According to Washington Post columnist Stuart Rothenberg, we can save millions of dollars and simply call the election today: Donald Trump stands no chance.
“A dispassionate examination of the data, combined with a cold-blooded look at the candidates, the campaigns and presidential elections, produces only one possible conclusion: Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump in November,” writes Rothenberg.
Data, in this case, means polls, which do not look good for the Republican nominee. Rothenberg uses these polls as his primary reference point, comparing them to past elections and “proving” the case that Trump will not overcome the deficit in the next three months.
“There is no reason to believe that Trump will improve as a candidate,” he writes. “He doesn’t sound more ‘presidential,’ more knowledgeable about issues, more thoughtful or more articulate than he did during the primaries. He has not shown an ability to broaden his appeal.”
“In short,” he concludes, “Donald Trump needs a miracle.”
Rothenberg doesn’t speculate on what kind of miracle Trump would need. Would this miracle manifest itself as some external event? A terrorist attack? New publications from WikiLeaks? A sudden shift in the way the mainstream media covers this election?
Of those, only the third would really qualify as a “miracle,” and no one in America is holding their breath.
If Trump needs a miracle, it probably won’t come from anything external. It will come when – and perhaps only when – the majority of voters wake up from the mirage the media has created about him. And columns like this one are exactly what the doctor prescribed.
See, it’s too easy and too reactionary to point at Rothenberg and call him names and all the rest. No, no. We should encourage columns like this one. We should embrace them. When these “journalists” declare the race over or publicly abandon their objectivity, they are unwittingly poking holes in their own illusion. They haven’t forgotten their “ethics”; those went out the window years ago. They’ve forgotten that they’ve forgotten – that’s how bad it’s become. So now they’re pulling back the curtain on the whole show, entirely unaware that their readers were still buying into the fantasy.
Twenty years ago – hell, even ten years ago – the illusion of an unbiased media was strong and opaque. The magicians themselves were a lot more careful about protecting the secret. The illusion was growing extremely thin before Donald Trump showed up on the scene; he has, however, reduced it to near-transparency.
Still, no matter how obvious this sham is to us, millions of Americans still believe in the magic of objective journalism. It really won’t take a miracle to wake them up, though; it will just take more columns like this one. And once the media’s grand illusion falls, it’s anybody’s ballgame.