How are we all doing?
Phew. One year ago today, Donald Trump, former reality television star, became president of the United States. The year has not felt normal ever since, not in any sense. From politics to hurricanes to mass shootings, it has been a heavy year.
First things first, a statistic: A poll by ABC News/Washington Post showed that, in spite of Trump’s very low 37 percent approval rating, 91 percent of Trump voters say they would vote for him all over again. But then again, that was the problem to begin with. Trump was not a popular candidate, yet his contingency was strong. As The Guardian puts it:
Given Trump’s record in his first year – the attempted ban on transgender Americans from the military, the travel ban targeting Muslims, the threats to destroy North Korea, the insulting calls with bereaved widows, his comments about Charlottesville, federal felony charges against his top campaign aides (and so much more) – these numbers are remarkable. They show that despite his first year in office, Trump could be as likely to win an election on 8 November 2017 as he was on 8 November 2016.
I’m not sure there’s been another time in modern history that Americans have been so polarized and so fearful. One can only hope that the pendulum swings the other direction after what was, for many, the biggest national trauma since 9/11.
Here were a few of my favorite pieces that taught me new things — and summarized many of my feelings — about this election:
- A Year After Trump’s Election, Nothing Has Changed (via Rolling Stone) — “Is there any intellectual defect worse than obviousness? How about predictability? If you want a million-ton dose of either, turn on MSNBC sometime. It’s a goddamned Sahara desert of obviousness. A Himalayan range of predictable messaging. And smart people watch it.”
- Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway. (via Politico) — “And so Johnstown and surrounding Cambria County, whiter, poorer and less educated than America overall, was famished for the message Trump delivered in person at War Memorial Arena last October. ‘Your government betrayed you, and I’m going to make it right,’ he told them.”
- Suburbs Rebel Against Trump, Threatening Republicans in Congress (via the New York Times) — “Voters are taking their anger out at the president, and the only way they can do that is by going after Republicans on the ballot,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania. “If this isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.”