The liberal media is setting Donald Trump up to succeed. How? By making Trump out to be such a vile, erratic, destructive loon that unless he reenacts the Slaughter of the Innocents he will outperform expectations.
The New York Times, CNN, the New Yorker and other mainstream outlets have set the bar absurdly low for Trump. He enters office with no yoke of optimism hung around his neck. By contrast, when Barack Obama was elected, people expected miracles, which was strange given his meager resume. It was also damaging, as it opened the young president to ridicule. That Nobel peace prize? Premature at best. Those tens of thousands cheering at the Brandenburg Gates? Soon to be disappointed.
Much of America is pessimistic about the four years ahead. They are being told that Trump threatens their very well being, that his presidency will endanger Muslims and gays and women, for instance. These charges are scary, and they are ill-founded – political hyperbole that has left a bitter residue. Trump has sometimes spoken injudiciously, (and offensively), but he has never been unsupportive of the LGBT community, and has a solid record of hiring and promoting women, including Kellyanne Conway, the first female to successfully run a national campaign. As for Muslims, suggesting that we limit refugees from countries fomenting Jihad is not an assault on people living in this country.
Those who should be nervous about Trump’s election are the people at the top of the political food chain. Trump vowed to Drain the Swamp, after all, and the swamp rats could hardly rejoice. Whether he will be able to lessen the grip of big-money donors, lifetime politicians and lobbyists on the workings of our government remains to be seen. But, trying to rein in the offensive spread of federal intrusion into the lives of everyday Americans appears high on his to-do list; good for him.
But, it is not those political elites who are gathering each day in front of Trump buildings in New York and across the country. Instead, it appears to be groups organized by numerous outfits like Black Lives Matter and the National Action Network. Some of the gatherings do not appear organic, since buses deliver the crowds to designated hot spots, and buses must be hired by someone.
Perhaps the organizers want to underscore that Trump has only a weak mandate to rule. That message stems from his failure to win the popular vote. However, since the GOP has won the majority of seats in the House and the Senate, occupies 31 of 50 governors’ mansions and controls two-thirds of state legislatures, the charge to Republicans seems clear. One Democrat strategist commented on Fox News the other night that his party was in the worst shape it had been in since Reconstruction. That looks like a mandate.
Asked to explain their protestations, demonstrators would likely fall back on charges that Trump is a bigot, a fascist, that he threatens their well-being in some way. For this perception we can thank Trump’s carelessness and we can also thank the media.
The over-the-top defamation of Donald Trump by the mainstream media has been extremely damaging to the reputations of once-admired newspapers and networks. They were on Hillary’s side and by the end of the campaign, made no effort to disguise their bias.
In the New Yorker, David Remnick published an extraordinary rant the morning after under the title An American Tragedy, in which he describes Trump’s election as a “sickening event” and a “triumph…of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism.” He describes the president-elect as “vulgarity unbounded” and a leader who will “strike fear in the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted.”
Remnick warns that commentators will try to rationalize the election outcome and “downplay the virulence of the nationalism displayed”; in that one sentence Remnick shows how far removed he is from those who celebrate “nationalism” -- but call it “patriotism.”
It is fair to say that the New Yorker editor will never understand how people could have rejected Hillary Clinton and instead voted for Trump. In New York, more than any other place, the echo chamber is iron-clad. Manhattan liberals counted on a Hillary win, because that’s all they read in the New York Times and heard on CBS.
Remnick says that the election will cast the country into a period of economic, political and social uncertainty. For many of us, that sounds like the past 8 years.
Trump may surprise people like Remnick; let’s hope so. One thing is for certain, thanks to voices like his, expectations are very low, and relatively easy to beat.