I think this is going to be another long, winding road. My thoughts are coming together in waves, and not all that organized. I may delete this opening before posting…or may just leave it here so I can watch the winding road and maybe enjoy the ride. I have a Facebook friend who I do not know in real life, and I don’t think I’ve ever met in real life. He became a Facebook friend because he maintains a pretty sizable following of Trump loyalists, and after going back and forth a few times, he asked me to join the fun. I don’t participate in the banter all that much since the start, mostly because it’s not my style (the typical response from the Trump loyalists is a meme about Hillary being ugly or something like that), and I get bored with the lack of real discussion. The folks over there seem more about winning, when I’m not there to compete. But this group has given me a window into Trump loyalists that I might not otherwise have, and I’ve made some generalizations. I know generalizations are often unwise, and I’m sure there are individuals who support Trump and do not fit this mold. Indeed, I’m not sure at all that these loyalists are representative of Trump supporters at all, so in truth I see this more as a focus group than a survey, but I’ve still seen some interesting things. Let’s start the ride.
Bad things happen. Tragedies happen. When they happen, it’s good to help those affected, and it’s good to think about ways to prevent those things from happening again. If they can’t be prevented, it’s good to think about ways to protect us from the damage they cause in the future. These seem like normal responses, yet so often, doing these things gets blasted as an attempt to politicize a tragedy. I really don’t like that critique, and the critique itself seems to be more “political” than actually talking about solutions and prevention.
We’re in very strange waters, and this makes it so difficult to predict the future. The President has survived things that would have decimated politicians in the past. He insulted John McCain, and specifically attacked his experience as a war hero, yet supporters, even those in the military, stood by him. He bragged about sexual assault in a more vulgar way that we’ve heard from most politicians. He threatened to use the justice department to jail his political opponent if elected. He blamed President Bush for 9/11. And all of that was before he got elected. Any one of those would have destroyed the candidacy of any normal candidate, but Trump wasn’t a normal candidate. Likewise, there have been so many things that would have crushed a sitting president, and it doesn’t seem to be doing too much harm to him.
FoxNews.com has a headline story about Trump’s jump in approval. And here is another in the series (see here, and here, and here) about why you should be angry if you get your news from FoxNews: They wrote a headline based on a single poll, from a polling organization that is known to be republican leaning, and there is NOT A JUMP in his numbers when you compare the most recent Rasmussen data with the last poll they reported. In fact, the President’s approval rating is EXACTLY the same as it was in the last Rasmussen poll. Other polls, including one from Gallup that’s as recent as the Rasmussen poll, have his approval where it was before, in the mid-high 30s.
There’s a new poll out that brought things around to a recurring theme: trust. I wrote a little about this before, but not as much as I think about it. Whether we trust or don’t trust a politician, a candidate, a boss, seems to have so much influence on how nearly everything that person does is colored. Today we’re seeing trust have an enormous impact on how we view President Trump. His approval ratings continue to dip into the 30s, but perhaps more important, a CNN poll found that only 24% of Americans say that they trust “all or most of what they hear in official communications from the White House.”