Election night showed why Trump voters don’t trust the media: Goodwin

My favorite definition of a cynic: a premature realist.

Today we are all cynics or damn well should be. Show me an American who trusts politicians, polls, news organizations and social media bigs who fancy themselves our new masters and I’ll show you a fool.

Regarding the forecasts of how the election would go, Casey Stengel’s line about the hapless 1962 Mets fits the moment: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

As we stand on the smoking ruins of shattered predictions, the answer is no, a thousand times no. The usual suspects are bumblers — and that’s being kind because some are downright dishonest.

A disputed presidential election that appears destined for the courts is the worst possible outcome for a nation already gagging on anger and polarization. Yet that’s where we are and while the campaigns position themselves for the final drama, it’s impossible to divorce the shocking results from the run-up to it.

The wall-to-wall promises of a blue wave were delivered with all the certainty of prophecy. Joe Biden and Democrats would sweep the White House and all of congress from sea to shining sea. Even a large voter survey that Fox News did with the Associated Press suggested as much.

Some 24 hours after the polls closed, President Trump still has a fighting chance to get 270 electoral votes, the GOP is holding on to a slim majority in the Senate and actually gained 5 House seats, narrowing the Dems majority to 12 seats.

We all make mistakes, and most of us try to avoid them. The problem with the unholy news-polling-social media-industrial complex is that the mistakes are so numerous and predictable that they begin to feel intentional.

Worse, all the mistakes run in one direction. What are the odds of that happening honestly?

The refusal of TV networks to promptly call states for Trump when he had big leads with nearly all the vote counted, as they did with Biden, is emerging as a point of grievance on the right. Were they afraid of sparking the violence promised if Trump won?

The first clue that the election could not possibly turn out as promised was that all the players were of one mind. When they all take the same side of an argument, which is most of the time, the best bet is to run to the opposite side.

Some samples: Last Sunday, Quinnipiac had Biden winning the general election by 11 points and CNBC predicted he would win by 10, as did NBC and the Wall Street Journal. The results, as of Wednesday evening, showed Biden ahead by two percentage points, 50-48.

State polls were almost as bad. Emerson had Biden winning Florida by six points and the New York Times/Siena had him winning by three. The result: Trump won by 3.4 points.

One sneaky suspicion is that biased news organizations, including the Times, use their polls to reinforce their agenda. The paper hates Trump and its polls generally undercount his support. Coincidence?

Some on the right see crooked polls as a form of voter suppression. The claim is that making Trump look like a sure loser aimed to discourage supporters from voting.

The usual response from pollsters is that “shy” Trump voters don’t engage with them or, if they do, don’t tell the truth because they are afraid of ostracism or violence. Thus, the pollsters blame Trump supporters for their own products being inaccurate.

That’s been a constant feature of the Trump years. Everything is his fault, even the misconduct of his enemies, er, opponents.

As usual, they have the blame game backwards. Trump voters, with good reason, didn’t trust elite corporations long before he ran in 2016. They were society’s forgotten people and didn’t see Wall Street or any other exclusive coastal institution caring about them.

Only when they found their fighter in Trump was it obvious their mistrust was well placed. The Washington Post, CNN, the broadcast networks and others on the far left demonized the president for five years, falsely accused him of colluding with Russia and encouraged his impeachment.

Their coverage of his supporters ranges from shock to contempt, as if their backing of the president makes them idiots unfit for America. Which, of course, is exactly why Trump was elected in the first place and got more than 68 million votes Tuesday, or five million more than in 2016.

Whatever the final score of the Electoral College, it’s already a given that the 2020 campaign has deepened the chasms tearing our country apart.

In that sense, the future is spoken for.

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