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Trump’s Problem
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Let’s not imagine that Trump can alone pick up his popularity ratings.

Several days ago I picked up the Inquirer while in Philadelphia and saw on the front cover, next to a puff piece for Michelle Obama, a headline that Trump’s popularity is now down to 40%. Although I’ve no implicit faith in polls, given the likely politics of the pollsters and given their obvious downplaying of Trump’s support throughout the presidential campaign, from what I’ve seen and heard, it seems that Trump’s approval rating is in fact well below 50%. Despite Obama’s longtime associations with onetime terrorists and raving black nationalists, Mr. “Hope and Change” had an 80% approval rating when he took office; and it remained at about 60% when he flew off on Inauguration Day for a California vacation. And that often tongue-tied establishment Republican George W. Bush enjoyed a 60% approval rating when he entered the Oval Office. Although Trump continues to benefit from an intensely loyal following, it seems hard for him to raise his general support level above 50%.

One reason for this problem that may be overstated is that Trump is too impulsive to win the confidence of most Americans. He tweets too much and divulges indiscreet thoughts, and, as I never cease hearing from Trump’s critics, he is far too rude in the way he goes after his critics. And finally he gives the impression of being prejudiced against all sorts of minorities, which makes him sound, according to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, downright “Hitlerian.” Contrary to this last attack, Trump demonstrably reached out to racial minorities in order to win their approval. Even his controversial inaugural address spoke sympathetically to inner city blacks, who voted overwhelmingly against him—and predictably in favor of his Democratic opponent.

As for the charge of being racially or socially divisive so often leveled against Trump, one might respond “In comparison to whom?” Former president Obama never missed a chance to play up white racism or Christian intolerance whenever he went into his moralizing mode. When Muslim terrorists slit the throats of Christians, he warned American Christians about “getting on a high horse.” Americans were told to use the occasion to ponder the evils of the Christian Crusades and the white Christian stigma of slavery. What was left unspoken were the Muslim conquests of formerly Christian regions that led to the Crusades and the widespread practice among Muslims of taking Africans as slaves. Equally missing from Obama’s blather was any mention of the fact that unlike Christians and Jews, Muslim zealots are now carrying out terrorist acts worldwide.

I won’t even get into all the things that Obama did to thumb his nose at middle class whites. Out of a very long list, we might note in passing his demonstrations of support for Black Lives Matter, thereby undermining the authority of the police, and his apparent epiphany that the teenage thug Trayvon Martin “could have been my son.” Undoubtedly if the media and educational establishment (both of which have been vocal in their denunciations of Trump’s insensitivity) had looked a bit harder, they would have found in Obama at least the same degree of offensiveness that they discovered in Trump. Of course this never happened, because the insensitivities revealed by Obama were music to the ears of his followers. And this brings me to my core argument: Trump is hampered in his efforts to become more popular by the enmity of culturally leftist institutions that now are dominant throughout the West. Like other politicians who are seen by the media and cultural elites as being against “diversity,” or whatever the weasel word of the moment, Trump will have to labor mightily to overcome media-created low approval ratings. And the obstacles he faces are not likely to go away in the foreseeable future.

Unlike other heads of government who try to buck the PC tide, Trump now holds the highest office in the richest and most influential country on Earth. What he says or does to affect the political culture is far more important than what a conservative nationalist in a small country, say the outspoken Victor Orban in Hungary, could hope to achieve worldwide. We might also note that the American cultural, communication and educational industries have far more impact worldwide than they do in other countries with less of a global presence. And, not insignificantly, these forces are allied against the spoiler Donald Trump. There’s also no use kidding ourselves about the danger posed by these enemies to anyone they’ve targeted. Such a target is lucky to survive as a public figure or someone with a more or less intact reputation.

