- NATIONAL INTEREST - Oct 26, 2020 -
There are polls pointing in every direction of the compass, but the current trend in many has Trump closing the gap or inching into the lead in crucial swing states.
History seldom repeats itself verbatim. But it often offers variations on a theme. Consider the case of “The Buffoon versus The Man with the Resume.” I refer to a presidential campaign in which a crude, controversial and widely disliked incumbent president faced off against an experienced challenger with a long record of public service and a cozy relationship with the coastal power elites and mainstream media of the day. At the time, all of the smart money was convinced that The Buffoon was doomed, and The Man with the Resume was going to win by a landslide.
And that’s exactly how the campaign played out for many weeks. The establishment press treated the Man with the Resume with kid gloves, as if he were already president-elect. All of their scorn was concentrated on The Buffoon, the bumptious incumbent who was the butt of all establishment jokes and was barely considered human in fashionable circles.
But as the campaign progressed, something interesting happened. Voters who had been continually bombarded by the mainstream media’s one-sided coverage of the campaign reached the saturation point on reasons why they should vote against the Buffoon. And they began to look a little more closely at The Man with the Resume. Many of them concluded that he was not so much a man as an empty suit. Meanwhile, The Buffoon barnstormed the country with a populist message, drawing big crowds but few editorial endorsements.
When The Buffoon went to bed election night, the mainstream media was still expecting The Man with the Resume to win. But, by the wee hours of the morning, Thomas Dewey—The Man with the Resume and the media’s presumptive president-elect—was just another unemployed candidate. The Buffoon, Harry S Truman, had pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat.