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How hysterical punditry failed America Ridiculous claims by respectable media outfits perpetuate the madness

The media class has overdosed on Trump. Credit: Getty

The media class has overdosed on Trump. Credit: Getty


October 19, 2020   5 mins

It seems like only yesterday that America’s leading organs of elite consensus were engulfed by a full-fledged panic that the country was on the cusp of all-out Civil War. The means by which this prophesied conflict would be instigated — much less fought — were never made exactly clear, but that wasn’t the point. After all, logistical or operational specifics are immaterial when it’s already been ordained that something unimaginably, harrowingly catastrophic is just around the corner.

“This is not a drill. The Reichstag is burning,” blared a five-alarm-fire warning in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank, who may want to consider a title change from “columnist” to “in-house hysteric”. Not to be outdone, establishment weather-vane Thomas Friedman joined the fray in the New York Times with an equally shocking exhortation: “I can’t say this any more clearly,” he hyperventilated. “Our democracy is in terrible danger — more danger than it has been since the Civil War, more danger than after Pearl Harbor, more danger than during the Cuban missile crisis […]”.

If these fevered prognostications even bore the faintest resemblance to political conditions in the United States, it might seem a bit odd that the pundits in question have since moved on to other subjects. Or to put it this way: if they really believed their own fantastical rhetoric, shouldn’t they have spent the past few weeks taking action more tangible than rattling off a few throwaway columns and browsing Twitter? Not that any “resistance” brigade composed of pallid middle-aged journalists would be especially formidable on the battlefield, but the point is that their conduct doesn’t come anywhere close to matching the incredible alarmism of their words.

More destruction could be in store next month than was wrought in World War II, the most devastating global military conflict in human history? All of civilisation was nearly wiped out in the Cuban Missile Crisis, but we’re supposed to believe that whatever harm is brought about by the election aftermath will exceed that? If so, why aren’t these people stockpiling canned food and training for hand-to-hand combat?

They’re not doing anything of the sort because this latest round of histrionics is just a continuation of a theme that has characterised the Trump era: political and cultural elites, whose psyches have been profoundly damaged, will churn out nonstop waves of hysteria rarely noting afterwards if their frenzied forecasts ever panned out. As a largely accountability-free profession, there is no penalty in the opinion-making world if the catastrophising ultimately proves to be just a bizarre projection of their own angst.

The logic of these latest prophecies, to the extent that any can be discerned amid the haze of paranoia, is that Trump will refuse to abide a “peaceful transition of power” after the election. Instead, he’ll throw the country into some sort of protracted armed insurgency by calling upon white supremacist militias to do his genocidal bidding in the streets. Hugely viral tweets, including one by a credentialed member of the White House press corps, helped foster this belief by alleging (without caveat) that Trump had explicitly incited a Civil War.

Of course, the basis for the allegation was a typically garbled comment by Trump at a press conference. But there had already been an atmosphere of unfounded dread in the air, thanks in part to long disquisitions in The Atlantic — the leading clearinghouse for the neurotic elite speculation — playing out with utmost seriousness various as-yet-fictitious scenarios whereby Trump refuses to concede the election and the American constitutional order summarily crumbles.

Once you accept that this doomsaying is less about Trump himself, and more about an elite media class that has overdosed on five years of Trump-related dopamine rush, a darkly comical aspect emerges. The foot soldiers of Trump’s supposed post-election coup were declared to be the “Proud Boys,” a group of glorified performance artists and trolls who’d barely even register as a political force were it not for all the manufactured coverage intended to elevate them as frightening foils. If it truly falls on them to wage Trump’s Civil War, then this will be the goofiest and least daunting Civil War on record.

And as for the “peaceful transition of power”, it’s possible that Trump will dispute the election results in some fashion. The lawyers are gearing up in both parties, given the country’s wide-scale transition to mail-in-voting.

Irony must be lost on these prophesiers, however, because while Trump did not encounter any overtly violent coup upon assuming office in January 2017, his own transition to power was anything but ordinary. The country’s security state apparatus had launched an unprecedented brazen intervention into electoral politics, and hobbled his administration in a morass of investigation and quasi-scandal before it even began. Trump’s erratic communications style might in some sense violate customary “norms” of American political comity, but the behaviour of the FBI and CIA in 2016-2017 will have a far more long-lasting impact on what’s regarded as “normal” power-transfers.

