I wish America were more like France, New Jersey and Kansas
As I mentioned on Facebook, I was delighted to hear Chris Christie subjected to some old school Jersey shit-talking on his most recent guest appearance on an NYC sports talk program.
Although Christie dismissed the hero of the one-minute exchange as a “communist from Montclair,” the caller aptly pointed out that negative opinions of the governor are not confined to that particular North Jersey municipality. The most recent poll put Christie’s approval rating at 15%.
Christie hung up on the caller and segued into recounting his 2013 re-election, in which he coasted to victory with 61% of the vote.
Is it depressing to think that such a worthless thug could have been elected twice to a position of such power. But there’s also a glass half-full perspective: in response to egregious behavior, New Jersey voters of all political stripes had no problem turning on Christie.
Similarly, in France, former President François Hollande, whose sin was simply being indecisive and ineffectual, decided not to run for re-election after some polls showed his approval rating dipping into the single digits.
The solidly Republican electorate in Kansas has also had enough of its reactionary governor, Sam Brownback, whose tea party theatrics have brought disaster on the state’s budget and public services. Seventy percent of Kansans disapprove of the governor, who has faced a revolt by moderate Republicans against his hard-right policies.
Sadly, I don’t think we’ll ever see Donald Trump achieve those levels of disapproval and disgust, no matter how hard he strives to earn it. National politics has become too hopelessly polarized and the right-wing echo chamber too fortified against the threat of basic facts.
It will be interesting to see how Trump’s approval ratings fare in the wake of Don Jr.’s –– to put it generously –– fumbles.
Suffice it to say, I don’t think this news is good for the senior Donald. Right now, monumental incompetence is the best excuse the Trump family has for its behavior and and its pathetic attempts to cover it up.
This is bad new for Trump because the 55 to 60 percent of the U.S. electorate that does not approve of him will become firmer in their opposition. Some people who reluctantly cast ballots for the GOP nominee –– the infamous Obama/Trump voters, for instance –– will finally determine that this guy is not going to get their vote again.
But what I don’t expect is that the bad news will translate into a big drop in approval for Trump. I hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling that 35 percent of this country will not turn on the guy no matter what he does. The dear leader himself once put it so eloquently: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”
As much as we talk about the liberal bubble –– and believe me, I know it exists –– the conservative bubble is far harder to penetrate and is far more detached from reality. While there are plenty of crazy blogs on the left, the liberal bubble at least has reality-based anchors, such as the New York Times and NPR, while the leading voices on the right are dedicated propagandists: Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones. Right-leaning publications that pay even fleeting attention to facts –– the Wall Street Journal, the National Review –– have been sidelined in favor of the cult of the Donald.
Think this is just a liberal’s take? Read “How the Right Lost its Mind” by Charlie Sykes, up until just last year the most influential conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin.