Trump’s Re-election: Separating Reality from Media Fearmongering

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You’ve likely heard continuously from liberals in the traditional media: a win for former President Donald Trump this November would spell the “end of democracy” as we know it — if not the end of everything.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe pundits express daily outrage over Trump’s supposed anti-democratic aims. CNN anchors often cite Trump’s out-of-context remark about being a dictator “on Day One” to alarm their sensitive audience. Prestigious legacy publications release dramatic think-pieces with ominous titles like, “If Trump Wins” and “How Far Trump Would Go.” Disgraced neocon Never-Trumpers and Resistance™ veterans seem to spend their days retweeting these articles on X. “I’m alarmed,” Bill Kristol of the Bulwark often captions in such posts.

It’s hard to overstate how many people have become desensitized to this kind of catastrophizing from establishment Washington’s alarmists. Every election in the past 20 years has been called “the most important election of our lifetime.” The apocalypse was supposed to have come by now — but it hasn’t.

In reality, not much changes from one election cycle to the next. Regardless of which party holds power, the debt increases, the middle class dwindles, and we all seem to grow a bit more divided.

The media’s exaggeration is partly motivated by greed. Fear draws viewers, after all. It always has and always will.

It’s also a consequence of a news media trapped in its own echo chamber. Without dissenting views, rhetorical escalation is inevitable. The sudden surge in talk about an imminent “civil war” is the natural outcome of an insular social group working itself into a fervor. It has no basis in reality. There are no signs of either red or blue states threatening secession, signing treaties, or rogue leaders or militias rising to challenge the U.S. military. Yet headlines would make us believe the first shots have already been fired.

The most cynical cause behind this doomsday rhetoric from the liberal press is their survival instinct. They’ve backed themselves into a corner with Trump. If he wins reelection in November and democracy doesn’t end — or worse, if it prospers — they’re finished. They will have definitively lost the primary battle of the era.

In late April, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on a podcast and warned that Trump wants to “kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive journalists and others into exile, rule without any check or balance.” What happens to her credibility if, say, Trump wins — and then no one dies? Or what becomes of the anti-Trump media if the “dictator on Day One” remark turns out to just refer to a Day One surge of executive orders, the kind we’re used to? Or if the “bloodbath” was actually a comment about potential losses in the manufacturing sector? Or if “fascism” never manifests?

Why would even the most devoted liberal continue listening to people like Joe Scarborough and Bill Kristol?

It’s worth noting that Trump’s tremendous lack of discipline offers a continual supply of material for those predicting the end of democracy, and this race is tight due to Trump’s uniquely flawed character.

I don’t know if he’ll win in November. But if he does, I don’t believe it will mean the end of democracy in America because I have faith in our founding principles and the wisdom of our citizens. If only the “end of democracy” crowd could say the same.

Peter Laffin
Peter Laffin
Contributor based in Orange County, California. Peter's previous work can be found in the Washington Examiner, the American Spectator, and the American Thinker.

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