I’m as confused as everyone else by how to perceive my fellow Americans after the recent election, and I’m just as confused as everyone else when I try to understand whether policies even make any difference toward electoral outcomes; Achen and Bartels certainly suggest that policies are much less important in that regard than tribal loyalties. (Review forthcoming, I swear.)

But the tweetstorm below makes a lot of sense to me on why Obamacare might not have swayed many minds. To me it seems much simpler to explain Medicare or — better yet — the VA: you pays your taxes and you gets your services. By contrast, Sarah Kliff of Vox — whose work I adore — appeared on The Gist the other day to explain, among other things, that any forthcoming GOP replacement for Obamacare might contain a continuous-coverage requirement: insurers can raise rates on you if you’ve gone without coverage for some length of time. This is similar to the individual mandate, in that it’s trying to discourage people from getting coverage only when they think they’re going to need it. But honestly: what fraction of Americans could explain the mandate; what fraction would be able to explain the continuous-coverage requirement; and what percentage of Americans could explain the adverse-selection logic underlying any of these policies? Instead, as the fellow below notes: they just know that their coverage sucks, and that it can be nightmarishly difficult to obtain it. The continuous-coverage requirement, if that’s what we get, is just going to make insurance even more annoying. I can do no better at presenting the socialist alternative than Corey Robin’s piece, which I need to reread every year or so. “Pay taxes; get services” is a hell of a lot easier than what Obamacare gave us. And I say this as someone who was effectively a single-issue voter in 2012; I would have voted for whichever candidate ensured the continued survival of Obamacare. And now it looks likely that it’ll die soon.

I’m not nearly hopeful enough, at this moment, to believe that our current crisis will somehow, underpants-gnomes style, lead to single-payertopia in a few years. At the moment, in fact, I assign probability less than 1 to their being another election again in American history. And, just in case it needs to be said: I’m also not slagging on anyone for failing to pass single payer back in 2009; lots of people I trust have written that this was just not in the cards. So I don’t know the future, and I’m confident that the past is the best we could have gotten. It even seemed, for a time, that the thin edge of the single-payer wedge might be by way of Obamacare waivers (akin to the existing Medicaid waivers) in Vermont, just as I understand that Canadian single payer got started in Saskatchewan. That didn’t work out, either.

So I don’t know how the world will look, and on most days I’m not even confident that I understand half of America. But single payer is probably worth a shot, for electoral reasons alone.