Posted with permission from The Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It is the dog days of summer when everybody checks out, everything slows down and the media struggles to fill news pages and airtime. Especially among the political press, this is the calm before next month's storm when the general election campaigns kick off in earnest on Labor Day.

So is it really any surprise that newspapers and the television and radio have glutted their pages and airwaves with this constant fire-hydrant-force deluge of the most intensely negative coverage of Donald Trump?

"Has Donald Trump ruined journalism?"

"Donald Trump never actually wanted to be president."

"Is Donald Trump's popularity fueled by racism or economic anxiety? Yes."

"Would it be dishonest for Donald Trump to start being honest?"

Seriously, this is a sample of actual headlines from the past couple of weeks. And, yes, another dead giveaway that a story is devoid of any real information and is a shameless hit piece is when the headline ends with a question mark.

Dog days, indeed. As they say, idle hands are the devil's workshop.

Yet the race for the White House remains entirely up for grabs. Legitimate polls have Mr. Trump anywhere from 2 points down to 10 points down. In other words, he is faring far, far, far better than any of the pundits ever said he would against Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head general election matchup.

And he is doing it with the entire media establishment 100 percent in the tank against him. Both left-wing media, so-called "mainstream" media and the vast majority of conservative media. He is also running against both entrenched party establishments.

And he is running against the most dishonest, politically motivated and globally entrenched political machine in the history of American politics.

So I would say running 10 points behind at this point against this array of enemies who are all fighting for their political lives is pretty damned good.

To be certain, Mr. Trump has committed some unforced errors. He veers wildly off the message that has worked so well for him about growing the economy, fighting terrorism and stopping illegal immigration.

Sometimes, when he gets into a weeklong spat with a Gold Star family (But they hit me first!), he makes even his supporters wonder if he is actually trying to win this thing or if it has all become boring for him. He sometimes campaigns looking a little like the dog that finally caught the car.

But it is important to remember that you don't have to be an expert politician to be president. You don't have to be an expert politician to recognize the glaring problems facing this country. And you don't have to be an expert politician to fix the problems.

Indeed, it was the professional politicians who created every single one of these problems.

It is precisely the threat to these very same professional politicians in both parties that has arrayed such a powerful, bipartisan force to defeat Mr. Trump. None of them are more blindly driven to destroy him than the Republicans.

They say Mr. Trump vacillates and has no core values, yet they gave us former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was "severely conservative," which meant he once supported abortion rights, and implemented an Obamacare-style health care system, hired illegal aliens to do his yardwork and dumped all over Ronald Reagan.

They say Mr. Trump is not really a Republican and cannot be trusted to remain loyal, yet they gave us Sen. John McCain, who has never met a Republican he wasn't willing to sell out to advance his own political career.

They say Mr. Trump is not eloquent or erudite, yet they gave us George W. Bush, who once stood up for people "working hard to put food on your family."

They say Mr. Trump is not a true conservative, yet they gave us George H.W. Bush, who lost re-election after breaking his promise to never raise our taxes.

They say he is morally challenged, narcissistic and perhaps a sociopath, yet they gave us Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump may not be the exact reincarnation of George Washington, but you cannot blame him for the mess we are in. And for as long as he represents a departure from the crowd who gave us this mess, he is far and away the better choice.

Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.