Posted by Curt on 17 August, 2016 at 4:16 pm. Be the first to comment!



Commenter Geoffrey Britain writes:

The press feeling so free to attack Trump is a reaction to the common perception that his positions are so far “beyond the pale”.

That perception is in turn, a perfect barometer of how far astray Americans, in the aggregate are from admittedly inarticulate, truth. As if a truth’s validity is determined by how well it is articulated. The focus upon Trump’s bombast and clumsiness is an excuse for many not to face the essential truth of his concerns.

Any one of his major issues; the illegal immigration of millions who are culturally hostile to America’s founding culture, Muslim migration that is projected to double their numbers in less than a decade and an obscene trade imbalance hanging over our heads… are mortal threats to our republic and will destroy us, if left to half way measures.

Geoffrey touches on something that is at least partly true, but probably irrelevant at this point. Indeed, the press does focus on positions of Trump’s that are perceived by many people (particularly by liberals and the left) as beyond the pale. And the press also criticizes Trump for not articulating those positions well.

But that is not why Trump is losing, IMHO. Oh, it’s why a lot of liberals and of course the left won’t be voting for him, but they were never going to vote for him in the first place. But in fact, one of the main reasons Trump has done as well as he has so far is that so many Americans are in favor of many of his positions, in particular his positions on illegal immigration.

Why he’s not doing even better than he is right now with the general public is based on something entirely different, and it has little to do with the spin of anything the MSM is writing or has written about Trump. The problem—and it’s a big big problem, probably the biggest for Trump—is that, despite some popular policy positions of his, a lot of people do not trust him, and that distrust is based on Trump himself and does not require any distortion or lies by the press (although of course the press will add some distortions and lies).

For example, you couldn’t find someone much more generally critical of the MSM than I am. I don’t base my opinions on the opinions of pundits in the MSM. I pay attention to Trump himself. I read Trump’s own speeches. I watch the debates without watching (or if I watch, without caring in the least) what pundits say about them. I read interviews with Trump and I analyze his words. And I’ve watched his old interviews and new, going way back quite a ways, long before he was a candidate in 2016. I compare what he said years ago, or even what he said yesterday, to what he says today. I’ve looked at the facts of his life and his own words about his own life, as well as lawsuits in which he’s been defendant and lawsuits in which he’s been plaintiff.

And I’ve decided I cannot trust a great deal of what he says. I cannot state strongly enough how little I trust him to keep his political word, or to have any fidelity to the issues he seems to be promoting at the moment. If he did become president, he certainly might turn out to be trustworthy on some of them, but I cannot tell ahead of time which ones they might be or whether there even are any such issues.

I am assuming many many other people see something similar, and they don’t need the MSM to tell them about it. Trump himself gives them reason to feel that way and very little reason to feel otherwise, and he has no political history that would tell us otherwise, either.

Not to mention his many other character flaws: he defames people (and lies about them into the bargain), and he is impulsive, mercurial, and really does act at times as though he is somewhat unbalanced. He’s not crazy, but he has demonstrated many character traits—even during this campaign season itself—that frighten people and make them not trust him in terms of his basic character as a human being in addition to his character as a political candidate. You may think that shouldn’t matter, but it does matter, and it has always mattered.

Now, you can certainly counter with the idea that Hillary Clinton is a liar and extremely untrustworthy, too. And indeed, she is. And I’m not voting for her, but if I were a liberal in tune with her policy positions, I would actually consider her quite trustworthy in terms of her politics, on which she is consistently liberal/leftist. With Hillary, politically, what you see if what you get, and if you like what you see, you might vote for it despite her flaws. She also has a surface manner (as does Obama) that seems relatively steady and statesmanlike (albeit she is a bit older and more unsteady than before), certainly relevant to Trump, and people care about that sort of thing.

None of this is just due to media manipulation. It’s due to exactly the same sort of thing that happens with a jury evaluating a witness on the stand, and it’s something known as “demeanor.”

Trump needed to convince many undecided people in the vast middle that he had a trustworthy character in the sense that he could make decisions based on more than impulsiveness and narcissism, and could be relied on to tell the truth at least most of the time. He hasn’t done it with enough of them so far, and I don’t see that changing (in part because people have seen otherwise from him for about a year already).

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