It was barely a month ago that President Donald Trump took the stage for his unhinged, batshit press conference, after which he sent out a totally unbiased “media survey.” Questions included the even-handed “On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing Republicans?” and “Do you believe that the media has been far too quick to spread false stories about our movement?” It was, as we pointed out at the time, merely an opportunity for Trump to stack some numbers in his favor and rally his base following a disastrous press event. It was also, as we reported later, the sort of thing he could monetize no matter what, as mailing lists are worth money even if they’re full of fake addresses.
So, it’s your call whether or not to take his latest survey, which politely asks for the American people’s opinion on his first 50 days in office. It’s a little less inspiring for ne’er-do-wells, though. This time, things have been streamlined—it almost seems like this is a sincere questionnaire, intended for all Americans and not just his base. The direction at the top is, “Please let the President know your opinions on the following policy decisions,” after which an itemized list of phrases details specific actions by the president, each with standardized responses. For example:
And on down through number 24. Actions, followed by approval or disapproval. Simple!
Of course, the president and his administration do not give a shit whether or not you approve, disapprove, have no opinion, or would like to specify some nebulous “other” opinion about his policy decisions. Fifty days into a presidency is a normal time to gauge whether or not the elected party has been able to act on its campaign promises, and this serves as a bulleted list to Trump’s increasingly fragmented Republican supporters to verify that, yes, the Donald is getting shit done in Washington. They are not mired in scandal, inactivity, and incompetence, because—just look at this list!
As it goes on, they’re clearly stretching the definition of “policy decisions” to include things like holding meetings, “strengthening relationships,” and yelling at the press. And survey-takers are notably not called to weigh in on Trump’s inability to fill more than 2,000 government vacancies, his Obamacare replacement that even Breitbart hates, his “decision” to conduct foreign policy in the dining room at Mar-A-Lago, his “decision” to spend almost every weekend at Mar-A-Lago playing golf, or his “decision” to drain the swamp by loading it with lobbyists and far-right conspiracy theorists. Not to mention the whole wiretapping thing that went down when someone let Trump have his phone again.
It’s all in keeping with our new, “more presidential” president, who spends less time doing patently insane shit and more time doing what his handlers tell him in a manner that lightly obfuscates the fact that he is still doing insane shit. Trump reads off the teleprompter now like a good boy; he waits two whole weeks before enacting a racist Muslim ban; he calls it a travel ban instead of a Muslim ban; he gussies up his “survey” as more than just propaganda for his base. He’s still the same old racist, misogynist, kleptocrat shrill—he’s just wearing his Richard Nixon novelty mask more obediently. He gets an F for the first 50 days, no matter how his team bullets them out.