Trump seems to have brought the American people to a new low.
Seven in 10 Americans say the nation’s political divisions are at least as big as during the Vietnam War, according to a new poll, which also finds nearly 6 in 10 saying Donald Trump’s presidency is making the U.S. political system more dysfunctional.
The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll — conducted nine months into Trump’s tumultuous presidency — reveals a starkly pessimistic view of U.S. politics, widespread distrust of the nation’s political leaders and their ability to compromise, and an erosion of pride in the way democracy works in America.
Trump’s arrival in the White House in January ushered in a period of big political fights — over issues including health care, taxes and immigration — and a sharp escalation in personal attacks on political opponents, over social media and elsewhere.
Seven in 10 Americans say the nation’s politics have reached a dangerous low point, and a majority of those believe the situation is a “new normal” rather than temporary, according to the poll.
The polls finds that 7 in 10 Americans view the Trump administration as dysfunctional. But dissatisfaction extends well beyond the executive branch: Even more Americans, 8 in 10, say Congress is dysfunctional, and there is limited trust in other institutions, including the media.
This is a society ripe for hijacking by some charismatic who isn't a raging buffoon like Trump. A people who lack confidence in their government and their institutions can be easy meat for a would-be saviour, someone who can project a sense of credibility that Trump simply cannot muster.
The good news for Congressional Republicans is that a lot of disgruntled Americans see their country's malaise as the fault of Democrats.