Editorials

Iowa’s Odds

Six coin tosses.  Six separate wins.  And thus was Hillary Clinton crowned the Democratic winner of the Iowa Caucuses.

Not surprisingly, people immediately cried foul, citing the “impossible odds” of winning all six coin tosses in six different precincts at six different times—a feat that is statistically surprising only to those who don’t understand statistics.  Then there were those—less common, but just as indignant—who believed that a coin toss was an affront to the dignity of the democratic process.  That they were talking about a process that had already decided that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the two natural-born citizens over the age of 35 who best represent the Democratic Party’s aspirations for the United States seemed not to bother them.

To crib a line from another idolater of democracy whose very life serves as a conclusive argument for the superiority of any other type of political regime, these are the times that try men’s souls.  There is little hope for a political system in which voters are less concerned about the strange mix of incompetence and corruption that Hillary Clinton represents than about the odds of winning six coin tosses.

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