Rare is the day when I do not see a comment here along the lines of, “I can’t believe Trump has a 40% approval rating. Who are these people?” Heck, rare is the day when I don’t wonder the same thing myself. Have ignorance and intolerance increased so much in our country that an administration this abjectly corrupt and incompetent can still be embraced by two out of five Americans?
Atlantic author James Fallows offered a bit of perspective this morning on Twitter. The short answer? No, they haven’t really increased. It’s just who we are.
Worth bearing in mind when reflecting on loyalty of DJT support:
– In 1932, in teeth of Great Depression, with discredited Herbert Hoover running against ascendant FDR, Hoover still got FORTY PERCENT of the popular vote!
There is, and always has been, such a thing as “the base.”
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) May 5, 2018
Yes, when literally a quarter of American adults were out of work, when 2% of homeowners and 4% of farmers were losing their property to foreclosure every year and the president of the US’ prescription was to do absolutely nothing about it, two in five looked at the ballot and decided that guy was the better choice.
Ancient history? How about 2008, when American households were losing $16 trillion in wealth and once-revered institutions were crumbling before our eyes? The Republican candidate, who swore the foundations of the economy were sound, garnered 45% of the vote. In 1964, when most of the country viewed the GOP nominee as a dangerous extremist who could well lead the country into global thermonuclear war, the guy still captured almost 39% of the popular vote.
We have to face this fact. If you’re standing with two other people, it’s more likely than not that one of them believes that immigrants hurt America, that corporations pay too many taxes, that race discrimination isn’t a problem but massive voter fraud is.
This is us. It’s how we’ve been for a long time, and how we’re likely to remain.
So, is all hope lost? How can we overcome that immovable 40% and elect people who believe fairness and facts matter, who are committed to equal opportunity for all Americans?
Talk to the third person.