Monday, October 23, 2017

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Ending A Delusion?

I have written quite a number of columns about the
self-destructive response and consequential negative
campaign by many Democrats, the mainstream media,
and yes, some Republicans and conservatives, too, to
the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the 2016
presidential election.

It is, of course, not that they are critical of the new
president. He has said some caustic, personal, and
wrong-headed words about his opponents, and even some
of his friends. In the political marketplace, a president’s
policies and actions are always fair game for criticism.

But a cohesive, strategic and fair criticism is not what his
critics have made in the months since Mr. Trump took
office. Instead, they have relentlessly pursued an attack on
virtually everything he says or does, with an emphasis on
personal matters that is intended to undermine his
credibility and support among voters.

At almost every tweet and statement made from the Oval
Office, there comes a barrage of denunciation, overstated
disapproval and sometimes unfair or plainly wrong
interpretations. The result has been an unintended
backfire that has solidified the president’s political base,
and unexpectedly made many voters, who either did not
vote for him or did not  particularly like him, become
more and more sympathetic to him.

I have not been alone in pointing this out. At first, the
phenomenon was written off as an understandable
disappointment in the election result. When it continued,
it was justified by the president’s disruption of the
political status quo and his unpredictable verbosity.
When the president’s party in Congress (which had a
majority in both the house and senate) became stalemated
by disagreement, a true political opportunity occurred,
but instead  of pursuing a pragmatic strategy of political
criticism, many Democrats, egged on by a vituperative
media, continued their attacks preoccupied with personal
presidential words and manners. While they were doing
this, Mr. Trump and his administration quietly and
substantially began transforming the federal government
by canceling regulations with executive orders, changing
federal domestic and foreign policy priorities, and
appointing conservative judges at all levels of the federal

Democrats have a different view of many domestic and
foreign policy matters. Instead of articulating these views,
many liberals have chosen to fixate only on emotional
responses to matters much less important, with their eyes
and ears on “identity” politics which they feel composes
their voter base. Recent controversies have reflected this,
with the latest being a hue and cry over the president’s
reported remarks to the mother of a soldier who recently
died in the service of his country. The overblown
characterization and distortion of Mr. Trump’s remarks
by those with a political axe to grind did more harm to
the critics than to the president. Perhaps the president’s
private condolences (not meant to be made public) were
not perfect, but to fill the TV news and newspaper front
pages with this story while much more significant events
are taking place in Washington, DC and the world does
not, in my opinion, serve either the public interest --- or
even the Democratic Party’s real political interest, for
that matter.

I don’t think the Democrats and the media are going
to listen to common political sense. Their delusions about
Donald Trump and their loss in the 2016 election are
apparently not going to stop because of anything I or
anyone else says. Although some savvy Democrats and
liberals are now realizing more and more what really
happened in 2016, and is happening in the country now,
their voices will likely be shouted down. Even though press
bias is beginning to have a serious impact on TV viewership
radio listenership, and print media readership, the media
vendetta is not going to change on its own.

Just look at the weak ticket sales in the film industry and
the low attendance (and TV ratings) in the National Football
League that are resulting from their controversies. Do their
owners and executives get it?

Change will happen, but it will come, as it usually does,
from the consumers. In politics, it will come from the voters.
In 2016, the voters brought us Act One of a new politics.

In 2018, Act Two will be performed at the polls.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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