Trump and Russia
The Trump administration faced new evidence this week that they colluded with Russia through their presidential campaign. On both sides of the Atlantic, the emails of Donald Trump Jnr to a British-born journalist publicist about meeting a Russian with information that would incriminate Clinton, have been front page news.
Despite this, The Economist / YouGov published a study that showed amongst his original supporter base, he has a higher approval rating now than before the scandal. [Raw data here]. Given the scandal, how could this have happened?
A belief in institutional liberal hypocrisy is at the heart of it. Liberals tend to turn a blind eye when they break the rules, and yet try and impeach their President if he does the same. This also is tied to their dislike of CNN. Supporters of Trump believe that 93% of CNN and NBC content is anti-Trump and this is demonstrative of elitist bias against the President.
Additionally, a Gallup poll commissioned and published this week shows that 65% of those who disapprove of Trump do so because of his personality. A mere 16% do so because of his actual policies. Compare this to Obama where those who disapproved of him did so because of his policies. Liberals dislike Trump because of who he is, not what he does. As Trump represents a group of marginalised people, this does not go down well.
Secondly, Scott Adams believes that the Trump administration has reframed this argument to show that they are forward-looking, whereas the Democrats are fighting over the past. Trump once again seems to inspire hope.
Fun fact: Hillary Clinton’s team did the same exact thing as Don Jr.
“But Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort’s lone meeting with the Russian lawyer pales when compared to the coordination between Clinton allies and Ukrainian government officials who hoped to see Clinton win the 2016 election.”
… goes on to cite a January article by Politico titled, “Ukraine’s efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.”
“Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.”
Of course, liberals are looking past this completely and acting as if arranging to meet foreign officials alleging to be in possession of damaging information on a political opponent is literally the worst thing ever.”
Russia scandal? Inside the Obama-Clinton uranium deal
“Tens of millions of dollars from uranium investors flowed into the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton received a $500,000 speaking fee from a Russian bank tied to the Kremlin before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped decide whether to approve the sale to the Russian government of a company that held one-fifth of America’s uranium capacity.”
Trump’s administration = forward-looking
Trump keeps winning
[Fox News Interview with Scott Adams – transcript]
“Look at the story so far, if you were on the left. Especially if you were a Bernie supporter you started out with: yay Bernie – he’s going to fix everything. Well, that didn’t work out but at least we have Hillary. Then that didn’t work out. But at least we have this accusation that we accidentally somehow elected Hitler without noticing it and then we’ll march on the streets and that will get rid of him. But that didn’t work out because the President stopped doing anything that wasn’t Presidential. He just sort of did what President’s do.
So they had this Russian thing and they were throwing everything at it, saying that if there is some smoke then there must be some fire but it just seemed that it was mostly smoke. Until recently it was sort of working a little bit. Then Tillerson [US Secretary of State] did this incredible reframing. Right after the G20, he said: “We’re going to focus on the future and moving forward”.
What that did was redefine the left, their opponents, as these zombie lawyers who were focussing on the past, whilst the administration is focussed on fixing North Korea and ISIS and healthcare and all these important things. Whilst these zombie lawyers are looking for well maybe a family member had an error on some paperwork. So that’s what they are reduced to: “eh I don’t think you filled out that form right”.
Breitbart and Fox News front pages
To back up the above point, few pro-Trump media organisations had the story on their front pages. Instead, they chose to focus on stories of action or crime. [N.B. I’m well aware this could also be interpreted as these newspapers not wanting to give more publicity to these claims – but still if you are a Trump supporter, this is what you see]
To wrap up…
I get it. This is a newsletter which is filled with (what we believe to be) disreputable and damaging news organisations. Yiannopoulos, Fox News and Breitbart are hardly what we would like to give credence to. It’s very very easy to dismiss these claims as bogus and his supporters as idiots.
However, themes of our own hypocrisy and a lack of hopeful messaging have come up before in newsletters. The Uranium allegation may be ridiculous, but the Ukrainian may (only may) have some substance. If we lead with integrity then no one can damage us. Perhaps we just tried to cut corners for too long.