Here’s what I’d like to know: after the impeachment trial, why did Donald Trump’s favorability numbers rise in opinion polls? The uptick occurred not only among Republicans but also among independent voters. I find that last bit of information, worrying, and I’m not alone. One woman on my Facebook page responded to the information with a single word, “Bull!.”
By now, most of us can recite the list of offenses that has dragged our 45th President into the courts. He could wallpaper the whole of Miralago with his indictments. Nonetheless, he continues down the same belligerent road, unabated.
Beyond his felonies, his records on climate change and health care are abysmal. The picture gets worse when we peek into his upcoming 2020 budget proposals, draconian measures that threaten the existence of the working class, the poor and anyone careless enough to be growing older. Even his handling of the national debt is so bad his fellow conservatives at the Cato Institute deem it a dismal failure.
Someone might object that I am cherry-picking, selecting articles that put the president in a poor light. For some, our economy looks great as writer Brook Sutherland admits. (“Two Economies,” by Brook Sutherland, Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 10, 2020, pgs. 14-15.) But like presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, he agrees it doesn’t work for everyone. Mostly, it works for the rich.
Here’s why we have two economies, says Sutherland. The industrial side of things is hurting, for various reasons. Trump’s war on China doesn’t help. On the other hand, those companies dedicated to meeting consumer demands are thriving.
If he’s right, the question to ponder is how long can the consumer continue to fuel our prosperity while the industrial economy languishes? And there are unknowns to ponder, like the coronavirus that has the potential to become pandemic. Of course, there will be those who can turn a profit during a financial upheaval. We saw that in the housing crisis of 2007-09. But if we hit another financial Typhoon, a majority of the population may reach out to their government for help only to find Trump has punched a hole through the safety net and has plans to do more.
So, why does our president remain popular? I haven’t a clue. Frankly, some of his followers are inscrutable to me: White Supremacists, the Klu Klus Klan and people who are fond of conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and QAnon.
To be honest, as the President’s performance continues to meet with applause, I’m coming round to the Cheshire Cat’s way of thinking. “We’re all mad here.”