Opinion Columnists

Friday 26 April 2019

If Trump is so awful, then beat him in 2020 poll. Simple, right?

The crowing over Donald Trump's supposed unpopularity exposes his enemies' fears he might win again, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Presdident Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Presdident Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Eilis O'Hanlon

President Trump's popularity is at an all time low. Just 36 pc of Americans approve of what he's doing, according to a new poll.

Naturally, his enemies couldn't be more delighted. They've been yearning for Trump's demise ever since he beat the sainted Hillary Clinton to the White House.

Why wouldn't they? Trump is a certifiable idiot, a revolting human being, and very possibly a crook.

Having said that, a leader's principal job is to keep the country safe and the economy ticking over, and on that score, Trump's largely doing his duty.

His supporters knew what they were voting for. They didn't expect a slick career politician. They wanted a bull in the china shop, and Trump is fully delivering on that by enraging all the right people.

The vote for Trump was a revolt against an insufferably smug, technocratic clique who increasingly expect the great unwashed to know their place. They're still struggling to come to terms with not getting their way for once.

Trump may not be universally lauded, but then all leaders are unpopular right now, from Merkel in Germany to May in Britain and Macron in France, all of whom have equally dreadful approval ratings. It's part of the general disdain for establishment politics, 10 years after an economic crash which is still hurting.

That's why people voted for Trump in the first place. So surprise, surprise, many are still dissatisfied.

That doesn't invalidate their disaffection. It merely shows the danger in ignoring real people's real problems while nagging them incessantly.

This pathological hatred for Trump is, from a political and psychological point of view, utterly fascinating. It's also disturbing, because these are the same sages who are being relied upon to put the world right again.

The only popularity contest that really matters is the one in November 2020, and President Trump still has a fair chance of coming out on top in that one. Maybe that's their real fear?

The Washington Post poll which showed Trump to be so unpopular was conducted with some seriously dodgy methodology, after all. It specifically targeted the youngest members of each household, and only 25 pc of the sample were Republicans.

But facts, eh? Who needs them?

If Trump is such a terrible President, find a credible candidate who can beat him in 2020. That's only two years away. His critics are the ones with all the answers, apparently. How hard can it be?

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss