Yesterday, one of my readers asked whether Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump has “. . . a chance to win, when the majority of the press and much of social media is constantly battering him?”
I responded that I thought that Mr. Trump could withstand the bias of the press and social media. It is pretty well understood that the mainstream media – particularly the major newspapers and broadcast television – are “all in” for Hillary Clinton. (Remember it is NBC that paid Chelsea Clinton $600,000 a year for no discernible production and helped make her the latest Clinton to become a multi-millionaire ($50M) without really working.) But it is the drumbeat of criticism and negative statements from the Republican elites that are doing the real damage.
Let’s put this in perspective. First, we all recognize that Mr. Trump is his own worst enemy. Mr. Trump’s delivery is laced with personal anecdotes, wry witticisms, and cultural taboos. He speaks to audiences the same way he speaks to friends in an intimate setting. In part, that is what has endeared him to many – he speaks as an equal rather than lectures as a superior. To say that his remarks are intemperate – particularly with his off the cuff rejoinders – is putting it mildly. That is, it is intemperate for public discourse. As a private conversation, it is no worse than President George W. Bush (remember his open mike asides to Vice President Dick Cheney) and miles better than Ms. Clinton:
“F**k off! It’s enough that I have to see you ****-kickers every day, I’m not going to talk to you too!! Just do your G*damn job and keep your mouth shut.’
From American Evita by Christopher Anderson
“Where’s the miserable c*ck sucker?” Ms. Clinton asking about President Bill Clinton.
From The Truth About Hillary by Edward Klein
“Come on Bill, put your d**k up! You can’t f**k her here!!” Ms. Clinton referring to Mr. Clinton as he was talking to an attractive woman.
From Inside The White House by Ronald Kessler.
It is Mr. Trump who gives the biased media all of the ammunition it needs. And when that is not enough they manufacture controversy by blatantly misquoting, misinterpreting, and misapplying his remarks. The “oh my god” chorus is working overtime to cast Mr. Trump as racist, sexist, homophobic and every other mean spirited label they can pin on him.
But the public generally understands that. Republicans and independents understand that the mainstream media is simply an extension of the Democrat Party – that its spokesmen spend most of their days broadcasting and re-broadcasting the daily “talking points” from the DNC and the Clinton campaign. In doing so they influence few other than those already committed to the Democrat Party.
This year it is different. The mainstream media has a waiting list of prominent Republicans eager to criticize and destroy Mr. Trump’s candidacy. The Republicans have always had their “turncoats” who have gained national attention by their willingness to criticize and demean their fellow Republicans at the drop of a hat. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are two of the most prominent.
But now we have a list of Republican men and women who have been elected or appointed to high office. Who have appeared as experts and advocates for Republican efforts. Men and women to whom Republicans and independents have listened for years as “the face or voice of national Republicans.” And their drumbeat of criticism rivals that of the Democrats and their colleagues in the mainstream media. Because many of these detractors have admirers and acolytes amongst members of the Republican Party, their criticisms count. They cast doubt – particularly when they are speculating about what Mr. Trump may or may not do in different scenarios.
Now contrast that with the Democrats. Despite the massive popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) and the questionable tactics of the Democrat Party in ensuring his loss to Ms. Clinton, we do not see his loss to Ms. Clinton resulting in a staggering list of Democrats who daily denounce Ms. Clinton as a liar or a money-grubber. There is no criticism of the fact that Ms. Clinton has become a multi-millionaire ($150M) while doing nothing other than serving in public office. There is no outrage at her cozy relationship with Wall Street titan, Goldman Sachs, or her refusal to disclose what she promised those insiders during paid speeches and private meetings. Nothing is said about her failures as Secretary of State including the Russian reset, the fall of Libya, Benghazi, the Iran nuclear deal, the Syrian red line, and on and on. Nothing is asked about her physical health, her stroke, or her recurring episodes of deep vein thrombosis.
Why the difference? Well, it goes well beyond the normal mainstream media bias.
Donald Trump represents an existential threat to the Republican elite. Mr. Trump has been as critical of the failures of Republican policy – particularly on international policy (trade, diplomacy and intervention) – as he has been of Democrat policy. The architects of Republican policy and those who have implemented it will lose their positions, influence and livelihoods if Mr. Trump is elected. Pundits like George Will and Bill Kristol will be sent to the “back of the bus” should Mr. Trump be elected. The Republicans who have served as a “shadow government” during President Barack Obama’s terms will have no place to go. The cozy club of Washington insiders that allow Democrats and Republicans to retain power while cycling through each other party’s presidencies will end. Nobody will listen to them and fewer people will care.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton is a part of the Democrat elite and therefore does not threaten their existence. She knows the Democrats and Republicans alike in the cozy club of Washington insiders and accepts the “revolving door” process to which they are a party. Influence, wealth, and position will be maintained. A Clinton presidency will ensure the status quo.
Recently I gave a speech to a Republican gathering in Central Oregon. As a part of that speech I asked the audience to remain standing if they agreed with a series of actions taken by the Republican majorities in Congress. By the time I got to the second question all members of the audience were seated.
In each instance the questions involved something the congressional Republicans had promised if voters gave them a majority – Obamacare, the Iran nuclear deal, tax reform, the IRS scandal, etc. In each instance the Republican majorities had failed to deliver and in several of them they either didn’t even try or ensured their failure by their actions. In each instance, their actions – better their inactions – reflected the views of the Washington insiders. At the conclusion of my speech I asked a simple question:
If you so disagree with these Republicans, why do you return over 90 percent of them year after year after year?
At the conclusion of this election should Mr. Trump fail, a follow up question should be:
Will you now accept a return of these turncoats to positions of power in the Republican Party?