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Despite Record-Low Approval, Trump Retains Some Support

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Despite Record-Low Approval, Trump Retains Some Support

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Every week, it seems, a new poll shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating sliding further into uncharted lows, as the leader of the free world alienates allies, goads adversaries and challenges friends. Political commentators point out that no president in modern history has had approval ratings as low as Trump’s so early in his tenure. According to a CNN survey conducted in August, only 38 percent of voters approve of Trump’s performance.

Moreover, Republican leaders in Congress have turned their backs on him, openly defying his wishes and publicly criticizing his actions. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a package of sanctions against Russia that the president didn’t want, and GOP stalwarts made it clear that they would brook no effort to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite Trump’s taunts of Sessions on Twitter.

Does that mean Trump’s presidency is collapsing after less than a year?

Not so fast. You’d never know the man is in trouble by witnessing a race in Alabama for the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate, where the leading candidates are vying to see who can most tightly tie himself to Trump’s ankle. A few days ago, the incumbent, Luther Strange, won Trump’s endorsement. That may be enough for him to secure the nomination on Tuesday (Aug. 22) without a runoff, despite a crowded field.

Strange, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general, has declared that he will “fight for President Trump’s agenda every day.” Strange says he will take federal funds away from so-called sanctuary cities and use the money, instead, to build Trump’s promised wall along the southern border.

(Strange also says that he’s “working with President Trump to drain the swamp” — Washington-ese for cleaning up corruption. That’s rich, since Strange’s ascension to the U.S. Senate has a strong whiff of corruption about it. As Alabama’s attorney general, Strange was supposed to investigate the misdeeds of then-Gov. Robert Bentley, who was accused of misusing his office to cover up a romantic liaison with a staffer. Instead, Bentley appointed Strange to Sessions’ old seat, which strongly suggests an unethical backroom deal.)

Another candidate for the GOP Senate nomination is Mo Brooks, a congressman from the northern part of the state. Once upon a time, way back in early 2016, Brooks told MSNBC: “I think what you are going to see 12 to 18 months from now is that a lot of people who have supported Donald Trump, they are going to regret having done so.”

But Brooks is apparently the one with regrets. He has spent this campaign running from those remarks, claiming, instead, to “support President Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda.” Like Strange, Brooks is now zealous in his support of the president’s xenophobic immigration policies, pledging to “fight every spending bill that doesn’t fund that wall.”

Here in the Deep South, the president is revered by many. This is indisputably Trumpland, a part of the world where enthusiasm for the president approaches the feverish adoration reserved for cult leaders, where supporters cheer his every bombastic pronouncement and dismiss any evidence of scandal or malfeasance. In August 2015, Trump filled a Mobile, Alabama, football stadium with 30,000 cheering supporters.

It would be wrong, though, to dismiss this as one more strange feature of Southern culture, one more indication of an odd land that never fully re-integrated after the Civil War. In fact, Republicans across the land are still solidly behind Trump; according to the latest CNN poll, 83 percent of Republicans approve of the job he’s doing, with 59 percent approving strongly.

Over the last several decades, the GOP has become increasingly flavored by the politics of the 11 states of the Old Confederacy — resentment of cultural change, suspicion of science, hostility toward the federal government. Trump didn’t create those resentments; he merely rode them to election.

And those resentments will linger long after he is gone.

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22 Comments

  1. Lynda Groom August 12, 2017

    It will take time, but more and more of his supporters will begin to recognize their leader for the fraud he is. When they begin to feel some pain coming from Trump’s policies and they begin to see the bellicose rhetoric for the empty language it is they will turn yet again. We will have to patient with these loyal followers since its clear they learn slowly.

    Reply
    1. dbtheonly August 12, 2017

      Trump’s approvals seem mired in the 35%-40% range.

      One would like to hope that Trump supporters will wake up. The question is how much is lost every day they fail to do so.

      1. JPHALL August 12, 2017

        Watch out for the way opinions change when under threats of war.

        1. rhetoric_phobic August 13, 2017

          trump NEEDS a military event. If not with North Korea, then with Venezuela. He thinks if he pulls out the patriotism prop it will unite citizens behind him and deflect from the investigation into him and his election team colluding with a foreign government to undermine our democracy. Yeah, tell us all about your patriotism, trump, you lying POS.
          Your God is money and your concern for the greater good extends no further than you and yours. Don’t count on those who are on to you supporting your trumped up attempts at ways to save your sorry ass.
          I honor and respect the office of the presidency but the occupant has to earn that.

          1. dbtheonly August 13, 2017

            Military action against the DPRK is much higher risk/reward than picking a fight with Venezuela. I’m guessing Trump brought Venezuela into the mix because of the risks involved with the DPRK. On the other hand Korean action would likely include Allies and thus be significantly more popular than South American adventurism.

            On yet another hand, the risk of doing nothing in Korea is significantly greater than ignoring Venezuela.

            No easy victories for Trump in either place.

          2. Dominick Vila August 13, 2017

            He is also trying to pick a fight with Iran, even though our allies and the IAEA inspectors all confirm that Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement. Trump’s argument is that they are not complying with the “spirit” of the agreement! Time to get the Ghostbusters involved!

          3. dbtheonly August 14, 2017

            I view Iran as higher risk, lesser reward. You’ll have some Sunni Allies but the rest of the world may still see Iran complying with the agreement & sit out. Iran is entirely more circumspect about their nuclear ambitions.

            Look at what the US does and treat Trump tweets as trivia.

