President Trump is known for defying authority, the media, and convention in general. Now he is defying another age-old tradition: the one that says that when the economy is booming, presidents enjoy high approval numbers.
Last week, according to Rasmussen’s Daily Tracking Poll, the president’s job approval rating hit an all time low at 38 percent. This does not make sense. Unemployment is at an astonishingly low 4.3 percent. The stock market has soared to record levels. The president has created over one million jobs, and more Americans are employed than at any time in history. All this, despite massive gridlock in the president’s own party.
It’s been proven time and again that when the economy is solid, people are happy, and they express their happiness by saying “Yes I approve” when they’re called by pollsters like Scott Rasmussen. Yet that has not been the case.
What’s more, his incredible phase of job growth and economic success is not merely a streak of good luck, or an economic wave. Nor did Barack Obama’s policies help in any way. It is a direct result of President Trump’s policies.
He and his administration have been laser-focused on boosting growth and stimulating hiring, by dismantling hundreds of Obama-era restrictions and regulations that have crushed companies, and issuing dozens of executive orders to boost the economy and ease the burden on businesses. If so, why are his approval numbers so low?
Our natural instinct is to blame the mainstream media for its endless focus on the (non-existent) Russian collusion story. They’ve used every scintillating headline and Nixon comparison they can to discredit the president. And there’s no question, that has been a huge factor. If Trump got the “kid glove” treatment that’s afforded to Obama and the Clintons, his numbers would undoubtedly spike.
But while things have gotten uglier, the media attacks are not new. They have been trying to sabotage him for over two years. Throughout the campaign, when he tweeted something “offensive,” voyeuristic cable networks and newspapers dedicated entire staffs to cover it with their so-called “analysis.” Yet the more they attacked, the more he seemed to thrive. What was his “magic” then, and how can he tap into it now?
Amazingly, as I discussed on a recent podcast episode, candidate Trump owes some of his remarkable success to the media focusing more on his policies than his optics.
The debates during the election were not about Russia, collusion, or Vladimir Putin. For the most part, they focused on trade imbalances, building a wall, repealing and replacing, and defeating ISIS. The media was happy to focus on these things, because they believed the president’s views were so extreme, they could inflict severe damage just by being reported. While there were short-lived scandals about Trump’s comments disparaging Muslims, Trump University, and his infamous Billy Bush interview, those fizzled relatively quickly, and did not define Donald Trump.
When you read the paper these days, you need to sift through endless articles about collusion and tweets, before you find a substantive policy discussion buried deep within. When I watch Sunday morning talk shows and cable news channels, I feel like I’m viewing a gossip channel.
Other than days when something really big happens — like the Senate’s failure to repeal — you rarely hear pundits discussing things that matter. When they do discuss them, they focus on the negative, and somehow ignore the president’s many achievements.
The White House has more control than they think. It’s time to stop “playing defense,” which is a surefire recipe for failure, and shift the focus to the booming economy, the low unemployment rate, the reduction in border-crossing, the weakening of ISIS, the recent conservative rulings by the Supreme Court (thanks to Justice Gorsuch), and the president’s many other achievements which have gone virtually unnoticed. Other than a few hard-core leftist lunatics, the country will be relieved. These are the issues they care about most, and they will thank the president for finally changing the subject.
The White House also needs to ignore any question about tweets, Russia, or anything else not directly related to policy. No politician has ever become popular by engaging in minutiae about why he did not obstruct justice or collude. The moment they open their mouths, they’ve already lost.
Despite the media’s extreme bias, the president has the core elements to enjoy a high approval rating. Now he just needs to remind the country.
Josh Margulies is the host of "Politics: Clear and Simple," a daily podcast offering analysis with an intellectual, conservative perspective. He has worked as an intern for the "Imus in the Morning" program, and has hosted several online political talk shows. Josh is currently a digital marketing consultant. He has assisted companies like Lockheed Martin, Netflix, and Bloomberg. Josh is also an ordained Rabbi who has studied Talmudic law. To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.