One wonders how these media organs could ever hope to adapt to post-Trump life, with all the painful withdrawals and lingering psychological damage that will undoubtedly entail. One option is to simply keep going back over and over again for a fix, even with Trump out of office. Chris Hayes of MSNBC recently suggested one potential option: “Some kind of truth and reconciliation commission.” Interesting thought, because if this theoretical “commission” is tasked with uncovering the reasons for Trump’s rise to power, it will find that perhaps the chief culprit is NBC Universal, which provided Trump with a 14-year perch as one of the country’s most well-known network TV personalities.

Either way, the elite-peddled angst about some forthcoming Civil War is made all the more absurd because it almost gives Trump more credit than it deserves. His re-election campaign is flailing, and it has nothing to do with white supremacist militias readying for armed conflict. Compared to his successful 2016 campaign messaging, the current iteration is a hopeless wreck. Much of Trump’s time is spent impotently fuming about the “radical Left”, and he repeatedly brought up the phrase during the depressing first “debate” with Joe Biden.

Review the transcripts from his debate encounters with Hillary Clinton four years ago, however, and you’ll see not one instance of Trump making reference to anything like the “radical Left,” or any of the other heavily-ideologised attack lines that his advisors and handlers this time around have so relentlessly imparted on him to emphasise. Trump’s downfall, should it arrive next month, will be explicable by a variety of factors, ineffectual and incoherent pandemic response paramount among them. But they’ll all be far more banal, and therefore less emotionally satisfying, than those currently engrossing the elite commentariat.

Of course, one can always easily find examples of comparably grandiose doomsaying among pro-Trump partisans scattered throughout the Right-wing media ecosystem. But when the “youth activist” Charlie Kirk pronounced in an address at the Republican convention that Trump is nothing less than the “the bodyguard of Western Civilisation,” this was understood to represent a foolish, deluded Right-wing sensibility. Yet when similarly ridiculous claims are made by respectable elite outlets, the expectation is that all right-minded, well-educated citizens will nod in solemn, knowing agreement.

All of these insane proclamations have to be understood as fulfilling some depraved psychological purpose. This purpose is to elevate combatants in America’s pantomimed Culture War to the status of world-historic combatants, on whose shoulders the fate of the country rests. Many of the purveyors are pure cynical charlatans, but others probably have come to believe their own preposterous rhetoric, which is an indication of how deep the delusion runs.

Among the prophesiers, there is clearly a kind of perverse psychic need for the Trump saga to end with a salaciously climatic conclusion. If you are so inclined — that is, if you are so blinkered by four years of mostly self-inflicted psychological turmoil — then Trump is always going to provide a daily deluge of material that could justify your angst. But a tempered and public-spirited media would have developed strategies by now, five years into the theatrical trolling, to avoid withering into a shrieking stupor every time Trump makes a purposefully-provocative offhand remark. If anything, this emotional fragility has only burnished Trump with an unearned mystique. Because by now, what he’s working with is mostly just schtick.

If Trump goes down to the defeat, it will be largely because of his own incompetence, and one manifestation of that incompetence is that his (admittedly unorthodox) communications style has been only that: a communications style. PR. And for the US intelligentsia to have been so addled and demented by a PR shtick couldn’t be a better demonstration of how vapid and untrustworthy they are.


Michael Tracey is a journalist in Jersey City, NJ

mtracey

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G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Whether Trump wins or loses the MSM in the US and its so-called ‘liberal’ establishment have set an extremely unfortunate, undesirable, damaging precedent for the democratic process in the country through their behaviour over the last four years.

Not necessarily liking their elected President is one thing, it is indeed their right, but when the ‘losers’ of an election process that has delivered all of America’s Presidents to date, be they good, bad or indifferent, refuse to acquiesce and effectively unite to seemingly devote ALL their time and energies to constantly questioning his legitimacy with the express intention of removing him whilst in office then it’s fair to say that the long established and understood ‘rules’ of American politics have been irrevocably rewritten for the future, and not for the better.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Even at this late hour Nancy Pelosi has been trying to use an interpretation of the 25th amendment to force Trump to stand down. Apparently the tactic is to declare that the president is in an “altered state” due to his coronavirus treatment and therefore unable to carry out his duties of office.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Some are claiming that this move by Pelosi is in order to enable the rapid removal of Biden should he be elected. The Dems can then install Kamala Chameleon.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Not sure I follow. Are you saying that Pelosi could be trying to set a precedent for removal of a president (any president) from office on the grounds of mental competence?