Trump did survive; and because of his public relations genius and his ability to express the grievances of the grunge class, went on to become president, by winning an electoral majority. I take off my hat to this daring new president; and like my wife and friends among Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables,” I stayed up on Election Night rejoicing at the Donald’s unexpected victory. And I genuinely like the man and his attractive family and find myself cheering every time he says something to insult our arrogant leftist elites. But I won’t fool myself by believing that he can make himself popular in the same manner as the person he’s replacing. Educators, mediacrats, and the “Hollywood community” are almost solidly committed to discrediting him, and at the very least, they should be able to depress his popularity index, by attacking him as a racist, homophobe, misogynist and anti-Semite. It makes no difference that these charges, which are repeated daily through thousands of fake news sources, had to be invented. If you hear these fabrications often enough, you may start to believe them.


Postscript: I just spoke to one of my daughters, who was asked to join the enraged women who were going from Boston to Washington to protest Trump’s attack on “women’s rights.” My daughter responded that she was unaware of what right Trump was now assailing. In any case, she wouldn’t join this multitude of yentas because it was clear that what they were really about was discrediting the Trump administration even before it began.

(Republished from The Liberty Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Political Correctness 
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  1. Lead by the likes of Madonna how could it be anything other than The Million Menopause March?

    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
  2. The good Prof has it about right. Trump is a repudiation of both the Globalists, and their minions otherwise known as leftists. And they are not done yet: they will contrive events to discredit him or worse. Look behind events to ascertain true motivations of perpetrators.

  3. JohnnyD says:

    As a Trump supporter with mostly leftist family members and friends, I’ve found it impossible to have a reasonable “conversation” or “dialogue” with the other side. Throughout the election, I patiently tried to explain to them that Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration would be much more humane than Hillary’s policy of bombing the Middle East and importing angry Muslims. I also tried to explain that all the war mongers from the Bush era, such as Robert Kagan and Eliot Cohen, were backing Hillary, which should tell them something about Hillary’s foreign policy record. I also tried to explain that Hillary, for all her talk about “women’s rights,” has slandered and harassed women who have accused her husband of rape and sexual abuse. Let’s just say, talking to a brick wall would have been much more productive. Political correctness basically allows awful people like the Clintons to get away with any kind of terrible behavior, as long as they give speeches about fighting discrimination and homophobia, or Islamophobia. Unfortunately for Trump, much of the nation is just as clueless and brainwashed.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  4. @JohnnyD

    Any attempt at “Getting through to them” is nothing short of a grandios exercise in futility, my own brother, an ex hippy, who after serving in the US army went on to live in a commune in northern Cal for years, my own brother is simply unreachable and I, and my sister, have given up on him He grows legal pot for a living, and he is all wrapped up in leftist thinking, he hated Reagan with a fury.
    As far as DT is concerned : He need not waste any energy trying to come to a working agreement with them as it will never hapen, rather if I was was in his shoes I would be calling them ” Racists”, ” Bigots”, Homophobes” and “Nazis” at every chance, in other words I would throw it all back in their faces, incessantly.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    • Replies: @David In TN
  5. Vasilis says:

    Trump does not need an 80% popularity rating, no elected politician needs an 80% popularity rating! When you actually stand for something, some people will be for you and others against you. The only way to have everyone for you is if you stand for nothing. While it would be useful for Trump to pass the 50% mark, anything above the 46% of the popular vote he got in the election is sufficient.

    Down the road it is true that Trump will never prevail if the fixed game of Hollywood’s celebrity-fueled popularity ratings, but he won’t even try. Up to now Trump’s tactical genius has been that he does not give battle by his opponents’ rules at their chosen venue, he chooses either his venue or his rules of both. President Trump will be judged by the economy (as the average citizen perceives it in his pocket) and by avoiding irrelevant wars. If he wins on those two issues, he will make his own popularity rules and he will win by them.

    To put this in Marxist terms, the Cultural Marxists who run the political system for the Establishment are trying to control the economic base through the cultural superstructure. Trump on the other hand is trying to control the cultural superstructure through the economic base. I am sure that Lenin would have put his money on Trump…

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  6. iffen says:

    Excellent article!

    This along with Giraldi’s latest makes it 2 for 2.

