmers with carbon monoxide, buried, and then claw their way back to the surface. ‘”CZs are simply terrifying to behold and are likely only to make people become vegetarians in protest to animal cruelty,”‘ CONOP 8888 notes.

“The catalog of the walking dead also includes zombies that come from outer space; those deliberately created by Frankensteinian bio-engineers; and humans that have been invaded by a pathogen that turns them into zombies.

“The plan reviews, extensively, the various phases of saving the world from zombie rule and reads not unlike the phases of a counterinsurgency campaign: from “shape” to “deter” to “seize initiative” to “dominate” to “stabilize” and, finally, in the final, confidence-building phase, “restore civil authority.” That final phase includes the directive to “prepare to redeploy the forces to attack surviving zombie holdouts.”‘

“Finally, ‘”[a]s directed by POTUS and SECDEF,”‘ using military-ese for the president of the United States and the defense secretary, ‘”provide support to federal, state and tribal agencies’ efforts to restore basic services in zombie-related disaster areas.”‘

This very real plan to combat the zombie apocalypse is highly detailed and specific, as befits a plan crafted by the U.S. military, and necessarily so. It may seem overboard to some to detail eight specific types of zombies, the legal status of each of the types and the specific threat posed by each type, but this type of planning is essential to the successful implementation of the plan. Different types of zombies represent different threats to national security and to the human populace.

This is confirmed in research by Alex Alemi, Matthew Bierbaum, Christopher Myers, and James Sethna of Cornell University. These scholars created a zombie simulator based on a real-life disease model known as SIR (which stands for “susceptible, infected, and resistant”). The researchers developed simulations based on variables like how fast zombies move, how often humans kill them, and how often bites occur. As Alemi explains,

‘”If there is a zombie outbreak, it is usually assumed to affect all areas at the same time, and some months after the outbreak you’re left with small pockets of survivors. But in our attempt to model zombies somewhat realistically, it doesn’t seem like this is how it would actually go down.”‘

“Cities would fall quickly, but it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas, and months to reach the northern mountain-time zone.

‘”Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down–there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate,”‘ he elaborates. ‘”I’d love to see a fictional account where most of New York City falls in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare.”‘

Things like zombie speed, bite-to-kill ratio, bite-to-infection ratio, human population density, zombie population density, geography/terrain, weather, and how difficult it is to kill the zombies all affect the spread of the zombie infection. If it even is an infection. How one may become a zombie matters as well. Therefore, it’s not only necessary for the U.S. military to have a plan in place in case of a zombie apocalypse, it must be extensively detailed because the details matter. Just hope the military did its job well and considered all potential aspects of the zombie apocalypse and planned accordingly. One mistake could lead to the end of all non-humans.

Unfortunately, according to at least one analyst the plan is a bit flawed and incomplete. It would seem that the United States is not completely prepared for the zombie apocalypse.

Have a nice day.

We’re All Going to Die: Aliens

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Evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence has been found and published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. Via Tech Times:

“Astronomers Ermanno Borra and Eric Trottier, from the Université Laval in Quebec, examined the stars that were catalogued from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Out of more than 2 million surveyed stars, the scientists found 234 that exhibit spectral modulation.

“The stars exhibit rapid bursts of light. The spectral modulation also seems to be identical across many different stars. The scientists said that the signal from the stars is consistent with signals from an alien civilization sending extremely rapid optical pulses that was predicted in an earlier paper by Borra.

“Last year, the giant star KIC 8462852 made a stir after scientists found that it emits light patterns different from those observed on other stars. Some considered the idea that the dips in the starlight could indicate the existence of an alien megastructure.”

Borra and Trottier examined this phenomenon utilizing a Fournier transform analysis in order to determine the cause of these spectral modulations and came to a startling conclusion.

“A Fourier transform analysis of 2.5 million spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was carried out to detect periodic spectral modulations. Signals having the same period were found in only 234 stars overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range. The signals cannot be caused by instrumental or data analysis effects because they are present in only a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range and because signal-to-noise ratio considerations predict that the signal should mostly be detected in the brightest objects, while this is not the case. We consider several possibilities, such as rotational transitions in molecules, rapid pulsations, Fourier transform of spectral lines, and signals generated by extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). They cannot be generated by molecules or rapid pulsations. It is highly unlikely that they come from the Fourier transform of spectral lines because too many strong lines located at nearly periodic frequencies are needed. Finally, we consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by ETI to makes us aware of their existence. We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis. The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the Sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis.”

Brossa and Trottier concede that more hypothesis-testing is needed in order to confirm their conclusion, but must wait for more sophisticated technology for contact to be made. However, this would be a terrible idea.

