Ask A Genius 361 – Ungentlemanly Ill-Wishing
May 8, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, Trump had a series of unfortunate events in 2017. Can you expound on those as far as you see them?
Rick Rosner: A little bit. He had a particularly terrible healthcare effort. It was super unpopular. Only 17% of Americans approve of senate’s efforts to replace healthcare, mostly because it was a massive tax cut for wealthy people and for insurance companies a total of almost around 100 million dollars.
Until healthcare was done, they couldn’t get going. They try to do the tax reform. Trump’s efforts to do anything is clownish and, obviously, not favoring the people who voted for him, which would be the big swathes of people who voted for him.
These conservative heartland people who are struggling. He got caught with backed up photos of Time Magazine hanging in front of his golf club, calling him “Man of the Year” or something like that. That never happened.
Yet, he gets support from people who voted for him and that support hasn’t significantly eroded. I read an essay a couple of days ago that says the people who did vote for him have been conditioned to not be able to have their minds changed by any evidence and that the best we can do is to try to make sure they don’t have political power in the future.
As opposed what other people said soon after the election, which is that we must reach out to them and understand them and try to persuade them, or recently people are saying they are unpersuadable, which seems based on the last six months.
It seems reasonable. Some have these particularly good insights, but other people may not have except for the small optimism that Nate Silver provides. He says that Trump seems to be losing overall support approval at the rate of about 1% per month, which after another several months would put us in the middle of the 2018 elections.
His approval may be in the twenties, which has been disastrous for the four presidents who had approval in the twenties. Every day, I check out the daily gallop poll results because they have the most immediate feedback about how people feel about what he has been up to.
Jacobsen: What’s going on with his vice president, Pence? He seems to be quiet.
Rosner: Well, Pence is a quiet guy. He’s not a flamboyant guy. He quietly goes about his business; however, he managed to be as implicated in at least knowing how he is tolerating cabinet members who were compromised by Russia.
So, he made the Russia thing and comes up with conclusive evidence that the Trump Administration was acting unethically. He may be as treasonous or whatever; he may be implicated also.
I’m trying to come up with some fresh thing to say about this whole mess. A guy came up to me at the gym. Nobody is talking about this publicly, but I have this feeling that this sentiment is out there. A guy came up to me at the gym, a conservative guy, a fairly conservative guy especially for L.A, ex-military, and he said, “I wish Trump would die.”
People don’t come up to each other and say that stuff generally, but I get the feeling that given that Trump is proving to be increasingly terrible and that there seems to be no way to hold him to account because the Republicans, while deploring some of the things he does, are pretty terrible themselves and don’t seem to be earnestly committed to holding him responsible for anything.
That this is a thought that’s maybe running through the heads of many millions of Americans. Not that this wish is coupled with any desire to act, but people are sad that he seems to be undissolvable from office.
There’s a tradition of not wishing the president ill out loud. For one thing, you don’t know what the comment might get you. You could have the secret service or FBI reach out to you to see if you are threatening the president.
That most people are aware of that being a possibility if you wish the president ill. Two, it seems un-American or ungentlemanly to wish the president dead. Nevertheless, a lot of people wish that he would disappear.
People don’t talk about it because it seems scary and bad manners to wish ill on anyone. I guess that’s it.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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