Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Bizarro USA

If you just listen to Trump (and read his many tweets), you'd think the country adored him and was heading in the right direction, or at least the direction most Americans would embrace and applaud.

However, if you look at polls, it says quite the opposite.

Above are the latest polls compiled by (hardly a left-wing web site, for those who care). So let's see what they say about the current state of things....

Trump Job Approval: 40% Approve, 56% Disapprove (average of the 4 polls)

Well that's pretty clear, people disapprove of Trump by a huge 16% margin. How could this be? According to Trump, he's beloved, OR he's not getting enough love (predictably, he says both). After all, the stock market is soaring and the economy is humming, what's not to like?

Truth be told, the stock market had already tripled during Obama's time in office, so Trump has a long ways to go to surpass that figure. And the economy was doing quite nicely when Obama exited, so how much of what we're seeing with the economy isn't still just spillover from the Obama years? When do economic stats officially become Trump's?

But put another way, assuming everything is just hunky dory, then why the 16% disapproval spread? Either Americans do not believe or feel that things are so great, despite what Trump wants us to believe, OR things are in fact going well but regardless, people happen to disapprove of Trump.

Or it could be that despite economic conditions, people believe things aren't going so great for them AND they disapprove of Trump. The two polls above concerning the "Direction of Country" average to 59.5% Wrong Track vs. 33.5% Right Direction, for a whopping 26% difference siding with the country being on the wrong track.

So people disapprove of Trump by a 16% margin and they believe the country is on the wrong track by a 26% margin. Wow.

The other two remaining polls have the Democrats slightly ahead by 3% in a generic Congressional vote, and then Moore has pulled back ahead by 2% over Jones. Both of these polls are within the statistical margin of error making them not all that significant. However, I would love to see a non-Alabama-voter poll on the Alabama race, i.e. I'd love to see what the rest of the country feels about this high-profile Alabama contest. I have a feeling Moore would be well behind Jones.

What does that matter? It would be another reflection of what the entire country thinks about something, as opposed to just the state of Alabama. And again I'm willing to bet that in a national poll, Moore would be double-digits behind Jones.

But what about other subjects, how do they poll? Well let's see, the FCC announced yesterday that they plan to overturn net neutrality, where does the public fall on this topic? Americans favor net neutrality overwhelmingly. How about Obamacare? People favor the ACA. Global warming? Most Americans believe that climate change is real and is man-made. The Republican tax bill? The majority of people oppose it. The border wall? Most people do not want it.

You get the picture. On almost every issue, the majority of Americans are against what Trump (and Republicans for that matter) is for or believes. I can't recall a time when the country was so across-the-board opposite of the president. It's Bizarro USA!

How can this be called a representative democracy? The fact is it's not, or it's a deeply flawed one. Rather, today's America is a byproduct of 1) the Electoral College, an outdated mechanism that subverts the popular vote and instead indirectly elects the president, and 2) gerrymandering, where too many district maps are excessively partisan in favor of Republicans.

The Electoral College was adopted as a compromise and centered on slavery -- needless to say, it has outlived its original purpose and should have long ago been repealed. The fact that a Wyoming vote counts 3.6 times more than a California vote should be reason enough to get rid of this archaic, undemocratic system. No voter should count more than any other in a true democracy.

As for gerrymandering, just look at Michigan as an example of how bad things have become. In last November's election, Michigan voters basically split 50/50 in the state and yet Republicans sent 9 representatives to DC as opposed to just 5 for the Democrats. The SCOTUS is expected to rule on gerrymandering over the next several months, stay tuned.

But clearly it seems that we currently have a government that does not represent the beliefs or will of the majority. There's no way to MAGA as long as this condition holds.

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