SYNDICATED COLUMN: Inside the Media Bubble, No One Can Hear Us Scream

New York Times headline, April 12: “Donald Trump, Losing Ground, Tries to Blame the System.”

To normal people like you and me, it may seem strange that Trump might be denied the Republican nomination despite winning most of the primaries, and by sizable margins.

Not to the establishment.

Dripping with a what-a-whiny-baby tone, the Old Gray Lady argues that Trump has no one to blame for himself for losing states he, you know, won:

Donald J. Trump and his allies are engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine the Republican nominating process by framing it as rigged and corrupt, hoping to compensate for organizational deficiencies that have left Mr. Trump with an increasingly precarious path to the nomination.”

“Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal,” the Times quoted Trump, saying that he was “accusing party leaders of maneuvering to cut his supporters out of the process.”

“They wanted to keep people out,” Trump continued. “This is a dirty trick.”

Any normal person would agree. You win the most votes, you win the election. Especially when it’s not close. Which, in the case of Trump (8.2 million) vs. Cruz (6.3 million) vs. Kasich (3 million), it isn’t. But the big corporate news media outlets don’t hire normal people; they hire rich kids who can afford graduate degrees from journalism schools that don’t give financial aid…kids born on third base who think they constantly hit home runs because they’re so damn smart.

The system is working great for them. Why change it?

The Times goes on to accuse Trump of “seeking to cast a shadow of illegitimacy over the local and state contests to select delegates” and “blaming the process rather than his own inadequacies as a manager.” Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is praised because he cleverly “outmaneuvered him [Trump].”

Trump had complained — “whined,” many news outlets called it — that he won the popular vote in the Colorado primary, yet came away with zero pledged delegates. This was because Cruz and his forces flooded the zone at the Colorado State Republican Convention, enticed party officials with trips and other gifties, and came away with all 33 delegates pledged to him.

The same thing happened in Louisiana.

Trump even expressed sympathy for Bernie Sanders. Despite winning all the most recent dates, the Democrats’ “superdelegate” system let insider favorite Hillary Clinton start this marathon at mile 16. “Bernie wins, Bernie wins, Bernie wins,” Trump said. “And yet he’s not winning. I mean, it’s a rigged system.”

He’s right. It’s also convoluted, arcane and corrupt.

Normally, when a system is widely viewed as overly complicated, and when it yields results that don’t make sense, people roll up their sleeves and try to fix it. We saw that recently in Hollywood, when no actors of color were nominated for the Oscars. There was an outcry. And a boycott. Then there were reforms.

Not American politics. In politics, you can win and win and win — and they can still take it away from you. After you get screwed, for the good of the country, you’re supposed to shut up and try again later (c.f. Nixon 1960) or slink off and get fat (c.f. Gore 2000).

So when Trump complains about losing what he’s winning, journalists never for a second consider the possibility that he’s right.

“You call them ‘shenanigans,'” CNN’s Anderson Cooper ridiculed Trump. “Those are the rules. And didn’t you know those rules?”

“I know the rules very well,” Trump replied. “But I know that it’s stacked against me by the establishment. I fully understand it.”

“You could have had a better organization on the ground,” Cooper scolded. “Your critics say it says something about your leadership ability — for somebody who touts himself as somebody who’s an organizational genius, who’s created this amazing business organization, that you couldn’t create an organization on the ground that could beat Ted Cruz’s organization.”

Inside the bubble, no one can hear us scream.

Talk about blaming the victim! Sure, Trump could have hired teams of professional politicos to navigate the peculiarities of each state’s primaries. As a billionaire, he certainly could have afforded them. Why didn’t he? I have no idea.

But why should he have to? Why should Trump, or any other candidate, be subject to such a strange system? Democracy should be simple and straightforward: one person, one vote. All these crazy rules — the signatures required for ballot access, the polls used to determine who gets to debate on television, winner-take-all primaries, superdelegates, delegates secretly pledged to candidates other those they’re sent to the convention to represent, the electoral college — exist for one reason. They exist in order to dilute the influence of we the people so that They — the ruling class — continues to get its way.

