There are other economic trends that are cause for concern. The most obvious one is debt. And as my colleague Jeff Spross pointed out last month, corporate debt may be a ticking time bomb. It's already at a record high and the portion of it that's considered high risk is larger today than it was even before the financial crisis. Consumer debt has also returned to historic levels and is set to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2018.
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Perhaps, Trump believes, America was great during the World War I era. In the early 20th century, women died from childbirth in huge numbers. Children, too, perished at astounding rates. Married women typically couldn't open their own bank accounts or have independent access to their money. Birth control — even talking about the benefits of birth control — was largely illegal. Jim Crow laws were in full effect, with the Supreme Court holding a few years earlier that keeping the races "separate but equal" was just fine and dandy (although of course in reality, separate meant vastly unequal). The Ku Klux Klan continued to gain in popularity. For years, Congress wasn't even able to outlaw lynching: Southern Democrats, then the party that represented conservatives whites in the South, repeatedly defeated anti-lynching bills.
Starting in the 1990s, Trump was a guest about 24 times on the nationally syndicated Howard Stern Show on talk radio. Trump also had his own short-form talk radio program called Trumped! (one to two minutes on weekdays) from 2004 to 2008. In 2011, Trump was given a weekly unpaid guest commentator spot on Fox & Friends that continued until he started his Presidential candidacy in 2015.
We searched Federal Election Commission records on spending by three Trump-related political committees since 2017 and found no evidence of flags, banners, or other campaign merchandise being ordered from entities based in China. If such orders had been placed, it is possible that they may have been recorded as disbursements to third parties or subcontractors, but we found no evidence that this had taken place.
In 2013, Trump was a featured CPAC speaker. In a sparsely-attended speech, he railed against illegal immigration while seeming to encourage immigration from Europe, bemoaned Obama's "unprecedented media protection", advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and suggested that the government "take" Iraq's oil and use the proceeds to pay a million dollars each to families of dead soldiers. He spent over $1 million that year to research a possible 2016 candidacy.
Trump has even gone after Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, who makes porn movies under the name Stormy Daniels and says she was paid off to remain silent about a sexual encounter with Trump. Avenatti says he is exploring a 2020 Democratic bid generally viewed as a huge long shot. After Avenatti announced last week that he is representing a woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Trump banded him a “third-rate lawyer” and “total lowlife.”
Jennifer Rubin, who the Washington Post fraudulently claims is a conservative, has become the most predictable mouthpiece for the insanity that has affected a certain brand of Republican. They view Trump as anathema to their values, so they have abandoned their values. Rubin was once favored moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. She now opposes it because of Trump. She once supported withdrawal from the Paris Accord, but now opposes it because of Trump.
Kamala Harris, a freshman California senator, has become a liberal rock star with her tough questioning of Jeff Sessions and other Trump administration officials during Senate hearings. It’s her record as California attorney general, her previous job, that could trip her up: She declined to prosecute OneWest, the bank once headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for alleged foreclosure violations. Still, Ms. Harris seems the most promising of this group — not least because she has less of a voting record her opponents can use against her.
Donald Trump took the campaign slogan to social media (primarily Twitter), using the hashtags #makeamericagreatagain and its abbreviation #maga. In response to criticism regarding his frequent and untraditional usage of social media, Trump defended himself by tweeting "My use of social media is not Presidential - it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!" on July 1, 2017. This comment justified his usage of social media as main method of communicating to his base.
The relationship between Trump, the media, and fake news has been studied. One study found that between October 7 and November 14, 2016, while one in four Americans visited a fake news website, "Trump supporters visited the most fake news websites, which were overwhelmingly pro-Trump" and "almost 6 in 10 visits to fake news websites came from the 10 percent of people with the most conservative online information diets". Brendan Nyhan, one of the authors of the study by researchers from Princeton University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Exeter, stated in an interview on NBC News: "People got vastly more misinformation from Donald Trump than they did from fake news websites".
That note of defensiveness first crept into the American political lexicon with the unlikeliest of politicians: Ronald Reagan, the man who seemed like the least defensive, most genial guy on the planet. On this subject at least, think of him as Trumpian before the advent of The Donald, or at least as the man who (thanks to his ad writers) invented the political use of the word “again.” It was, after all, employed in 1984 in the seminal ad of his political run for a second term in office. While that bucolic-looking TV commercial was entitled “Prouder, Stronger, Better,” its first line ever so memorably went, “It’s morning again in America.” (“Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?”)
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Bannon was also pleased that his group had Trump’s ear. A rivalry had developed between Trump’s outside advisers and the White House political shop, and Bannon’s group was winning. “The war room should be done by the White House, but there’s no one there competent enough or hardworking enough to do it,” he told me. “You got the ‘hardcores’ on the outside who understand Trump’s message, understand Trump, understand the base and what got him here and what takes him to the next level.” In June, Trump ignored the advice of Stepien and DeStefano and gleefully plunged into G.O.P. primaries. Trump even tweeted that he was defying their counsel. “My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary, thinking that Sanford would easily win,” he wrote on June 13. “Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot.” In late June, according to a source, Trump flew to South Carolina against Stepien and DeStefano’s wishes to campaign for South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, who was fending off a tough primary challenge. McMaster won.
Presidential approval ratings have shown Trump to be the least popular President in the history of modern opinion polling as of the start of his second year in office. Early polls have shown Trump trailing by a margin of 10–18 percent against several hypothetical Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand. International observers point out that Presidential job approval is highly partisan: "The Republican Party is Donald Trump's party. ... [Recent] polling - which shows the president with near record levels of backing from Republican voters - confirms the fact."  Gallup polling data shows that job approval for Donald Trump is 80 to 90 percent among Republicans versus only 5 to 10 percent among Democrats. The reverse was the case for Barack Obama