Syrian Gas Attack Bump’s Trump’s Approval Ratings
Elsewhere, I have been saying that Trump’s low approval numbers are temporary. Americans hate inaction. All Trump has to do is a few dramatic actions to pump up his numbers. In one week, we attacked a foreign country, without Congressional approval; and Congress threw out the rule that protects the Republic from the majority from having absolute power (which, you know, corrupts, absolutely).
That should be enough to please a majority of Americans. Polls are already beginning to show it, according to The Blaze.
According to a recent CBS News survey, 57 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s action. . .Following the strikes late last week, Trump’s overall approval rating bumped to 43 percent.
Prior to the attack, Trump’s approval rating had been in the 30s. However, the Washington Examiner notes that 70 percent, in the same poll, want Trump to get Congressional approval before taking any other action against Syria.
And the above Blaze article notes that only 18 percent want to see American ground troops in Syria.
FiveThirtyEight reports that more than three-fourths of senators approve of Trump’s attack (despite the fact that it’s really-and-only their job to authorize such).
Seventy-nine senators. . . have said that they support President Trump’s decision to strike an air base in Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, one, lone senator is standing up for the Constitution, according to Breitbart.
You see, too many of my colleagues have forgotten what it means to be an “Originalist” on the matter of going to war.
Our Founding Fathers found this to be one of the most important discussions at the time, and they were quite concerned about giving the power to declare war to the President. They were concerned an executive with that kind of power could choose to rule like a King.
Before sending our young men and women into battle, we should have a thoughtful and honest discussion about the ramifications, authorization, and motivations for war.
That could be done if we were all Originalists; not just for the court, but for our legislative duties as well.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution grants the Congress AND CONGRESS ALONE the power to declare war. The President is given the power to direct the military only after the Congressional declaration has been passed. . .[Emphasis added]
This is dangerous. As Madison wrote, the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates, that the executive is the branch most interested in war and most prone to it. The Constitution therefore, with studied care, vested that power in the legislature.
One-time-presidential-candidate Pat Buchanan is also against presidential caprice, when it comes to war; but for him, it’s more a matter of outcome, not crying over dead babies, or standing up for the Constitution; according to Breitbart.
Buchanan noted the biggest cheerleaders of Trump’s action were Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), which he deemed to be “the war party.”. . . “If Donald Trump the president takes us into Syria’s civil war and he’s already made the first strike — it will consume his presidency. . .
“So I think the war party is going to be frustrated because I cannot believe that Donald Trump on second thought is going to plunge us into Syria, which he told us again and again and again would be an act of folly.”
Buchanan was speaking on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Also on the radio, Michael Savage agrees that action is Syria would be folly, also according to Breitbart.
Savage asked Thursday, “who got to you, Mr. President? Who is whispering in your ear and could have made you make this dramatic of a change towards Russia in just three days?” On Friday he condemned the strikes, saying “we just helped ISIS.”. . .
“Do you want war with Russia, all of you idiots, all of you fools who are pounding the war drums?” Savage compared President Trump to President Woodrow Wilson, noting that Thursday was the 100-year anniversary of Wilson asking for a declaration of war on Germany. According to Savage, “Like Trump, Woodrow Wilson ran on an ‘America first’ platform. He was elected largely because he kept us out of the war in Europe. But someone got to him, too.”. . .
Savage rebuked President Trump on Friday, sarcastically calling the strike a “military tweet.” He later expanded that thought, saying it was “a limp-wristed attack in order to gain the attention of the fools in the media and the fools amongst the so-called republican voters who think this was a real great military action.”
FiveThirtyEight thinks the public is fickle, noting that Americans were not in favor of involvement in Syria just a few years ago.
The early polling about Trump’s decision to strike suggests there’s broad support for it, but Syrian intervention on humanitarian grounds hasn’t been popular in the past. In the fall of 2013, when President Obama sought congressional approval for military action against Bashar al-Assad’s government after it used chemical weapons on civilians only 36 percent of Americans favored the U.S. taking military action to reduce Syria’s chemical weapons use. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed opposed military action on these grounds. (Obama’s effort failed.)
What FiveThirtyEight is failing to realize is that Americans do NOT want war. Even in World War II, which could hardly have been a more clear battle of good versus evil, Franklin Roosevelt had to play games to support the allies, and some say that we purposely allowed Japan to attack Pearl Harbor, to give us a pretext for joining the battle.
“Remember the Maine,” and the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” were two other examples of needing an excuse to wage war. More recently, polls showed that we did not want George Bush to invade Iraq in 2003. An overwhelming majority (more than 2/3 of us) instead wanted to allow the UN inspectors to assure us that there were no “weapons of mass destruction” there.
YET, once Bush sent in the troops, everything changed—including renaming “French fries” to “Freedom fries” in the Congressional cafeteria, since France was not fully on board with the Iraq War.
That is a lesson that presidents quickly learn. If you want your ratings to rise, attack a foreign country—anywhere, for any reason—as long as you don’t get us stuck there for years. Remember Grenada.
But don’t ask permission. Just Do It. Americans love decisive, even reckless, behavior from our presidents. And that’s why Trump’s numbers will rise from here on.
Filed in: Foreign Policy Tagged in: action approval rating foreign policy gas attack polls president trump syria