The vast majority of my professional friends are lawyers, lobbyists, public officials or those otherwise engaged in some aspect of politics or public policy.
Taken together, these groups are known as the “chattering class.” It is not a sympathetic moniker. Moreover, we (I include myself), of course, inhabit “the swamp.”
The latter may be my favorite pejorative of all time because everybody says they hate the place, yet it never gets eradicated.
The inconvenient reason being that although everyone loves to castigate the political class, most folks (be they mail carriers, plumbers, doctors, real estate agents, secretaries, stevedores, nurses, steelworkers, gravediggers, stockbrokers, wind turbine salesmen, police, business owners, journalists, carpenters or you fill in the blank) want their views reflected on Capitol Hill. But I digress.
Currently, with precious few exceptions, the aforementioned occupants of the swamp fervently believe Joe Biden will easily carry the day on Nov. 3. We know this because the swamp’s official media organs — The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, MSNBC and NPR — daily tell us so with alacrity.
Of course, these charter members of the cultural elite tend to rely on the very same class of operatives and pollsters who told us with complete assurance that Hillary Clinton would be elected in a landslide on Nov. 8, 2016. Some of you may even recall the now-infamous Washington Post headline of Oct. 24, 2016: “Donald Trump’s chances of becoming President are approaching zero.”
Most of the D.C. establishment (both parties) chooses to believe Mr. Trump will be defeated as it has been their most ardent goal for close to four years now, and we all know how wishing for a certain result can provide a distorted view of reality (“Trump Derangement Syndrome” being the diagnosis herein).
For further context, check out the daily headlines from the aforementioned official organs. More times than not you will read bits of hard news intertwined with a softer narrative — more a story of how the media wants you to interpret what occurred than what actually occurred.
But enough of the left. What are conservatives to think?
They are daily pounded with anti-Trump media narratives — and more dire poll numbers. Numerous GOP establishment types have fled the island, believing four years of Biden/Harris is preferable to an additional four years of daily disruption.
Then the president gets wracked for his performance in the first debate — after which the polls get even worse. Then he comes down with COVID. Is there no end to the bad news?
The truth of it is that nobody really knows how all this will play out. Joe Biden is the least exciting front-runner in memory, running a mostly subterranean campaign that is difficult to gage.
On the other side, the president and his movement have been difficult to judge from the jump. Mr. Trump has never consistently polled above 50 percent — even when he won.
Then there is the “silent majority,” sometimes known as the “I’m scared to talk to pollsters because I don’t want my car door keyed tonight” crowd.
This is likely a large group: The Cato Institute has reported that up to 76 percent of conservatives are uncomfortable sharing their political beliefs. Note that these GOPers are not simply paranoid.
The media has regularly reported stories in which Trump supporters are confronted or attacked in public or at school — and not just college campuses. In this environment, MAGA hats are considered provocative. What has happened to free speech in this country?
My favorite pollster (name withheld to protect the guilty) gives the president a 40 percent chance of winning on Nov. 3. Before you get too depressed, I should tell you that he gave candidate Trump a 30 percent chance last time.
Now, don’t you feel better?
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