The Wrongologist

Geopolitics, Power and Political Economy

Monday Wake Up Call – August 28, 2017

The Daily Escape:

Rats Restaurant, NJ Grounds for Sculpture – 2017 photo by Wrongo

The politics of disruption brought us Donald Trump. With hindsight, the evidence was everywhere. Americans were unhappy with our political system. Voters had lost faith in the government and political parties. About 10% of voters believed Congress was doing a good job. Both political parties had favorability ratings of less than 40%.

In 2008, people were frustrated and angry. By November 2016, with continued economic discontent, worsening conflicts in the Middle East, and serious public policy issues left unattended, people voted for the guy who promised to break our politics.

Trump won 53% of the over-65 vote, but was supported by only 37% of 18-29-year-olds. He won the white vote by 58% to 37%. And 51% of American women voted for him.

Mark Leonard  says that the election was decided by pessimistic voters. They were attracted by Trump’s anti-free trade arguments, his anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric, his (false) statistics about increased crime, and the loss of American jobs to Asian countries.

Trump said all of this was caused by Washington and could be fixed by a disruptive billionaire. The pessimists won, and felt very hopeful that Trump would change America.

Are they having buyer’s remorse today? No, most say that they still support their guy.

Yesterday, we highlighted some findings of the Public Policy Polling (PPP) national poll taken after Charlottesville. PPP found that Donald Trump’s approval rating was steady despite all of his backtracking around the Charlottesville attack:

40% of voters approve of the job Trump is doing to 53% who disapprove, little change from the 41/55 spread we found for him in July.

This despite that just 26% of Trump voters think he has delivered on his promise to “drain the swamp”, to 53% who say he hasn’t. When asked if Trump has come through on “Making America Great Again,” just 33% of his voters say he has, to 59% who say he hasn’t.

PPP found that 57% of Republicans want Trump to be the party’s nominee in 2020, compared to 29% who say they would prefer someone else. That 28 point margin for Trump against “someone else” is the same as his 28 point lead over Mike Pence. Both Ted Cruz, with a 40 point deficit to Trump at 62/22, and John Kasich, a 47 point deficit to Trump, are weaker potential opponents than ‘someone else’.

All in, Trump is keeping his base together, while losing a few moderate Republicans. So the question is, what will it take to make Trump a one-term president?

If you want to defeat Trump, focus on how his political disruption has only caused destruction. It isn’t enough to tear shit down. Any president has to be a builder, and not just for a phony wall.

Have there been any gains from the disruption? Is there any evidence that Trump has the leadership skills to bring policies into law that will improve the lives of those who voted for him?

The winning message is about building: Build unity. Build the economy. Build a vision for a growing middle class.

Be a builder, not a disruptor.

Wake up America! Find a builder, or be a builder. To help you wake up, here is John Mayer with his 2006 Grammy-winning hit “Waiting On The World To Change”:

Takeaway Lyric:

It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want.

Don’t wait to be a builder. Dr. King didn’t wait, neither did Mandela. They changed the world. WE have the power to change America.

  • Fred VanKempen says:

    My thesis on why we are in the political crisis we are in begins with the Democrats and establishment
    Republicans not simply failing to recognize the discontented mood of so many, but ignoring that mood figuring that, at the end of the day they would settle, as they usually do, relying on the giddy novelty of having our first female president. Trump saw the opportunity that this discontent afforded and deftly used the easily manipulated within that cohort to his own ends. Of course, having outlived their usefulness to him, that group is now being thrown under the bus. I predict their mass disillusionment with their savior will occur long before 2020. Meanwhile, the Democrats took for granted women, and minorities, millions of whom chose not to vote at all.
    I do marvel at the stubberness of “the base” who seem so willing to thoughtlessly cast aside so much in an attempt to placate their own anger or is it a sick sense of payback. For me, it has a “Dr. Strangelove” quality to it.
    In the midst of it all, I have been shaken by three things. !, The loss of a real sense of civil engagement and willingness to understand what the idea of America was and the importance of promoting those values. In other words, a Greatest generation mentality with regard to our society. 2, The taking for granted that our republic would remain unfazed and unchanged by any amount of neglect we, the people, chose to inflict. Now, at least some of us see that our lack of vigilance can unleash evil and brutality. 3, The extent of our racism. While I knew that it never was totally erased, I am stunned by the intensity and the commonness of it. Turns out, it was there in all its ugliness
    all along- just beneath the surface. I interpret the survey which is at the center of this blog to mean that a majority of us have concluded that we want to pull in the welcome mat to all nationalities and groups. The new order is that from now on its Whites first and foremost and we have elected a white supremacist president to prove it. Apparently, according the the survey, it will be up to the 18 to 29 age group to renew a sense of generosity and liberality.
    The rest of us have dropped the ball which was caught of authoritarians and mad men.

    August 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm

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