After a year of relentless attacks from the press — 90 percent negative coverage from the networks, according to Media Research Center, three times worse than Obama’s coverage, according to Pew — Donald Trump’s poll numbers are rising. That probably seems like a paradox if you live in mid-town Manhattan where virtually every major news source is headquartered. But if you live somewhere else — like the real world — the reason is obvious: reality has a voice.
I’ll tell you what I mean. I was a liberal once. When Ronald Reagan was elected president, the press told me he was an idiot actor, a warmonger, and a racist and I believed them. I never consulted any news source that presented him positively. I worked in some major news outlets for part of Reagan’s two terms, and I never even met anyone who supported him.
But I couldn’t help noticing reality. Whenever I heard Reagan speak, he actually didn’t sound as stupid as the media said he was. And as Jimmy Carter’s horrendous economy withdrew and a high economic tide lifted all ships, my life improved — and so did the lives of the people around me, regardless of their race. My left-wing prejudice was so baked in, I refused to acknowledge Reagan’s successes even so.
But then the Berlin wall came down. Don’t believe the re-writers of history — nobody saw that coming. Nobody, that is, but Ronald Reagan.
I remember sitting on the edge of my bed that day, staring thunderstruck at the television screen as East Germans, brutalized by socialism, yearning to be free, dismantled the central symbol of the Cold War. I remember thinking: “I’ll be damned. That old b*****d Reagan was right about everything.”
And I began to change my mind. Because… reality.
There is more media now, which means there is a thicker fog of leftist obfuscation and deceit, but reality remains its old stubborn self, just like back in the day. Democrats can tell us tax cuts are “armageddon,” that our bonuses and pay raises are “crumbs,” that Trump’s economy is no better than Obama’s. They can jigger the numbers, but they can’t jigger the dinner table; they can’t hide our paychecks; they can’t obscure the dignity of a decent job.
This past week, the president delivered a State of the Union address in which he bragged over his first year accomplishments — a booming economy, ISIS on the run, a smaller government and better lives for Americans of all races. He offered a fair compromise immigration proposal sure to anger both his base and the Democrats. And the Democrats, meanwhile, sat on their hands, refusing to applaud for, among other things, the American flag, the National Anthem, God, freedom from tyranny, jobs for black Americans, tax cuts and just about everything else we hold good, right and true.
We heard that. We saw it. No one can spin that stuff away.
The press — those self-styled speakers of truth to power — can defend power from the truth by spinning and minimizing and “fact-checking” the House Intelligence memo — but we can read it for ourselves. The memo only adds to what we already know: Barack Obama ran the federal government like a city machine, full of cronies protecting cronies and powerful instruments like the IRS, the Justice Department and the FBI turned into weapons against Americans in order to, in Obama’s own words, “punish our enemies and reward our friends.”
And of course the more the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) lie about all this, the more we learn to distrust them, the more we turn away from them and turn our eyes to the facts of life. And, as Margaret Thatcher said, “the facts of life are conservative.”
Reality has a voice. It changes people’s minds. It happened with Reagan back in the day. It’s happening again now.
For more commentary, listen to my podcast Monday through Thursday.