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Politics Why Trump Gets Away with Anything

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
MSN Article: Brian Klaas said:
In January 2016, Donald Trump said something unintentionally profound: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” We’ll hopefully never find out whether Trump really could get away with murder. But we now know he can at least falsely accuse someone of murder without triggering a political exodus.


This “Fifth Avenue problem” is a central puzzle of the Trump presidency. Somehow, Trump can tweet something that would destroy any other politician when he wakes up, and it’s forgotten by lunchtime.

Don’t believe me? In the last week, Trump didn’t just make a false accusation of murder. He also praised one of the United States’ most virulent anti-Semites as a man who bestowed “good bloodlines” on his descendants. He retweeted a man who called Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be a major-party candidate for president, a “skank.” Trump shared an image with Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as House speaker, with duct tape over her mouth and then mocked her physical appearance. And he repeatedly fabricated lies about voter fraud.

If Joe Biden behaved like that, it would destroy his career. But when Trump does it, it has no significant impact on his support. His depravity is now just widely assumed. It’s baked in.

That presents a paradox: The last three years have felt like we’re collectively strapped into the world’s worst roller coaster — of endless scandals, tweets in search of reality and new lows for presidential conduct. Yet for all those disorienting twists and turns,and the seemingly endless plunge of presidential standards, Trump’s approval rating has remained pretty much the same.

In functioning democracies, politicians live and die by public opinion. George W. Bush certainly learned that lesson. After 9/11, his approval rating soared to 90 percent. As the Iraq War worsened and the economy collapsed, he hit a low of 25 percent. Nearly 7 out of 10 Americans changed their minds about him at some point during his presidency.

Trump is fundamentally different. According to Gallup, his highest approval rating has been 49 percent; his lowest, 35 percent. For 103 out of the 130 polls Gallup has conducted since Trump took office, his approval rating has been stuck between 37 percent and 43 percent. (The margin of error is usually around 3 percent, so it’s plausible that public opinion rarely moves and we’re mostly seeing statistical noise.)

Heck, during the pandemic 100,000 Americans have died and nearly 40 million Americans have become unemployed. And still Trump’s approval rating has moved up and down a few percentage points at most. How is that possible?

There are three main reasons for this “Fifth Avenue problem.”

First, Trump gets away with it because the previously unthinkable has become routine. As a species, we are drawn to fresh and surprising information — something we could call “novelty bias.” What would surprise you more: Trump amplifying a lunatic conspiracy theory in a tweet or him unequivocally praising the sacrifices of immigrant nurses and doctors during the pandemic? The former happens all the time; the latter would provoke breathless commentary. Is Trump finally making his mythical pivot to being presidential? Is this a new general election strategy? For every other mainstream politician, that dynamic would be inverted.

That’s why this week’s Sunday morning shows focused on Joe Biden’s recent bungled joke (for which he quickly apologized). Meanwhile, Trump’s praise of a well-known anti-Semite and his false accusation of murder weren’t mentioned.

Second, it’s not easy for humans to admit when we are wrong. It produces a feeling called cognitive dissonance. That has always been true. But for Trump voters, who have, by now, stuck with him despite him boasting about sexual assault, countless scandals and a steady stream of racism, the psychological cost of breaking ranks has soared. His supporters would have to say to themselves: “All of Trump’s previous conduct was acceptable, but this is the final straw!” There is a ratcheting effect. The more you were willing to accept, the harder it is to let go.

Third, U.S. politics is now defined by a phenomenon called “motivated reasoning,” the tendency to see reality through the lens of desired outcomes. For many Trump voters, reality stretches to fit a prior worldview. Every Trump scandal proves that the “deep state” exists. Every new revelation about Trump’s unfitness for office proves that he’s the victim of “fake news.” Everything in our politics is filtered through the prism of pro-Trump/anti-Trump divides. We’ve reached the dystopian moment in our politics in which taking common-sense actions to stop the spread of a virus by wearing a mask is a partisan act.

None of this is to say that Trump can get away with everything. He is losing support among key demographics during the pandemic, most notably with the crucial voting bloc of Americans 65 and older. In a competitive election, even modest changes can spell doom for a candidate.

But let’s be frank: American democracy is badly broken if few people change their minds about a president who falsely accuses someone of murder or boasts about his TV ratings while 100,000 Americans lose their lives and nearly 40 million lose their jobs. And that says as much about the dysfunctional state of our country as it does about Trump.
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Wait a second, let me see if I got this straight. IF you believe the number of deaths directly to relates to COVID as over 100,00, a virus that has hit the entire planet, and over 40,000 people have lost their jobs, you know because of our economy being shut down, you seriously expect the majority of people to blame him? You expect his approval rating to go down, for following the suggestions of the CDC, the WHO, our surgeon general, etc? The global economy has tanked, but in America we should blame HIM? And if we don’t, it’s OBVIOUSLY because Americans somehow believe he can do no wrong? I’m sorry man, your premise is seriously lacking any logic. That makes no sense. Can you provide any facts that would support your claim that it’s all somehow his fault?

