The talking heads on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and the networks have struggled mightily to encapsulate the Donald Trump phenomenon in a way that makes sense to their worldview. It’s a racist movement. It’s an anti-establishment movement. It’s impotent anger, being thrown at whatever targets might present themselves. But maybe these pundits would do well to stop looking around for an explanation and start looking in the mirror.
At a rally that looked more like a rock concert, the Republican presidential frontrunner took the stage before nearly 20,000 rabid supporters in Dallas. And while much of Trump’s speech covered familiar territory, he scored some of his biggest points when slamming the media. And in a twist that shows you just how unique this candidacy really is, Trump got the loudest cheers when turning his venom against conservative pundits like George Will and Karl Rove.
Both Rove and Will have been critical of Trump. In an op-ed that ran just prior to the first GOP primary debate, Rove pointed out the many liberal comments Trump has made over the years. And at one point, he even called the real estate tycoon a “complete idiot.” Trump responded in kind, telling the capacity crowd that Rove was “terrible.”
“He’s still going around thinking Romney won,” Trump said to uproarious laughter.
Will, a respected Washington Post columnist, recently wrote:
Novelist Mary McCarthy said of playwright Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” If that was so, Trump is not even an original.
Trump said simply, “George Will is a disaster.”
Trump has made the media a central part of his campaign, often speaking extemporaneously about how he is portrayed. And while this self-absorption can grow tiresome, it may also speak to the core of his success. Maybe this was the year the American people suddenly decided that they’d had enough of elitists in New York City and Washington, D.C. choosing their candidates for them. And while it’s unfortunate that good conservatives – and good conservative outlets like Fox – are being swept up in the storm, maybe that’s an inevitable byproduct of the movement.
Bush vs. Clinton
This summer of discontent may have been summoned by the prospect of a Jeb Bush/Hillary Clinton general election. From very early on, the media assured us that 2016 would look very much like 1992. But for the first time in a long time, the American people balked. Was it the horror of a legacy election? Or was that just the straw that broke the camel’s back? After the lies of Ferguson, the total lack of interest in Benghazi, the myth that Americans were sick of congressional “gridlock,” and the liberal bias that pervades every newscast, maybe we’d just had enough. To hell with you, New York Times; we’re going with THIS GUY!
It’s impossible to know where this is going. But it’s clear that America’s infatuation with Donald Trump is more than a summer fling. The war on political correctness and a pervasive media empire has begun, and it’s a battle long overdue.