The problem for conservatives in terms of getting their news is the single choice they have, FOX. But has FOX morphed into another cog in the mainstream media machine? We say, yes.
Roger Ailes, CEO of FOX News defended Megyn Kelly this week against Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump’s comments about her. The feud between Kelly and Trump exacerbated by his recent tweets including, “I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly” and “Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!” FOX states her vacation was scheduled several weeks in advance and had nothing to do with the debate debacle in which she pointedly asked Trump questions about his past references to women he disliked. Surprisingly, he was not only unharmed by his politically incorrect statements, on the contrary, his popularity increased much to FOX’s bewilderment if not consternation. Kelly cannot rise above the ongoing fray, she lost. According to Greta Van Susteren, FOX has been inundated with negative emails regarding Kelly’s performance during the debate.
Trump’s rise in the polls, not to mention his staying power in the race, has dumbfounded the political class as well, especially the pollsters and consultants on whom the rest of us depend for candidate presentation during election seasons. They can’t understand how it is someone who defies their logic, spits in the face of their advice, ignores their demand for parsing every position so as to fit in with the image of a candidate who can and will work with the other side remains in the leading position. There is an answer and it comes with the forest for the trees sense of what is real and what isn’t. Not only don’t they know the voters, like the political class itself, the purveyors of political knowledge have no capacity to know them. The political class and its minions live in a bubble so thick, nothing gets in and nothing of any value gets out. They have no interest in what is good for the people of the United States because they don’t know what the people of the United States want. The people know this which is why they’ve turned on the political class so completely and why Trump is leading everywhere.
This is a great surprise to people like Frank Luntz, FOX’s go-to pollster. It makes sense, Luntz is a total fraud. His focus groups are concocted, pieced together with people he hand picks for their views so that the results on camera appear to be spontaneous and representative. They are no such thing. Immediately after the August 6, 2015 GOP presidential debate hosted by FOX News, Luntz queried a focus group he assembled and asked them about Donald Trump’s performance. They were almost unanimously in agreement that he did poorly. The subsequent polls told a very different story. Clearly Luntz’s focus group was pandering to the network and audience in support of Megyn Kelly. And yet, Trump not only held his top position, he increased it.
The Atlantic said his performance was “poor”. The Fiscal Times stated his “performance should kill his candidacy”. The same analysis came from legions of other sources. They were all wrong. Ben Kamisar of The Hill is among those insiders scratching heads. “Pollsters dumbfounded by Trump” he declared today as an announcement, something the rest of America should know, but doesn’t. It is a testament to the political class’ ignorance regarding how Americans really feel and think. His first sentence supports the contention, “Polling experts agree on one thing when it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential run: They’ve never seen anything like it.” Where has Kamisar been for the last two months? The same place as the establishment Republican party, with their heads firmly entrenched in their posteriors.
And that is the point. Whether good or bad, Donald Trump’s candidacy is real, very real. It is symptomatic of an equally real anger among white people especially, but it is also a function of a culture that superimposes personality and celebrity over everything, especially character.
This is not to say anything disparaging about Trump. His character may be of the highest order, but it means nothing in the grand scheme. Blasted with information from an array of sources, much of it as phony as the source from which it comes, Americans believe what they see and hear, they have to, there is no way of making informed decisions on their own other than culling through the garbage to get to the truth, a painstaking and time consuming process few have the willingness or ability to pursue. One is left believing what one needs to believe based on what appears to be real. At the very minimum, perhaps because people have watched Donald Trump over the years, he represents a reality they can trust. One may not agree with his every stance, but it cannot be denied he speaks the language angry voters understand.
Pollsters like Frank Luntz who stand confused about Trump’s success do so because they are not so much nonpartisan researchers, but shills for particular political parties. When was Frank Luntz right? He predicted Romney would win. Realclearpolitics reported that the Luntz frocus group said Trump “crashed and burned” at the debate. FOX News Insider said Luntz’s focus group was “overwhelmingly turned off” by Trump and yet on Tuesday of this week (August 25th) Luntz interviewed of group of Trump supporters who made his legs shake for their fervor. Why would he need to interview a group of Trump’s supporters? The reason is, all the other pollsters were showing Trump ahead by large numbers. Luntz was in a singular minority showing Trump to be disliked. In other words, he looked like the fraud that he is and needed to change the perspective by showing the other side.
It isn’t Trump’s popularity which changed in two weeks, so it must be Luntz’s approach. “Dumbfounded” may therefore be a misnomer. It is more likely the pollsters, pundits and practitioners live in the same vacuum as the political class they serve and are intuitively, substantially and purposely ignorant of the people’s views.
It has been written here many times, Hillary Clinton will never be President of the United States, nor will Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. The next president will come from Republican ranks, but not because voters want a Republican, they don’t. Take a look around, rank and file Republicans intensely dislike their party and its leadership as much as they dislike Democrats. It is the very reason Donald Trump is on top. He dislikes the establishment as well. And while the other candidates may make a show of distancing themselves from the establishment GOP, they cannot in reality. Every GOP candidate aside from Trump needs the party and its money.
If the Republican establishment doesn’t understand that there is a palpable hatred for them as a result of people feeling they were conned in the 2014 election, they will most assuredly come to the realization in this and subsequent election seasons. To be clear, the people are coming for you. They’ve had it with both parties and the entire political class. Republicans of the establishment should, like Luntz, be shaking in their shoes. Not a one of them is safe. While pollsters and pundits might see it very differently and wrongly, voters will not forget what the politicians didn’t do.