USA Today: Even with success, Trump may be own worst enemy

USA Today just sent a message of sorts to President Donald Trump, and it may be one he should heed, considering that a newly-released poll shows the nation’s CEO isn’t popular with a majority of his fellow Americans.

Donald Trump
Even with a booming economy and low unemployment, President Trump is unpopular. Is the press to blame? (Screen capture, YouTube, CNN)

Then, again, the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday that shows a 60 percent disapproval of the president isn’t the only poll around.

A Rasmussen survey also released Friday shows a monthly job approval of 47 percent for Trump, which was up one point from July and two points below his April high of 49 percent. That’s not as bad as the ABC/WaPo poll paints things, but it’s not good, either.

And these numbers come despite what appears to be a roaring economy. USA Today’s Paul Brandus noted that unemployment has dropped to 3.9 percent and the economy grew at 4.2 percent during the second quarter. The stock market is up.

Yet, according to Brandus, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey shows 62 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

So, what is going on here? The “down and dirty” of it is pretty well spelled out by Brandus:

“The answer lies within Trump himself. He is reviled and disrespected because he gives reason to revile and disrespect. His self-constructed dilemma is this: If he would just tone it down, take the high road, show, for once, that he is capable of class and decency and integrity and honesty, then his numbers would begin to inch up.”—Paul Brandus, USA Today

Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll on Friday showed 48 percent of likely voters approve of the president’s job performance, but 50 percent disapprove.

Maybe some of this has to do with the way Trump is presented by the press. Take a quick scan of headlines and one finds:

“Trump goes wild against ‘Enemy of the People’ media after CNN story comes under fire”—Business Insider

“Trump lashes out at NBC, CNN in media tirade”—New York Post

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“Trump’s fudgie attack on NBC News is a whale of a false tale”—Newsday

And these are just a few examples. But then comes an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily that acknowledges something doesn’t pass the smell test with the media. In its editorial, headlined “Editorial Collusion By Dozens Of Newspapers Proves Trump’s Point: The Media Are Biased,” IBD led with this:

“The Boston Globe had the great idea to get 100 newspapers around the country to publish editorials Thursday to ‘push back’ against President Trump for his critical remarks about the press. In doing so, they’ve only confirmed that he is dead right.”—Investor’s Business Daily

So, is Trump his own worst enemy for complaining about and criticizing so-called “fake news” by the press? Maybe it’s just the way he says things, not that the things he says may not be justified.

Just consider how IBD framed its editorial argument:

“That so many news outlets could be duped into participating in what is obviously a political stunt is not only disappointing but disturbing. It suggests their real agenda isn’t informing people, even in their editorials, but bending the news to suit a leftist political agenda.

“The irony, of course, is that in participating in this Antifa-inspired mob action, the media are proving what Trump says is true. They are biased.”

Now, the question arises, if this bias exists, does it also permeate the polling process and influence the outcome of polls from a “mainstream” press that seems all-too-inclined to present Trump in a bad light? The problem is that Trump sometimes makes it easy for the press, and that’s to his disadvantage.

Perhaps the president should take a lesson from an old joke that is actually something of a proverb. If the press is biased, they want him to bash them so that they can gleefully report the next outrage. It’s like a game between masochists and sadists, and the president can win by cutting off the political narcotic.

The joke goes like this: The masochist says “beat me,” and the sadist replies “No.”

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