The ancient Persians were able to get rid of an unwanted emperor (in spite of his god-like, unquestionable right to rule) by declaring him an imposter and not the true emperor. There’s always a way for a resourceful usurper get around inconvenient laws.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Well it’s not me saying it, but various US commentators/podcasters. Personally I have no idea of what is going on in the mind of the endlessly deceitful, demented, luxury ice-cream scoffing, multi-multi millionaire Pelosi.

Nick Wright
Nick Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Shocked to hear that Pelosi is a “multi-multi millionaire”. So much better than Trump, whose millions now appear to be fictional. And she eats ice-cream? Luxury ice-cream? Burn the witch!

anthony henderson
anthony henderson
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Can’t they use this 25th on Pelosi herself?

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Is not Sleepy Joe more believably in an “altered state” since he clearly has difficulty about identifying facts about his own background and sometimes even where he is or what day it Is?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Absurd!
No one (aside from pointing out the popular vote loss) has questioned his ability to govern – and he can not do it because he is incompetent. Media didn’t stop him from reforming the immigration system, building the wall with Mexico’s money, paying more taxes or releasing his tax statements

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
3 years ago

You’d have thought that after they lost 4 years ago the Democrats would have taken a long hard look at why they lost and tried to come up with a candidate and policies with enough appeal to beat Trump four years later. Instead they devoted almost all their energy in trying to delegitimize the Trump presidency ““ first with the “Russian Collusion” farce and then with the similarly farcical “Impeachment” over Ukraine – and when none of that worked out they in the end selected the hapless Joe Biden over a string of more promising candidates, almost as an afterthought (his initial showings in the primaries were mediocre, at best).

I’m note going to argue with the polls and the odds which point to a clear Biden victory 😉 but if in the end the Democrats do lose, they will only have themselves to blame.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

You can be sure that if the Democrats lose they will certainly not be blaming themselves. Remember Hilary Clinton’s post-defeat memoir “What Happened”? There was nothing wrong with the Democrat agenda. Too many of the American public had, it seems, foolishly voted the wrong way or failed to vote at all.

The scapegoat will be a deluded electorate misled by unscrupulous right wing forces. The election, they will claim, has been stolen, democracy has failed and the only recourse will be to “direct action”.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

They will adhere to Brecht’s advice to dismiss the people and elect a new one.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

” Too many of the American public had, it seems, foolishly voted the wrong way or failed to vote at all.”
As H.L. Mencken (the greatest political commentator) wrote 100 years ago :

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Turned out to be more than one moron.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

‘I’m note going to argue with the polls…’

Well the Dems themselves are already arguing with the polls and sending out frantic memos stating that the polls are incorrect. This is bizarre when you consider that the polls are deliberately manipulated by the polling organisations and media to favour the Dems. Essentially, the fix is practiced on behalf of the Dems and they are not even aware of it! This is how dumb these people are.

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I watched a video by Scott Adams yesterday in which he maintained that the polls are misleading not only because of the “shy” Trump voter (who don’t admit to voting for Trump for fear of social ostracism etc.) but also because of an increasing tendency to give contrarian answers to pollsters, just for the hell of it. So, who knows”Š.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Amazing that neither UK nor US media realise they energise the opposition by using polling to reflect their own left wing bias. UK 2015 GE was a classic example.They are clearly not on board with Sun Tzu: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy , for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither, you will suffer defeat in every battle. Lets hope that rings true on 3rd November, though with strong federal powers in Red states and Creepy Joe on the right wing of the Dems it’s Hobson’s Choice. (IMO Biden way more rightwing than Bojo/Cameroon)

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Interesting that all the Russia & Ukraine collusion was a smokescreen to hide the Democrats’ own collusion and corruption. It is almost fantastical…

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Jackson

The effort to continue the charade has now hit a new peak, with much of the media actively involved in trying to keep it hidden. From the major networks and dailies ignoring the story to social media working overtime to suppress it, America is becoming the banana republic we used to wag our finger at.

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Jackson

It is all you say and a bit more. The Intelligence Community is stonewalling and desperately trying to make this go away. Wonder why?

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

The American media establishment has destroyed itself.
At no time did they stop and analysis their own actions and thus they destroyed their own credibility.
Trump won and they could not accept it.
Trump is going to win again, biggly, yet they still won’t look at themselves and their actions will discredit themselves even more.
4 more years and it will be interesting.
P.s. from Britain’s point of view better trump than biden, trump will deal with us, biden is a joke

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I hope you’re right, it comes to something when Trump looks like the best option! Same as UK- its like some high school ethics debate. Is Britain better ruled by an incompetent communist/terrorist supporter or an incompetent comedian/journalist. Both have been married 3 or more times. Discuss.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘The country’s security state apparatus had launched an unprecedented brazen intervention into electoral politics, and hobbled his administration in a morass of investigation and quasi-scandal before it even began.’

Crikey – some truth on this matter from someone outside of Fox News. That’s a first. As for Trump’s campaign ‘flailing’, early counting of post-in votes puts him well ahead in Texas and roughly level in Michigan, where the Dems were expected to be well ahead at this early stage. I’ve just a CNN (CNN!) report of a massive Trump surge in Pennsylvania, and there is a part of Oregon that might actually return a Rep Congressman, so disgusted are the locals by BLM/Antifa and their murderous, looting, burning ways. Internal Rep polling has them ahead of where they were in 2016. The mainstream polls are as fake as the media that commissions and reports them. It amazes me that the writers who are in on the fix don’t even know this.

As for Trump being ‘the bodyguard of Western Civilisation’, well, he is, to a great extent. Given power, the Dems would take down the new trade barriers and sell the US to China. They are now the party of big business, supported and funded by Wall St. Millions more working class Americans would lose their jobs. They would also import millions of people from places like the Middle East. For the results of such policies, I refer you to events in France last week.

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That’s Trump version 1. The other Trump hasn’t drained the swamp, hasn’t built the wall and has barely slowed the continuing decline of American living standards. If the Yanks wanted someone to upset the status-quo has he really delivered?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

By the standards of most politicians Trump has delivered on a great many of his promises. He has renegotiated various trade deals, built quite a lot the wall, and created the conditions of a historic peace agreement in the ME Obama, for instance, spent 8 years doing more or less nothing except creating the conditions for ISIS by withdrawing troops from Iraq prematurely, agains the advice of those on the ground.. Trump has also delivered historic funding for black colleges and released many of the prisoners locked up for decades by Biden’s Crime Bill.

Moreover, Trump has done this in the face of relentless obstacles from the swamp, which extends to the FBI, pretty much the whole of the state apparatus and, of course, the vast majority of the media. This swamp was responsible for entirely fraudulent Russia collusion allegation and the entirely fraudulent impeachment. It’s incredible that he got anything done under those circumstances.

As for the living standards, before Covid there were record low levels of unemployment for blacks and hispanics, and two weeks ago 57% of Americans said there were better off than four years ago – a record figure.

I would not have voted for Trump, but his deeds in office are Herculean in the face of massive and largely evil opposition.

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I believe his efforts are mostly illusory. It’ll be interesting to see the Americans verdict, should we be able to trust its publication.

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

It helps to find out what he really did instead of relying on the Guardian et al. I’ve not found anybody that (would’ve) voted for Clinton that knew how fast the Wall is being build. Looking deeper into the First Step Act, the ACA mandate, medication prices, the opioid crisis, departemental regulation budgets, where the troops are, and the Warp speed project were eye openers for me.

The last 5 years we’ve witnessed an indoctrination operation unmatched by anything in history. What is supposed to be the smart part of society seems blinded by a vicious circle of self feeding hysteria.

Zhirayr Nersessian
Zhirayr Nersessian
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kriens

I recommend listening to Larry Elder on youtube – he gives a very good summary of what Trump has achieved, in particular for the BAME community (School Choice etc)

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kriens

Most people read the Guardian simply to check the enemy troop movements and latest show trials. It’s funny, they’re sure that ‘the media’ control everyone’s views too.

Su Mac
Su Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

Turns out the Wall is being built – someone here is documenting its progress – 341 miles done and 516+ miles to go it says. I wonder why we would believe it is not happening..? https://www.trumpwall.const… Regarding the status quo I don’t think there has ever been such a disruptor/outsider in a position of power. Poking sharp sticks at the lobbying for $ industry, bought and paid for MSM, NATO moochers, FBI/CIA and the military industrial complex with their endless wars, the empty posturing of the Paris Climate Accord, globalists making money by manufacturing overseas, the hypocrisy of China, Democrat support for endless illegal immigration and the whole Washington swamp of insiders getting rich from politics – why else do you think they are so all-consumingly driven by their hatred of him to the point of insanity!?

