Originally published By Mike DeVine as Legal Editor for The HinzSight Report
"Game Changer", this year's ubiquitous word of evidence of the extreme laziness and lack of curiosity of most in the media, is the latest incarnation of this theory. Everytime I hear it is like the sound of fingernails scratching a blackboard.
This theory, while also subscribed to by a large percentage of conservative pundits who worship at the feet of their poll obsessed Beltway idols, is actually an election outcome explanation advanced by the Left for more than 30 years, in the Drive-by Media and the national Democratic Party, to serve three inter-related purposes:
a) Prevent modern day liberalism from being discredited due to its proven failed policies;
b) Prevent modern day liberalism from being blamed for Democrat election defeats; and
c) Establish TV events as the causes of election outcomes so as to enhance the importance of television election coverage and increase viewership.
Conservatives that appear regularly on TV naturally fall into the trap as it enhances the perceived importance of their own work. But even those that don't earn a living via television fall into the trap out of brainwashed ignorance and laziness. At root, such a theory and view is an insult to average Americans, treating them as fickle in making this very important decision.
I say the theory is poppycock.
First of all the theory and the obsessive use of the term "game changer" (as in "gravitas" in 2000) this season, perfectly fits Rush Limbaugh's description of the increasingly non-mainstream, and increasingly impotent, media, as like those engaged in a drive-by shooting.
Its easy to report an event. Much harder to report on complicated human beings and trends that would require actual work to discern the trend, especially when the "trend" is against one's modern day liberal substitute for religion.
The theory is also inextricably tied to polling that invariable shows republicans trailing before the conventions; getting a bounce after their convention; then "falling behind" until 24-72 hours before Election Day, when, miraculously, the media usually gets the winner right, at the last moment (7 out of the last 10 the winner has been the GOP and always is when the Dems nominate a leftist).
All bumps in their polls are always tied to events...that occur on TV, i.e. usually debates or campaign gaffes.
Polling is an art, not a science, and the artists are mostly liberals. Its mostly a scam, obviously, when one looks at their samples of dems and repubs.
I think the scam began in the late 1960s with a non-election "report" from a man I don't hate, i.e. Walter Cronkite. The man who was deemed the most trusted man in America and that signed off every evening news broadcast with the declaration, "and that's the way it is," told us that the Communist North Vietnamese had defeated the armed forces of the United States.
That was not the way it was. And in slandering the US military he also drove a president from office and gave voice to those that would ensure defeat and subsequent genocide at the hands of 1975 congressional democrats.
I look back now and see that we, as a nation, have been betrayed on many levels by the media, as long ago as the 1950s after they inherited a monopoly thanks to the spectrum limiting technology of analog TV to three liberal networks, but I digress.
Reagan did not beat Carter in a landslide because he cocked his head and said "There he goes again." He didn't win a landslide against Mondale because he wouldn't "hold his relative youth and inexperience against him." Dukakis didn't lose 40 states because he looked funny helmeted in a tank.
In all of the above cases, modern day liberalism's vessel lost because it is anathema to the values and principles of 60%+ Americans and because liberal policies are proven failures, domestically and as weak on defense.
What enemy of the United States would fear any of the above, John "international test" Kerry, or Barack "no preconditions for a summit with Iran's President" Obama"?
People may finally decide late in the game, for whom to vote, and, of course, there are events everyday that a lazy liberal "post hoc ergo propter hoc" illogical media may try and pass off as logical fact.
But people accumulate knowledge over time. Events occur that are filed away as they try and get a feel for the candidate and especially, to determine how that person's policies will affect their family, in their safety from attack and in their pocketbooks. They also see if they share their values and have the character to be worthy of the job. Everyone weighs these factors in differing ways.
What comes across as the height of arrogance, both from liberal and conservative "journalists" is that while they scoff at the idea that they would make their own decision on some isolated campaign event, they are knee-jerk is insisting that most voters do, or at least that a significant portion do, always having a poll close by to "prove" it.
Americans know that they vote on Election Day. Most, unlike me and other politics obsessed people that includes the media, understanding that, don't pay much attention to politics until close to that day, knowing from elections past that they can discern the best candidate in time.
I think a lot of conservatives are simply acting human in their acceptance of poll obsession and this false theory. Laziness is not the complete explanation. Heck, everyone does it.
But no, I think the main reason is the fear of the unknown, coupled with the desire to be the first to know, even if it means a reckless announcement of gloom and doom with the added wicked joy of being the first to announce the bad news. Get over it children. It wears off.
People get insecure as so many around them "know" the outcome. Forget that many have "known" based on polls in April, July and yesterday and have switched whom they "knew" would win multiple times.
Any fool can read a poll an extrapolate it out and think they know. What we really need are people like Andrew Jackson in media and the blogosphere, who said
"One man with courage makes a majority."
Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns