• 72°

Thomas Mills: Democrats should avoid blame game now

By Thomas Mills

This week, Gallup released polls showing President Donald Trump’s approval ratings improving by about five points. By a large margin, people approve of the way he’s handling the crisis.

Trump’s rating bump is fueled mainly by more independents and Democrats rallying to his side.

The response from Democrats was typical. They unleashed ads showing Trump misleading the public and blaming him for the nation being unprepared for the crisis. They’re following the rules of politics: keep his negatives high and positives low. I’m not sure the same rules apply, and I don’t think their timing is right.

People are scared right now. They don’t understand what exactly is happening with this virus and they want answers. They’re turning to the president because they don’t know where else to go. They crave information, but I suspect most of the change is with low-information voters who aren’t going to seek out updates from outlets that do more in-depth reporting. They’re going to get it from the easiest place possible—cable or the evening news. They see Trump flanked experts and, even if they don’t really like him, they want him to succeed.

We’re at the very beginning of the crisis. A lot of hospitals will get overwhelmed in the coming days and weeks. A lot of people will get sick. Many will die. It’s going to take a couple of months, at least, to get through the worst of it and, when we do, we might have to go through it again later.

Instead of attacking Trump, Democrats should be focusing on the leadership of Democratic governors like Andrew Cuomo, of New York; Jay Inslee, of Washington; and N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and offering information that helps Americans understand the pandemic itself. They should better help Americans understand what we’re trying to do by flattening the curve. Give them advice around social distancing and shoot straight with them about timelines.

There will be plenty of time to point fingers and assign blame. The ads that Democrats are running about Trump’s failures now will still be relevant in late summer and early fall. Right now, people don’t care as much about how we got here as they do about what’s going to happen next. Democrats would be wise to help them brace for the coming catastrophe instead of assigning blame for results that haven’t happened yet.

Trump’s approval ratings now are irrelevant to the campaign. They will fall as the seriousness of the crisis sets in. Now, they should be offering solutions, helping people understand the pandemic and reassuring them that we can get through this time.

Thomas Mills is founder of politicsnc.com.

Comments

Local

Latest protests in Salisbury peaceful as many speak out about injustices

Local

Police chief, NAACP president make joint statement

Coronavirus

Number of currently positive cases decreases by two dozen

Local

Protests reignite debate about whether to move ‘Fame’ Confederate statue

Letters

Letter: Every budget decision has deep impact on quality of life

Letters

Letter: Legislature, in fact, approved a budget last year

Columnists

My turn, Kendal Mobley: Those who benefit from white privilege must move beyond words

Sports

Area Sports Briefs: Clemson wants Salisbury’s Walker to play linebacker

Local

East Spencer passes $5 million budget

Local

Granite Quarry rezones leaf and limb property, views proposed budget

China Grove

China Grove adopts 2020-2021 budget

Local

Rowan Court officials plan phased approach to court operations

Crime

Blotter: June 3

Local

Mayor responds to escalating protests with state of emergency, curfew

Local

City of Salisbury declares downtown state of emergency, announces curfew

Crime

Police: Case of mistaken identity caused downtown protest to take unexpected turn

Business

Commissioners to send Gov. Cooper a request to ‘reopen’ local economy

Local

Downtown protests continue for third night

Coronavirus

West End Plaza becomes COVID-19 testing site

Local

City manager: Transit cuts no longer in proposed budget

Columnists

Sharon Randall: Still fighting to ensure freedoms

Crime

Two charged with using counterfeit $100 inside Lowe’s, others sought

Letters

Letter: Fund right of democracy, fully approve elections budget

Local

Graduates parade down streets of southern Rowan County