In reading this post keep two things in mind. First, I’ve already acknowledged that I don’t understand what’s happening this election cycle. My intuition is that something very, very different from what has gone on all through my adult life is occurring but I have no idea what the outcome will be. The second is that I don’t like either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and can’t envision myself voting for either one of them.
I’ll open with a little snippet of Matthew Hennessey’s recent post at City Journal:
The dominant and disorienting attribute of America in 2016 is that nothing is what it seems or, more accurately, what it actually is. On the campuses, intolerance is tolerance and censorship is free speech. In our public bathrooms, boys are girls and men are women. In our cities, the forces of protection are the forces of aggression. Stagnation is recovery; poverty is prosperity; war is peace.
Media cynicism has lately devolved into “don’t believe your lyin’ eyes” absurdity. In Orlando, according to the New York Times, an Islamist terrorist attack is somehow the product of Christian intolerance. In a bold display of cynicism about what its readers are willing to believe, the Times published an editorial pinning blame for the murder of 49 people in a nightclub not on the man who pulled the trigger—and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—but on GOP lawmakers “who have actively championed discriminatory laws and policies.” Omar Mateen’s victims, the Times said, were not the latest casualties of Islamism’s long war on the West but rather “casualties of a society where hate has deep roots.”
I think he’s reacting to the same things I’m seeing.
If you look at what the pundits, pollsters, and media outlets are saying, it’s dizzying, as if looking through a funhouse mirror. The only thing that’s clear to me is that they’ve learned nothing.
Their hatred of Donald Trump is obvious as is their defensiveness about Hillary Clinton. Look at the stories they’re running with as if in a pack. The Trump campaign is broke. How weak his campaign organization is. How damaging his policy positions are.
If fundraising from major donors, a strong, seasoned campaign organization, and solid, coherent policies were dispositive, Jeb Bush would be the undisputed Republican candidate. He isn’t. He fell on his face. I think that what that all of that tells us is that the yardsticks we’ve used in the past just aren’t worth much in this election cycle.
Something else to keep in mind: three-quarters of primary voters voted for neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump. Based on the tone of what I’m hearing, concluding that Democratic primary voters will come home to Hillary or Republican primary voters will rally ’round Trump are just lunacy.