Oh, btw, the “countless scandals” and “endless stream of racism” are baseless points that prove nothing. It’s not cognitive dissonance, it’s understanding baseless claims are exactly that, baseless.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
I don't know "why" but I do believe he could get away with anything. He has a lot of supporters and some of them even blindly follow him (they said so that it doesn't matter what he says, they will follow him). I feel bad for his opponents, they don't stand a chance. I cannot even imagine a scenario wherein he won't get re-elected.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
But that’s true for just about any politician, isn’t it? Bill Clinton had scandal after scandal, committed perjury, a felony, numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, and he got re-elected. Hillary has had all kinds of issues herself, with the destruction of hardware, ignoring Congressional subpoena’s, and she had a huge following. W lied about WMD’s, and he got re-elected. Obama weaponized the IRS, lied to us about “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”, left people to die in Benghazi, lied about a guy who made a video, arrested him and denied him habeas corpus, spied on US citizens, and he could probably beat Trump if he could run. Biden was a party to all that, has made some blatantly racist remarks over the years, got his son a job on a board with zero experience, threatened to withhold funds if a prosecutor investigating his son isn’t fired, and he’s the Democrat nominee. By the way, I think it’s hilarious he thinks Biden saying “if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black” was just a joke. That shows his lack of objectivity and his lack of credibility.

What the OP suggests is true for just about every single politician. It’s always been that way. What he’s claiming isn’t anything new.

Edit: How could I forget? President Clinton burning alive his own citizens in Waco Texas in April 19,1993. Including women and children. So while Trump joked about killing someone and still having followers, Clinton DID kill people and was re-elected.
 
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Impaired

Registered Member
Greg Brewer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, tweeted that he was "shaken watching protestors in Lafayette Park gassed and cleared so that the President of the United States can do a photo op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church holding a Bible."

Yes, President Trump went to a church for a photo op - and had the streets cleared with rubber bullets and gas.

For a photo op. During riots.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Actually it was smoke bombs. Gas and rubber bullets weren’t used. I do agree though, that was a bullshit thing to do for a photo op.
 

Impaired

Registered Member

Impaired

Registered Member
Will Trump get away with his attempt at voter fraud? Oddly, it was not mail in fraud that he complains about (that the military and people overseas use without issue or fraud) - no, he committed a different kind of voter fraud.

The President of the United States attempted to commit voter fraud. He attempted to register to vote in Florida after claiming the White House as his official residence.

Under Florida law, providing false information on a voter registration form is a third-degree felony, punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In 2018, Deltona City Manager Jane Shang faced charges for listing City Hall as her residence to avoid disclosure of her home address. She ultimately avoided prison through a deferred prosecution agreement that included a hefty fine and community service. In 1993, a restaurateur was charged with voter fraud and jailed for registering under the wrong address.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I don't know "why" but I do believe he could get away with anything. He has a lot of supporters and some of them even blindly follow him (they said so that it doesn't matter what he says, they will follow him). I feel bad for his opponents, they don't stand a chance. I cannot even imagine a scenario wherein he won't get re-elected.
I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't get reelected. My generation HATES him. I cannot emphasize that enough. I've never seen my generation hate someone quite so much. This has become alarmingly clear over the last week with all the protests and rioting. I've noticed a ton of people I used to think didn't care about politics are suddenly "experts" in their own minds and are coming out incredibly strong against Trump as a racist, a fascist, a bigot, a rapist, etc. Doesn't matter if any of it is true, if it's anti-Trump that's good enough for them and they'll push the narrative.

I should point out that while I understand why some people don't like Trump, that's no excuse for intellectual dishonesty, greed, or treating others with extreme disrespect. It's profoundly disappointing to see such intellectual dishonesty and outright stupidity. I can only call it that when most people I know are planning to support Joe Biden, a guy who is a radical leftist and isn't quite all there. If Trump is a racist and a rapist then so is Biden, there's more evidence to support that for Biden than Trump. The double standard is very real and very stupid.
 

Impaired

Registered Member
I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't get reelected. My generation HATES him. I cannot emphasize that enough. I've never seen my generation hate someone quite so much. This has become alarmingly clear over the last week with all the protests and rioting. I've noticed a ton of people I used to think didn't care about politics are suddenly "experts" in their own minds and are coming out incredibly strong against Trump as a racist, a fascist, a bigot, a rapist, etc. Doesn't matter if any of it is true, if it's anti-Trump that's good enough for them and they'll push the narrative.

I should point out that while I understand why some people don't like Trump, that's no excuse for intellectual dishonesty, greed, or treating others with extreme disrespect. It's profoundly disappointing to see such intellectual dishonesty and outright stupidity. I can only call it that when most people I know are planning to support Joe Biden, a guy who is a radical leftist and isn't quite all there. If Trump is a racist and a rapist then so is Biden, there's more evidence to support that for Biden than Trump. The double standard is very real and very stupid.
Wait, if you want to defend the president, there are lots of ways to go, but intellectual dishonesty and stupidity, that is the president, every day. I don't know why he lies so often or so stupidly. It is as if he is unaware that he is being recorded.

I am ashamed that he is president.
 
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