Ask A Genius 518 – The Current Trump Deal
March 20, 2019
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the current Trump deal?
Rick Rosner: During the campaign trail, he said that his people – his base – is so solidly behind him. That he could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue and no one would drop him.
Then, in fact, he did indirectly kill somebody on 5th Avenue. They did not drop him. He was too cheap to put sprinklers in Trump Tower. There was a fire in one of the units. Somebody died. No one cared in particular.
People on Twitter who hate Trump said, “That a-hole,” but nothing happened. His popularity has remained remarkably steady. He probably has the flattest approval curve of any president since they started taking approval polls.
Rosner: Maybe, his analysis is correct that his base is his base and they love him regardless of what he does. There is an industry that makes it their job to justify and rationalize anything that he does.
That his actions often seem like some overall plan. According to the Washington Post, he is at thousands of lies and representations of fact in hundreds of days in office. His lies are often not systematic. He often contradicts himself from hour to hour.
His actions and statements are – his sentiments and prejudices are somewhat consistent – are inconsistent. They tend not to be part of some overreaching grand plan. He hates China messing with America.
He tries to mess back. He thinks the tariffs are helpful. Even though, he doesn’t understand how they really work. He hates immigrants. So, some of his stuff has an overarching set of sentiments behind them.
But the actions and statements that he makes in service to those sentiments are spur of the moment. Anyway, he is kind of random. The conservative media try to take what he does and have it make sense, and try to present him as a guy who actually knows what he is doing.
Even though, it is obvious that he is incurious. He cannot be bothered to read the briefings that people prepare for him. He is a mess. He is all over the place. But the conservative media, depending on who you go to for news, will probably not expose the audience to exactly how messed up he is.
That helps stabilize his approval. But his fans are getting their news from sources that present him as a more consistent leader than he actually is. Some non-conservative commentators have a theory that a lot of his people like him because he hates the same people they do.
They care less about whether what he does is in their interest. So, Trump’s approval is remarkably steady. It has been between 37 and 4 percent for all but the first week of his presidency.
For the past six months, it has been oscillating back and forth between 41 and 42 percent on the aggregate of all polls. Individual polls, they’re remarkably consistent too. But they, obviously, can vary more than the aggregate polls.
It looks like Trump’s behaviour gets more and more concerning to people who do not like Trump. He said last week that he would accept information about candidates running against him from a foreign government. It doesn’t seem to bug his people.
The camps are established. The people who hate him. Their approval is remarkably steady too. People decided. It is harder to get people to change their minds about this president than any other president since FDR in the late 1930s.
We are talking 80 years of presidential approval surveys.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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