Following the horse race

Because we live in a culture modeled after a casino — where great risk, if it succeeds, is rewarded with a great pay-out — our minds are shaped by the numbers, by the zero-sum, winner-take-all horse race nature of casino culture.   This guy is deservedly the richest guy in the world, having brilliantly monetized American laziness and addiction to consumption.  No wait, we have a young horse coming up fast on the inside, this genius monetized American loneliness and disconnection!  The American media discussion is always focused on the competition and, more than that, the big winners.  We don’t hear much about the many millions directly and indirectly fucked by the success of our most distinguished winners.  America loves a winner, we are told (and losers, you know, suck).

So Nancy Pelosi kept looking at the polls, studying the charts that map the movement of public opinion, to see how America was reacting to the latest Trump scandal.   Impeachment, she reasoned, might play right into the Victim-in-Chief’s hands, fire up his angry base when the Senate majority declared him an innocent victim of yet another partisan witch hunt and hurt Democratic numbers in 2020, so, by her logic, the numbers had to be watched carefully until the time was right.   

Before Nixon’s impeachment began in earnest, he enjoyed approval ratings as high as 68% (and they had to be high in those days, to approve of many of the things the angry, paranoid Nixon was doing).   By the time he resigned– although, in spite of impressive evidence of his wrongdoing, national support for impeachment never topped 60% — his numbers were in the proverbial toilet.   Here’s a graph Jeeves found for me:

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 3.37.40 PM.png

It’s quite possible that the graph above, although official looking, was pulled out of somebody’s rat’s ass, so here is a link to a more authoritative and detailed  source and a snapshot from that article:

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 4.50.30 PM.png

The point is, Mr. Trump, who has never had an approval rating nearly as high as the 68% once enjoyed by Tricky Dick, has had a steady, fanatically devoted base of about 39% to 44%.   His numbers don’t vary much no matter what he does or doesn’t do.   

You either think, as I do, that Mr. Trump is a vicious and empty-headed pile of noisome offal, or that he is a great man with unshakable belief in himself and the best interests of people who deserve it in his heart.  Either way, the needle does not tick much one way or the other.   Those who love him, love him.  Those who do not love him, do not love him (and why should we be different than either of his parents, anyway?) [1].

For those who love a good horse race, there are some numbers for you to thoughtfully chew on as you root your favorite horse toward the finish line. 



[1] this sickening, cheap-shot parenthetical is evidence of my vicious partisan bias.  Let me try to be fair.   How was it the young Trump’s fault that his parents were incapable of giving him the love and support he needed?   He acted out by becoming an increasingly problematic bully — they sent him to military academy.   He acted out by trying to prove he was a greater man than his ruthless, highly successful father– they gave him hundreds of millions to keep him from losing it all.   Still– it’s hard to think of that as love, based on how unhappy, selfish and perpetually angry the man turned out to be.


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