According to Independence DayIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe War of the Worlds, the War of the Worlds remakeMars Attacks!Battle: Los AngelesThe FacultyAttack the BlockInvasion of the Body Snatchers, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remakeCowboys & AliensKiller Klowns from Outer SpaceBattleshipThe Day the Earth Stood Still, the The Day the Earth Stood Still remakeThe Blob, the The Blob remakeThe Thing, the The Thing remakeThe Abyss, and the Alien franchise all demonstrate the catastrophic consequences of alien contact. Even if human protagonists are able to defeat the alien invaders the Earth is never quite the same following first contact. Furthermore, as exhibited in these films the aliens have a tendency to come back. The aliens are never truly defeated.

Contact is highly inadvisable.

Have a nice day.

We’re All Going to Die: Food Chain

Image result for big fish eating little fish

The first cases of Zika virus were reported in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida in late July. These four locally identified cases were located within a very small area of these counties known as Wynwood. However, different methods of eradication, including releasing  genetically modified mosquitoes to mate with wild mosquito females and spread a gene which would prevent any resulting mosquitoes from reaching adulthood in order to undercut the population, have been unsuccessful. Efforts in other areas of the United States with reported Zika outbreaks have been similarly unsuccessful. As a result, the CDC has issued travel guidance for those living in or traveling to South Florida as well as other areas. Whole areas of Miami-Dade county should be considered off-limits to pregnant women as well as others, if possible.

	alt=Area in Miami, FL where Zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes

As of mid-October there have been 4,016 reported Zika cases in the United States. With very little in the way of prevention, the continued spread of the virus, the potentially severe health risks associated with the virus and the fact that scientists are still learning about the virus the spread is likely to continue as long as mosquitoes are located in areas with identified Zika cases. And that is a long list.

	Map of the United States showing Travel-associated and Locally acquired cases of the Zika virus.  The locations and number of cases can be found in the table below.

However, new methods of fighting the virus are being attempted. For example, the latest proposal put forth to combat the virus is the introduction of bats. Miami City Commissioner Kristin Rosen Gonzalez has proposed placing bat houses in the city to stem the spread of the virus. Gonzalez told ABC News that “some people are laughing and they are not taking it seriously. But bats, depending on the species, eat up to 3,000 mosquitoes in one day, and they avoid humans”. Larvacide, insecticide and door-to-door inspections have all previously been used in Miami to try and reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.

This measure, if approved, may be ineffective due to the fact that according to the American Mosquito Control Association using bats in this manner is largely in effective and “to utilize them as the sole measure of control would be folly indeed, particularly considering the capacity of both mosquitoes and bats to transmit diseases”. Furthermore, introducing bats to this environment could be extremely disruptive and damaging to the local animal populations.

If the introduced bats become an invasive species measures would necessarily have to be taken in order to control their spread. Hawks and owls regularly eat bats. While hawks and owls are located in South Florida they may not be sufficient in number to effectively combat the bat problem. More hawks and owls may need to be introduced in order to manage the bats. These species may then cause additional threat and harm to humans. Hawks may eat owls, but very few animals eat hawks, besides larger hawks and foxes. Red foxes may be located in South Florida. But what happens if their numbers explode because of the vast amount of new food available to them? The foxes may be hunted by large cats, coyotes, jackals, wolves, eagles, bears and even humans. Bobcats, coyotes, red wolves, panthers and black bears are all located in Florida. These animals may then prey on the red foxes, as well as each other potentially, but then may pose a risk to people.

In other words, introduction of bats to combat the spread of the Zika virus will in all likelihood not only be ineffective but may also introduce a spiral of animal invasions which would then threaten the population of South Florida.

Therefore, if traveling to South Florida, don’t. If living in South Florida, you can’t go outside.

Have a nice day.

We’re All Going to Die: Millennial Voting

Image result for giant meteor

The American electorate does not like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. They are the two most disliked presidential nominees in United States history. A recent poll showed Evan McMullin, an independent candidate, winning the state of Utah. The third-party candidates, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, have remained a part of the electoral discussion much longer than most third-party candidates have historically, and if their polling numbers hold would receive popular support unseen since Ross Perot. Some polling numbers have even shown remarkable support for potential write-in candidates such as Harambe. These candidates have no chance to win, for various reasons, but these polling numbers demonstrate the severe disaffection with which many view the Clinton-Trump presidential race.

Many Americans truly do see a Clinton versus Trump choice as a “lesser of two evils” decision. Many have applied this especially to millennials as this group of voters is generally less likely to cast a ballot and aren’t particularly supportive of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. If millennials like neither Clinton nor Trump they may simply decide not to vote. As millennials now comprise the second-largest voting bloc in the American electorate, getting these citizens to vote is considered crucial, not only to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but to American democracy.

