A Warning Signal Sounds for Trump — Out of Touch on Three Huge Issues
Author: Greg Valliere
August 5, 2019
STORM WARNING: One of the great risks for presidents is that they become isolated, surrounded by sycophants, and lose touch with the public pulse. This is an increasing problem for Donald Trump, who faces a credibility crisis on climate change, the trade war, and — of course — the horrific gun violence that has stunned the country.
Let’s take a quick look at three issues . . .
Climate change: As the globe endures perhaps its hottest summer in recorded history, with astonishing scenes of ice melts in Greenland and the Arctic, polls show a strong desire to do something. Young voters overwhelmingly want action. Yet Trump will not even concede that there’s a problem, and he appears hopelessly out of touch on this issue, which virtually guarantees huge GOP losses among under-30
The trade war: According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Trump overruled most of his advisers last week and insisted on more tariffs against China. The reaction in Beijing has been to allow the yuan to slide, which will further inflame this crisis; markets are sharply lower this morning. Trump thinks the Chinese are the big losers, but even his hard-line adviser, Peter Navarro, conceded this weekend that U.S. consumers will pay a price.
Trump willfully ignores evidence that that U.S. companies face two options — accept lower profits or pass along higher prices to consumers. This is a far bigger issue than Trump realizes in the U.S. Midwest, where small manufacturers face shortages and price hikes, while farmers lose out on Chinese sales.
Yes, the Fed will help with rate cuts, but rate cuts alone may not be sufficient to repair the damage — and aggressive monetary stimulus, combined with higher import
prices, will bring an inevitable threat of inflation.
Gun violence: We understand that Trump is not directly to blame for actions by deranged madmen — but his rhetoric has been so polarizing that even Republicans (Ted Cruz in particular) are urging him to stop. Obviously mental health and video games are factors, but the public overwhelmingly supports new laws to curb the violence.
Slightly more than 50% of the public thinks Trump is a racist; many of his most incendiary remarks about an “invasion” were repeated verbatim in the El Paso gunman’s screed. Trump needs to tone it down, immediately, condemning white nationalists, starting with his speech this morning. But will Mitch McConnell call Congress back into session to consider gun reform, which the public
overwhelmingly favors? Don’t bet on it.
BOTTOM LINE: We understand that the Democrats have a weak 2020 field — perhaps weak enough to allow Trump to limp to re-election. But his failure to understand the potency of these three issues — especially gun reform — is a warning sign that Trump, 73, is out of touch. Voters aren’t happy with the country’s direction, and they want change; if this becomes a “change election,” Trump will lose.
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