What’s to Blame for Trump’s Lagging Poll Numbers?

It’s aliens. I always knew it must be aliens. And here is a report on the Pentagon’s task force on “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Doubtless there will be many revelations. I am looking forward to an explanation of one of the great mysteries of life on earth circa 2020. The mystery, I mean, of how it can possibly be the case that poor old slow Joe Biden’s poll numbers are still exhibiting more of a pulse than he is. How is it possible? 

Furthermore, how is it possible that his campaign was not consumed by contemptuous laughter directly after it was announced that Kamala Harris, the nastiest woman in U.S. politics today, would be his running mate? Harris’s presidential bid went nowhere. It just collapsed before it even really got started. 

No surprise there. In addition to being seriously unpleasant—just take a look at her disgraceful performance during the Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh—she has signed up for the whole cringe-inducing wackadoodle far-Left agenda, promising to ban fracking, embrace wind power, take your guns, raise your taxes, and destroy the borders of the country (she memorably compared our brave border police to members of the Ku Klux Klan). 

It is said that Biden—that is, the minders who look after poor old slow Joe—picked her because she is swarthy (half dot-Indian, half Jamaican) and, as they say these days, has a cervix. 

Fake Boldness Meets the Real Deal 

Speaking for myself, I think the Biden nannies should have struck out more boldly. The Left has been telling us for years that attributes like race and sex are mere “social constructs.” And they lately have been joined by a woke confraternity insisting that every second Joe is a Jill. Why didn’t they reach out to someone like Rachel (né Richard) Levine, head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health? 

The Left squeals like a stuck pig about the “misgendering” of this unfortunate creature, but there seems to be no outrage—none—about Kevin Clinesmith’s blatant misgendering of the feminine French noun résistance. Yes, that’s right: the FBI lawyer who is pleading guilty to doctoring an email to help along the deep state effort to destroy Donald Trump (in this case, by altering evidence to make it more likely that a judge would grant FISA warrants against Carter Page) also texted colleagues “Vive le résistance” after the impossible happened and Donald Trump was elected. 

Outrageous. An accident? I don’t think so. I think it is aliens. 

Really, it would explain a lot of things. Notwithstanding the shutdown of the economy in the wildest overreaction to a seasonal pandemic on record, President Trump keeps notching up victories. The unemployment numbers are coming back down, the stock market is going back up, and while a dozen or more cities run by Democrats are engulfed in vicious anarchy, President Trump’s Justice Department is beginning to make inroads on that front as well. Whether hellholes like New York, Chicago, and Portland will ever again be flourishing or even safe absent enlightened leadership à la Rudy Giuliani is a nice question. The answer is probably not. 

Meanwhile, President Trump just chugs along doing his job and winning. Just a couple of days ago, he announced that he had helped broker a deal whereby Israel and the United Arab Emirates would put aside their enmity and give full recognition to each other. As Middle East expert Walid Phares noted, it would be difficult to overstate the importance of this development. President Trump did not try to: 

HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!

Naturally, Joe Biden claimed that it was the product of many administrations, including the Obama-Biden Administration, but no sane person believes that, only Democrats. What the Obama-Biden Administration did was shovel some $150 billion to Iran for a “deal” in support of that tyrannical theocratic regime which in turn sponsored the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. 

And forget about the claim that this breakthrough was merely a partisan political gesture aimed at improving President Trump’s optics during the election campaign. As Phares also noted, Trump had been laying the groundwork for this agreement since before his presidency. 

Peace President Meets Aliens? 

The new comity between important U.S. allies will have a profound and salubrious effect on the entire Middle East, putting new pressure on the Palestinians and other enemies of Israel to soften their rhetoric, and their actions, against Israel. Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for being a mixed-race darling of the progressive Left. Donald Trump has done more for world peace than any president since (at least) Reagan. What do you suppose the chances of his receiving this honor are? 

Yet another accomplishment that in any sane world would increase President Trump’s chances of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize came on Friday with the announcement that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had just signed an agreement to send more U.S. troops to Poland and otherwise enhance relations between the two countries. 

Again the contrast between the Trump Administration and the Obama-Biden Administration is telling. As Rebeccah Heinrichs tweeted, “Obama/Biden yanked plans for missile defense from Poland on 70th anniversary of Soviet invasion. Today Trump admin inks major defense agrmt with Poland on 100th anniversary of Poles stopping Soviet invasion, saving Europe from communism.”

So why isn’t President Trump way ahead in the polls? There are several possibilities, none of which excludes the others. For one thing, the mainstream media is deep in the tank for Joe Biden (at least, they are deep in the tank to defeat Donald Trump). Their monolithic, unremitting anti-Trump barrage cannot but taint public opinion, or at least what many people are willing to say publicly about their opinion. 

Another possibility is crooked and/or incompetent pollsters. We have plenty of those, and as Sir Humphrey Appleby demonstrated to the prime minister’s private secretary Bernard Woolley, polls are easily manipulated. 

Those are two possibilities. It might be one. It might be the other. It might be both. I suspect, however, that the real culprit might be aliens. 

About Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine's Press), The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art's Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee).

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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