Let’s face it, Donald Trump proves every day that the only thing he really cares about is Donald Trump. He rarely talks about anything other than his hyper-inflated self-adoration, and how magnificent he believes he is at whatever he does. He even wasted time during what was supposed to be a Coronavirus Task Force briefing (but which he has hijacked to exploit for his 2020 reelection campaign), to falsely claim that he’s number one on Facebook. He’s not (Trump has 29 million followers vs. Obama’s 53 million).
Trump frequently tries to justify himself with references to his polling. More often than not he either lies or cherry picks results that appeal to him. He has been leaning on that obvious PR tactic extra heavily in recent days. And while a couple of polls have shown some small improvements, they were short-lived and easily explained as some respondents exhibit the “rally round the flag” syndrome common to times of great distress.
Nevertheless, Trump continues to fluff himself with bogus boasts about his imaginary popularity. On Thursday, while complaining about a proposed congressional coronavirus oversight committee, Trump once again congratulated himself for fake numbers:
“It’s witch hunt, after witch hunt, after witch hunt. […] and we want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers. Because that’s all their doing.”
What Trump has still yet to learn (among so many other things) is that if you live by the poll, you can die by it as well. On Friday morning, Trump’s favorite pollster, the rabidly right-wing Rasmussen Reports, delivered the lowest approval rating they have recorded for Trump in four months: 44% versus 53% disapproval. That’s sharply down from 48-50% the day before. And this is by the pollster that reliably delivers the most pro-Trump numbers, and after Trump’s daily COVID-19 unreality show.
What’s more, the “rally round the flag” syndrome seems to have already fizzled. An ABC News/Ipsos poll asked Americans what they thought of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus response. A majority of 52% said they disapprove of his management of the deadly outbreak, while only 47% approve. That’s a deep dive from the previous poll that had a majority approving (55-43%).
This is the sort of news that will drive Trump crazy. His gargantuan and tender ego can’t handle criticism of any kind. He is likely to lash out at the pollsters and the media outlets that publish the data. And while he can’t escape the truth, he’s going to try. For instance, a few days ago he tried to take credit for high Nielsen ratings for the Task Force briefings. Never mind that there are at least as many Trump opponents as supporters who tune in to get information from experts like Dr. Fauci.
Trump’s attempts to console himself with false and flattering representations of reality will just look more pathetic with each attempt. The American people are united in their distrust of whatever Trump says about COVID-19 (or anything else). Even worse from Trump’s perspective is that they trust the media more. And they do not appear ready to reassess that opinion as his negligence, incompetence, callousness, and failure is more evident with each passing day.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.