Trying to analyze the presidency of Donald Trump gets harder with each passing day. The primary difficulty is attempting to discern whether Trump is lying or stupid or suffering from senile dementia. The unarguable signs of one or more of all three of these Trump deficiencies are evident in nearly everything he says. Although, in the end, it hardly matters which one stands out at any given time because they are all alarming and unacceptable traits in an American president.
Case in point: On Sunday morning Trump awoke and took to his twitter machine to communicate directly with his Deplorable cult disciples. He re-tweeted some twenty previous tweets from last week, including the most flagrantly racist campaign ad ever produced. And mired in that muck of mainly endorsements of Republican Nationalist Party candidates was this display of Trump fluffing his own ego:
New Fox Poll shows a “40% Approval Rating by African Americans for President Trump, a record for Republicans.” Thank you, a great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2018
Any conscious observer would recognize right off the bat that there is something terribly wrong with this tweet. Trump’s actual approval rating among African-Americans is in single digits. A recent Washington Post poll put the number at three percent. Even a Trump-friendly Fox News poll last month reported that all non-white respondents combined totalled only Twenty-nine percent approval.
However, an even more troubling part of this tweet is Trump’s assertion that the forty percent approval among African-Americans came from a Fox News poll. The only problem with that is that no such poll exists. So this is Trump either lying, being too dumb to understand simple news reporting, or sinking into a blissful dementia.
There is, however, some evidence that stupidity is the cause of this particular mental failure. There was a segment on Trump’s favorite Fox program, Fox and Friends (video below), wherein contributor Deroy Murdock cited a poll that did put Trump’s African-American approval at forty percent. The program blasted a full screen graphic of this “news” to introduce the Murdock interview. But right at the bottom of the graphic was an attribution of the polling data to Rasmussen Reports, the notoriously right-leaning survey outfit that exists only to give conservatives some positive poll results when reputable pollsters have none. Murdock repeated the number in the interview, but neither he nor co-host Pete Hegseth bothered to identify the utterly non-credible source.
So apparently Trump was engaged in his customary practice of watching hours and hours of Fox News and happened to see this bogus story on how much African-Americans adore him. Then he had to immediately share this falsehood with his (many fake) Twitter followers. It’s cute that he feels “honored” by the imaginary approval that he thinks he has among a demographic group that almost universally despises him and his racist agenda. But it’s disturbing that he continues to have such an acutely distorted perception of the nation he is supposedly leading.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.