Here I present to you one of the biggest mysteries in American politics: Donald Trump’s steadily rising job approval rating since December 12, 2017:

In the first half of 2018, Trump’s job approval has increased from about 37 percent to 43 percent. But why? My theory has long been that the tax cut is responsible. Sure, it might not be all that popular, but at least it ended a year of chaos with a concrete accomplishment that shows Trump can act presidential when he needs to. But if that’s the case, the warm glow of accomplishment should have faded away as public views of the tax cut have gotten more negative. So what are some other possibilities?

  • The Singapore summit, the Helsinki summit, and the meeting with the queen all seem very presidential.
  • People are increasingly turned off by the Democratic “witch hunt.”
  • The soft bigotry of low expectations: No nuclear wars have started, so that counts in Trump’s favor.
  • People like trade wars with Canada and Europe.
  • A lot of people have been waiting for someone to give NATO a stern talking-to.
  • Separating children at the border is more popular than we think.
  • It’s all meaningless: as the economy improves, so does presidential approval, no matter who the president is.

What else? Those of us who inhabit a liberal cocoon tend to think of the Trump presidency as simply one disaster following another. But obviously the rest of the country doesn’t quite see things that way. So what are they seeing that we don’t?

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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