In terms of daily outrage, it feels like it has been an eternity since Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath of office to Donald Trump. It has only been six months. A year from now, we will still have a Republican Congress and the mid-term elections will still be four months away.
I pay attention to politics for a living. I broadcast the evening news on the radio. I go on television to provide commentary. I write several thousand words a week on domestic politics and world events. And I am exhausted by it all. If nothing else, the last year has been great for development of hobbies.
I have worked on a book, which comes out in October. I have taken photography classes and invested in more equipment than I should have. I’ve traveled. But there is rarely an escape from the daily minutiae of Washington politics in the “Age of Trump.”
I get paid to cover politics. I cannot imagine what the average person must be thinking, or then again, I think I have a sense of it. They simply do not care.
The polling in 2016 gets a bad wrap, but the majority of pollsters and the polling average got it right. President Trump lost the popular vote. We should not dismiss the polls. And polling right now suggests if the election were held today, Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton all over again.
That sounds counterintuitive given the daily news coverage about the president and his declining popularity. But Hillary Clinton is actually less popular than the president. It seems the only people really affected by the daily attacks on Trump are people who already dislike the president.
The Wall Street Journal’s polling shows President Trump would win every county he won in 2016 if the election were held today. His popularity is at or above 50 percent in each of those counties.
The Washington Post’s polling shows Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting in the mid-`term elections next year than Democrats, even if a majority of people prefer the Democrats take back Congress.
These poll results have taken Washington off guard. It is obvious there is an organized effort to trot out every damaging story possible about the president and, while Trump frequently provides the storyline himself, many reporters have taken a report first, verify later approach, which has forced ample retractions.
A populace already distrustful of the news has become even more distrustful and the president’s team of advisors have (some would say dangerously and others would say smartly) capitalized on that by labeling every negative story “fake news.”
The result is a cynical public, distrustful of the news, and more willing to tune out politics. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Life is bigger than politics. Hollywood, the secular left, and much of the media seem intent on politicizing everything from sports, to popular television shows, to where and what we eat, but that is only fostering more resentment among Americans.
In fact, there are hints in the polls that though many Americans want a Congress that will hold the president accountable, they do not want to empower progressives who intend to tell them how to live their lives.
We are only six months into the Trump presidency. It feels like an eternity. And I just do not think the present rage and anger can be sustained without it turning inward against itself. The president, ironically, may stand to benefit by the constant hair-on-fire attitudes of so many of his political opponents.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.