It’s nearly unanimous: Donald Trump is a horrible president.
He lies, his personality is abrasive (to put it mildly), he offends other world leaders and members of his own party alike, and he never has anything nice to say about the media.
So say the media. And social media. And plenty of other people.
The editor emeritus of our local newspaper, in a recent Sunday column, wrote that all of the columnists the paper features on its opinion pages, except one, do not support Trump. Even several conservative columnists the newspaper features do not support our current president.
The anti-establishment president
Our political and media leaders are missing the point.
Trump was elected as an anti-establishment president. Democrats hate him, and many Republicans barely tolerate him.
When Trump was nominated in a very crowded GOP primary field, I figured he’d be one of the first candidates eliminated because he was so brash. He offended everyone. He talked before he thought. He had no political experience. His most famous quote was: “Your fired!”
Not exactly the mentality of a team player.
And yet, the other candidates dropped out, and he remained. All the way to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he was officially nominated as the party’s candidate for the highest office in the land.
Rejecting the status quo
Republicans, like Democrats, supported the candidate they thought could garner the most votes. Even if he was brash, abrasive and not a model Republican.
As I told a friend shortly before the election a year ago, Trump struck a nerve that runs deeper in this country than anyone realized.
We still don’t realize it.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a good reputation these days, and haven’t for awhile. Congress appears incapable of action. This was true under former President Barack Obama as well as currently under Trump.
Business as usual just wasn’t working. Congress’ ineptness was the main reason Trump was nominated, then elected. If the two-party system was working well, the GOP would have nominated an insider who would further GOP values and causes, to run against the Democratic candidate who would further that party’s values and causes.
But it wasn’t.
So, we got Trump.
GOP a step ahead
If Trump had to run for re-election this year, would he win?
I think he would. And we all would be just as shocked as we were last year.
I saw a blurb in our local paper last week, buried on page A6, with this headline: “Trump’s small donors fuel GOP fundraising.”
Three paragraphs followed. Here they are:
The Republican National Committee raised more than $100 million in the first nine months of 2017, marking the first time it has raised that much, that fast, in a non-presidential election year.
The record-breaking fundraising can be largely attributed to a flurry of small-dollar donors responding to fundraising appeals by the first Republican president in eight years, Donald Trump, according to a new report to be released later this week.
The numbers give Republicans a large cash advantage over Democrats as they look to retain control of both chambers of Congress in the midterm elections next year.
If Democrats think they’ll reclaim one or both chambers of Congress next year as a backlash to Trump, they will be in for a big surprise. Trump, abrasiveness and all, has a larger following than anyone on either side is willing to acknowledge. His supporters largely remain silent on social media (although not entirely).
Loudest voice not winning
I’ve discovered that many of my left-leaning friends are thoughtful and engaging people, offering detailed arguments on why Trump should be opposed, at least, or impeached, at most. Many of my right-leaning friends, when they talk politics at all, offer one-liners and short paragraphs in support of a specific Trump policy or the general direction of the GOP.
In a debate, I’d predict the left would defeat the right. Liberals are better at communicating their values than conservatives are.
Trump’s supporters are writing a new definition for “silent majority.” Instead of arguing in public, they’re showing up at the ballot box.
According to the page A6 blurb in the newspaper, Republicans are already gearing up for next year’s midterm elections – in a big way.
The rest of us are missing the point.
Both parties need to change, since the status quo in Washington, D.C., is pleasing no one.
The Republicans realized this first, and nominated an unconventional candidate. The Democrats have yet to figure this out.
Preparing for 2018
In the editor emeritus’ column, he quotes a liberal columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr.:
“Pretty much nobody – outside of his base of voters and people who attend rallies in Alabama – pretty much nobody is saying (‘Great job, Mr. President.’). And I think that’s what people need to understand.”
While very few people are publicly saying, “Great job, Mr. President” – Pitts is right about that – his “base of voters” is larger than Pitts knows. And they are small donors, lots of them, willing to put some money where their votes are, if not where their mouths are.
Is anybody listening to them?
Does anybody care what those small donors think, value or do with their lives? Are they truly supporting Trump, or are they only opposing the longstanding GOP-Democratic stalemate?
Do most Americans really want an expensive border wall with Mexico, for example, or is there a deeper issue in play? And can anyone articulate what that issue might be?
I’ve seen articles saying that many of our children aren’t allowed to walk to school, even if it’s nearby, because their parents are afraid of abductors. This is the message of our country today: Trust no one. Not even people in our neighborhood.
Why was Trump elected? Because we as Americans think and act like him.
Yes, we do. We are just as angry and self-centered as he is.
Trump is not a team player. Neither are we.
We reap what we sow.
We must understand this before any meaningful change will take place.
The longer we deny this, the more ingrained Trump becomes.
Just watch. Next year’s midterm elections will prove me right.