Donald Trump's Worst Enemy
Hillary Clinton delivered a political speech in Washington the other day and got applause and cheers from some of her biggest supporters in the audience: liberal journalists.
She was speaking to black and Hispanic journalists at their annual convention and they didn’t even try to hide their support when they heard things they liked.
At least they were out in the open about it. Most so-called mainstream journalists at least pretend to be neutral – even when they clearly aren’t.
Remember when Hillary went on Fox News Sunday and told Chris Wallace that FBI Director James Comey said nice things about her, things he never said? Everyone knew she was lying. There was videotape of what Comey had actually said. So how did the New York Times, whose journalists by and large think the charge of liberal bias is a right-wing delusion, handle the story just after it broke? It didn’t. Not a word in the paper about Mrs. Clinton’s dishonesty and not a word in the Times’ on line edition either.
It’s no secret that journalism in our country is a liberal institution and that journalists tend to root for the candidate who shares their liberal values. Or to put it another way: More often than not, they root for Democrats.
But this time around it goes even farther than that. This time around there are journalists who viscerally detest Donald Trump. They see him not only as an unlikeable and dishonest candidate – hey, they know most Americans think the same thing about Hillary – but they also see him a very real threat to the republic.
Has all the bad news about Trump come out? No. Will liberal editors and reporters and TV producers keep the negative flow coming in dribs and drabs right up to Election Day. Yes.
So here’s a handy rule of thumb Donald may want to consider: When they’re trying to shoot you don’t give them the gun. Which is exactly what he’s been doing.
The liberal media, despite their disdain for Trump, are not his worst enemy. Donald Trump is Donald Trump’s worst enemy.
Let’s take the episode with the Khan family, whose son was killed fighting for the United States in Iraq.
Khizr Khan, the dead soldier’s father, tore into Donald Trump at the Democratic convention for what he saw as Trump’s anti-Muslim views. He asked what Donald Trump has ever sacrificed for America. A few days later, on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked Trump the same question.
And Trump responded with the worst answer he could possibly come up with. He said he had hired tens of thousand of workers to build his wonderful buildings. That was his “sacrifice” for his country.
Stupid doesn’t begin to describe that answer.
A smarter candidate might have answered this way: “I haven’t sacrificed anything for my country the way Captain Khan did. And you know what: Neither has Hillary Clinton. Neither has Bill Clinton. Neither has Barack Obama. And neither have you, George. And neither have 98 percent of the journalists you work with? Are you going to ask any of them about their sacrifices for their country, or am I the only one you’re going to ask that question?”
Did an answer like that even cross Trump’s mind?
Even Republicans are heading in the opposite direction when they see Trump coming. As the New York Times reports: “After a disastrous week of feuds and plummeting poll numbers, Republican leaders have concluded that Donald J. Trump is a threat to the party’s fortunes and have begun discussing how soon their endangered candidates should explicitly distance themselves from the presidential nominee.”
To them, and to many rank-and-file Republicans, Trump is a disruptor, the Uber and Airbnb of the political world -- but not in a good way.
In her Wall Street Journal column Peggy Noonan writes what a lot of Americans have been thinking – that Donald Trump may not only be a terrible candidate … but that he may really be unhinged.
“Here is a truth of life,” she writes. “When you act as if you’re insane, people are liable to think you’re insane. That’s what happened this week. People started to become convinced he was nuts, a total flake.”
And guess what? His poll numbers have started to fall. For a guy who is obsessed with ratings that should to be a wake up call – a warning to start behaving like a rational adult running for president, to stop lashing out at anybody and everybody who you believe has insulted you, to put the spotlight on Hillary Clinton – not on yourself.
If the race is about Hillary, Trump has a chance. If he continues to make the race about himself, he’ll probably lose.
Now he’s talking about how he “would not be surprised if the election in November is “rigged.” This latest piece of goofiness may be more important that it looks.
Donald Trump is fanatical about winning. He detests losing – and losers. But what if his poll numbers don’t rebound? What if they get worse? What if some day it hits him that he’s the one who’s going to be fired, that he – Donald J. Trump – is the loser?
Can his ego survive such a humiliation?
I’m not predicting that he’ll drop out if that happens. But he might. And if that day comes, he’ll blame the liberal media, the GOP Establishment, Republicans who wouldn’t vote for him and a bunch of others who he will say conspired against him. He’ll blame everybody but his own worst enemy.