    There must definitely be something new in the water at Unz.

  7. Marcus says:

    Thank you, we are going to bring yenta into mainstream discourse in 2017!

  8. Close but no cigar, Prof. Gottfried! “Multitude of yentas” just doesn’t soar rhetorically the way that “basket of deplorables” does. Also I would think that that Yiddishism is a bit obscure, even to the nasties who love inserting a bit of Yiddish (or actually Hebrew, as in the case of “goyim”) into their digitally whacking the Joooos.

  9. Renoman says:

    I love the UNZ, it is a place of real truth and great writing.

    Just a tired old man who struggles for the legal tender and plays bass in a weekend band!

  10. @Authenticjazzman

    Yes, the best option with these people is to throw it back in their faces.

    For most of his presidency, Obama was around 45 % in the polls and his media-nonwhite-white liberal base wouldn’t allow it to go any lower. George W. Bush spent his time courting people who would never support him and left office polling in the low 20’s.

    If Trump keeps his promises, he can keep his polling numbers close to 50 %.

  11. Such a relief not to have the Commander in Chief leftwing-sermonizing to us on a weekly, and even sometimes daily, basis. That was really grievous.Trump is getting better. Sometimes if he would just hold his fire and say nothing, the awkward moment would pass, and he could disarm his opponents more effectively.

  12. @Vasilis

    Putin and Mussolini regularly did better than 80%.

    • Replies: @Vasilis
  13. Vasilis says:
    @Philip Owen

    Mussolini was not an elected politician, he never won a free national election. Putin gets high ratings and this is an anomaly of Russian democracy, though he does hold elections. His ratings though are not above 80%.

    In a free democracy such high ratings are possible only after the elected ruler achieves something of huge importance, such as Kohl reuniting Germany, Bush I winning the first Gulf War or Putin restoring Russia as an independent country. However even in such cases the magic does not last for very long. When it over lasts there is a problem, usually indicating that the people feel that the commendable achievement remains under dispute.

    In the United States high ratings do not last and this is a very good indication of a functioning democracy. This also makes very high ratings irrelevant.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  14. SFG says:

    He has two years to do what he wants (much like Obama). He knows this and is trying to hit the ground running.

  15. @Vasilis

    Putin had approval ratings slightly above 80% after the Crimean referendum three years ago.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  16. Svigor says:

    I’m not sure if you’re just misinformed, or trying to make a point, or what, but:

    Several days ago I picked up the Inquirer while in Philadelphia and saw on the front cover, next to a puff piece for Michelle Obama, a headline that Trump’s popularity is now down to 40%. Although I’ve no implicit faith in polls, given the likely politics of the pollsters and given their obvious downplaying of Trump’s support throughout the presidential campaign, from what I’ve seen and heard, it seems that Trump’s approval rating is in fact well below 50%.

    Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-seven percent (47%) disapprove.

    Despite Obama’s longtime associations with onetime terrorists and raving black nationalists, Mr. “Hope and Change” had an 80% approval rating when he took office; and it remained at about 60% when he flew off on Inauguration Day for a California vacation.

    Yeah, and it was in the tank for much of the time in between. In fact:

    Here’s One Poll The Press Doesn’t Want You To See

    Yet despite the media’s fixation with polls, the press completely buried one of the more newsworthy poll findings — a Gallup report that came out last Friday, which took a final look at the President Obama’s popularity over his eight years in office.

    That poll found that Obama’s overall average approval rating was a dismal 47.9%.

    Only three presidents scored worse than Obama since Gallup started doing these surveys in 1945: never-elected Gerald Ford (47.2%), one-termer Jimmy Carter (45.4%), and Harry Truman (45.4%).

    Obama even did worse overall than Richard Nixon, whose average approval was 49%, and was less popular overall than George W. Bush, who got an average 49.4%.

    And it’s pretty well established now that polling is biased in favor of Democrats.

  17. Keith Vaz says:

    ‘… moralizing mode’. That was his ONLY mode.

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