What is so unusual about Trump’s low approval rating

What is so unusual about Trump's low approval rating

Donald Trump’s current approval rating in Gallup’s weekly poll is just 38 percent, with 57 percent saying they disapprove. What is surprising about this isn’t that he has the lowest approval ratings of any president in recent history, but that 38% of Americans still approve of the man that has been called “The worst president ever.”

While most voters said Trump is not level-headed, honest or even fit to serve as president, some still approve of him. And that’s the problem.

Many people feared that the Donald Trump presidency couldn’t possibly be as bad as  feared. It turned out to be worse.

This list could be much, much longer, but here are 11 of the worst things that Trump has done this year.

1.  Promoted Bigotry And Racism

This is the very worst: Trump’s bigoted and racist views have encouraged other like-minded people to emerge and be proud of their hateful attitudes. Consider his response to the participants in the August Charlottesville protest, organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis carrying Confederate and Nazi flags: Trump called them “very fine people.”  Just this week, he called black immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from “Shithole countries,” and asked why we can’t get more people from nice countries like Norway.

2. Destroyed The Environment

It’s hard to know where to start with this one, since Trump has made it a priority to get rid of every regulation President Obama put in place to protect the environment. One of Trump’s first actions was to announce the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, one of the toughest actions against global warming ever put in place by the U.S. It’s never taken effect and hasn’t been repealed yet, but that hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from reducing regulations around vehicle emissions, toxic waste, methane leaks and the pollution of drinking water. And let’s not forget the denial of climate change and the withdrawal from the Paris Peace Accords.

3. Encouraged Police Brutality

Yes, really. Trump received applause when he addressed a group of police officers on Long Island in July and instructed them to “Please don’t be too nice” when throwing suspects into the back of a police car. He went on, “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’” 

4. Abandoned Puerto Rico

Last October, when Trump visited Puerto Rico after the island’s devastation by Hurricane Maria he tossed rolls of paper towels at its residents and promised his administration would provide all kinds of aid and would write off Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt. He also sought to downplay the severity of the destruction in the island, compared to that wrought by Hurricane Katrina. But the debt has not been written off, around 1,065 people died on the island in September and October, on par with the Katrina deaths and now, three months after the storm, thousands of these American citizens still have no power, no homes and no access to potable water. 

5. Pushed “Fake News”

Trump, along with the flunkies like Mike Pence who attempt to outdo each other in obsequious praise of their master, is waging a war on the truth with his constant declarations of “Fake News” whenever a critical voice is raised against him. Trump cannot stand to be criticized, even when the truth is obvious, as in the size of his inauguration audience. While Trump decries the truth as fake news, Kellyanne Conway came up with “Alternative facts.” This authoritarian approach to any events that don’t match Trump’s prescribed opinions and policies is extremely dangerous. He also threatened to revoke NBC’s broadcasting license because the network is repeatedly critical of his actions.

6. Authorized More Arrests By ICE

It started early on: In the first weeks of Trump’s presidency, immigration arrests went up 32.6 percent; Trump had pledged that he was only going after the criminals but in fact ICE arrests of non-criminals doubled. As if that weren’t horrendous enough, the Department of Homeland Security has come up with a plan to separate families: When officials detain undocumented immigrants near the border with Mexico, the children will be handed over to Child Protective Services while their parents will be sent to detention centers. 

7. Lined His Own Pockets

Trump has used the presidency to enrich himself from day one, whether it’s Trump hotels welcoming foreign dignitaries or the $91,655,424 that American taxpayers have spent on his golf trips. And now Trump will likely be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the tax bill that he signed into law last week. No wonder he wanted to celebrate. Since he hasn’t released his tax returns, it’s impossible to say how much he will gain, but it will undoubtedly be in the millions. Oh and other members of his already-wealthy family like his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner also stand to save millions.

8. Made America Less Great

In a survey conducted annually by the Nation Brands Index, the U.S. has lost its top place ranking as the country with the best international image. The top spot is now held by Germany while the U.S. has dropped to sixth place. The poll questioned public opinion on 50 countries, asking questions about governance, culture, heritage, exports, tourism, investment and immigration. Countries ahead of the U.S. were France, the U.K., Canada and Japan. Those were the overall rankings, but in the area of governance, the U.S. has dropped from 19 to 23 under Trump.

9. Stirred Up Violence In The Middle East

Earlier this month, Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, a move which provoked immediate protests and violence in the region and brought condemnation from around the world. (Not to mention, why does a U.S. president have the right to name the capital of another country?)  Incredibly, Trump called his announcement and the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “a step to advance the peace process” between Israel and Palestine. To no one’s surprise, Israel’s Netanyahu called this a “historic landmark” while Palestinian President Abbas said the U.S. was making a “declaration of withdrawal” from peace process negotiations.

10. Lied Hundreds Of Times

As a teacher who tries to hold students responsible for telling the truth, this is especially galling to me. It’s hard to insist on truth and integrity when our president will say anything as long as it makes him look good. The Washington Post has been keeping track of Trump’s lies: By the middle of November, after 298 days in office, Trump had made 1,628 false or misleading claims. That’s about six a day, but that’s only what the Post’s reporters have access to, so the number is probably much higher.

All of this means that we must keep resisting as we head into 2018 and fight for changes in the November 2018 elections so that we can begin to take pride in the U.S. again.

11. Pushed Through Tax Benefits for the Wealthy

It’s almost incomprehensible how the Republican tax plan was passed. It is so blatantly designed so that the rich get much richer, while the middle class and the poor are left paying more, it should be criminal. It was a politically motivated ploy on Donald Trump’s part to penalize voters who didn’t vote for him in high-tax blue states, such as New York and California, and to give a benefit to the red-state voters who did vote for him.  Eliminating the deductibility of state and local taxes is an incredibly divisive plan. The tax cuts will add around $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over 10 years. Forget for a moment that candidate Trump repeatedly castigated President Barack Obama for allowing the federal debt to grow—and said that he would reduce the federal debt as president. That clearly ain’t happening. Moreover, important deductions for college loans and tuition subsidies are gone. Think about it: The rich can pay for college in full, so they don’t need those deductions. But who needs deductions for educational expenses? The middle and lower class… And Trump’s new tax plan is a giant “FU” to those hard workers… even to those that voted for him, which is why we wonder why does 38% of the country still support this nightmare of a president?