The pollsters forecasting a landslide in the U.S. 2020 elections were wrong again and I was wrong as well to think they had learned from their past failures.
Perhaps many of those polled simply lied, having learned from the president himself.
But the beating the pollsters are facing for their miscalculations are minuscule compared to the bashing that the world of science has had in the U.S. throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone analyzing the American election must infer that some 50% of the electorate prefer to believe Trump and his anti-science approach to the coronavirus over science-based policies.
Almost half of American voters chose to believe baseless claims that pandemic was going away or that wearing masks was for weaklings - as Trump has been telling his followers for months.
He may as well have completely succeeded in convincing his followers that alien lizards have taken over the Democratic Party and the masses must blindly embark on a hunt for for them, sending millions of Republican voters onto the streets.
One could believe these elections were taking place in an undeveloped part of the world during the dark days of AIDS denial, when the disease spread unchecked as another American president dismissed it.
I wonder if Trump could have convinced his voters that the world is flat simply because the Democratic elites insist it is round.
All of this has unfolded in the country that has the most advanced medical institutions and universities in the world. This is the same country that gave the world Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Bill Gates, and has educated the largest number of Nobel laureates in the world.
Now it has given us Trump. And I must confess that I have no way to explain this terrifying phenomenon.
Though Trump has positioned himself alongside other world leaders who deploy the same violent rhetoric and populist approach, leaders who bask in the admiration of their followers and their self-adoration. Yet he is far more ignorant than any of them.
He is far less informed than Russian President Vladimir Putin or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; he is contemptuous of women, minorities, the poor and the unemployed.
He is dismissive of the military and its commanders, the intelligence agencies and tech geniuses. He disrespects scientists and intellectuals to boot.
The fact that hundreds of thousands of his own compatriots have died and will continue to die of coronavirus has not moved him one iota.
Some analysts say voters for the president put aside any aversion they had to his personality and ignored the lies about the state of the pandemic because he had delivered a successful economy.
But they would also be wrong. During the first nine months of 2020, the United States did not perform any better than Europe or China.
In fact, it underperformed on growth, jobs and the deficit. It excelled only on the stock market and those gains came despite the president and not because of him.
America has somehow survived four years of Donald Trump and that is testimony to its strength and resilience. But we should not forget that it may not have been able to survive another four years.