Conservatives have come up with a new myth. Donald Trump’s negative approval rating is due to his association with the Alt-Right, not their wildly unpopular policy agenda:
“President Trump has kicked Stephen K. Bannon off the Trump train once and for all. Good for him. Now he should kick off a few more noxious passengers whom Bannon brought along — the racists and anti-Semites of the “alt-right” whom Bannon promoted and who are like an albatross around Trump’s neck, dragging down his presidency.
Trump should be extremely popular today. Under his leadership, the economy is entering what is expected to be its third straight quarter of economic growth above 3 percent. Unemployment is at a 17-year low, consumer confidence is high and the stock market is soaring. He has enacted historic tax and regulatory reform, put conservative judges on the federal bench and driven the Islamic State from its caliphate. With this record, he should be riding high in the polls and expanding his base.
Yet Trump’s support is contracting, not expanding. After his inauguration, Trump enjoyed a 41 percent approval rating and 46 percent disapproval, according to the FiveThirtyEight average of polls. Today, Trump’s approval has dipped three points to 38 percent, while his disapproval has skyrocketed 10?points to 56 percent. …
President Trump should be “extremely popular.” But he isn’t.
In 2017, he did all this stuff that mainstream conservatives wanted: the Syria strike, tax reform, arming Ukraine, Russia sanctions, the Charlottesville resolution, firing Steve Bannon, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, spending nearly a year on repealing Obamacare, etc.
Donald Trump became strongly associated with the Alt-Right and Steve Bannon during the final months of the campaign. Bannon was hired on August 17, 2016. Hillary Clinton’s Alt-Right speech was on August 25, 2016. Trump went on to win the presidency at the peak of his association with the Alt-Right and Steve Bannon when he was doing the Bane speech about bloodsucking globalist parasites. In the final month of the campaign, Republicans like Marc Thiessen had thrown Trump under the bus.
As I documented on Occidental Dissent, the Alt-Right became disillusioned with Trump over Ryancare and the Syria strike. Steve Bannon was fired in mid-August 2017. President Trump rebounded in the polls after his response to the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the NFL tweets. He steadily become more unpopular as October, November and December was spent on tax reform.
The real reason that President Trump has become so unpopular is because he has changed his spots like a chameleon. During the campaign, he ran as a hard charging populist against the Republican establishment and attracted the support of disaffected voters. Since becoming president, he has governed as a plutocrat and a rubber stamp for the True Cons agenda. All the polls of healthcare reform and tax reform which together consumed all of 2017 showed that both were massively unpopular.
President Mitt Romney lost in 2012 because the electorate rejected his policies. President Trump found a different route to the White House with Steve Bannon and the Alt-Right, but now that he has done a bait and switch and embraced the True Cons agenda it has poisoned his image. The 2018 midterm elections are going to be a verdict on True Conservatism, not the Alt-Right.
If Trump had listened to the Alt-Right, he would have protected Confederate monuments in 2017. The Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville is far more popular than tax reform. The same is true of the cause of free speech on college campuses. Conservative ideas are a political albatross. Paul Ryan was behind Social Security privatization when the GOP got blown out in 2006.
Note: Remember the 2012 presidential election? Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan like a drum in Belmont, MA and Janesville, WI.