Another way of saying this is that many elite Jews were wrong. Jews dominate the American media. About half of the leading pundits are Jewish. Elite Jews help set the Overton Window in America. And these Jews had no clue about the rise of Donald Trump. No clue. And that scares many Jewish elites.
Jews tend to have a distaste for populism and gentile nationalisms because almost by definition, such movements exclude Jews.
While there is no reason to believe that Donald Trump will be hostile to Jews, I wonder if his rise presages the decline of Jewish power in America?
I haven’t done a scientific study, but impression is that Jewish pundits and Jews in the MSM in general were about the last group to grasp the power of the Donald Trump phenomenon, and this says a great deal about them and how they see the world, and how out of touch they are with the concerns of non-Jewish Americans, particularly non-Jewish white Americans.
America isn’t just a country whose primary purpose is to be user-friendly for Jews. America, like Israel and Japan and France, has its own mores and values and visions. It is not the purpose of America to serve Jews or Israel or blacks or Muslims or latinos. America was created by white Protestants.
I can’t help noticing that the people with the most contempt for Trump and his followers in the following article are Jews — David Remnick, Nate Silver, Jonathan Bernstein. I’ve also heard Jewish pundits such as Dennis Prager and Bill Kristol pour on the contempt for Trump for months now. It seems like the most visceral hatred for Trump among both Republican and Democrat elites comes from Jews. Perhaps Jews are more sensitive to and afraid of seismic shifts like this one because Jews often see themselves as a tiny and defenseless people, and history’s perpetual victim of the goy’s rage and stupidity.
David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, told his readers last summer that Donald Trump was running for president to promote his own brand and that the “whole con might end well before the first snows in Sioux City and Manchester.”
That was quite measured compared to James Fallows, the national correspondent of more than three decades for The Atlantic, who wrote confidently — and with his own bold for emphasis — “Donald Trump will not be the 45th president of the United States. Nor the 46th, nor any other number you might name. The chance of his winning the nomination and election is exactly zero.”
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Those two mandarins weren’t alone in dismissing Trump’s chances. Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza wrote in July that “Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.” And numbers guru Nate Silver told readers as recently as November to “stop freaking out” about Trump’s poll numbers.
Now all these journalists, and more, are coming to grips with their mistaken assessments. And some, too, are freaking out.
In an interview this week, Remnick sounded both shocked and sad about Trump’s success, saying it was “beyond belief” and reflects an “ugliness” that appeals to “every worst instinct” in America.
“The fact that so many of us, all of us, were wrong in predicting anywhere near the extent of his success so far, may be partly due to the fact we didn’t want to believe those currents could be appealed to so well and so deeply and successfully,” Remnick said.
Indeed, the knowing skepticism about Trump’s chances that Remnick expressed last summer was quite common throughout the journalism industry, from the most serious magazine journalists, writing with the voice of history, to most street-savvy, ear-to-the-ground bloggers: Trump had a polling ceiling; the Republican establishment would coalesce to bring him down; he didn’t have a sufficient ground game; one giant gaffe would inevitably bring him down; and on and on.
But barring an unprecedented convention floor fight, all signs point to the unimaginable. Trump most likely will be the Republican nominee for president.
Some columnists are still holding out the belief that Trump won’t actually win the nomination — while acknowledging that their sweeping dismissals of the possibility were off the mark. And yet, others say we’re witnessing a sea change moment in this nation’s politics.
Now, months later, Fallows acknowledges he shouldn’t have been so categorical, but warned in an email that Trump is an idiosyncratic phenomenon.
“[E]veryone (including me) has had to learn that one or another line-crossings and rule-breakings that would have stopped any previous candidates allow Trump to keep rolling on through,” he wrote. “I think an underappreciated factor here is the combination of Trump’s distinctive skill, and a changed nature of this cycle’s primary. Trump’s distinctive skill is not so much as a business executive, where his record is mixed, but as a TV performer. There’s a particular set of skills that go with reality-TV competitions, and Trump is great at them!”
There’s as much risk of “over-learning” the lessons of Trump, Fallows said, as ignoring them.
“I think it’s possible to observe what’s happening, as it happens. But this year’s circumstances — for the party, and for this man — are so unusual, in fact unprecedented, that I’m cautious about drawing up any new rules. We see how the Trump era goes, and then, we’ll see whether the landscape has been changed for the long term,” he wrote.
“The Fix” blogger Cillizza was one of the first to acknowledge that he was wrong to say “never.” Just a month after writing that “Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016,” he changed his tune, learning to never say “never” in politics.
“I had NEVER EVER seen a reversal in how people perceive a candidate who is as well known as Trump — much less a reversal in such a short period of time. I based my conclusion that Trump would never be a relevant player in the Republican primary fight on the ideas that once people 1) know you and 2) don’t like you, you can’t change those twin realities much,” he wrote. “That was 100 percent true. Until Donald Trump proved it (and me) wrong.”
Silver, founder of the FiveThirtyEight site, told an audience at the 92nd Street Y in New York in September that he didn’t think “Trump is very likely to win the nomination, in part because he’s not really a Republican,” and last month Silver put Trump’s chances of winning the nomination at only about 50 percent.
Now, though, a new reality seems to be setting in.
“‘With the exception of the 2016 election,’ will be a common phrase in Ph.D. dissertations in 2044,” Silver joked on Twitter last week.
“This time, we really might be in the midst of [a political realignment]. It’s almost impossible to reconcile this year’s Republican nomination contest with anyone’s notion of politics as usual,” Silver wrote this week. (Silver did not respond to requests for comment.)
Fox News’ Chris Wallace was more contrite, saying in an interview that Trump’s success proves “no one knows anything” and that analysts should stick to analyzing, not predictions.
“This has really been a huge case of humble pie to everyone in my business, myself included,” Wallace said. “Lord knows I didn’t think Trump was going to run. When he did run, I thought he had destroyed his candidacy half a dozen times. So I think one of the things you learn is that you don’t know as much as you think you know. That anyone who would be foolish enough to think that they’re an opinion maker or opinion shaper, really, this has been a case lesson in the American people will make their own decision for themselves, and that’s healthy.”
Bloomberg View’s Jonathan Bernstein isn’t so ready to admit that he was mistaken about Trump’s chances. He has held for months that Trump does not have a serious chance of being the nominee. On Monday, he wrote it’s still “quite likely he won’t be” the nominee because many Republicans will band together to stop him even if he has a big lead after Super Tuesday.
“So in 2016, many but not all of the normal incentives pushing parties to unify won’t apply if Trump is nominated. This leaves top Republicans with a difficult choice — and strong reasons to pull out the stops to defeat Trump before he grabs the nomination,” Bernstein wrote. (Bernstein didn’t respond to requests for comment.)
There’s still time for everyone, or no one, to be proven wrong. But whether Trump actually clinches the nomination, Trump’s candidacy will likely forever change how future candidates are covered.
Remnick pointed to the Philip Roth anthology, “Reading Myself and Others,” which raised the idea that in the United States, it can sometimes become impossible to write fiction “when the craziness of American reality so outstrips the imagination of even the most freewheeling novelist.”
“We’re in one of those moments,” Remnick said. “It’s enough to say, obviously considering where we are, everyone was wrong. And this gives Trump great joy, I’m sure.”