Donald Trump has the most stable approval rating of any president since Harry Truman

Ronald Aronson in the Boston Review:

“I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.” In an interview given on New Year’s Day this year, Jerry Falwell, Jr.—the son of the reverend, and now president of the evangelical school he founded, Liberty University—crystallized better than anyone the unswerving allegiance of Donald Trump’s core supporters. “I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically ‘conservative,’ but it’s going to be what’s best for this country,” Falwell said, in a striking display of cultish loyalty and departure from principled conservatism. For three years now many of us have been shaking our heads at the bizarre fact that Pat Robertson’s and Rev. Falwell’s Moral Majority of the 1980s has found its secular champion in a reality television star and accused sexual abuser.

As we gear up for the 2020 election, the challenge to our understanding is no longer the unexpected turnout for Trump in 2016, but the remarkable persistence, force, and stability of Trumpism—the “anything he does” logic at work in Falwell’s remarks, which grants him carte blanche. The phenomenon has clarified itself: its base is stable, and its people have become the activist core of the Republican Party. Trump wins support not despite his transgressions but because of them. He is cheered as he flouts the Constitution, ignores longstanding customs and expectations, and violates political norms, morality, even good manners. Whatever critics find most troubling about Trump only further endears him to his supporters.

More here.