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?

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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