Will Trump’s Low Approval Ratings Stop the Shutdown?

Trump’s actions are often considered vices instead of virtues. But, there’s also no denying that his supporters admire his traits. His stubbornness is viewed as determination, his denial as pride, and his arrogance as fearlessness. Even his foes can’t help but admit he is more forceful in getting things done than any president in recent history. He simply refuses to admit defeat, arguably to a fault. His heel-digging as the shutdown drags on is a good example of this. One can’t help but wonder if the man even has a breaking point.

But, as he continues to lose support at an accelerated rate thanks to the shutdown backlash, one can’t help but wonder if this is where the we might finally see his limits. The question on our minds is, will Trump react to this loss of support or choose to brush it off? One need only to look back on how he’s handled other shakes to his supportive foundation.The accusations regarding Trump’s Russian-based electoral interference, for example, showed that a surprisingly large majority of his supporters didn’t believe he was being completely honest.[1] Meanwhile Trump continued to deny the claims, Tweeting that it was a “hoax” and a “witch hunt” backed by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Some even wondered if he was even aware of the shift in support at all. Either way, the loss of faith in the commander-in-chief by his supporters did little, if anything, to sway his stance or affect his response.That was different, however. When it comes to Russia, Trump is defending his innocence, something that would be expected to make one fight until the very end. Just look at how Bill Clinton lied until he was out of options during the Lewinsky scandal.[2]The Shutdown is simply an unpopular issue that Trump is only causing because he wants his wall funding. He’s defending his campaign promise that he made to his voters. But, as those voters begin to turn on him, will he decide to be humble and admit defeat, or will he refuse to do so out of pride?It’s no secret that Trump’s pride is intense. Many would say it’s why he ran for president in the first place; after his pride was offended at the infamous White House Correspondence dinner in 2011.[3] So when talking about it being a blocker in any event, it’s not to be taken lightly. This is a real shame too, because if he did take this chance to surrender, he could actually use it to improve his image and gain not only his regular supporters back, but maybe even gain some new ones as well.If done tactfully, Trump could forfeit his battle for the wall, let Congress get the government running again, and make himself look like a saint in the process. He could say it was for all of the workers not getting paid, for all of his fellow republicans who were against the idea, and for his voters who, while in support of the wall, were not happy with using the shutdown to get it, all while blaming democrats like usual. It would be a home run for the president as well as his party. The question then becomes, will he realize this opportunity before it’s too late? Or will his pride drive him into the dirt? Only time will tell.Picture by Gerd Altmann.  

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