At the time of Donald Trump’s election, I felt we were beginning to turn a new page in American politics in regards to the media. For decades, the media had the power to make or break candidates, but in the 2016 election, the media firewall cracked for the first time.
The media went all in to stop Trump, concocting hoaxes and conspiracy theories about Russia and claiming Trump was the leader of a new neo-Nazi movement that would unleash a wave of terror and oppression against minorities unlike anything ever seen before in American history.
In spite of all they did, they could not stop Trump from getting elected, and have been unable to prevent him from governing.
Since then, the media’s influence over the broader electorate has continued to decline. Donald Trump was an exceptionally strong candidate, who formed a strong bond with his voters and attracted huge crowds to his rallies.
And this next part — the greeting of the voters — he gets right, too. In this context, he possesses an almost mystical quality that, for whatever reason, does not come across when filtered through the kaleidoscope of newsprint or television. It’s the way he focuses his eyes, which are as blue as the seas, except for (yikes) that time the left eye filled with blood on CNN a few weeks back.
He is swarmed. Women reach out to him, linking their arms in his. He bows his head and lifts their hands to his mouth for a kiss and, later, when you ask them if that makes them uncomfortable, they look at you like you have three heads. This is the best day of their lives. Are you insane? There are men, too, who embrace him, wrapping their hands around his neck. He calls every male-presenting human he encounters “man.” I watched him call a baby “man.” As in, Hey! Howareya, man?! He is as skilled a selfie-taker as any influencer, and in the span of 30 or 40 minutes, he snaps hundreds, leaning his body against the rope that separates him from the crowd, straining it one, two, three feet forward. He really does connect with every living being this way, talking about their jobs or their health care as he listens, sometimes crying with them, whispering in their ears, taking their phone numbers and promising to call them. He does, in fact, do that. Everybody is Joe Biden’s long-lost friend. Every baby is Joe Biden’s long-lost child. A little girl in Iowa City called him her uncle Joe. On the Fourth of July in the town of Independence, he took off, running through the parade like a dingo with somebody’s newborn. As hard as it might be to believe that anything in this realm could not be bullshit, it’s simply true that this isn’t.
Yet Biden is still the front-runner. Volatile and potentially worthless as they may be, it’s what the polls say. Biden leads the field on average by a handful of percentage points, though his lead has trended steadily downward, from a high of 33 in May to 20 in June to 11, and then to 9.9, and 6.6, and 5.4, according to RealClearPolitics. In the whole campaign, there has only been one day — October 8 — when he slipped to second place, an average of 0.2 points behind Warren. He’s also the front-runner in South Carolina, Nevada, California, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida.
The bottom line is that the media and the Democrats are out of touch with the American people and out of touch with reality. The embrace of extremist social justice policies have hastened this process.
While the hard left makes up a substantial portion of the Democrat base, there is still a substantial core of people who could be called moderates. These moderates have little voice within the party, but they can still make their voices heard at election time.
With the possible exception of Tulsi Gabbard, Biden is the only candidate running for the Democrat nomination who is able to make some kind of connection with normal Americans (and you can “hear” the sneering contempt for these normal people in the NYMag article). Even a weak candidate like Biden can no longer be stopped by the media when there is a significant portion of the Democrat base desperate for some kind of alternative to the social justice warriors.
The further left the media goes, and the more shrill and hysterical it gets, the less power it’s going to have. Now, if we could just convince the Republicans that the 6% of Americans who follow politics on Twitter don’t speak for the other 94% of us…