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is paying particular attention to this group. The UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion has partnered with social media platform Odyssey in order to conduct a series of polls to learn about millennials, the presidential election and their attitudes towards race, government and policy. The first of these polls was recently released had had some interesting results.

“By a 3 to 1 margin, likely millennial voters prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump in the race for President of the United States. Among likely voters, Clinton leads 66% to Trump’s 22% with 12% undecided. When third-party candidates are added to the mix, Clinton takes 61%, Trump stays at 22%, Libertarian Gary Johnson takes 9%, Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 5%, and only 3% remain undecided. Clinton does best among the likely voter sample, indicating that those most likely to vote are breaking for Clinton. Among those unlikely to vote, however, only a little over half of voters would choose one of the two major-party candidates (39% Clinton and 19% Trump). The other 41% of voters would pick Johnson (12%) or Stein (5%), with 25% undecided. Historically, research has shown that voter turnout rates are among the lowest of any age group for young voters and a key theme in this report is that many millennials are not happy with their choices in this election…

“Millennials do not like Donald Trump, but they are relatively lukewarm to Hillary Clinton as well. Trump is viewed favorably by only 25% of registered voters in our survey, compared to 72% who view him unfavorably. On candidate qualities (we asked respondents to rate each candidate on 12 characteristics including honesty, level-headedness, leadership, qualifications, intelligence, experience, takes responsibility for mistakes, would bring change, etc.), Trump does no better than 35% on any single rating. Only 19% view him as level-headed, 20% think he has the right kind of experience to be President, and 23% think he “cares about people like you.” He’s also viewed by large majorities as dishonest, lacking leadership and someone who would not bring the right kind of change to the country…

“While Trump is viewed very negatively by millennials on every metric that was measured in this survey, Hillary Clinton is a liked, but not a well-liked alternative. Most national polls have Clinton’s approval rating at around 40% and Clinton is viewed favorably by 56% of millennial registered voters. Her approval rating is just 1 point above former President Clinton’s (55%), but falls well short of the approval rating of both Bernie Sanders (73% favorable) and Barack Obama (71% favorable).

“On candidate characteristics, her biggest liability is her honesty; only 36% say she is honest, 43% say she “means what she says and says what she means” and 46% say “she takes responsibility for her mistakes.” Millennial registered voters see many virtues in Clinton: 71% say she is intelligent (compared to 35% for Trump), 67% say she has the right experience to be President (compared to 20% for Trump), 60% say she is level-headed (compared to 19% for Trump) and 60% say she has good leadership skills (compared to 33% for Trump). But millennials who overwhelmingly support her in this election are split on whether she cares about people like you (55% yes to 45% no) and whether she would bring the right kind of change to the country (51% yes to 49% no).”

That is to say a majority of millennials would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, but not necessarily because they actually like her, and it remains unclear if millennials actually will vote for her. If their votes are cast, it would appear as though it is because millennials truly do view Clinton as the lesser evil. More from UMass-Lowell:

“To get at whether the preference for Clinton was seen as a vote for the “lesser of two evils,” we asked voters to rank order their preference for five different outcomes: (1) a Clinton Presidency, (2) a Trump Presidency, (3) Obama appointing himself to a life term as President, (4) A giant meteor strikes the earth and extinguishes all human life and (5) the President is selected by a random lottery from among all U.S. citizens. Clinton gets the plurality of first choice votes, with 33%, followed closely by a life term for Obama at 27%. Trump comes in at third with 16%, while equal numbers (12% respectively) prefer a giant meteor and a random lottery.

“In terms of pairwise comparisons, 39% of millennials prefer that Obama serve a life term as President rather than have either a Clinton or Trump Presidency, 26% prefer a random lottery to either serving as President, and 23% (nearly 1 in 4!) prefer a giant meteor and the extinguishing of human life to either a Clinton or Trump Presidency. Majorities prefer a random lottery (67%), a lifetime Obama Presidency (66%) and a giant meteor (55%) to a Trump Presidency. A majority even prefers that Obama serve a life term as President (51%) to a Clinton Presidency, while 39% prefer a lottery election and 34% prefer a giant meteor to a Clinton Presidency.”

It would be naive to believe somewhere between 12 and 55 percent of millennials would truly prefer human extinction to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but as noted in the study, the “startling frequency” with which respondents chose this option must be taken as “a sign of displeasure and disaffection with the candidates and the election of 2016”.

That is one conclusion.

Have a nice day.