I think the way to understand the presidential election is that economic fundamentals were +4% for the Democrat, campaign and media were +4% for the Democrat, and being Black was -3% for the Democrat--if the Black coefficient were not -3%, we would see a hell of a lot more Black legislators in America than we do.
Take a look at this from Andrew Gelman:
How much of the young-middle aged-elderly delta is really a "we geezers are really scared of the Black guy!" delta? My guess is that a good third of it is.
How quickly things can change!
A commenter writes:
Marc Bloch emphasizes the shortness of pedigree in the early feudal period--this strikes me as the one real false note in Lord of the Rings. However, in the Hobbit Bard addresses his arrow "I had you from my father and he had you from old. If you came from the forges of the true King under the mountain...." This strikes me as more authentic: a sense of ruins and ancient power from a decayed civilization with pedigrees of people and things that are "old" if they go back two or three generations.
The speed with which the deck of the social order can be reshuffled has always been truly amazing.