Trump’s Approval Rating Drops. Has the President’s Branding of Himself Backfired? 6


Donald Trump flickr photo by Gage Skidmore shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Despite the strong economy, Trump’s approval rating has dropped in numerous polls. It’s natural to wonder why, and why it has taken so long. Could the New York Times op-end and its mysterious writer be the catalyst for  a sinking approval rating? I would definitely say it has had an impact. The op-ed paints Trump to be erratic, impulsive, and dangerous. Since the latest polling shows his approval among independents has taken a nosedive, we’re left speculating about the cause.

There are a couple of other things though that could be denting Trump’s approval. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is nigh, and he is associated with the potential overturning of Roe vs. Wade and the curtailing of abortion rights. This undoubtedly would have an impact on some segment of the independent voting base. A few Senate Democrats have made a lot of noise during his confirmation hearings, and if we couple that with the media coverage of those hearings, we can see how Kavanaugh could be a reason for Trump being diminished in the eyes of the public.

So, we have the op-ed writer, Kavanaugh, what else? Trump consistently demonstrates a poor character and a very self-focused set of values. Even those loyal to him have suffered. Take for instance, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In the last couple of weeks, the president has lampooned Sessions over Twitter, berating him for not doing his job, which is code for not violating Justice Department protocols in service of protecting Trump.

Of course, Sessions hides an unethical worldview behind layers of Justice Department precedent. But that doesn’t mean that what Trump is doing should be permitted, and some are starting to understand that Trump’s value system comprehends only one thing: self-preservation.

Since Trump has chosen to cater to the extreme, he has successfully branded himself. Others are more than willing to play along. For example, Woodward’s new book, Fear. It describes the tyranny taking place in the White House. And if you think about it, the timing couldn’t be more perfect because the book coincided with the release of the op-ed.

The op-ed reinforced the branding Trump placed on himself, and the book released by Woodward only reinforces it further. To me, that’s very interesting. An opinion in isolation can fall by the wayside, but when two independent opinions (especially when one of them includes someone working in the White House), collide, it could spell political disaster.

Seems like the president is facing his own hurricane season right now. Of course, it’s important not to get too cocky. Throughout the course of Trump’s presidency, his approval rating has gone back and forth. Any political event could change that approval rating for better or worse.

But these polls have revealed something–this presidency isn’t immune to political fallout. While Reagan will always be considered the “Teflon president” Trump chooses to surround himself with aluminum foil and conspiracy theories. This might work for his base, but over time, the independents that were drawn to him initially will take a step back and realize the nutball-in-chief is truly a dangerous entity.

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