Every time a Fox News poll has showed relatively good news for Trump over the last few years, he tweets out a link and rails about all those other fake polls. But the last couple Fox News polls on the public’s views of his possible impeachment have not been good, so of course they’re suddenly fake as well and part of a plot against him.
“Now the do-nothing Democrat con artists and scammers are getting desperate,” Trump said in Minneapolis. “Thirteen months, they got to move fast because they’re not beating us at the polls and they know it despite the phony, despite the phony polls that you see all the time. They have phony polls, you know, polls are no different. Remember, I always used to talk about polls. I know polls very well. Polls are no different from crooked writers. They’re crooked polls, crooked polls — no different.”
Trump did use to talk about polls a lot — back when they showed him winning the Republican primary by a wide margin…
In recent days, Trump’s frustration about polling has been focused not on his approval rating or his chances in 2020 but on impeachment. When Fox News’s pollsters last week announced that 51 percent of respondents believed Trump should be both impeached and removed from office, Trump turned against his favorite cable news network.
“From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good Fox News Poll,” he tweeted on the day the poll came out. “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2016
Philip Bump of the Washington Post nails the pattern perfectly:
Again, all of this is very much in keeping with Trump’s strategy from day one. Anything negative is contrived, fake and emanating from an untrustworthy source, even if that source has been celebrated as reliable by Trump in the past, and even if the information provided is ultimately proved to be accurate. Trump lives in a very narrow window of time, a bell curve of existence in which yesterday and tomorrow quickly vanish from view in favor of the now. As long as he keeps his supporters living in that same moment, the immediate worldview he offers them is sustainable. It’s an existence that relies on the assumption that everyone is biased and fickle, which is in itself probably revealing.
This is why I often refer to him as Humpty Trumpty. Humpty Dumpty wasn’t just a character in a nursery rhyme, he is also a character in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, in which he declares that words mean whatever he wants them to mean, neither more nor less. That is how Trump approaches the world — reality is whatever he wants it to be at any given time, even if he said it was the exact opposite five minutes ago and will be different yet again five minutes from now. That so many people fall for this is rather disturbing.