When They win, we lose. We lose our jobs. Our standard of living. Our rights.

If you’re like me — on the left and generally unsympathetic to billionaires — you may be tempted to join the media when they dismiss Trump as a whiner. But this is different. In business, Trump is the consummate insider. But he’s a political naïf. When someone as sleazy and unprincipled as Donald Trump is shocked by how dirty politics are, you have to take note.

And if they can steal elections from someone as rich as Donald Trump, there is nothing left of American democracy.

(Ted Rall is the author of “Bernie,” a biography written with the cooperation of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “Bernie” is now on sale online and at all good bookstores.)

9 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: Inside the Media Bubble, No One Can Hear Us Scream

  1. Ted,

    I have noticed that Deep Thought and Politics do not, generally, go together anymore. For instance, I read on multiple locations throughout the web that Hillary is poised to win New York big, BIG, BIG!!!

    The polls in question give her (at the moment) a lead of about 15%. As you pointed out with her contest against Rick Lazio, a 12% victory isn’t something to brag about considering how heavily the odds were tilted in her favor. But her supporters are practically hyperventilating with excitement over how she’s, finally, possibly, going to be able to win against Bernie Sanders. Only took her four months, with everything tilted to give her an advantage, but, my God, she might — might — just get it done this time.

    • Hillary is sure to lock up the crony capitalist vote.

      She made $200,000 for delivering a speech to the Wall Street Banksters while it took Sanders all of 2014 to earn that much.

      Most Americans are not above lying and cheating to get ahead, so there is a big constituency for her to appeal to on that basis.

      Bernie is not making friends among the wealthy by passing up great opportunities for thievery that most Americans would give an arm for. They must think he is a dope for playing by the rules instead of playing to win.

      That’s no way to run an empire.

  2. So, this is a seminal moment, do we popularly revolt … or is it just another training exercise managed by the global elite letting all us hoi-polloi know deep within our most gutless selves that it’s the institutions that are really in control. And you thought Skynet was only a fantasy military program?

    Meantime, the HPrimate dieback agenda continues down its own road to a 1% utopia.


  3. Nothing like a little Citizen United cash to make Democratic Superdelegates get that warm fuzzy feeling about the party oligarchy’s choice.

    I’m not a Trump supporter, but I love the way he’s stripping the BS cover from the eyes of the slave/sheep electorate.

    From Counterpunch:

    “In August 2015, at the Democratic Party convention in Minneapolis, 33 democratic state parties made deals with the Hillary Clinton campaign and a joint fundraising entity called The Hillary Victory Fund. The deal allowed many of her core billionaire and inner circle individual donors to run the maximum amounts of money allowed through those state parties to the Hillary Victory Fund in New York and the DNC in Washington.”

    From Counterpunch

  4. Modern democracy is one of the greatest scams of all time. In Loius XIV’s France, he could only get his hands on 5% of the income. Now our rulers get half or more. All because rubes believe they get more of a say and stake.

  5. Most women over 40 will vote for Secretary Clinton. About 90% of African-Americans will vote for Secretary Clinton. About 75% of all non-Cuban Hispanics will vote for Secretary Clinton. Most white men will vote against Secretary Clinton, and white men were, once upon a time, most of the voters and their opposition would make it impossible for her to win, but that was then. White men are now a small minority of the voters, and Secretary Clinton has the nomination and election sewed up.

    Garrison Keillor’s show keeps having a Trump actor say, ‘I need to shoot someone.’ ‘Why?’ someone asks. ‘I have to do something, anything, to keep from being nominated.’ ‘Say something crazy that will cause people to stop voting for you.’ ‘What do you think I’ve been doing? And it hasn’t worked.’

    Trump has contradicted himself, often in single sentences. He’s going to deport all Hispanics, then tax their wages to pay for a wall. How can he do both? He can’t. But 1/3 of Republican voters still vote for him. He’s going to stop the US military from intervening in the Middle East and save money, and he’s also going to nuke them. If the US military are completely out of the Middle East, there’s no one to deploy those nukes. Etc., etc. If someone makes a contradictory statement, there’s no way of knowing what he’s going to do.