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  Su Mac

We must agree to disagree. I hear Hadrians commanders laughing from 2000 years ago. 341 miles, in how long?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

Prior to Covid, the US had record- or near-record low unemployment, particularly among minority groups. Trump had broken the string of getting us into new wars. Trade deals had been struck with Mexico, Canada, and some others. Carbon emissions went down despite pulling out of the Paris Accords. An Iranian bad guy was taken off the board. All despite the opposition party, most of the media, and good many self-proclaimed conservatives actively working against Trump.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Self-proclaimed conservatives actively working against Trump = Vichy Republicans

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

You are aware that the new wall stands at 371 miles right now, likely hitting 400 before the end of the year?

https://www.cbp.gov/border-

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

It seems like only yesterday that America’s leading organs of elite consensus were engulfed by a full-fledged panic that the country was on the cusp of all-out Civil War.
Where would we be without these bastions of deep thinking. Multiple US have seen billions in damage from rioting mobs, yet the elite insists protests have been “93% peaceful.” More than 99% of planes that took off on 9/11 landed safely, but that’s not what anyone recalls of that day.

There is a problem occurring. It’s just not what the “elite consensus” thinks the problem is. When one side engages in black shirt tactics, doxxing and cancel culture, and violence against people over ideas, trying to blame the other side goes well beyond missing the point.

Tim Flowers
Tim Flowers
3 years ago

You got it almost completely right, but to say that Trump’s 2020 campaign is “flailing” is incorrect. Considering we’re in an alleged pandemic, the campaign is running strong. Compare his rally crowds to Biden’s. There is no enthusiasm for Joe Biden…only the most hardcore Democrats even bother to put a Biden-Harris sign in their yard. His entire campaign is a joke propped up by the mainstream media. And while I don’t think we’re heading toward a civil war, there is documented evidence that leftist organizations are planning massive civil unrest (riots) if they don’t get their way in November. And it’s natural for Trump to talk about the left as most Americans are deeply concerned about this year of riots that the Democrats have largely downplayed or ignored, if not encouraged.
Finally, Trump’s response to the pandemic has been as good as we could expect. What more could he have done? No country has much to brag about when it but in the United States, even if Trump had done more, Democratic Governor’s would have ignored it and gone their own way and the media would have criticized anything Trump suggested. He was in no-win situation, which is exactly where the Democrats and their media allies have tried to keep him the past 4 years. Hopefully, in November we’ll see that a majority of Americans didn’t believe their lies and Trump will get 4 more years.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Flowers

Trump is trying a repeat of 2016 and the landscape has changed. It has largely changed in his favor, but he and his team fail to understand. He should have commercials showing the rioting, looting, arson, and police attacks with the words “This is the Democrats’ America. If you vote for Biden, this is what you will get. Re-elect Donald Trump to Make America SAFE Again”

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

Trump drove a certain group of people nuts because they could not believe voters (who they considered to be less intelligent than them) did not do what they were told. Being wrong was not an option for them so therefore the voters must have been wrong, manipulated by someone other than them, etc.

Don’t worry, even if Trump is defeated (and remember he won against all odds in 2016) they will not stop because the pain and suffering they have been through requires them to have vengeance against Trump, those who worked for Trump, those who openly supported Trump and those they voted for Trump. This madness is a long way from being over!

jmburca
jmburca
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

We’re waiting, we’ll-armed snd prepared. They should be very careful…this is more than support for Trump. We deplorables know that the hate directed against the Trump administration is also directed at all you mention. At this point, the hate is mutual. I know that if the Dems win, and they seek revenge, the country will explode.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  jmburca

There’s been talk about a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to highlight and forgive the atrocities of Trump and his supporters, thus treating them like perpetrators of mass genocide. The WaPo did an article on something about this a few days ago and compared our current situation to the Nuremberg trials. They’re going full-out in scaring people not to vote Trump.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

I think the gun-nuttery of recent years has affected the people you all are calling liberals. In America, liberals can buy guns, too, as can intellectuals, students, hippies, the poor, and the improperly pigmented. Thus a friend of mine who is a leftish Democrat told me she has bought a 9mm pistol and is getting training, so that, as she says, ‘If they come for me I’ll be able to take at least one of them with me.’ I asked who was going to come for her and she said ‘Right-wing death squads.’ Well, she does live in South Florida. I expressed some doubt about right-wing death squads and she said, ‘You don’t live in America.’ She meant I live in New York City.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Yes, I’m also wondering to what extent this lockdown is ‘punishment’ for Trump being voted president. The Whitehouse medical advisor has said that lockdown restrictions can be lifted, but Twitter blocked his account.

I’m curious if continuation of the lockdowns are contingent upon the ‘right person’ being voted in on November 3.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Personally I don’t think so, I think if Biden is elected he will impose a very strict lock down on all states, supported by a massive increase in government spending on health care and wages. I think the hard left see lock down as a way to bring in a universal government backed income and in the USA they see it as an opportunity to nationalise their health service to create something that looks like the NHS.

