It’s enlightening to look at the popularity graphs of American presidents since Harry Truman. Truman’s graph looks like a sine wave, starting above zero (i.e., 50% popularity), majestically dipping below zero, then above, then below, and finally finishing above zero at the end of his second term. Lyndon Johnson’s looks like the graph of a doomed company, beginning very high and steadily dropping, year by year until it’s deep in subzero territory by the end. Believe it or not, Nixon was more popular than Reagan or Clinton, enjoying far more time above water than either man.
But every single president enjoyed one thing. They each had periods of relative popularity where their graphs were above zero. Except Trump. If you doubt that Trump is the most hated American president in recent history (and almost certainly all of history), look at his startlingly inferior popularity graph and doubt no more. Trump’s graph looks like the route of a submarine that never once surfaces. No other president’s graph is anywhere near as poor as Trump’s.
One thing Nixon and Trump share in common is a swift downward dive at the end of their respective presidencies. Nixon’s dive was due to the Watergate scandal, Trump’s dive was due to the January 6th insurrection.
So far Joe Biden has enjoyed popularity well above 50%, and its holding there smoothly and majestically. It’s something Trump never had on his very best day, and wow, is the Republican Party ever pissed off! They are so mad they are desperate to find something to get the American people to hate the president of the United States. That’s right, the principal job of Republicans in the Senate, the House of Representatives, the rightwing news media and everyone else in the Republican Party is to find something — anything! — to make Americans hate their president, no matter how artificial, no matter how contrived, no matter how ridiculous that thing may be.
Of course that’s not all they’re doing. Right now Republicans have more than 250 pieces of legislation at various levels — national, state and local — designed to restrict the rights of Americans to vote. They know that because they’re the scalding hot toxic party of least popularity, they have no choice but to cheat if they wish to retake power. The only way to do that is to make it tougher for people of color and people in cities to vote, because that is where the liberal American majority is.
But until they can retake power they have to figure out a way to make a good man look like a bad man. When you think of how terrible they were at trying to make a despicable, evil, rapist look good, one doubts they can do much to make a good man look bad all on their own.
That’s where the mainstream media comes into play. Traditionally center and left-leaning networks are happy these days to carry water for the Republicans. They miss Trump and want him back. Trump was good for ratings.
So Republicans continue to push this idiocy about the “crisis at the border.” There is no crisis at the border, of course. They wring their hands about “cancel culture,” specifically the loss of some Dr. Seuss books and Mr. Potato Head (who is now just Potato Head). But if they want to fix those things (which of course they don’t, they just want to bitch about them) then the fiscal conservative capitalist Party needs to take that up with the companies themselves. Joe Biden has nothing to do with it. Do they think they need to regulate companies to force them to behave the way they want? Isn’t that socialism?
Apparently there is nothing more to say about Hunter Biden or, what Trump called “the greatest political scandal of the century,” also known as “Obamagate,” whatever that is. Even Republicans know there is absolutely no there there, and they will ultimately look like idiots, even to themselves, if they try to pursue those empty non-causes.
Since they declared no platform for the 2020 election, Republicans have become essentially a one-note party specialising in performative outrage. Getting mad about nothing is their only recourse, and they’re just hoping that their mentally inhibited followers, who they are trying to incite to anger with these trifles, won’t notice that it really is much ado about just that — nothing. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.