Trump's magical machine is at its most vulnerable

Two years of Trump-on-the-Potomac is having the effect his campaign promised to everyone who really paid att...

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 10:14 AM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 10:14 AM

Two years of Trump-on-the-Potomac is having the effect his campaign promised to everyone who really paid attention. The key Trump pledge, which he displayed but never honestly voiced, was to bring a destructive brand of leadership that would sow dismay and despair. Evidence is now arising that suggests many are onto his game.

Even before his Veterans Day debacle, when he failed to fulfill his duty to honor fallen warriors, Trump's support among active military was slipping. His approval rating has sunk from 46.1% to 43.8%, while the number who disapprove of his performance has risen sharply from 37% to 43.1%.

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Elections and campaigns

Europe

Government and public administration

International trade

Investigations

Military

Politics

Robert Mueller

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Trade and development

This brings the armed forces closer to the public at large. A new Gallup poll out Monday shows that just 38% of Americans approve of the President -- a five-point decrease from last week's Gallup poll, with slight decreases across most demographic groups.

Perhaps the troops are noticing that Trump has never visited a combat theater and spent his Thanksgiving golfing and resting at his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort. He attacked the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals during a traditional call to the troops and when asked about what made him feel thankful, he made the answer about himself, literally, saying he's grateful "For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn't believe it."

A president who sings a song of himself while speaking to troops deployed in harm's way reveals that the most important job in the world is held by a child who struggles to understand that other human beings actually exist and matter.

Search for the proof that America is "so much stronger," as Trump claims, and you might land on the increased military budget and a spurt of economic growth. However, even these genuine facts, placed in a context any adult should grasp, mean much less than Trump would have us believe.

Military power deployed without regard for human values and a stable world is of little long-term use. Trump showed his disdain for decency by ignoring his own intelligence services, which reported that the Saudis murdered US-based writer Jamal Khashoggi, and doing nothing to punish the kingdom. He cited arms sales deals that are, so far, mainly fantasy as an excuse.

Surely, America's military men and women want to believe they support something other than arms sales, or the President's political display of force on the border with Mexico, and some would find Trump's policies an insult to their service.

The military's drift away from the Trump camp may be a harbinger of worse to come for the President. The mid-term election saw working-class whites, even men, move away from Trump's GOP and toward the opposition.

This data could reflect an enthusiasm gap between voters backing the two parties, but since Trump worked hard to rally his side it's still a bad sign for him. The trend was especially strong in rural areas, which were essential to Trump in 2016. These voters were promised economic gains but have not benefited much from Trump's tax cut, which favored the rich. At the same time, he has failed to deliver on his promise to sufficiently address the epidemic of drug abuse and overdoses, which have hit this segment of the population hard.

Those of us who feared the worst as he took office amid what he termed "American carnage" have seen much of what we feared come to pass. With his attacks on the press (the "enemy of the people") and the judiciary, and his emasculation of the Congress, Trump has presented himself as the first strongman president in the history of the United States.

The President's lies and misleading statements, which now number more than 5,000, according to the Washington Post, have been matched by a propaganda effort that has degraded the concepts of truth and observable reality. When a president can announce that he'll ignore the vast evidence developed by his own intelligence agencies to favor Vladimir Putin or excuse Saudi Arabia or manufacture an "invasion" on the border with Mexico, people across the country and around the world are made to feel insecure, vulnerable and disoriented.

The despair felt around the world, even among America's strongest allies, has led to a widely felt concern that the age of American-backed stability and security has been brought to an abrupt end by a president who seems wholly ignorant of how alliances and trade agreements keep the planet safe.

Analyses published recently in the Atlantic indicate that our country's friends are in mourning but also moving to create their own zones of cooperation and mutual support that will leave America on the outside looking in. Trump's tariffs and trade war talk have so alienated global economic leaders that at a recent meeting, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin was the object of intense questioning and pity.

As world leaders express dismay over Trump, the cost of his chaotic, values-free leadership is being recognized within his own party.

