In its desperation to stop Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz for that matter) from becoming the Republican nominee, the GOP has jumped the shark.
It’s not hard to spot the establishment’s strategy: Portray Trump as a violent, racist misogynist and scare voters away. The parade of heated video confrontations between Democrat protesters and Trump supporters on social media and blogger Michelle Fields’ battery charge against Corey Lewandowski comfortably fit this political narrative but they don’t tell the whole story.
Pundits say Trump hasn’t helped himself by gleefully stepping on every landmine set for him. But the billionaire real estate developer with 7 million Twitter followers might just know something they don't.
We shall see.
So far, the GOP’s strategy appears to be working: Trump’s poll numbers with women are down. Major media outlets have been running wild with the narrative of Trump as Jack the Ripper reincarnate.
But at what cost?
For decades, conservatives have fought the media narrative that Republicans are just a bunch of racist, women hating white men. The big difference this time is that conservatives are actually scripting and encouraging this narrative.
For instance, last night Bill O’Reilly attributed
Trump’s rise to “white male grievance.”
Is he saying that working and middle class women, blacks, brown, and people of every color aren’t concerned about unbalanced trade deals, the declining middle class, open borders, and terrorist threats to the country? What do these issues have to do with race? Shouldn’t all Americans be concerned about these things?
Making this voter backlash about “white grievance” gives Democrats another notch on their belt.
The electorate is seething with anger and resentment. Why? Because Democrat and Republican voters feel betrayed by a political ruling class that has ignored these issues.
What is the GOP establishment’s response to this anger? Scheme to force a contested convention, cut sneaky deals with delegates, and have the GOP leadership choose the nominee – not the people.
The GOP’s convention rules allow this because they were written as a fail-safe by the establishment in order to maintain power. If Paul Ryan becomes the nominee
, how will the GOP electorate respond to yet another voter betrayal?
Call this what you want but, in my book, it’s called cheating.
And what political end does it serve to cast the GOP front-runner and his supporters as violent and anti-woman? What will this mean for the RNC convention in Cleveland?
I’ve been a credentialed reporter and Emmy award-winning TV producer in Chicago for a long time. If I had a nickel for every time I was shoved, tripped, or kicked, I’d be as rich as Trump. Heck, Rep. Bobby Rush's staffer once put me in a headlock.
Recently, Sean Hannity showed this clip
from my reporting on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to give the Michelle Fields’ case some much-needed context.
If every contact is a battery, then every reporter in the country has a case for battery.
If this is the new standard, what happens in Cleveland when Moveon.org’s paid protesters show up and security escorts them out? Will conservatives say this is battery too? Or did the Fields’ incident merely serve a political narrative?
If Cruz becomes the nominee, left-wing protesters will disrupt his events too. Will his staff and security be ordered not to touch or handle these protesters as well? What if a BuzzFeed or Slate blogger claims battery at his event?
I’ve been up close with these anarchist groups and know how violent they can be. How could any Republican side with the likes of Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, a pro-communist, anti-police group?
Yet that is exactly what happened when Trump canceled
his UIC rally in Chicago.
Riddle me this: What if Black Lives Matter protesters disrupt the RNC convention? Will GOP leaders order their staff and security not to “touch them” or physically escort them out? Will they be called violent racists if they do?
This is the corner conservatives have now painted themselves into.
The media’s headlines for the general election are already written and conservatives helped them.
The only question I have is why.
William J. Kelly is an American producer, television and radio host, commentator, media strategist, and critic. In 1994, he ran for U.S. Congress. In 2015, he made waves when he busted the campaign finance caps in the Chicago mayor’s race. He is the founder of RevDigital, an independent TV and documentary production house. Kelly is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times, American Spectator, and others. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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