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Nate Silver’s Truth Serum

Posted by ed

My friend Sherry Laten has captured the essence of Nate in this beautiful piece.--Ed McManus

Correct predictions

Science works.

Nate Silver, the New York Times' statistical election forecast wizard, really saved my sanity these last six months. The election for me, and I'm sure for many others, was a vindication that right (fair, just thinking and action) makes might, and that "doing the math", the alchemy of making gold from an expanding rainbow, really counts.

The election was my Passover Process, feeling the repression personally and politically, having taken many quicksand laden steps over several decades to finally reach another horizon toward the promised land. Nate Silver was my hefty staff, my divining and dividing rod, that pointed my heart and mind toward the mountaintop, giving me strength and calming my spirit during my daily journey.

Nate's great statistical mind, sculpted by his parents' commitments to political science and activism, became the guiding light for many anxious liberals like me. Every day, like others living underneath the cloud of financial and civil rights uncertainty, I sought his truth serum, my Valium, his carefully crafted dose of hair-splitting sunlight.

Relief and optimism after Obama reelection.

Hew hope

Then finally, several weeks before most pundits and politicians woke up from their long, loud, snoring snooze, I sighed. . . . Electricity tingled throughout my spine, raised the hairs on my head, and settled my mind. I knew from Nate's analysis that President Obama had a very high probability of being re-elected. Nate's rich, mellow, salty, barbecued, baked, refried, stir-fried, boiled, black, brown, green, red, white and navy statistical bean count told me so. These beans sprouted up from all over the swinging cities and states of Cleveland, Charlotte, Detroit, Des Moines, Denver, Miami, Madison, Minneapolis, Nashua, Norfolk, Nebraska, and Nevada.

I knew that some of the cloud would now be lifted. I knew that, again, Obama's presidency would bend the arched rainbow just that much closer toward a more inclusive, just, economically stable and perfect union. And I knew that, again, I would feel safe and loved--and that politics is really personal.
--Sherry Laten, L.C.S.W., Ph.D., clinical social worker, special educator & advocate

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