Although Trump's historically low approval rating threatens the GOP, two of his most ardent advocates, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, are evidencing the kind of paranoia common to partisans who have spent too much time in a bunker. In a book to be published this week, they warn of "embedded enemies" in the administration and use the word "rat" to describe witnesses who are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related issues.

Bossie and Lewandowski remind us that in addition to the press, and the courts, Mueller's team has been pushing back against Trump excesses. With each passing day, the threat of more indictments and revelations grows more intense and the small man operating the levers of the giant edifice of lies and distractions becomes more exposed.

The fact that so many are seeing through his game, even before Mueller completes his work, suggests Trump's magical machine is more vulnerable than even the midterm election showed.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 155246

Reported Deaths: 4065
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25151785
Lake13570355
St. Joseph9145161
Elkhart8759135
Allen8129228
Hamilton6117113
Vanderburgh576760
Tippecanoe369515
Hendricks3268133
Monroe325738
Porter313649
Johnson3105128
Clark293961
Delaware293274
Vigo260538
Madison235093
Cass224022
LaPorte222858
Warrick192965
Kosciusko182625
Floyd179167
Howard162466
Bartholomew141558
Dubois138626
Marshall137426
Wayne126930
Henry125429
Grant125339
Boone122250
Hancock118245
Noble115933
Jackson112915
Dearborn94928
Morgan93740
Lawrence87436
Daviess87133
Gibson87111
Clinton84716
Shelby81730
LaGrange80115
Harrison76224
Knox75610
Putnam72816
Posey7146
DeKalb71011
Fayette66618
Steuben6278
Miami6095
Jasper5945
White58515
Montgomery58322
Greene53337
Scott51813
Decatur50439
Adams4837
Whitley4556
Clay4467
Ripley4418
Sullivan43714
Wells4288
Wabash4119
Starke4077
Orange40425
Huntington3905
Spencer3906
Washington3753
Franklin37225
Jennings36713
Fulton3523
Randolph3529
Jefferson3415
Pike33018
Carroll32513
Perry31014
Jay3056
Fountain2943
Tipton27523
Vermillion2411
Parke2323
Newton22511
Rush2154
Blackford2093
Owen2051
Martin1990
Crawford1581
Pulaski1521
Brown1393
Ohio1297
Benton1100
Union1100
Switzerland920
Warren781
Unassigned0234

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 190430

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin31466640
Cuyahoga19706682
Hamilton16687343
Montgomery10377189
Lucas8285373
Butler8276129
Summit6689265
Warren420064
Stark3796181
Mahoning3709286
Marion338850
Pickaway301146
Delaware287227
Lorain272889
Fairfield264457
Licking257966
Wood249681
Clark249456
Clermont245938
Greene229242
Trumbull2270134
Allen213073
Columbiana212887
Miami199958
Lake193659
Medina185642
Portage162068
Mercer152128
Wayne140269
Ross139436
Richland132324
Tuscarawas129024
Athens12052
Erie115553
Darke114451
Madison105415
Hancock104725
Auglaize100616
Putnam97427
Lawrence93025
Shelby90914
Muskingum8884
Geauga85950
Scioto8599
Belmont78827
Union7583
Ashtabula72648
Sandusky71122
Huron70912
Preble62418
Holmes61710
Seneca60114
Ottawa58430
Fulton53711
Henry47317
Jefferson4694
Clinton46413
Defiance46013
Jackson4598
Crawford4528
Fayette4498
Highland4304
Logan4233
Ashland3986
Champaign3983
Knox38416
Brown3793
Perry36611
Washington35124
Morrow3442
Hardin33613
Williams3354
Coshocton32112
Guernsey3218
Pike3000
Wyandot29513
Gallia29113
Van Wert2633
Meigs21012
Adams2096
Paulding2012
Carroll2007
Hocking1979
Monroe16118
Noble1290
Vinton963
Harrison803
Morgan780
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Angola
37° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Huntington
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
43° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
43° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
Cooler Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events