There is something strange in the mood abroad among the US electorate and it is something that the US media either do not understand or are deliberately ignoring.
That the liberal media oppose Trump is only to be expected. The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the LA Times, Politico and their ilk cannot be expected to support any GOP candidate at the best of times. But against Trump they are positively vitriolic. The “hard left” media (Slate, Salon, Huffington Post etc) are apoplectic when it comes to Trump. They have compared him to Hitler, Mussolini and even Kim Jung-Un. But now even the right of centre media (Wall Street Journal, Fox News….) are lambasting him. Even the hard right media (Breitbart, Drudge, Washington Times….) will not endorse Trump but just stay “neutral”.
And yet Trump’s numbers continue to rise. It is apparent that the media are failing to capture the mood in the country. I am sticking to my theory that Trump has activated an anti-establishment sentiment where all the mainstream media are considered “establishment”. And this gives the peculiar situation where any attack by an establishment figure only sustains the anti-establishment sentiment that Trump has tapped into.
Observing this from across the Atlantic has proven to be even more fascinating than my wildest expectations. But the anti-establishment sentiment is also abroad in Europe. It shows up in the BREXIT campaign and in the rise of parties which challenge the “politically correct” view. It is not just anti-immigration, far-right parties which are prospering but any party which occupies the “anti-establishment” space. That can be seen in Denmark and Norway and Sweden where mainstream centre-right parties are taking away some support from the far-right by adopting somewhat “politically incorrect” positions.
I suspect that this is not just restricted to the US and Europe. I see in India and Africa the beginnings of something similar. It is a mood which has global dimensions and is, I think, something primal. A reaction perhaps to 3 decades of sanctimonious “political correctness” which has – or is perceived to have:
- excused criminality and bad behaviour on genetic or social grounds
- downgraded the victims of crime or bad behaviour
- protected criminals and “bad people” in the name of human rights,
- downgraded “family values”
- promoted the bureaucracy against the individual
- downgraded the individual
- relaxed moral values
- promoted deviation and deviants
- demonised progress and economic growth
Maybe I am reading too much into this, but the fact remains that the US media are missing something quite fundamental. i expect that to defeat Trump it needs someone to take his ground away from him – not just attack the ground he stands on. And that requires someone who is perceived to be just as “anti-establishment”. And there is no one on the GOP side who can do that and only Bernie Sanders among the Democrats comes close.
From the Reuters tracking poll: