Trump, The Media And The Public
Published 2019 · Political Science
While the previous two chapters provided evidence for the proposition that Trump’s presidency is ordinary, this and the next two chapters turn to explaining why it is ordinary. Chapter 5 focuses on the president’s flawed communications and base strategies. Trump cultivates the idea that the American public love him and that he has an extraordinary appeal among voters. He concentrates enormous time and effort on communication, deploying techniques he learnt in business and television to command media attention and bring across core messages of personal leadership and his ongoing conflict with the establishment. Nearly all of Trump’s communication efforts are concentrated on keeping his electoral base on side in the belief that he can utilize their support to leverage policy wins in Washington. Trump has certainly been successful in winning media attention, but much of the coverage has been profoundly negative. He has had notable success in maintaining the enthusiasm of his core supporters, but the outcomes for his presidency have been less than impressive. The problem is that his base constitutes a minority of American voters. In shoring up his base, Trump has driven away moderates and been unable to extend a hand to Democrats. He has been unable to construct a broad-based coalition in support of his radical agenda. In going public with a divisive base-focused communications strategy, Trump has sabotaged his attempts to pass his own agenda through Congress.