WASHINGTON – Polls before Election Day 2016 indicated Donald Trump had a 1 percent chance of winning, and a Hillary Clinton victory was portrayed to the American public as a certitude by both left and right.
And yet when Trump was elected president of the United States the next day, establishment media were so enraged they concocted conspiracy after conspiracy to explain the “upset.”
Journalists denounced everything from the Electoral College to the American people themselves, but hardly any of them stopped to ask, “Where did we go wrong?”
Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn, authors of “American Greatness: How Conservatism Inc. Missed The 2016 Election & What The D.C. Establishment Needs To Learn,” set out to answer this question for the establishment media, especially those on the right who had far less to gain from non-stop condemnation and doubt of Donald Trump.
Buskirk and Leibsohn recently appeared on Bill Bennett’s radio show to lay out the facts surrounding Trump’s path to power, particularly the barricades set against him by establishment conservatives.
The first problem, according to Buskirk, was that mainstream conservative media outlets had grown distant from the “rank-and-file Republican voter.”
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“Outlets that we had reliably turned to for many years now, like the National Review, Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal editorial page … suddenly had more in common with New Republic, the Nation and the American Prospect in their choice for president than with rank-and-file Republican voters,” Buskirk stated.
Hear the program:
During the 2016 election, the conservative establishment, what Buskirk calls “Conservatism Inc.,” further alienated itself from the majority of voters.
“Conservatism Inc. became self referential,” Buskirk believes.
“It became a group that only talked to itself about things that only it cared about, and just lost touched with the rest of the American people.”
Buskirk noted that National Review editor Jonah Goldberg went so far as to say, “The country could last four years of Hillary Clinton, but it can’t stand any time with Donald Trump.
“Those things just don’t make sense to most people,” Buskirk quickly added.
Leibsohn then juxtaposed the differences between talk radio and Conservatism Inc., stating that talk radio relies on communication between the listener and the host.
While many in the establishment media were distant from the problems facing American voters, talk radio and other more grassroots independent media was able to escape this pitfall.
Those who listened to the “actual people” predicted a Trump victory, while those who listened to the “talking heads” were completely surprised, Buskirk opined.
Leibsohn also believes that while the GOP candidates for 2016 were strong, none could compare to Trump.
“He fought for the American people in a way the others weren’t. And when he said we don’t have time for political correctness, when he spoke about American greatness, this resonated.”
Trump was popular with the American people in a way that the conservative establishment was not: He addressed the problems facing the majority of Americans, such as crumbling infrastructure, a flood of illegal immigration and a sense that the Republican party was too impotent to stand up for the interests of Republican voters.
“Even with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the election of Donald Trump, the establishment media has not let up their assault on Trump and his policies,” Leibsohn said.
Publications such as the National Review continue to run pieces declaring President Trump as an enemy to conservatism, a belief that Buskirk and Leibsohn see at completely at odds with reality.
“They’re giving Trump the worst time I’ve ever seen,” host Bill Bennett agreed.
“It’s really quite a shame when you’re rooting for failure for your own team so you can be proven right somehow,” added Leibsohn.
Ultimately the main reason Conservatism Inc. failed in 2016 was the elitism and alienation from the general public, according to Leibsohn.
“When all these pundits missed the election, they missed something bigger than that. They missed America.”
Learn the real story behind the intellectual and political movement that stunned the dishonest media and put Donald J. Trump in the White House. THE blockbuster of 2017: “American Greatness: How Conservatism Inc. Missed The 2016 Election & What The D.C. Establishment Needs To Learn” by Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn, available now in the WND Superstore.