Wishful thinking by David Ignatius at WaPo:
You could say many things to describe a week in which President Donald Trump got in a snit about buying Greenland, called the Federal Reserve chairman an “enemy,” reversed his position repeatedly on China and rebuffed European allies by saying he’s ready to invite Russia to a global summit at one of his Florida golf resorts.
But “exhausting” would be the word at the top of my list after Trump’s whirling-dervish performance. Yes, I’m shocked, confused, sometimes indignant about his erratic policy statements. But there’s a deeper feeling that others may share: I’m tired of Trump’s antics. They take up too much emotional space.
Every day, there’s a new narcissistic boast, a new lie to correct, a new violation of what people used to call presidential “decorum.”
Trump seems to love each manic minute. He craves the chance to command the public spotlight. He has two main foils in his daily extravaganza: the news media (“Fake News!”) and liberal Democrats (especially ones of color) whom he baits every chance he gets. It’s a stand-up comedy of insults, more than a presidency.
But every performer knows the cruel truth: The public eventually gets bored with even the most novel act. It takes ever-greater energy to produce the same shock value. A veteran like Trump surely understands the Hollywood reality that today’s star becomes tomorrow’s has-been. With cruel speed, the cycle goes from “You gotta get me Donald!” to “Who’s Donald?” That’s not a political judgment; it’s just show biz.
Data give a hint of this Trump fatigue. His popularity remains low, with just a 41.5% average approval rating, according to the website FiveThirtyEight, and it hasn’t budged much for the last year. Trump’s tweets get less than half as many interactions (retweets plus likes) as they did in early 2017, according to an analysis by the analytical firm CrowdTangle, cited in May by Axios.
And Trump’s Twitter impact is less than the public furor (and his 63.6 million official followers) suggests. A recent Gallup poll found that only 8% of U.S. adults who have a Twitter account say they follow Trump’s account and only 4% say they regularly read it.
Trump is catnip for political junkies, but even here the appeal may be fading. According to an analysis of roughly 3,000 websites by the analytics firm Parse.ly, the demand for political stories about Trump (measured by average views per post about him) declined 37.8% in the first six months of 2019 from its level in the six months after his inauguration, said Kelsey Arendt, a senior data analyst with Parse.ly.
Trump fatigue is a subset of a deeper public disaffection with politics itself, and news about it. Everybody’s always squawking in the age of Trump, and pollsters find that the public increasingly is tuning out.
Hmmmm. Why did the demand for political stories about Trump drop off in the first six months of this year? Could it have something to do with the Mueller Report? Did millions of Democrats lose interest in Trump news when they discovered that they were lied to for two years?
I don’t know of any Trump supporters who are tired of winning, do you? Trump is still packing them in at his rallies. Democrats, meanwhile, struggle to give the appearance that their supporters are enthusiastic. But nobody is enthusiastic about losing.
It is pretty clear that “Trump fatigue” is a Democrat disease. And the cure is simple: Get yourself a red hat with the words “Make America Great Again” stitched on the front of it. Put on the hat, quit hating America, and start enjoying all the winning.