      2. I point this out every so often, but when Nixon was forced out of office he still had 30% approval.

        There is a hard core of people who despise everything about America yet think they are patriots, and there’s probably nothing that can reach them.

        1. dbtheonly August 13, 2017

          And that, Helpy, is the ultimate question. Can we reach the hard-core Trumpistas? Or are they forever to be angry, alienated, and outside the social compact?

          There are huge ramifications either way. On one hand what price must we pay to reach those guys in Virginia, marching behind the swastika? On the other hand are we to ignore 30% of the American public?

          1. I’d like to think that that 30% has fallen some in the decades since then, and also that some of that number legitimately thought that Nixon wasn’t responsible for Watergate (he probably wasn’t, it was covering it up that was his crime).

          2. dbtheonly August 14, 2017

            Disagree with you about Nixon’s responsibility. He didn’t micromanage, but certainly knew of the overall plan.

            You can certainly debate the 30% figure. But it doesn’t change my basic argument, with 350 million Americans, we could be looking at 100 million completely alienated from what I’d call the social compact.

            And that speaks to our utter failure as running a society.

          3. Also I have no opinion on what to do with that failed segment of society, other than continue our efforts to limit childhood lead exposure.

      3. Dapper Dan August 13, 2017

        I think 1 poll has him at 33 percent and after yesterday’s weak response to the tragedy in Charlottesville by White Supremists trying to start a race war his numbers will soon be in the 20’s

    2. yabbed August 13, 2017

      You are far too kind in your appraisal of Trump supporters. There is nothing helpful in having sympathy for them. Label them for what they are.

  2. Dominick Vila August 13, 2017

    I know several Republicans who still support Trump. They love the way he looks, agree with his rhetoric and views, and credit him for the economic gains made since his Inauguration. His infantile, and often incomprehensible, comments are explained as jokes that only liberals do not understand. The ignorance of relevant matters is dismissed or denied, even when his comments and actions demonstrate that Trump is unfamiliar with the issues he is dealing with, including how our government works. There are many reasons for the unconditional support he enjoys from one third of Americans, including the shock of seeing an African American elected President, the emphasis placed on ethnic and cultural minorities by Hillary, the fear of anything foreign, ignorance of how the rest of the world thinks and what their aspirations are, the conviction that we have the right to impose our will an d way of life on others, and a concerted effort to deny President Obama credit for what he accomplished. Let’s not forget that these are the people that dismissed the contributions of Obama’s economic policies to prevent the collapse of the U.S. economy predicted by Bush. They dismissed the fact that the DOW went from 7,000 to 18,500 points during Obama’s tenure. They dismissed the fact that unemployment went from a 10% high in 2010 to 4.7% when Obama left office. The hypocrisy of their claims reach a crescendo when we consider the concerted efforts made during the last six months to repeal all the EOs signed by President Obama to protect the environment, consumer protections, safety in the workplace, and prevent another Great Recession. What is important for these pseudo Republicans is MAGA, Taking America Back, deregulating to guarantee higher corporate profits, getting rid of policies designed to help ethnic minorities get the education they need to succeed, replacing the ACA with non-existent solutions, getting rid of trade agreements that more often than not benefit the USA, mass deportations, threatening and insulting Muslims, and paving the way for a return to the AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Bernie Maddoff good ole days.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron August 13, 2017

      Sorry, Dom, but I would not call them Republicans anymore. They are pure and simply reactionaries who want to bring the country back to a “Leave it to Beaver”/”Father Knows Best” America that never existed. They want to be Bull Connor and sic the dogs on anyone who does not agree with them. They want to play Bedford Forrest and ride through the Black Communities, flinging torches into their homes. They want a President like Wilson, who is willing to enforce Jim Crow on the whole country.

      1. Dominick Vila August 14, 2017

        I agree, and that is not limited to the shameful display of hatred we all saw in Charlottesville. There is absolutely nothing in Trump’s record, statements, and actions that resemble personal responsibility, endorsement of free trade, or social conservatism. Trump is neither a conservative nor a liberal. He is a Trumpian with narcissistic, greedy, traits whose lack of values, objectivity, and vision should be rejected by every personal with a minimal sense of morality, humanity, and common sense.

  3. yabbed August 13, 2017

    Only bigots and low life white supremacists support Donald Trump. Some may be able to frame their support more delicately than those who yell racist and bigoted slurs at fellow Americans but they are all the same people.

    Reply
  4. rhetoric_phobic August 13, 2017

    When hatred and bigotry is the driving force ,of course trump is their man. That’s a hell of a platform and those who support him will eventually feel the pain of him slashing and burning the very policies their communities depend on to survive. That he doesn’t care about them as human beings might eventually sink in.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 August 13, 2017

      Yeah! Let’s hope that ‘sinking in’ doesn’t take too long: That they wake up before Trump and his cohorts sink the good ship America. It’s really quite surprising how much tunnel vision and total cluelessness many millions of Americans appear to have these days.

  5. AlfredSonny August 13, 2017

    Trump is to be complimented for pulling a feat no one else ever did. He gains support from both Alt-White AND Israel!

    Reply
  6. Richard Prescott August 13, 2017

    The article failed to mention the big support he gets from the KKK, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, crazy level religious who says he has a right to drop the bomb and xenophobes (who are all over thanks to Russia’s bot influence over the last 10-12 years and Brietbart News with InfoWars).
    It failed to mention the huge wedge the GOP has helped drive in this country between left and right. There appears to be little of the middle left where rational processes can occur.

    Reply

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