Structured Political Incoherence: Electoral reporting in the mainstream media

Schrodinger's Cat

On July 31, 2019, the Democratic Party’s National Committee (DNC), the oligarchic body that does everything possible to avoid democratic political governance while seeking to disguise its economic neoliberal and interventionist neoconservative roots among a babble of progressive slogans and proposals held the second day of the second stage of its 2020 presidential debates.  By the only objective standard, Google searches during and after the debate, the overwhelming winner was Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, just as she was during the first stage of such debates.  But if you listen to or read political reporting concerning the event, you would be fed a very different narrative.

That’s almost always the case, it almost always has been.  Reporters and pundits describing political discourse always seem to have witnessed a somewhat related event in some different dimension, one superficially similar to ours but with utterly different realities.  The real reality, however, is more malevolent.  Rather than seeking to accurately report on what happens in a more easily digestible and more compact manner, political reporters and pundits by and large (at least in the “mainstream” media) seek to manufacture the narrative that is most likely to lead to the results they favor, and of course, towards their pre-selected candidates and ultimately, their preselected winners.  That was excruciatingly obvious during the 2016 presidential elections, but for once, the electorate revolted, at least in part.  The results?  Well, perhaps not optimal, … but they might well have been worse.

Still, the media was successful, at least in part.

Through false reporting and supporting foul play by the DNC, they managed to impose the most unpopular political hack ever as the candidate of the Democratic Party.  In the case of the Republican Party, it is more difficult to discern just what happened.  It may be that the media, seeking to promote selection of the weakest opponent possible for their proposed dowager queen, managed to orchestrate the selection of a man they despised as the Republican candidate, but perhaps they just blew it, paying too little attention to the enormous field of potential candidates or at the disgust that the more conservative electorate felt for the obvious disdain towards them expressed by the “mainstream” media (with the exception of those elements owned by the Rupert Murdoch family, i.e., Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, etc.).  However, that over-certain media really blew it in the actual election, perhaps forgetting that at the national level, the United States of America is a federation of, well, diverse somewhat independent states, and that presidential elections are decided in a federated council denominated the Electoral College.

The media and the DNC have made us all pay for the electoral choices made in 2016 with which they disagree, concocting an obviously false narrative (that word again, one meaning a scenario divorced from reality but aggressive promoted) to the effect that the media had not been wrong in its collective prognosis and that the Democratic candidate had not lost but rather, that she and they had been robbed by an alliance of Russians and Republican mobsters.  Facts and conclusions and determinations are all irrelevant, as long as kangaroo courts in the guise of congressional hearings can keep on keeping on, and they have.

Now the “mainstream” political pundits and reporters and DNC and lords of the Internet’s infrastructure seem dead set in not providing us with any meaningful choice at all, given that we have recently proven “unreliable” puppets.  They successfully tested their new strategy in the 2018 Congressional elections and now seek to fine-tune it even more, after all, the GOP retained control of the Senate so some improvement is required.

One recalls the query as to whether if a tree falls in a forest but no one hears it, it happened at all; then, some of us might wonder what Schrodinger’s cat would make of that question, assuming it was dreaming peacefully in its box rather than rotting away, long dead.  Our four horse-groups of the apocalypse, the aforementioned political pundits and reporters and DNC and lords of the Internet’s infrastructure, certainly hope it’s true.

But Tulsi Gabbard is not playing ball and when it comes to her, the American electorate is not behaving correctly (where the Hell is Schrodinger’s cat when he or she is needed, I don’t believe it’s gender has ever been specified and we have to be especially careful in the era of Identity Politics).  The pundits and the reporters all have sidelined her by belittling her popular support as well as by distorting her positions (see, for example, Caitlyn Johnstone’s August 1, 2019 article, “Propagandists Are Freaking Out Over Gabbard’s Destruction Of Harris”).  But the damned electorate won’t bite, at least not yet.  In every Democratic Party debate so far her name has been the most googled.  Google has certainly tried to be cooperative with its fellow horse-groups by “inexplicably” shutting down her campaign sites after the first debate, impeding her ability to raise the funds required from the number of people mandated by new DNC rules designed to limit debate participants, but damned if she didn’t somehow make the cut anyway.  Still, you live and learn, and with the major Internet platforms, the mainstream media, DNC rule makers and experience on your side, it’s not easy to lose, not impossible as 2016 demonstrated, but not easy.

Pesky public.  Why does it have to make political manipulation so hard?  Luckily, the public has a short attention span and an even shorter memory.

[Hmmm.  Do we really?  Do we always?]

Only time will tell.  For now, however, do your best to look up Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign sites and donate what you can, number of donors count as well as amounts donated.  And try to have your views registered in available polls.  And, please, please, please share this article.  Remember, this is critical whether you’re political perspective is Republican, Democrat, third party or independent.  Accuracy in political reporting matters to us all.

Wouldn’t it be a kicker if we screwed with them all again, but this time with the best possible candidate available?

Somewhere Schrodinger’s cat seems to be purring.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2019; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen).  Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at and much of his writing is available through his blog at


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