Donnie, They Hardly Knew Ye
Yesterday’s Gallup and Rasmussen polls showed President Donald Trump’s job approval sinking to new lows: Gallup had a 57% disapproval (up 21% since January) and Rasmussen (generally a favorable poll for Trump) had his disapproval at 54% (up 10% since January). A number of factors have contributed to this steady decline in the new president’s popularity, of course: the Russia investigation, the failure of the “repeal and replace” charade, no wall being built, no legislation being passed, etc., etc., etc. But I would contend that his declining status also has to do with the fact that the citizens of the United States are now learning what New Yorkers (meaning residents of New York City/Manhattan) have known for years. In the words of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one." It was no accident that Trump’s vote totals in Manhattan on November 8, 2016 were: Clinton – 579, 013, Trump – 64, 929. That’s 90% of your “hometown” population voting against you!
Back in 2011, Joyce Purnick, a former NY Times reporter and editor, wrote a piece for the NY Daily News entitled “The Donald Trump We Know (and Don’t Love).” She began by saying. "To native New Yorkers, he is more like a burr under the skin that has been irritating us for years,” Having grown up in a nearby neighborhood in Queens, Purnick’s mother told her to stay away from the “snot-nosed kid” (an expression my own mother used to describe several of my more unseemly classmates). She noted, “By the time he was a teenager, Trump, now 64 ( in 2011), was already known as a troublemaker who raced through our quiet streets in his flashy car.” It was clear to the New Yorkers who knew Trump; he was not a “model citizen.” Later in her piece Purnick referred to Trump as “a skilled demagogue” and said: “Thin-skinned, Trump has repeatedly demonstrated he has no tolerance for standard journalistic questioning, and has the unfortunate (for him) habit of reducing serious issues to cartoons.” So, you see, those us who have resided in New York City had reasons for not voting for Donald J. Trump. But America is now waking up to him day after day and discovering what we have all these years.
Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users, based in Mountain View, California. In December of 2016, Jeff Menegas (“a Lifetime New Yorker”) answered the Quora question: “What do New Yorkers Think of Donald Trump?” Mr. Menegas answered this way:
Many New Yorkers are saying that they cannot speak for all New Yorkers, and yet they are pretty much in agreement, that he is loathed by the people in his home city. Why? Because we have seen who he is and we know what he is capable of.
People in the center of the country saw things like “Trump Shuttle” and thought of a businessman successful enough to have an airline named for him. We saw the aging 727s as a ploy to try to make people overpay for a 45-minute flight. The airline never turned a profit, and was out of business within three years.
People in the Midwest saw his name on casinos in Atlantic City, and were impressed, but we saw someone who kept putting his name on building after building and not paying for the construction or the furnishings. If you think that did not damage the local economy, ask some of the businesses he contracted with and then dared them to try and collect.
People in the New York area can tell rip-off schemes when we see them, because we have been exposed to them for years.
Trump’s “base” loves his “tough talk” and his “telling it like it is” (whatever that is). They seem to believe they have elected the celebrity they watched on “The Apprentice” --- a no-nonsense, “you’re fired!” poseur. What they are discovering is the man behind the curtain --- a man who said he’d “Repeal and Replace Obamacare on Day One” and then “discovered" that Health Care reform is “complicated.” They are seeing a con man, who promised to “Build a Wall --- and Mexico will pay for it” and then found that the President of Mexico told him: “we find this completely unacceptable for Mexicans to pay for the wall that you are thinking of building” to which our Tough Guy responded: “We cannot say that anymore because if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.” Nonetheless, President Pena Nieto reiterated: “But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.” at which point Mr. Tell-It-Like-It-Is says: “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that . . . when the press brings up the wall, I will say, 'let us see how it is going – let us see how it is working out with Mexico.' Because from an economic issue, it is the least important thing we were talking about, but psychologically, it means something so let us just say 'we will work it out.'" In other words: Mexico IS NOT going to pay for the wall and the President is simply trying to cover his own, ample ass.
Trump, of course, will blame that failure on Jared, or Mitch McConnell, or Pena Nieto, living up to what we New Yorkers have known for years: he is a huckster, a con man, a charlatan --- and not very bright, to boot. If we manage to stay out of war with North Korea, we will continue to see Trump’s support and approval numbers plummet --- as all those who hate New Yorkers discover that, even though we may be loud and abrasive (at times), sometimes we actually know what we’re talking about.