That is why the left are so keen on lock down, it is a way to massively increase the influence and power of the state!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Democrats are absolutely terrible. They hate the people and only value power. It is the only explanation for why they refuse to allow a decent candidate for office. They screwed Bernie twice and I am not even a fan of Bernie. They had an actual decent human being running in Tulsi Gabbard but would not allow the people to hear and judge for themselves. So we get Biden to vote for. Why? Because the hate people and they know how corrupt and easily influenced Biden is.

jmburca
jmburca
3 years ago

You’re not in America, and you have no idea what’s going on with OUR election. The public support for Trump-Pence is off the charts…everywhere. Now you might say that huge, enthusiastic crowds do not mean votes, polls do. I’d say you’re wrong…sometimes, actual people voting decide elections, not polls.

shiroemakabe
shiroemakabe
3 years ago
Reply to  jmburca

If you’re talking to the writer of this article, he is very much in America, New Jersey. Read his bio.

If you’re talking to some of the British posters in this thread, I don’t know where you’re getting the impression that they disagree with you. I live in Debbie Wasserman-Schultz territory and the support for Trump here indicates he’s a shoe-in.

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  shiroemakabe

Just picture Schulz’s face if they lose the election again!!

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  jmburca

I’m English, and even I know Trump is gonna win big time. The Biden laptop drop and the slow release of ever increasing criminality from the laptop’s hard drive is gonna kill the Dems…death by a thousand cuts

michael harris
michael harris
3 years ago
Reply to  jmburca

James, I’m British and not nearly as informed as you about your election. But I do hope to God that Trump wins,

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago

This is a nice essay, but it features many of the failings of the “throw-away columns” it (rightfully) ridicules. Most notably, the second half of it features many, standard throw-away, fact-free lines. Like, what “incompetence” does the author have in mind? Trump’s “communication style” is “incompetent”? What about policies? Have those been incompetently implemented or designed?

If Trump wins the election, will the author revisit his own language about Trump’s “flailing campaign”?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Trump has 87 million Twitter follows and is able to reach and appeal to normal people – not the despicable fools and snobs who occupy the media – like no other politician of our time. That is not incompetence, whatever you think of him.

They all look down on him, these despicable snobs, because they find him vulgar – ‘just a TV star’. Well, I would bet that all these people have TVs. So if they think TV is so awful, why do they have one? (I do not have a TV, I might add). Moreover, when you speak to these people who look down on Trump you soon realise that they haven’t read a serious book for years (no. ‘Atonement’ does not count as serious book). Nor have they ever seen a decent film (no, ‘Amelie’ is crap) and nor do they know anything about art, history or anything else.

I don’t suppose Trump know anything of literature, art, film or history either. But he has been rather busy becoming a billionaire – at least building a few things – appearing on a top-rated TV show for 10 years, and generally being President.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

He is everything but a billionaire. If he was he would happily published his tax returns.
He inherited c.400M from his father, that money invested in US Stock (the index) would be worth now c.30 billion.

michael harris
michael harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Indeed, Fraser, a serious book might be ‘The Possessed’ or ‘The Plague’ which, between them, comment on our worst troubles.

Don Lightband
Don Lightband
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I for one especially relished “Amelie is crap” ðƾ‘

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

NO, I have to agree that his communications have been incompetent. His attitude appeals to his base, BUT he should know that he needs to win the mushy center to get re-elected. He needs more speeches and tweets like the Mt Rushmore speech, which was excellent, and thus completely ignored by the Moron-stream-media.

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
3 years ago

The real threat to democracy comes from the left. If Trump wins again, will they respect the vote? I doubt it and riotous violence will begin.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

The Left can put a few people in the street for a few days. Otherwise, they have no power whatever — certainly not to threaten ‘democracy’ if that’s what you want to call it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

They have enormous power because they control all the arms of the state, particularly the education system.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

And they are given succor by the media – who are at least as evil as the Donkeys.

donald.couper
donald.couper
3 years ago

Very well put argument. It is the same in the UK, the media just seem to want to attack the person, and rarely go into detailed discussion about the competing policies. Very worrying lack of journalistic integrity. Perhaps it’s all due to lack of advertising money which is now going to social media?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  donald.couper

Matt Taibi recently recorded a very good podcast/lecture on the reasons for the collapse in journalistic integrity and the ongoing demise of the legacy media. In a sense he doesn’t say anything new, but he does tie it all together very well.

