Opinion

Trump’s coronavirus response earns public’s respect, bump in poll numbers

Political tectonic plates are shifting as progs like Ilhan Omar start praising Trump's crisis management (and as his polls rise).
Tue Mar 24, 2020 - 7:58 pm EST
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Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

March 24, 2020 (American Thinker) — Political tectonic plates are shifting as progs like Ilhan Omar start praising Trump's crisis management (and as his polls rise).

At first, the growing wave of praise for President Trump's handling of the coronavirus catastrophe seemed like pigs flying, an unexpected and rare event. But now that the governors of deep blue California and New York have been joined by Ilhan Omar in admiring his handling of the crisis, we can see that forces far larger than individuals going rogue from Trump Derangement Syndrome are at work. TDS is being swamped by the reality of an existential crisis.

The latest Harris polls show rising approval for the federal government's handling of the crisis:

Conducted using a nationally representative sample of 2,050 Americans over two waves, March 14–15 and March 17-18, the poll provided some quick feedback on how the public's perception can change overnight even as the government shifts its response to a crisis in which the news seemingly changes by the hour.

Overall, both waves showed around 60% of Americans "satisfied" with how the federal government has handled the coronavirus crisis so far.

Of the president's performance, 56% of the second wave approve of the way Trump has handled the COVID-19 crisis, with 44% disapproving. This is up five percentage points from the first wave, conducted only two days before. Meanwhile, Trump's overall approval jumped four percentage points between waves, from 49% to 53%.

Democrat politicians have access to far more granular polling data that must show them that Americans want a strong leader in a time of mortal peril facing them and that President Trump is rising to the challenge of his office. The smarter ones among them may also understand that the nonstop carping, criticizing every move that Trump has made since taking office, has created cynicism and doubt about the sincerity of the continuous nitpicking. President Trump is not about to let them forget the wave of criticism denouncing his prescient ban on arrivals from China as racist, either, so they had better get on board and earn his favor, lest they be called out.

[Editor’s note: Video in the original post is here.]

REPORTER: "You did say a few days ago that you did have a sense that this was a pandemic that was coming. So why was the United States not prepared with more testing — "

TRUMP: "We were very prepared. The only thing we weren't prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly. I will tell you how prepared I was, I called for a ban from people coming in from China long before anybody thought it was — in fact, it was your network, I believe they called me a racist because I did that. It was many of the people in the room, they called me racist and other words because I did that, because I went so early. So when you say we weren't prepared, had I let these tens of thousands of people come in from China a day, we would have had something right now that would have been — you wouldn't have even recognized it compared to where we are. How many people have passed away? How many people have died as of this moment? You could multiply that by a factor of many, many, many. So when you say that I wasn't prepared, I was the first one to do the ban. Now other countries are following what I did. But the media doesn't acknowledge that. They know it's true. They know it's true, but they don't want to write about it. Yeah, go ahead."

The plain fact is that Americans rally behind their presidents when the nation is under attack, whether by a nation-state or a virus. In recent adult memory, President George W. Bush reaped such support. Those who appear to be hobbling the effectiveness of the president's response to such as a personal and lethal threat earn contempt from the majority, who want to pull together to overcome the threat that faces us as a people. Nothing unifies more powerfully than an external threat to the collectivity. When Ilhan Omar understands this, we can be sure that the message is sinking in for all but the thoroughly dysfunctional deranged (who are still numerous on the left, to be sure).

It helps a lot that President Trump's management style is well adapted to crisis management in the face of an unprecedented threat full of unknowable factors. He is the very opposite of the traditional bureaucrat who appoints a task force and waits for a report on the best way to handle matters. His style is to identify the best people (in his eyes) and give them room to move quickly and monitor the results closely, making changes as the situation warrants.

The top-down bureaucratic approach minimizes visible mistakes, at least when the situation is well understood, but at the cost of delay. And bureaucrats loathe being held responsible for mistakes, so they instinctively go for a strategy that minimizes personal liabilities.

Trump, whose history includes a lot of scrambling to make, and then save, complex real estate deals, is comfortable with a looser, ad hoc approach, always trying to minimize the downside but unafraid to take calculated risks and rapidly act when events go south. And in his daily briefings with his team, he is unafraid to act and justify his actions on the basis of the best information available at the time, and then revise those decisions (such as his characterization of the seriousness of the threat) as data warrant.

To my eyes, he also seems to be getting his sea legs as a presidential crisis leader, backing his team strongly (and receiving visible and effusive support back from them) while bringing along the public with them as they scramble to figure out together what is in the best interest of the nation.

Seven and a half months, the amount of time until the nation votes, is an eternity in politics, and a lot can happen. But right now, President Trump is solidifying his role as our leader, who is doing his best to save his allies and his foes alike from a threat that could kill any or all of us.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 presidential election, coronavirus, donald trump, ilhan omar, mainstream media

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