Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Illinois may be Midwestern island of distrust, but few think much of Trump

We’ve now endured just over a year of Donald J. Trump as our nation’s president and have even seen the sight of the Orange one delivering a State of the Union address.

Does anybody like Donald Trump?
What does it say that only 38 percent of the public approves of his performance – far less than most past presidents. Even Barack Obama, who at this point in his presidency had a 57 percent majority of the people approving of him.

THE GALLUP ORGANIZATION showed a state-by-state breakdown this week of what we think of the Trump administration.

We here in Illinois give the man a 33 percent approval rating, slightly lower than the national average and less than all the surrounding states.

But it probably should be noted that even in places like Indiana, Iowa, Missouri Wisconsin, Trump does not exceed 50 percent approval amongst those that Gallup surveyed.

In the land of Hoosiers, a place that gave Trump Mike Pence as his vice president and a place that Trump likes to praise as a model for what Illinois and Chicago ought to try to be like, Trump only gets a 44 percent approval rating.

IN FACT, ONLY 12 of the 50 states give Trump a 50 percent-or-more approval. The only one of those anywhere near to us is Kentucky (51 percent) – which borders up against the southern end of Illinois, but is a land where the locals like to point out that they’re closer physically and in spirit to places like Jackson, Miss., than to Chicago.

Pence presence not enough to make Hoosiers like Trump
I’m sure on some level, these figures will bother Trump – although I’m sure he’ll come up with some nonsense rhetoric intended to make it appear as though the American people adore him.

Will it rival Sally Field’s Oscar acceptance of 1985. “You like me, you really like me.” Which sounded cutesy and adorable coming from the “Places in the Heart” actress, but would most likely sound insipid coming from Melania’s husband.

As for Illinois, the notion of a 62 percent disapproval rating sounds right, although I’m sure rural parts of central Illinois won’t want to believe it.

Did we really like her?
THEY’RE THE PARTS of Illinois that Gov. Bruce Rauner is relying upon if he’s to have any chance of winning a second term in his office. But for the statewide disapproval to be that high probably means a Chicago disapproval is in the 80s (percentile).

That’s just a guess on my part. But it would appear accurate, particularly since Trump used his first year in office to make more than his share of barbs against our home city. This would be payback.

We wouldn’t have any love lost for a foul-mouthed man who besmirched our otherwise elegant urban skyline with that self-promoting, not-quite-1,400-foot-tall structure that has the feel of a bully trying to overpower its surroundings.
Will we someday sing similar praises to Obama?

I know there are those who will try to claim Chicago is some sort of aberration not only in the nation but particularly with the Midwest.

BUT THEN YOU look at the Gallup findings and show that the man known as Trump isn’t really that beloved anyplace. In Iowa (52 percent disapproval), Michigan or Wisconsin (both 55 percent disapproval) or Minnesota (58 percent disapproval).

The blowhard’s rhetoric has worn thin, and we’re possibly stuck with three more years of his administration.

It almost seems as though a new generation will be singing the question, “Where have you gone, Barack Obama?” just as Simon and Garfunkel once lyrically pondered the same of Joe DiMaggio. That fact, I’m sure, would be the biggest blow to the Trump ego and the sensibilities of those who voted for him.
Is this really our nation's only hope?
As for the rest of us? We can wonder about the future (a la the sensibilities of Matt Groening); one in which a "President Lisa Simpson" bails us out, with the help of her ne'er-do-well brother, Bart.


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