Safe space is shrinking
In recent days, President Donald Trump has escalated his assaults on the “Fake News” media and other institutions in an increasingly frantic effort to carve out a kind of safe space that cannot be penetrated by accountability or factual reality.
Inside this bubble, the truth is what Trump says it is, on Twitter and in his tirades before rally crowds, where Twitter replies (even by bots) and raucous cheers serve as confirmation of Trump’s versions of events in a kind of intensifying feedback loop.
But if the brutal new poll released Tuesday by CNN is any indication, that safe space seems perilously small.
Trump’s own advisers appear to believe his safe space is shrinking. As The Associated Press reported Tuesday, this is what explains his recent antics:
The president has increased his media-bashing via Twitter and staged rallies hoping to marshal his base to his defense. There are signs that his support among Republicans may be softening. His advisers are aware that a serious slip in support among his core voters could jeopardize hopes for a major, early legislative accomplishment and would certainly increase Republicans’ worries about his re-election prospects.
Tuesday’s CNN poll confirms that Trump’s support is shrinking. It finds that his approval is down to 38 percent, with 56 percent disapproval. Only 37 percent say he has the right priorities, while 59 percent say he hasn’t paid attention to the country’s most important problems. Americans say by only 43 percent to 55 percent that he can bring the change the country needs.
But more interesting, perhaps, is what the CNN poll tells us about his overall communications strategy:
● 55 percent say Trump has lowered the stature of the presidency, while only 17 percent say he has raised it, and another 25 percent say it is unchanged.
● Only 31 percent say Trump’s actions have made them more confident in his ability to serve as president, while a staggering 62 percent say they’ve left respondents less confident.
● A total of 73 percent have low trust in what they hear in official communications from the White House: 30 percent trust nothing at all and 43 percent trust just some of it, while 19 percent trust most of it and 5 percent trust almost all of it — meaning only 24 percent trust what this White House tells them.