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Here’s How The Media Are Lying Right Now: NYT Editor Blames Swing Voters Who ‘Don’t Know Or Remember’ Trump

A Democrat talking point bubbling up in corporate media is that independent voters simply don’t remember how bad it was under Trump.


New York Times headline, Feb. 20: “A Big Opportunity to Define Trump as Unacceptable.”

The short item by Times Deputy Opinion Editor Patrick Healy follows up on an unintentionally hilarious focus group session the paper conducted last week, wherein 11 out of 13 voters who supported Joe Biden in 2020 say they now support Trump. Among the switching voters was a man who said he would support Trump even though he believed him to have committed “sexual abuse” and two others who said criminal convictions in any of the charges against him would not change their minds.

Healy: “But I was less surprised by the big vote for Trump than by this: The group didn’t blame Trump for things he was responsible or accountable for.”

There are, in fact, plenty of things Trump is responsible for — his failure to secure the U.S. southern border and his regretful decision to awkwardly hold up a Bible in the middle of a riot, to name two — but that’s not where the author went.

“For instance, several people linked their economic troubles to Covid, but they didn’t put any blame on Trump for that,” Healy wrote. “Some were upset with the end of abortion rights nationally, but they didn’t tie that to Trump’s Supreme Court appointments. Several wanted bipartisanship, but they didn’t blame Trump for his hand in sinking the recent bipartisan border deal. One person, a Latina, blamed Trump for worsening racism in the country and recounted a searing incident that happened to her — but she was among the 11 who would vote for him anyway.”

Let’s start with Yalena, the 22-year-old Latina in question who “recounted a searing incident that happened to her.” There weren’t many details in the Times’ initial report on the focus group, although she described dining out with her mother and being told to speak English instead of Spanish. But, in fact, Yalena credited the former president.

“At least he started a conversation,” she said. “At least people were having conversations. At least everything felt more exposed and out there.” She also said that Trump “did a better job” in office. By contrast, she said under Biden, “I feel like I don’t have a president.”

As for the rest, it appears Healy is simply frustrated that some media narratives are shot. Blaming the spread of a highly contagious airborne virus on one man doesn’t really work anymore. Neither the Supreme Court nor Trump ended abortion access, and the former president, as ever, remains mercurial on the subject, or otherwise recommends compromise. Also, asking voters to fault Trump, who holds no office at the moment, for the failure of an empty “border” bill to pass through Congress is, to put it generously, a heavy lift.

“Biden and the Democrats still have a big opportunity to define Trump,” Healy continued. “A lot of our focus group participants — and many voters — see Trump as an acceptable option in November, yet they don’t know or remember a lot about him. Average voters don’t eat and breathe politics; several in our group weren’t well informed about Trump and abortion, for instance.”

This is a new talking point bubbling up among Democrats— that a substantial reason current polls show an unfavorable race for Biden is voters’ failure to recall just how appalling and gruesome everything was before Democrats saved them all. Healy’s colleague Charles Blow bleated a variation of the same argument last week, writing that “many Americans experienced the Trump years as traumatic, and one of the most bewildering aspects of this year’s presidential race is the way that so many other Americans are disregarding or downgrading that trauma.”

Or maybe, just maybe, as sentient, logical beings, enough voters are weighing their current circumstances against the past and determining it’s better to have money and a relatively stable world order than to be broke amid international conflict (even if it also means having a whiny, restless president).

Healy’s ultimate recommendation is for Biden and Democrats to emphasize abortion throughout 2024, which is, at least, an honest proposal.

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