Last month, a Fox News poll showed that 42% of Americans believe Donald Trump to be among the worst Presidents in our nation’s history, a number unmatched by any outgoing President in the history of modern polling.
While shockingly absurd on its face, the poll should serve as a reminder of just how successful the Left has been at vilifying their arch nemesis, using a litany of tools to mislead and misinform.
Those who view President Trump as among the worst Presidents in America’s history fall into two camps: the virtue signalers and the uninformed.
First, the virtue signalers. These individuals care not for historical accuracy or logic, but are instead consumed by the desire to prove to those around them just how committed they are to denouncing Trump given any opportunity. Deep down, they know President Trump is not actually the worst ever, but they crave the pat on the back and rush of “wokedrenaline” (yes, I made that word up) they get upon bashing the big bad orange man.
If you’re wondering which of your peers is in this camp, just think of the house in your neighborhood proudly displaying their “Hate Has No Home Here” yard sign. Rest assured, they’re in this group.
Second are the uninformed, who actually believe Trump to be among the worst Presidents ever. If you meet someone who tells you such a thing, they’re essentially demonstrating either their ignorance of American history or their susceptibility to the legacy media’s propaganda.
It’s easy to see how an angry Democrat voter could fall prey to recency bias when it comes to their opinion of Trump from a historical context, but even a quick dive into the tenures of past Presidents would provide enough context to dispel the notion that Trump even comes close to the worst ever.
Surely, even a passing knowledge of James Buchanan’s ineptitude ahead of the Civil War, Warren G. Harding’s corruption and negligence, or Andrew Johnson’s brutal fumbling of reconstruction could have prevented such historically illiterate opinions?
While one can be forgiven for lacking a deep knowledge of our nation’s presidential history, it’s harder to forgive those who seem ignorant to recent history as well.
Those Presidents thrown into the “worst ever” discussion usually didn’t preside over an economy that saw historically low unemployment and record breaking stock market figures. They typically start wars with no clear objective, as opposed to bringing troops home and avoiding armed conflict abroad. The “worst” Presidents leave the world in a destabilized state, as opposed to fostering peace deals between nations once considered mortal enemies.
But it’s not just historical ignorance that drove 42% of Americans to hold such an inaccurate view of their President. The legacy media have played an undeniable and intentional role in convincing the population that they have it worse under President Trump than any man before him.
After failing to prevent Trump from taking office — despite their best efforts — the media resorted to describing Trump’s presidency in language usually reserved for foreign dictators.
It turns out, when you tell people every day for four years that their President is a fascist, intent on undermining our most sacred societal and governmental institutions, they listen. And the impact is already being felt.
A person who’s convinced their President is worse than anything or anyone our country has ever experienced will go to great lengths, supporting otherwise extreme candidates and ideas, if it means removing that President from office or erasing his legacy.
The more extreme the vitriol for Trump becomes, the more extreme the response from the Left will be.
If ignorance continues to be rewarded and disinformation allowed to flourish, Americans will continue to embrace extreme responses. One day soon, we might end up with a leader who actually should be considered among the worst ever. And, of course, we might already be there.
Cabot Phillips is Managing Editor of The Daily Wire’s Readers Pass. Follow him on Twitter at @cabot_phillips
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.