Guest Notes

Conservative notes

17 November 2018

9:00 AM

17 November 2018

9:00 AM

Why don’t the Libs fight to win?

Imagine that in getting your public affairs news you were restricted to the public broadcasters of Australia or Canada or Britain or New Zealand (or even America’s National Public Radio). Then suppose some pollster approached you on the street and asked to test your knowledge. Which democratic leader has the highest approval rating in his or her own country? Is it Emmanuel Macron of France? Is it Theresa May of Great Britain? Perhaps Justin Trudeau in Canada? Or maybe Angela Merkel in Germany? Or is it Donald Trump in the US?

Now I’m pretty sure that any of those public broadcasters, and indeed the preponderance of the left-leaning media world even in the sphere that has to try to make a profit, will have let you know in no uncertain terms when Donald Trump’s approval ratings have been bad. By contrast, the very recent Rasmussen polls showing ‘the Donald’ is now hovering at about 48 per cent approval will not have been given much, if any, play (even though at this stage in his presidency that beats Obama’s and Reagan’s scores).

And here’s one thing I can guarantee is not being reported, at least not outside the night-time slots on Fox News in the US. Trump’s domestic approval ratings are now the highest of any of those other leaders I just mentioned. Macron’s popularity with the voters is now well under 30 per cent and his party’s is noticeably below that of Marine Le Pen. Merkel is stuffed and has announced she won’t run again and my bet is she’ll soon be replaced, such is the electoral disaster she’s become for the CDU party. All you can say for Theresa May, breaker of just about every Brexit promise she first made, is that she’s barely keeping the Tories ahead of a Jeremy Corbyn- led Labour (‘high praise indeed’) and has zero chance of leading the Tories into the next election.

That leaves Justin Trudeau. And you know what? Even he’s just slipped below Donald Trump in terms of his domestic approval rating. And don’t forget that the pretty boy Canadian ex-snowboard instructor and trust fund millionaire Trudeau has benefitted significantly from the understandable rallying around the flag effect that followed in the wake of the bruising renegotiation of NAFTA with Trump.

In other words, Trump has the highest approval ratings of any of those leaders. How do you think that comparative fact would be reported by the BBC or ABC or CBC, assuming for the moment that the heads of those public broadcasters had been waterboarded for days and days on end to force them to report it at all?

We can all have a guess. ‘Far Right Nationalism on the Increase as Trump approaches 50 per cent Approval’, reports NPR radio in the US. ‘Deplorables so Dumb and Stupid in the US that Trump outpolls other World Leaders’, Australia’s ABC reveals. ‘No explanation for Trump’s being more Popular than Macron and Trudeau’ reveals Canada’s baffled CBC. ‘Same Brexit Leavers’ Type Ignorance Powers Trump to Top Approval Score’, says a special BBC report.

I jest, sort of, but the larger point is – as all sorts of US studies have shown based on the public information there related to donations to the Democrats and Republicans – that journalists lean as a class not a little but significantly to the left politically. Conservative or right-leaning politicians will never get the same deal from the press as politicians of the Left. Sure, the BBC masks the bias a good deal better than our ABC or America’s CNN (which sometimes looks like the propaganda arm of some greens/socialist party).

But the tilt is undeniably there and Trump seems to be proving that the best strategy is to call it out. Daily. No, hour by hour, tweet by tweet – however much this risks infuriating the high-minded lefty opinionistas, whose self-images still revolve around an ‘I am balance personified’ motif. Meantime in the real world studies show that over 90 per cent of the time the US press has reported negatively on the Trump administration. And this is despite unemployment being at a half century low in the US, a lowest ever level for blacks and Hispanics, a lowest since the 1960s level for women. It is also despite the Trump administration overseeing tens and tens of thousands of new manufacturing jobs, real wage growth (basically unheard of here in Australia), and cheap, cheap energy that flows from calling out the Paris Accord for the virtue-signalling scam that it is (again, something our Australian Liberal party leaders can’t, or won’t, do).

Think about that. Over 90 per cent of the press coverage of Trump in the US is negative (and be clear it would be higher than that in my native Canada and I bet in the UK, France, Germany and here in Australia if we exclude Sky, or maybe just exclude Sky ‘after dark’).

My guess is that China, Iran and maybe even Pakistan get more favourable coverage in the US than Trump does. And so he fights back. He has a backbone. He calls out CNN White House correspondents. He bypasses the usual media organs. The advice here would be to be polite. Don’t be rude. Don’t attack the lack of balance of most of the press. Heck, do as Turnbull and Morrison did and appoint more of the ‘same old, same old’ to run the ABC.

At any rate, Trump and the Republicans had a pretty good mid-term election. Not great, but pretty good. They held the more important upper house Senate that has to approve top judges and other key appointees. And it’s not as though the House of Representatives, stocked as it was with lefty Republicans, was passing any of Trump’s desired immigration or a lot of other legislation. So at least with the Democrat’s Nancy Pelosi taking over as Speaker of the House in January Trump will have a readily identifiably opponent he can attack.

The fact is that campaigning for the 2020 US Presidential elections started the morning after the midterms. Two things we know for sure.  The press will overwhelmingly be touting for the Dems and Trump will fight to win. Don’t you wish our Libs would fight to win?

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