Yes, it’s partly the internet, which removed all the ad money from the established media. Ironically, this was a key reasons behind Trump’s success. Because every time they did a story about Trump the ratings/clicks went up. Thus more stories about Trump. Very amusing.

DA Johnson
DA Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I second Fraser Bailey’s recommendation of Matt Taibi’s explanation for the demise of the old rules of journalistic integrity.

emceepork
emceepork
3 years ago

This discussion almost eclipses the article, very interesting and good discourse.

Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago

Trump is the very embodiment of evil. Biden is an angel in human form sent by heaven to save humanity. Or did I misunderstand something in the NYT et al?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The media has steadfastly beclowned itself during the Trump years, amplifying a trend that had begun under his predecessor. The result is a sizable percentage of Americans who are unaware of the Biden escapades involving both Ukraine and China. What, by any sane definition, is not just a news story but a massive news story, is instead the subject of a wholesale blackout effort by the major social media channels. The day to day press has simply chosen to ignore, and the moderator for the last presidential debate is a partisan dressed up in media guise.

Trump has his flaws, to be sure. That makes him human. And if his opponent was someone other than a careerist who’s gotten fat and happy at the public trough, that would be fine. But that’s not who Joe Biden is. The irony is how one writer is quoted in this piece in full pearl-clutching mode accusing Trump of fomenting Civil War when one blue city after another is in turmoil by decidedly anti-Trump black shirts. Not only is the left, at least implicitly, supporting the very authoritarianism it always accuses others of doing, it’s now caught in a situation where the Dem nominee did what Trump was impeached over.

Eileen Natuzzi
Eileen Natuzzi
3 years ago

This is my first read on The Herd and I have to say this author is spot on. Thank you. The wild fear mongering press coverage (in print, digital, twitter etc) responding to bait sound bites and the pandemic are exhausting. I don’t care to hear what stupid off the cuff comment a political leader makes. As far as I am concerned both parties and the majority of our leadership over the past 25 years have contributed to the fall of the west. I am sure many of our former friends across the pond feel similarly. Its time to stop covering the stupid, inflammatory, fearmongering comments on both sides and recognize we are led by the vast mediocrity and not true leaders. Imagine if there was no coverage?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Eileen Natuzzi

He did a lot of on the ground reporting so he should know. His youtube channel has a lot of that.

David Drumright
David Drumright
3 years ago

Elections are meaningless. Elections never cause a change in government. More and more people are realizing this fact, either intellectually or intuitively, and aren’t bothering to participate. The media need to maintain fake conflict for their own advertising profits, so they have to work harder and harder to keep the partisan fools boiling as the population of fools gets smaller and smaller.

Don Lightband
Don Lightband
3 years ago

So that is ..all there really is? So many advertised products?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H.L. Mencken

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Hunter Biden is not standing for President.

Don Lightband
Don Lightband
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Clearly, HLM’s casual moronification of “plain folks” has enlightened all those who deserve Enlightenment..

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Morons, sharpsters, and whores. Reagan, both Bushies and Trump were morons. Clinton and Obama confidence men; Biden, wigged, powdered and painted, an aged slag. However, all of these critters, with the exception of Trump, were pre-selected by the ruling class, …”plain folk” have had only an almost insignificant part in it. HL was given to cheap shots, …the very type of Merkan journalism.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Love Mencken. It should be modified to ‘demented moron.’

Dominic Straiton
Dominic Straiton
3 years ago

Hysteria was enshrined with the 19th amendment.

Debbie Mellor
Debbie Mellor
3 years ago

So how does this article stand up against the unedifying stance of Trump, and his apologists in the Republican Party, since election day? It might not be civil war but what an appalling example to the world from a leading democracy. I’m sure USA democracy will survive but it has been diminished.

aemiliuspaullus
aemiliuspaullus
3 years ago

“But when the ‘youth activist’ Charlie Kirk pronounced in an address at the Republican convention that Trump is nothing less than the ‘the bodyguard of Western Civilisation’, this was understood to represent a foolish, deluded Right-wing sensibility”

Understood by who? Understood by the 13 people of a militia group training for civil war, plotting to kidnap Michigan governor Whitmer and discussing abducting Ralph Northam? When you are President of the US with 83 million Twitter followers, you should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen because your rhetoric could get people hurt.

