- The main media story was whether the candidate could win, not what the candidate stood for. And that's why we're back at the prom.
- Democrats can take nothing for granted in November. It’s dangerous to assume swing voters will dismiss Trump on account of his crudity. His populist rhetoric will resonate in this climate. He may be a billionaire trust funder, but Trump’s braggadocio routine has a strange allure for Blue Collar Americans. If nothing else it feeds the imptression that he's an independent deal maker who can get things done in Washington.
- Part 1: Press, politics and popularity: Report shows how the media — yet again — botched the election
- Part 2: Donald Trump is a legitimate threat: Democrats must stop being in denial about the billionaire’s popularity.
Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest.
Donald Trump (Credit: AP/Mark Humphrey)
Part 1: Press, politics and popularity: Report shows how the media — yet again — botched the election
A new Harvard study shows how media coverage rigged the system and turned the election into a popularity contest.
Sophia McClennen, Salon
Wednesday, Jul 13, 2016 | The challenges to keeping politics focused on facts rather than superficialities has a long history, but it would be fair to say that our current election has favored gossip over substance in wholly new ways.
As we contemplate a November ballot with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as headliners, it’s hard to shake the feeling that they are more like prom king and queen than real candidates. If you had the sensation that these two were like high schoolers who were “fake” but still weirdly popular, here's new proof to explain why.
Sophia McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Pol
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Part 2: Donald Trump is a legitimate threat: Democrats must stop being in denial about the billionaire’s popularity
While a Trump win in November is unlikely, focus groups show Democrats better take him more seriously — and now.
Sean Illing, Salon
Donald Trump (Credit: AP/Gene J. Puskar)
Thursday, May 12, 2016 | Serious people agree that Donald Trump isn’t fit for the presidency. The reasons are so obvious that they scarcely need elaborating. But it’s a mistake to think he can’t win in November. However disturbing, Trump is more popular than we’d like to believe.
A recent NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, for instance, had Trump reaching 50 percent approval for the first time since the poll began tracking last December. And the exit polls from Trump’s string of primary victories two weeks ago show that there are plenty of xenophobic white people who support his odious positions on immigration and terrorism. His proposed ban of Muslims, to take one example, was astonishingly popular in states as diverse as New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sean Illing is a USAF veteran who previously taught philosophy and politics at Loyola and LSU. He is currently a staff writer for Salon.
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