The other day, a friend called me in a panic about some polls showing Trump's approval going up a few points since his daily campaign-rally "press conferences" filled with false-good news misinformation that's dangerous.
I explained a few thoughts. First, yes, I didn't hated seeing Trump's approval go up, it should be bordering on zero. But I understood it. He's on TV every day giving supposed "good news" (much that's untrue). In crises, people want to look to their leader to help help. At any time, people want to support the president. And right now, the numbers of infections and deaths are awful, but manageable, especially compared to the horror numbers we're hearing that are possible. Moreover, when he's on TV, all the news channels and networks cover him, that's all we see. We hardly see his Democratic opponent Joe Biden (or even Bernie Sanders or Speaker Nancy Pelois) much at all.
But, as I told my friend, the numbers of infections and deaths are -- tragically -- going to get overwhelmingly, horrifyingly worse. The "best" low estimates are 200,000 deaths, with infections in the millions. In two months, people will be going stir-crazy isolated in him. And their children out of school And out of work, unemployment payments stressing them. And the economy crashing around, diving into a clear recession, if not nearing a depression.
This is galling, ghastly news. And it's the perspective to under the snapshot that are polls.
I say this because on Monday, there was an important piece in the New York Times from well-regarded analyst Dave Leonhard. He says all this above, and more and far, far better.
A few snippets from an overview in Raw Story about the article –
“According to longtime political observer David Leonhardt, Donald Trump’s chances of being re-elected are diminishing every day as the economy continues to crash and Americans are dying because of the COVID-19 pandemic despite ‘snapshot polls’ saying voters are still supportive of him.
“Writing for the New York Times, the columnist notes that the full horrors of what is now occurring won’t fully be revealed for months to come — and for Trump, the resulting damage may be too much to overcome in November when voters head to the polls.
“…By way of explanation, he suggested that Trump’s focus in his daily press conferences with trying to put an optimistic spin on efforts to stem the coronavirus health crisis will likely blow up in his face as the deaths mount, businesses stay shut down and voters realize things are a long way from regaining any semblance of normalcy.”
There’s a lot more. You can read it here.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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