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago

Proud Boys v Antifa in the streets of the West Coast Megapolis raises the spectre of the running battles between SA and Red Front on the streets and in the cabarets of Berlin. Granted “the worst” is logically improbable, this century old surrealist image is still very powerful; and, for all the obvious differences -Hitler twice winner of Iron Cross first class, Trump legitimate heir of a pimp- both were agents of chaos vis a vis the establishment.

5pac3m0nk3y
5pac3m0nk3y
3 years ago

I think many of those who are prepping for a civil war will find it is easier to continue spewing political hyperbole on social media than to actually begin training for combat. It will be a information civil war at best.

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago

A Trump dictatorship would have been only fair after what they tried to do to him. Also, it was natural to fear the Kung Flu would cause a Wall St crash, economic chaos, civil desperation, and recourse to a ‘strong’ (Bill O”Reilly’s & the dittoheads’ characterization) leader. Plus given the general decadence of the bourgeois liberal elite, held in contempt by the vast majority, who could fail to conjure with the nightmare vision of Proud Boys v BLM in the streets of the left coast megapolis as a reprise of 1929 Berlin?

The glaringly divergent variable in the equation: Hitler was the right stuff; Trump, just another sack of shit politician.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

The weird thing about this rant is that it sneers first at the Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers on the left, then at Trump, who Michael judges incompetent, but Creepy Joe Biden is never comes into focus; I don’t believe he is even mentioned. Trump, after all, should be measured, not against the Almighty, but the alternative. When the alternative is a demented old hack who brags about ordering a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from office on one of his many trips to Kyiv to keep him from investigating his crackhead son Hunter, it seems strange that this wouldn’t rate a mention. Biden has only served in executive office as vice-president, but if one takes the performance of the Obama-Biden administration as opposed to the Trump administration based on the economy, Trump has much the better record. Trump hugely outperformed Obama-Biden in real GDP growth until COVID hit this year, but this year the US will still outperform most advanced countries in output growth. The US will do much better than Canada in 2020, as it did in 2017-2019, while it did worse than Canada under Obama-Biden.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

Don’t know which is worse, left wing hyperbolic hysteria or right wing hyperbolic hysteria. As bad as each other and deserve each other.

Tom Flashman
Tom Flashman
3 years ago

I understand perfectly well that we are not meant to object when an obvious criminal and charlatan is elected to the highest office in the most powerful country in the world and sets about driving a coach and horses through the poorly assembled institutions of the country in order to consolidate his own power. However I for one do not regard this event as reflecting well on the health of a supposedly leading democratic country and my feeling is that people have an absolute right to be alarmed at the condition the US has reached in its decline.

That we now witness the US in the throes of an unstoppable pandemic and an economic nosedive should not blind anyone to the essential reality of the Trump Presidency, that is, Trump needs to win the 2020 election to stay out of jail. Everything he says and does makes sense from that perspective. If everyone were to concentrate on that essential reality everyone, including the “leading organs of élite consensus,” would all understand the situation a lot better. Trump may be prepared to do absolutely anything to stay out of jail, including provoking an insurrection and unleashing violence. No one should be surprised whatever he decides to do to try to save himself.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Flashman

Economic nosedive?

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

Yes, casued by the lockdowns initiated by various Dem governors, NOT BY TRUMP. The only thing Trump has done wrong is to mis-manage voter expectations by constantly saying the end is right around the corner. It’s not. It’s months away or perhaps never. The lockdowns only delay the ‘end.’

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Flashman

Specifically, exactly what crime has Trump committed for which he isn’t being prosecuted?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I don’t know. But the Bidens have certainly committed many, many crimes for which they have not been prosecuted.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

A couple of inconvenient facts:

(1) 2.9 million more Americans voted for Hillary than Trump.

(2) Russia used social media to install Trump. Right-wing hysterics can wallow all they like in claims that the discovery of this fact indicates an Establishment conspiracy, but Russia used social media to install Trump.

So what would those right-wing hysterics be saying if Hillary had been installed as President with fewer votes than Trump, on the back of an undercover social media campaign run by the Kremlin? Would they be saying “that’s the way the cookie crumbles, that’s fine” ?

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Here’s a couple more inconvenient facts

Hunter Biden’s Laptop
Joe Biden’s criminality

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

1) so what? Trump won the EC and in our system, that settles it.
2) uh, no, as has been debunked time and again. It was Camp Hillary that created the whole Russia caper, and John Brennan’s own hand-written notes confirm that.

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

1) Electoral College. Look it up.
2) In the words of Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General at the time:

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.”

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Oh look, a left wing hysteric