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Explaining Trump’s Staying Power Despite Everything

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One of the reasons a character like Donald Trump still has traction in this election (is still apparently in the running which demands more than his core constituency of angry right leaning populists) is that the media seems intent on insulating Hillary Clinton from criticism. After all of Trump’s excesses, his blatantly false misstatements, his double talk in interviews, his demonstrated lack of policy knowledge or even understanding, he has still managed to hang on, the margin between him and his opponent, Mrs. Clinton, only widening in the last week in light of the really offensive stories that have surfaced concerning his past behavior towards women. Apart from media outlets like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and a few others, most of the press is and has long been in the tank for the Democratic candidate for president . . . whoever it might be.

Hillary Clinton may not have been every Democrat’s first choice this year (though obviously she was the first choice of some), but in the end she IS a Democrat while Republicans are identified in the minds of most journalists and academics with conservatism, a position anathema to most of them. So it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the press is going to shill for Mrs. Clinton.

Setting aside Trump’s super strong negatives, which can drive even committed conservatives away from his candidacy (perhaps especially committed conservatives), any Republican who had secured his or her party’s nomination, in this or any presidential election year, would have been at a profound disadvantage vis a vis any Democrat in this race. And it is precisely that perception, that realization by conservative leaning voters that the media WANTS to ensure that the Democrat wins, that keeps many who see Trump’s terrible qualities clearly enough, from turning to Hillary.

Even now, as the Clinton email imbroglio unravels through more and more leaked material, courtesy of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks (and other behind the scenes players, perhaps the Russians), as the story comes out of a cynical, deceptive political pro whose ambition to occupy the White House trumps everything else in her life and as we learn more and more about the lack of core beliefs at the center of her campaign to become our next president, the media prefers to suppress the story. Donald Trump is not only more interesting, since sex trumps policy and even questions of honesty and Trump has the sex stuff down cold (given his self-acknowledged penchant for serial groping of attractive females), he is perceived as the real threat. He may be no conservative but he is also no progressive and the modern media wants progressives in the halls of government.

So whatever pops up on the Hillary Clinton scandal radar screen it’s never going to get the attention the media lavishes on the latest Trump excess around women. It doesn’t mean that Trump would be the better president because given the two of them, neither scores high on any reasonable presidential scale. But Americans are entitled to know who they’re voting for. But America’s media apparently has other ideas.

About Stuart W. Mirsky

Profile photo of Stuart W. Mirsky
Stuart W. Mirsky, a former New York City official who last served as Assistant Commissioner for Operations in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene before retiring in 2002, wrote a column, "The Rockaway Irregular," for The Wave, a south Queens based weekly, for more than a decade (until Hurricane Sandy changed the equation). He is an original founder of the Rockaway Republicans, one of the most active Republican groups in southern Queens, and author of a number of books, including The King of Vinland's Saga, an historical novel of the Norse in 11th century North America, A Raft on the River, a memoir of Holocaust survival, and Choice and Action, a work of contemporary philosophy addressing the implications of relativism and nihilism for our moral beliefs.

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