It's what some social scientists call the "rally around the flag" effect. In times of crisis, the leader sees a bump in their approval ratings, regardless of how that ruler is actually performing at his/her job. There are many different ways to try and explain this phenomenon, but at least partially, the simplest explanation is the best.
In times of great uncertainty and high anxiety, like what we're living through right now with the coronavirus pandemic, people like to believe that whomever is in charge is extremely competent- it's a lot easier to sleep at night with such a belief. Also, that some of the approval is just a misguided, distorted version of sympathy. It's basically, "hey, I'm glad I don't have to work on cleaning up this mess- good luck with that."
We currently live in, arguably, the most divisive political climate since the Civil War. There aren't many people who are talking about peace, love and togetherness in America right now, but one comedian and nationally syndicated "drive-in movie critic," known for his sardonic takes on B-movies, is.
John Bloom, better known by his alter ego, "Joe Bob Briggs," performed his hit show "Joe Bob Briggs: How Rednecks Saved Hollywood” at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival earlier this month at the Music Box Theatre
. We took in the showing, and had an exclusive interview with
the Little Rock native beforehand. Here were some of the more notable quotables, regarding the current political climate, from our interview with Joe Bob Briggs...
In the words of Johnny Russell, “there’s no other place I’d rather be than right here, with my red necks, white socks and blue ribbon beer.” Although you can certainly swap out “white socks” for “White Sox” if you’ve been to the 500 level at Guaranteed Rate Field- certainly a red neck or two to be found there.
Red neck culture is more relevant than ever, and in 2016 we learned just how powerful a voting block hillbillies truly are. You can ignore them all you want (after all much of what they stand for sociopolitically is morally deplorable and egregiously regressive), but you do so at your own peril.
Typically, a midterm election is one of low general interest and the only real activation is within the voters registered to the party that lost the Presidential election two years prior. Another standard midterm election trope is the elevation of extremely far out candidates with beliefs way outside the mainstream, and a tendency to make bizarre gaffes that make them overnight viral video sensations.
The “macaca” guy in Virginia is one example. The former practitioner of witchcraft (happy belated Halloween everybody) who ran on the Tea Party ticket is another. Despite the current political climate being so degenerated to the point that anybody can run regardless of their background (see the Oval Office) and no one drops out of a race regardless of flaws and transgressions (see Alabama), we still have some egregious outliers.
My most loyal reader and commenter of all, my Aunt Donna said it best about POTUS 45, in response to my last column about his committing treason on live television:
“I don't want to hear or read another word of his. I'm beginning to think he's suffering from early stage dementia.”
I’m pretty much in the same place on that right now, but obviously that’s a pipe dream for the time being. However, it’s also not uncommon for the obnoxiously ubiquitous to eventually disappear from the public consciousness (remember Tonya Harding? In 1994 she was on TV every second of every day).
For most of our lifetimes, the President of the United States of America was considered the most powerful person in the world. Today that’s not the case, as the globe now belongs to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Ever since the catch-phrase “leader of the free world” has been in common parlance, it has meant the POTUS. As it’s a phrase deeply rooted in NATO, the label no longer applies to our current President. Perhaps that honorable designation is more befitting German Chancellor Angela Merkel or United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, or maybe there is no current leader of the free world.
One of the greatest Sean Hannity jokes ever, credited to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, took on a whole new level of meaning last night. Hannity is infamous for the flow charts and graphs he often utilizes on his program to convey his crackpot “Deep State” theories
. Oliver described this practice as resembling “an ex-football player trying to sell you time shares.”
It appears the writing staff of Last Week Tonight nailed it a few months ago, because Sean Hannity is literally a real estate swindler. Take it away The Guardian:
“Well, it’s not like it could save the Earth or anything…”
…Actually, it might. Scott Pruitt, the current head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will most likely become the next member of Trump’s cabinet to lose his job. It’s a cabinet in chaos, embroiled in scandal, with Pruitt’s performance just as chaotic and scandalous any any Trump appointee.
There are multiple reports indicating that Scott Pruitt and his allies are rallying to try and save his job because they all know that his time is running out. The only EPA Administrator who could honestly be worse than Pruitt was Russ Cargill, The Simpsons movie villain, and he’s not even real...
If Dana Loesch, the public face of National Rifle Association ANGER and RAGE, comes off as more than a bit histrionic, it’s probably because she once was an aspiring actress. Today, Loesch has created a nice niche for herself as the dream woman of extreme gun fetishists everywhere.
However, she’s really isn't more than just the latest edition in a long line of media personalities embodying a tried and true far right motif: Take repugnant and deplorable ideas, but deliver them in a physically attractive package, thus tricking the general viewer into believing such world views are more presentable.
It also fools the idiot viewer into genuinely believing the repulsive stances which are conveyed. See Tomi Lahren, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingrahan, Sarah Palin etc.
Unless it involves a new, big breaking news bombshell in the Robert Mueller investigation, I'm tired of any news relating to Donald Trump. I'm more tired than Prince Valium in Spaceballs
I have Trump, especially Trump Twitter fatigue. I'm more fatigued than an obese man trying to run a half-marathon. We are headed to an inevitable showdown between Trump and Robert Mueller, and until we get there, we're all trapped in a vicious cycle constructed by an astounding confluence of factors...