President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for Baltimore, Maryland from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2019.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
No matter the place you flip, the information is crammed with embarrassing stuff about President Trump. The CIA whistleblower grievance about his conduct on a name with Ukraine‘s president has become a full-court impeachment scandal.
But by way of all of this, Trump’s approval ranking is at its highest stage of the 12 months in keeping with the Hill-HarrisX survey, and the different main polls taken since this Ukraine cellphone name whistleblower story emerged present few adjustments from the final surveys taken earlier than the information broke.
How is that this attainable?
Anyone nonetheless asking that query merely hasn’t come to phrases with why Donald Trump gained the 2016 election in the first place. In quick, Trump was elected to be the final disruptor and to play that disruptive position as a lot as attainable. “Drain the swamp” wasn’t only a marketing campaign slogan, however a visceral feeling towards institution Washington in each approach. Millions of Americans who voted for Trump and nonetheless assist him selected him exactly as a result of he’s nasty, breaks the guidelines, and exhibits little respect for the political institution at each stage.
To actually be mad at Trump for asking overseas leaders to analyze Joe and Hunter Biden or Hillary Clinton, the voters must consider that Clinton and the Bidens aren’t inherently corrupt. They should additionally consider that virtually all the guidelines and established teams inside American authorities, particularly the intelligence group, deserve unquestioned respect.
Here’s a newsflash: a really giant variety of Americans haven’t got that belief and respect, and so they’re typically OK with Trump being the junkyard canine who digs all of it out.
This is Donald Trump’s model.
Comedian Dennis Miller put it as succinctly as attainable with a Facebook publish Thursday the place he merely wrote: “The simple fact is that if Trump was vaguely presidential he wouldn’t be President.”
This goes past scandalous or nasty habits. Even little issues like frequent misspellings in his tweets reinforce his model of being something however a cultured politician.
It turned clear throughout the finish of the 2016 election, that that is additionally why Trump’s many exaggerations and outright falsehoods are judged by a unique customary. Going again to his days as a on line casino mogul and actuality TV present host, Trump established a model for bluster or “puffing” that we settle for after we see commercials for the “best car ever,” and the “greatest show on earth.” Fact-checking Trump is sort of a waste of time as a lot of the public accepts his bluster in a approach no established politician can ever get away with.
Branding is a crucial information in terms of seeing how any given president can climate scandals. We know that from two very completely different presidents in the previous who got here out of their very own impeachment scandals very in a different way, thanks largely because of their political and private branding.
For President Richard Nixon, who was elected in 1968 largely on “law and order” branding, the revelations that he himself had possible damaged the legislation had been devastating. Nixon’s approval numbers started to tank as quickly as the Watergate accusations and investigations reached common entrance web page standing. Nixon was by no means impeached, however the House Judiciary Committee did vote in favor of sending articles of impeachment to the full House flooring. That helped pressure his ouster and by the time of his resignation in 1974, his approval ranking was at an all-time low of about 22%.
Fast ahead about 20 years and President Bill Clinton was truly impeached by the Republican-controlled House. But whereas the official cost was perjury, Clinton was actually mired in an extramarital affair scandal. As embarrassing as the Lewinsky scandal details had been, they had been on no account a shock to most Americans who had been already conscious of Clinton’s philandering historical past. In essence, it was a part of a model that made him appear way more actual to voters in comparison with the stodgier George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole.
Clinton was additionally helped by one thing that did not exist in Nixon’s time: a 24/7 cable information media that offered his supporters ample alternatives to make their circumstances for him and assault his accusers. Right now, Trump is getting a minimum of a few of that assist on Fox News and a few smaller conservative networks. Also in contrast to Nixon, Trump has his personal Twitter account and lots of different supporters on social media. Throw in the conservative discuss present hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin who are defending him every day, and that is but another excuse why the guidelines are very completely different than they had been in 1973-74.
Branding and completely different requirements aren’t the solely causes why Bill Clinton and Trump fare higher than Nixon in terms of scandal. Nixon was additionally straddled with excessive inflation and a typically weak financial system throughout the closing years of his presidency whereas Trump is using a nonetheless sturdy financial system and Clinton loved the identical state of affairs.
None of this implies the Ukraine scandal will not damage the president in the future. That’s very true if it coaxes one other actually non-establishment candidate off the sidelines to problem him. But these in search of to question and take away him do not appear to grasp that this push is simply as possible to assist Trump, as his typically static poll numbers and improved fundraising since the scandal broke proceed to show.
Donald Trump is completely different. He performs by completely different guidelines and is judged by completely different guidelines. As lengthy as his opponents play by the previous guidelines, he is prone to survive this scandal and the 2020 re-election battle.