In the 24/7 news and information era, a steady torrent of breaking news drives an intensely mercurial atmosphere into our election cycles. Candidates enjoy only brief moments of basking in campaign successes and usually only because the other candidate or opponent stepped in a steaming pile of poo by making an awkward comment, stating an irrelevant detail incorrectly, or inadvertently insulting a victim-in-waiting.
Until now, that is. Meet Donald Trump.
Nothing Trump does or says interferes with his meteoric rise to the top. His fan base increases by the day and die-hard supporters rally behind every faux pas, blunder or egregious gaffe Trump utters.
The GOP front runner remains in the spotlight as his nonstop controversies enrage, inspire, exhaust and entertain election watchers worldwide.
Trump’s hilarious antics and subsequent rise in political polls stumps pundits and analysts across the country. Washington Post writer, Daniel Drezner wrote on Monday, “We are at the point in Donald Trump’s campaign when it’s difficult to decide whether to focus on his unconstitutional policy proposals or his blatant lies.” The article goes on to elaborate on a long list of alleged lies and outrageous Trumpisms.
Drenzer’s story includes a video editorial by Jonathan Canehart in which Canehart repeats Drezner’s points pretty much exactly and adds a warning that Trump is “destroying our Country.” Interestingly enough, Canehart propagates the same misquote (lie) that CNN foisted on its audience in an altered video last week. The syndicate was excoriated for the trickery, yet, there is no evidence that CNN will retract the inaccurate video about whether Trump would implement a registry for Muslims living in America. Canehart captures the essence of the American mainstream media and runs with it. And why not? He controls that pulpit.
Whether Trump is destroying America or whether the new-age activist media is destroying America is a question for future historians. In the meantime, Trump continues to garner enthusiastic support from an otherwise skeptical voter base. CNN on the other hand, like many openly activist media sites, is losing Prime time viewership at a rapid pace. According to the Pew Research institute, “CNN lost a whopping -9% of its primetime audience, while profits dipped -5%.”
Much like when the Tea Party crashed the Republican Party in 2009, Trump has challenged even the most conservative candidates in the presidential race with his simplistic, old-school, down-to-earth, almost child-like logic. His personal attacks on other candidates and the media itself—and any other detractor that has the audacity to challenge the Donald on inaccuracies or his silly articulations of serious issues in America, are met with what looks like genuine astonishment from Trump. And he never apologizes. That alone is a refreshing break from the bullies in charge of the pulpit–always demanding retractions and apologies.
Trump’s most recent outrage—allegedly for mocking a reporter with a disability—barely caused a blip on his poll radar. Trump certainly didn’t flinch. It is, in fact, the reporter’s fault for using his disability to ‘grandstand,’ Trump suggested. Who even thinks like that? He’s a bit like a charmingly narcissistic 6-year-old; it’s your own fault I made fun of you!
If nothing else, The Donald is fun to watch. His absolute ridiculousness is the perverse undoing of all that is so ridiculous in a typical political campaign season. Reporters ask audaciously stupid questions and The Donald delivers in-kind. It’s as if they were made for each other—Richie Rich Kid vs. the Tattle-Tale Snivelers. Every school playground in the history of the world has hosted these same characters in various iterations.
He is often breathtakingly outrageous—invariably and inextricably increasing his fan base and further confusing and infuriating reporters and journalists. His antics seem to almost beg for an end to his political career. I wonder sometimes if he is as stunned as the rest of us when his fans demand not the end, but more of the same.
His success just seems to make a mockery of the entire process. This isn’t easy for leftwing/activist pundits and reporters. So accustomed to gotcha’ and expose style journalism, they find it increasingly impossible not to segue almost immediately from journalism into editorialism.
These new-school journalists have their collective thongs in a stinking wad. They just don’t know what to do about Trump so they’ve taken to attacking his supporters. Turns out that’s not an effective strategy to quell the Trump Phenomenon at all; in a satisfying turn of play, it makes people despise the media even more. Perhaps it will remind smarter reporters what their job actually is.
IIya Somin opines in USA Today that Trump supporters are not very smart. “Trump’s rise is a particularly blatant example of a much deeper problem at the heart of modern democracy: widespread voter ignorance,” he writes. “Trump’s success so far is in large part the result of an almost perfect storm of political ignorance. As a longtime celebrity, he had a built-in advantage with voters who don’t know much about politics, and therefore know little about more conventional politicians,” he said.
As if that thrashing of Trump supporters isn’t adequately insulting, Somin then says, “Polls also consistently show that Trump’s support comes disproportionately from those with relatively low levels of education.” Ouch. Just guessing here, IIya Somin, blogger, lawyer, and professor, thinks he is much, much smarter than almost everybody; even democrats.
Another ‘journalist,’ Politico’s Eliza Collins, spent 200 some words pointing out that Trump supporters use worse grammar on social media sites than do Democrats. This was such a groundbreaking piece of expose journalism I’m surprised she didn’t receive some kind of award for it. Maybe someday.
Seasoned journalists use a more academic approach to Trump. The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher pens a thoughtful piece on Trump in his Oct. 31 article about Trump supporters and why it is they are such staunch believers in the reality star’s promise to Make America Great Again, “Interviews with Trump supporters across the country find a profusion of perspectives on how and when America lost its mojo; what bonds them is a sense of frustration so abiding that they’re willing to take a chance on a man they readily admit is anything but presidential, at least the way the term has historically been defined” Fisher writes.
Conservative Byron York, always even-handed in his assessment of the political landscape writes, “So maybe Trump just has a lot of outrageous ideas. Or perhaps something else, something more strategic, is going on. Trump has always portrayed himself as a master negotiator. ‘I’m a deal maker, I’ll make great deals for this country,’ he has said many times. Trump believes making deals sometimes involves making demands some would consider outrageous.”
In a pretzel logic sort of way, Trump has revealed the real bullies on the playground with his blustery bravado. Activist reporters and protesters with their flavor-of-the-day causes and the usual suspects in the Puritanically Politically Correct Club who infiltrate his campaign rallies find themselves outnumbered and out-blustered, and outside the gates if they aren’t careful.
Making America great again may be as much about wresting control of the narrative from the clammy hands of the undies-twisted sissies in the media—as it is about strengthening our resolve to protect Americans against monsters who would destroy us and shoring up our reputation as the Beacon on the Hill.
Once champions of the underdog, journalists have now emboldened the Victims Club of America by becoming paid-in-full members. They are making news instead of reporting news. So who is speaking for the rest of us?
Typical campaign promises offer an end to tons of suffering and offer so much more of the good stuff; more money, more fairness, more help for the helpless. Trump promises a lot of winning and it resonates with voters who no longer have a champion in the media. If nothing else, Trump may rescue the American narrative from the crybabies in the media.
Please note that the views expressed in this article are of opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of Union Times as a whole.