By Bob Barney
I have to admit, my prediction this time is the most unsure of one in my history of predictions. I often tell everyone that will listen that the only presidential election I was ever wrong about was Bill Clinton in 1992. Unlike this election, I wasn’t even worried that I was wrong. Back then, I traveled across the nation and talked to scores of people, none was voting for the guy, not one! I went to bed sure I was right, woke up dead wrong. This time, I will admit that there is a large part of my mind that says Obama is going to win, but even as of now, I am not going to change my prediction. I think McCain will win, and should win by a rather large margin! There, I said it. Now some background.
Back in 1976 (the fall) I wrote a thesis in college on predicting elections in my senior year at the University of Connecticut. My brother was going to the University of Bridgeport studying to become a psychologist. I would during off times, sit in some of his classes. I became intrigued by an idea that I started to develop in my mind. That was to be able to predict national character the same way that psychologists predicted human behavior! I became intrigued in a psychological prediction method known as the Rotter I/E scale.
Overview of Theory
When Rotter developed his Social Learning Theory, the dominant perspective in clinical psychology at the time was Freud's Psychoanalysis, which focused on people's deep-seated instinctual motives as determining behavior. Individuals were seen as being naive to their unconscious impulses, and treatment required long-term analysis of childhood experience. Even learning approaches at the time were dominated by drive theory, which held that people are motivated by physiologically-based impulses that press the individual to satisfy them. In developing Social Learning Theory, Rotter departed from instinct-based Psychoanalysis and drive-based behaviorism. He believed that a psychological theory should have a psychological motivational principle. Rotter chose the empirical law of effect as his motivating factor. The law of effect states that people are motivated to seek out positive stimulation, or reinforcement, and to avoid unpleasant stimulation. Rotter combined behaviorism and the study of personality, without relying on physiological instincts or drives as a motive force.
The main idea in Julian Rotter's Social Learning Theory is that personality represents an interaction of the individual with his or her environment. One cannot speak of a personality, internal to the individual, that is independent of the environment. Neither can one focus on behavior as being an automatic response to an objective set of environmental stimuli. Rather, to understand behavior, one must take both the individual (i.e., his or her life history of learning and experiences) and the environment (i.e., those stimuli that the person is aware of and responding to) into account. Rotter describes personality as a relatively stable set of potentials for responding to situations in a particular way. (Read entire article, click here)
Rotter developed an Internal/External scale for people. Internals believe that they choose their destiny, and that God (if they accepted one) allows each one of us to choose our own destiny. An Internal type is ruled by very little chance, mostly it is their own choices that rules their destiny. Jews, Germans, Chinese, and especially WASPS (white Anglo/Saxon white people) score very high in the Internal scale. Most leaders of companies or even governments tend to score high on the Rotter I/E scale. Mediterranean , African, Slavic/Russian, and Arab people scored high on the External scale. Externals are fatalist that deem that fate is the major reason for their lives. God decides for them, or at least fate does. Catholicism and its adherents score very high in the “external” scale. The best way to describe an Internal is what is referred to the Puritan or Protestant work ethic… Work hard and you will succeed. WASP Americans built this country and score very high as Internal. Irish Catholics however, scores External! Therefore, do most black Americans, Latinos (with the exception of Cubans) and Muslims (again except for Pakistani Muslims that score very “Internal”).
I thought that our country and our elections could be predicted by the percentage of people who were Internal versus External. Republicans are Internals, Democrats Externals. I told Dr Gerson, head of UCONN’s PoliSci department what I wanted to write about. He could get me a meeting with Professor Rotter (who was so famous by now, I have since learned was an honor). Rotter liked my idea! He had already thought of it! He asked me another question however, that changed my entire thinking. He said, “you know there is another factor you are discounting in human nature”.
“What was that,” I asked perplexed?
Many people in a multi-cultural society like America are both Internal AND External, and they bounce back and forth between the extremes trying to find balance (this is called cognitive dissonance.) You know, the nun becomes a prostitute, the thief becomes a good cop, etc. All good novels rely on this basic human instinct of switching from one end of the pendulum to the exact opposite, never finding a balance. Rotter said, “America, due to our culture can never find the middle of the road, she swings from right to left without any formula.”
I was intrigued by him and wrote my thesis based on much of his teachings:
I wrote, in short, that America will swing radically from the Right to the Left and back to right again, but because more External types are moving here and gaining in population, namely Latin, African and Muslims, each switch back to the right would be less aggressive than prior swings and eventually, we would become a totally external socialist nation like the Soviet Union.
At this same time in my life, by the way, I was learning the incredible truth about America’s national identity of being “lost” Israel of the Bible and that the God was real! Until 1976, I was an atheist, by 1978, I would never question again who God was and that He was! I would often question God in my struggles with Him, but never questioned again that God was not real! Part of this education was the realization that the United States (Israel in the Bible) was destined to be conquered by foreigners living among us that would eventually rule over us! This is found in Leviticus chapter 26, and now I understood that Dr Rotter gave me the method how God would accomplish it.
In 1976, I was a young Republican who supported Ronald Reagan over President Ford and I was not very popular in the party that year. Then again, neither was Reagan! When he lost to Ford, I realized that according to my new theory, Jimmy Carter, a liberal democrat would win the Presidency that year, but after him, America would swing back to a very Conservative mode. I predicted Carter in 76 and that Reagan most likely would be president by 80 or 84. When he won the nomination in 80, I predicted Reagan. I picked him again for 84. I predicted Bush in 88 and said that if he did not maintain Reagan’s policies he would lose in 1992! I would have been correct in predicting Bush losing in 1992 (because he did not lead as a Reagan Republican) and thought he might lose until Clinton won the nomination. I saw through Bill Clinton so much, I was positive that everyone else did too and that he could not win. It would not be until 96, I surmised, that the liberals would win again. The Perot factor was vastly underrated by me! Clinton won, I had egg on my face, but my theory was on target!
I predicted Clinton in 1996 and Bush II in 2000, thinking he unlike his dad was a real Reaganite. He was not and so I predicted that he could lose in 2004 if a MODERATE democrat ran against him. Lieberman would have beat him hands down! I predicted, on Racerap.com in 2004 that Bush was probably going to destroy the Republican party and that if Hillary got the nod, she would be president. I still believe that. Although she is as liberal as Barack, she is not as much a radical! She can hide her scales from the unsuspecting working democrat and Obama cannot.
When Obama won the nomination, I predicted that he would lose big. I know that Bible prophecy predicts the end of America and the rise of the beast in Europe. My brothers, unlike myself, think we are living in these times today. I do not and here is why. I think that 51% of America are still good God-fearing folk and as long as the majority continue to love God, God will intern protect us. Once 51% of America loves death, loves evil and hates God, then we are doomed and our destruction will be at hand. Our leader cannot stand for death and America continue to prosper. A leader that is pro-choice does not make that person evil. Wrong, yes; Evil, no! However, anyone who can justify killing a baby that has been born alive has no sense of morality in them. If the majority of Americans agree with this leader, then we will be doomed! Infanticide leads to the justification of killing the elderly, the sick, the retarded and those whose life is not worth the money needed to save them. That direction is evil. There is no difference between a partial birth abortion and what the Nazi’s did to children in their “experiments”! NONE!
So, I will put by trust still in American goodness and I will stick by a McCain victory. We are, as was promised to Joseph in your Bible, the single greatest nation that has ever existed on the earth, until the coming of Christ and His kingdom. Americans have been the greatest, kindest and most Godly nation ever in the annuals of history! We will see today if we remain that nation or instead have become the modern Romans……… God help us!