The latest polling show Donald Trump's approval rating is at literally historic lows:
Barring a sudden turnaround this week, Trump will conclude his first six months in office as the most unpopular president, at that point in his first term, since modern polling began.
Trump’s approval rating as of last Thursday, 175 days into his presidency, was 39 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight Trump approval tracker. Combined with a disapproval rating of 55 percent, Trump’s net approval rating (approval minus disapproval) was -16 percentage points.
But not among Republicans. There, Trump enjoys a stunning 87% favorability with 56% having a very favorable opinion and 31% having a somewhat favorable opinion.
How is this possible? Trump has broken more campaign promises in a shorter amount of time than any president in our lifetimes. His foreign policy is a mess, his economic policies are nonexistent, his administration has been floundering from the first day under dozens of self-inflicted scandals and gaffes, and this is the opinion of conservatives. Any liberal will give you a much less rosy picture of Trump's first six months.
The answer is not hard to understand even as the Chuck Todds and Chris Cillizzas wring their hands in confusion: Trump is doing the only two things that America's right wing cares about anymore. He's making liberals angry and he's destroying the country.
The angering liberals part is easy to grasp. Conservatives have embraced trolling as a political ideology. When Obama became president, it so shocked the right that a black man could be elected that they dedicated their lives to destroying his presidency. Mitch McConnell was not kidding when he said his top priority was making Obama a one term president. During the 8 years Obama was in the White House, Republicans and Republican voters found that it's not only easy to bring government to a grinding halt, it's fun.
The rage and hate the right normally hides behind a mask of patriotism and Bible-lovin' was set loose and it felt incredible. Tea Party rallies were excuses to get together and joke about monkeys and ni**ers. Carrying guns around and threatening to shoot liberals was almost sexually arousing. Set free from the constraints of civilized society, the right indulged its darkest impulses and the horrified reaction of liberals goaded them on to ever worse behavior, culminating in the election of the ultimate troll. Donald Trump, a cheap con man that told conservatives he would enrage everyone they hate if only conservatives would turn their backs on everything they've ever held dear in their entire lives.
They leapt at the chance.
It's a little less obvious why conservatives are so thrilled that Trump is burning the country to the ground. After all, the American right wing is the party of super duper uber patriotism. America! Fuck Yeah! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! So why destroy their country?
The short answer is: Because it's not theirs anymore.
The election of Obama showed conservatives that their hegemony was coming to an end. That scared white people to their very core. For all of their insistence that white privilege doesn't exist and that minorities aren't as successful because (insert racist myth of your choosing here), white people intuitively understand that a country where they do not have all the power is one where Those People will start competing on an even playing field. That is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, massive voter suppression was only able to squeeze Trump into office by roughly 75,000 and that was only with the last minute intervention of James Comey. Since that "victory", we've also learned that Trump's "win" required a large (and growing larger by the day) conspiracy to work with the Russians. And the possibility is growing that the voting machines, registration rolls and vote tallies themselves were tampered with. All of this, and the fairly unpopular Hillary Clinton still won the popular vote by three million ballots cast.
In other words, in what was possibly the most rigged presidential election in America history, the right wing was still only able to eke out a marginal and blantantly illegitimate win. And for those paying attention, they know the 2004 election was highly suspect as well while the 2000 election was literally given to the Republicans by the Supreme Court. This is a trend that is not going to be reversed and the writing is on the wall in 600 foot high letters.
The future of America does not belong to white Christian men.
Since the American right wing now has the emotional temperament of a spoiled three year old, they've decided that if they can't have all the toys, they'll take a hammer to everything instead. But let's be clear, this goes beyond tribalism. Trump's support is more than "I support Republicans." Trump is not really a Republican. He's not even really a conservative. If he could raise taxes on the rich (but not himself), he'd do it in a heartbeat. He doesn't care about banning abortion or ending LGBT rights because he has no ideology other than inflicting pain on his enemies. Right now, his enemy is the government and he's doing everything in his power to destroy it. That is what his supporters want.
Conservatives were happy to let the system screw them over as long as it wasn't screwing them as hard as minorities. Sure, they might be treading water in a lake of vomit but at least they weren't drowning in a lake of shit like the black and Latino communities. But now everyone is drowning and it doesn't matter if it's shit or vomit; you're still drowning. If the system is treating them just as badly as Those People, then the system has failed so the system must be destroyed.
At the same time, the right cannot tolerate a future, even a brighter one, in which they have to share that future with Those People. The possibility of being rescued from drowning but not being automatically made captain of the boat that saved them is infuriating. Better to drown and drag everyone down with you.
It's irrational. It's cruel. It's stupid. But that is the modern American right wing: a collection of hyper-racist nihilists tying lead weights to their feet and handcuffing themselves to the rest of us in a desperate attempt at murder-suicide.