‘They came in the same old way’: In the midterms, echoes of 2016 | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

‘They came in the same old way’: In the midterms, echoes of 2016

What they did not realize then, and do not appear to realize even now, is that their tried-and-tested tricks simply didn’t work against Trump, who is not a professional politician and doesn’t react like one. Love him or hate him, agree with his policies or not, this is a fact. Rather than recognize that fact and deal with it accordingly, Trump’s critics just stuffed more wool into their ears and continued screaming “RACIST,” as if that invocation was somehow magical.

It is this sort of magical thinking that doomed the Democrats in 2016. It wasn’t just bad data, or a terrible job interpreting it, but the fact that both the media and the Clinton campaign wanted to believe their own hype. Instead of reporting reality, the media thought they could create it. So they pretended the railroading of Bernie Sanders did not happen, and confidently predicted Clinton would crush Trump. Then came the night of November 8 and the shocked, stunned long faces in TV studios and at the Javits Center.