Listen in on almost any conversation — plane, train, subway, bar — and pretty soon it gets around to the new Administration. Passionately pro or con, it almost always ends up with the verbal shrug: “What can you do?”
History has an answer to that: “Look for the weak point.” David’s slingshot found it between Goliath’s eyes…the Trojan’s in Achilles’ heel….the Nazi’s in the Battle of the Bulge. Today’s Trump critics probe and punch trying to find it. But like so often before, what they’re looking for is right out in the open. By all measures, this President’s weak point is every leader’s weak point. His legendary pride.
When a leader feels they have lost the adulation that brought them to power, it can shake them on their pedestal. Case in point, the NFL quarterback tossing too many interceptions; or the Hollywood star flopping in too many movies. Public figures sensing the loss of public support make mistakes. Which breed further mistakes. It is already possible to track such mistakes from the Oval Office.
Now here is the irony. The very rise in Trump support the pollsters missed last November, may start to fall by this Spring. No, his critics can’t necessarily trigger such a fall, but his Administration itself can. The more mistakes that seem to reveal some personal failing or deceit, the more precipitous a fall. Not so much due to policy mistakes [they take study and time][, but due to personal mistakes [they are much easier to banter about at the bar].
Avid supporters that were looking for a tell-it-like-it-is populist aren’t romanced by rich kids in a rich family appearing to hustle their advantages for more advantages….A First Lady who’s costing the taxpayer millions of dollars a day not to be a First Lady…. A new White House retreat in a glamorous Florida resort rather than the historic Camp David….A tax return that won’t be released because it might reveal unethical ties to the global Trump empire.
Those same pollsters who got it so wrong in November may still fail to find the national pulse now. After all, the pollsters rarely share a bar stool with you. But as time ticks on, and as supporters harbor more silent resentments, well, who knows?
Here are a couple un-polled possibilities: The Administration may start doing what others have done by re-shuffling personnel and practices to conform more to the norm. Or, as other leaders no longer sure of their pedestal have done….
….well, maybe I don’t want to know.
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