To date I have used President Trump’s Gallup approval rating as a sort of “stock price” to gauge his performance. While utterly irrelevant from the perspective of the average American’s day-to-day life, I believe we are witnessing truly historic times, in real time, and my highly analytical, performance-oriented side loves to document things as I see them.
Pulling from my day job as a money manager, when the price of an asset fails to respond accordingly to a piece of incrementally better or worse news, the high probability conclusion is that the “better or worse” information is fully incorporated into the price of the asset. I have used this framework for interpreting DJT’s approval rating in the context of the highly chaotic surface of his administration, arguing that his approval rating was likely done falling given it failed to break to new lows in the face of increasingly more negative headlines over the spring and summer months.
Nine months or so into his administration President Trump has been a rock star on policy: deregulation; Gorsuch; re-shaping the federal courts; reassertion of America’s foreign policy might – unshackling the military, ISIS, China, North Korea, Iran; deregulating the non-group healthcare insurance market; soon to be implemented tax reform; and, most controversially, deconstructing and destroying the global “administrative state.”
While members of the current political Left – i.e. today’s political Left is nothing like the Reagan or Clinton democrats (i.e. politically correct, social justice warriors with nada for a political platform outside of identity politics, free college, minimum wage, taxing the rich, and single payer healthcare) – would not approve of the job Trump has done in his first nine months, anyone from the Center-Left over (to the Right), if intellectually honest enough to focus on policy, should approve of the job Trump is doing.
Should his approval rating be 60 percent? Obviously not. By definition in our ridiculous two party system there will always be a natural cohort that does not approve of a president from the “other side”. But Trump is not a Republican. He is a New York Democrat, and he is implementing policy as a New York Democrat. He should be forming a de facto Independent political party. But because our political system is so maniacally focused on the “culture wars,” as Ben Shapiro would say, all anyone cares about is his casual relationship with the truth, his Twitter account, and his mere questioning of the global political establishment “norms” that David Brooks – the socialist writer for The New York Times – The New York Times, The Economist, and the Financial Times are whining and moaning about. But his approval rating should be well north of 40 percent, hands down.
As such, I am officially capitulating on the relevance of Trump’s approval rating. It is not going to budge, no matter what he does. And this is proven by the fact that idiot students approve of Trump’s tax plan when pitched as Bernie Sanders’ (see here). Even rational, high-functioning adults in my life who voted for Trump refuse to acknowledge how good of a job he is doing at the policy level across the board, but they would vote for him again if up against a Democrat.
These folks fail to realize the global nature of “Trumpism”: Brexit in the UK; Bernie Sanders in the US; Trump in the US; Merkel’s trouncing in the recent election by the AfD; and most recently far-Right party performance in Austria. The global political Left would lead the casual observer to believe that Trumpism is driven by a giant “basket of deplorables” – it’s not. Rather, it is a global revolt against the Obama/Merkel-led, elitist, bubble-wrapped global political establishment.
(This anti-establishment dynamic is best represented by looking at the Paris Climate Accords thru the eyes of a Virginia coal miner that saw former President Obama stand on the global stage with Angela Merkel in a global, hand-holding, redistributionist kumbaya, committing the US to the world’s most onerous climate regulations at the expense of his/her mining job. Meanwhile, the world’s largest polluter, China, did not have to even begin reducing its emissions until 2030. It is this elitist, bubble-wrapped, anti-everyday citizen attitude that the global electorate is revolting against. Not because they are a racist/bigot/homophobe.)
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Politics suck. I have hated them my entire life. But Trump’s candidacy and now presidency led me to become heavily involved in order to take advantage of the void he has created in the rapidly fraying two party system in order to establish a set of principles that can bring 75 percent of Americans to agreement on the vast majority of key issues. I will use the next seven years of the Trump presidency as “cover” to create an Independent political party platform, but I will be far less vocal about it outside of this blog (i.e. Facebook is a useless tool for generating bipartisan conversation, as is general conversation with random folks), op-ed pages, and eventually a more formal production.