    As opposed to Secretary Clinton, who says she’s very proud of working to rid Iraq of Saddam, and making it peaceful, democratic, and prosperous. Friedman has spent many weeks in Iraq, he has interviewed many Iraqis, and all say they are immensely grateful to the US. Of course, Friedman is no fool. He stays in the Green Zone and only interviews people in the Green Zone, and everyone in the Green Zone is MUCH better off because of the US intervention in Iraq, and says so. So 100% of those Friedman interviews say the US was the best thing that ever happened for Iraq. There is, of course, no point in talking to the losers outside the Green Zone (the Iraqis I’ve talked to, my mistake, who say the US intervention made their lives much, much worse).

    And Secretary Clinton is also very proud that she pressured the wimp Obama to go in and liberate Libya.

    And as soon as she’s elected, she’ll bestow on Syria a similar benefit, one most Syrians born and raised in Syria would very much like to avoid, but what idiot (except me) would listen to the terrible Syrians from Syria? The real Syrians, born and raised in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, all agree that Syria must be completely depopulated so they can take over and rule Syria as good Salafis, with absolutely no pagan temples left to tempt people to idolatry, and no infidels or heretics.

    And then she’ll take care of the Ayatollahs, she’ll boot Putin out of the Crimea and the Ukraine, she’ll kick China out of the South China Sea and the East China Sea, and the world will be very peaceful, since she won’t be a wimp like Obama.

    So does one pick someone who contradicts himself and makes absolutely no sense, or someone who promises she’ll send the US military will dominate the entire world, including Russia and China?

  6. Ted,

    The reason Trump is shocked, shocked I say, is because he can’t believe the rules are being applied unfairly to him. Trump uses the bankruptcy code to step away from millions in debt? Hey, that’s what the powerful do. Trump has the election practically in the bag? And they’re digging through the fine print to cheat him? Holy Hell. That’s the problem: Trump’s being given a taste of what it’s like for all of us, all the time, he he’s thinking, “Wow. That is some bitter shit to choke down.”

    As for Hillary Clinton (and Michael’s observations on her voters). I am still confounded by why those cohorts support her. Women and blacks support HRC? Don’t tell me there’s a group in this country that understands being discriminated against better than those two groups do. And they support HRC?

    Why? Her rhetoric isn’t all that compelling. She isn’t clever with word play. She doesn’t have an actual stance that she’s held throughout her political career (one exception, I’ll get to that). All of her opinions are morphing toward what Bernie Sanders has been saying for 40 years, but they treat him like he’s out of his mind with pie-in-the-sky fantasies like Universal Health Care with a Single Payer (the norm in 25 countries) when HRC is offering a mish-mash that, I think, doesn’t exist anywhere in the world except the U.S.

    The one center she’s had (sort of) has been about women. But for all her triangulation and flip-flopping, the stance for women seems pretty unimpressive. What has she ACTUALLY done for women? Not, “Oh, she gave a speech, for free, at the Clinton Foundation.” or “Oh, she voted in favor of a bill to outlaw genital mutilation of women in the U.S. — I mean, seriously, how hard would that have been to win on?”

    What has HRC actually fought, fought, fought for, that she actually won on, that actually helped — not in the theoretical but in the actual — women (not named Clinton)?

    • > Trump uses the bankruptcy code to step away from millions in debt?

      While pocketing those millions at our expense. Hey, it worked for President Cheney…

      • When you’re operating in the Big Boy’s Club, you use SOP as an established standard in order to keep yourself financially relevant. Hill is doing the exact same thing through her own self-named foundation (while she stands behind the shadow of Bubba’s post-presidential, baggy pants).

        Meanwhile, Sanders beats his upgraded sixties socialist drum as a (n allegedly) covert, Zionist-lite, Manchurian candidate. Right now, he’s playing the penultimate part of an anti-Jewish Jew by actually criticizing the obtuse war-crimes of Zionland. Well, that’s now … but if he ever actually became pResident? He would bow and scrape no less than Hillary does. When it comes right down to it, the Tribe will brook with no traitors.