Who Really Torpedoed Hillary's Campaign?
Big Media, Democrats, and the rest of the Trump-hating world continue pushing the false narrative that the Russians hacked the election. Never mind that there is no evidence of such a hack, despite over a year of investigation by U.S. intelligence agencies, the FBI, and journalistic sleuths at the New York Times and Washington Post.
Instead, it was the very same media pushing the Russia hacking story that sabotaged and destroyed the Hillary Clinton campaign. This is not to say that this is the sole reason Clinton lost. She was a lazy and uninspiring candidate. She ignored voters, particularly in the rust belt, whose support she needed. Writing off the white working class vote, she instead pandered to coastal elites, minorities, and other assorted victim and grievance coalitions.
There were consequences to such a campaign, ignoring or impugning large swaths of the electorate which she needed to win the presidency. The consequence being losing. Which she soundly did. The media enabled her self-destructive behavior, hiding the truth, which did not become apparent until about 8 p.m. on election night.
In the world of addiction, enabling can be defined as, "removing the natural consequences to the addict of his or her behavior." Without natural consequence, nothing changes. "An addict experiencing the damaging consequences of his addiction on his life has the most powerful incentive to change. "
Hillary as the addict, addicted to power, the pursuit of the presidency. The media as her enabler, shielding her from the consequences of her campaign strategy, removing any incentive for her to change direction. Ultimately, like an alcoholic hitting rock bottom, the elephant in the room was obvious to all on election night as state by state, the consequences of her actions became manifest.
First there was the narrative. Hillary Clinton as the "smartest woman in the world." President Obama told us, "There has never been a man or a woman-not me, not Bill, nobody-more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America." The media parroted this in their news shows, panel discussions and opinion pieces. She was the second coming. We heard it and Mrs. Clinton heard it. Incessantly.
Then there was her opponent, a troglodyte, a knuckle-dragging ignoramus with a room temperature I.Q. A tax cheat, a philander, a sexual predator. A carnival barker. A buffoon. The extreme opposite of Mrs. Clinton. The least qualified candidate ever to run for president. We heard it nonstop from the network news show and most cable outlets. The Sunday morning panels of establishment Republican #NeverTrumpers repeated the mantra. Mrs. Clinton heard it, too. And believed it.
What about the polls? All the smart set pollsters told us Clinton would win. In a landslide. From Real Clear Politics to poll guru Nate Silver, all agreed that Mrs. Clinton had a 90 to 95 percent chance of winning. And stuck with this up until election night.
Finally, there was denial of the electoral elephant in the room. Not just Donald Trump's appeal to middle America. But the Clinton campaign, to use the addiction analogy, being fall-down drunk, passing out, all the things exhibited by an out of control alcoholic.
In the recently released peek behind the curtain of the Clinton campaign, the book Shattered, we now learn, "The campaign was an unholy mess, fraught with tangled lines of authority, petty jealousies, distorted priorities, and no sense of purpose." Despite façade of perfection, control and steadiness portrayed by the media, the reality was chaos and dysfunction.
If the book authors knew this, why didn't the media? And if they did, why did they not report it? Why did they gloss over Mrs. Clinton collapsing on a New York City street, needing to be dragged like a sack of potatoes into a waiting van? Why no discussion of her bizarre facial tics, her crossed eyes, her dark sunglasses, her five-minute coughing spells?
Voters noticed these things, despite the best efforts of big media to cover them up. Classic enabling behavior. The alcoholic didn't really pass out, she just needed a nap. The gambling addict doesn't really have a problem, she just had a run of bad luck.
Classic enabling, a codependent relationship between the media and Hillary Clinton, going to great efforts to explain, excuse or hide her dysfunctional campaign. Until the evening of Nov. 8 when it became obvious that this was all a charade.
No wonder Hillary Clinton was devastated on election night, unable to concede or address her supporters. Instead, sending John Podesta to make excuses for the failed campaign. Mrs. Clinton listened to the sycophantic media, believing their puff pieces about how smart and well-qualified she was. How Trump was a doofus who didn't know how to tie his own shoes. How America adored her. How she would easily cruise to the White House. In a landslide. Her destiny finally fulfilled.
All an elaborate fantasy concocted by the media. Typical enabling of an addict. The media over functioning to compensate for Mrs. Clinton under functioning. All the while ignoring the glaringly obvious problem.
Addiction recovery involves the 12-step program. The first step is admitting the problem. In Clinton's case, that her campaign had become unmanageable. Unwinnable. Obvious to the authors of Shattered. Joe Biden knew it. Michael Moore knew it. Bill Clinton knew it. The media knew it. Yet they pretended everything was fine.
If the media was honest in their campaign coverage, forcing the Clinton campaign to acknowledge that everything was not fine, and if they adjusted accordingly, who knows how the election might have turned out? Too late now.
How ironic that the Trump despising media played a significant role in his election. Call it karma. Call it payback. But as long as the media remains in denial mode, blaming the Russians and James Comey for Trump's victory, the more likely history will repeat itself in 2018 and 2020.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.