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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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