In spite of what Donald Trump says in public, or thinks in his egotistical twisted mind, there is not much the majority of Americans like about him, his administration, his policies, or his kids. It is about the only good news about the state of the American people’s sensibilities these days and validating for those who cannot comport a vicious and corrupt swindler living in the White House.
For some politicians, and American citizens, opinion or popularity surveys are important. And yet despite how many polls are conducted in any given time period, all of the attention over the past year has been focused on Trump; likely because he is as unpopular as he is incompetent and corrupt. However, most opinion polls ask respondents to weigh in on more than just one policy or politician with little to no reporting on anything other than the Trump.
In one of those polls, the most recent one conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal (NBC/WSJ), it was revealed that no matter how much Americans detest Donald Trump, and they do despise the con man, they dislike his vice-president Mike Pence even more. As Oliver Willis put it, in the Trump Administration, “misery loves company.” And according to the poll’s results, one can only imagine that the Trump administration is feeling incredibly miserable at the approval rating numbers for the two men at the head of the Executive Branch of government.
As far as American politicians are regarded by the people, Mike Pence ranks near the top of the list as one of “the least popular politicians in the United States.” In that NBC poll, only a miserable 38 percent of the respondents had a favorable opinion of Mike Pence. The number for Trump’s approval in that poll is a pathetic 39 percent. Obviously, no matter the level of lies, deliberately misleading statements, saber-rattling, or so-called achievements the Trump administration boasts about the majority of the people are not fooled whatsoever.
Within that poll was an approval number that almost certainly irritated the religious extremism right out of Mike Pence more than anything he could possibly imagine; the organization he exists to eliminate, Planned Parenthood, is significantly more popular than either Pence or Trump. Planned Parenthood received a 50 percent approval rating compared to Trump’s 39 and Pence’s 38 percent. As an aside, Planned Parenthood was number two on the popularity list behind the most popular politician in America, Barack Hussein Obama.
Whether or not there is a corollary between Pence’s “horrifying record of trying to undermine women’s health care” and his unpopularity is unclear, but there is no question that the women’s healthcare group is, and has been, more popular than either Pence or his religious acolytes are wont to claim. There is no question, however, that Pence has been one of the leading voices against the women’s healthcare advocate and provider; so it is entirely possible that at least one of the reasons Pence is less popular than Trump is his anti-women’s rights stance. A stance, by the way, that is driven solely by his extremist evangelical fundamentalism; not his particularly nasty brand of conservatism.
It was news to this author that before he was Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence “was the first Republican in Congress” to promote anti-women’s legislation defunding Planned Parenthood on religious grounds. While he was governor of Indiana, he championed, and signed, myriad pieces of legislation to deny women the right to access perfectly legal abortion services. Some of the legislation, however, was even too extreme for “his fellow Indiana Republicans” that they were not shy about registering their opposition.
Today, possibly as a result of the Trump-Pence election victory in November, millions of Americans have registered as staunch supporters of Planned Parenthood and a women’s right to choose. Many supporters who oppose abortion still support Planned Parenthood based on “its mission to aid vulnerable communities (poor women)” who need services like family planning, cancer screening and education on the best form of birth control. What this most recent poll revealed, is that while preacher Pence sinks to the “lower tier of respect for public officials” right behind anti-women’s rights cretin Trump, Planned Parenthood’s popularity and respect among the population is still strong and growing.
It may be the case that some of the poll’s respondents are aware that Pence made a big deal about breaking a tie in the Senate to eliminate Title X protections President implemented just last September. President Obama’s executive order prohibited Republican-dominated theocratic legislatures from using their bastardized religion to withhold funding allotted for women’s healthcare; including Planned Parenthood clinics. The vote to eliminate that simple and constitutional protection was, as many in America understood, a direct evangelical attack on Planned Parenthood and an effort to eradicate its ability to serve its patients whether male or female.
The Senate vote, and Pence’s rush to break a tie, came after Pence was the featured religious extremist at the annual evangelical March for Life. That vote came after Pence had told the “March for Life” rally attendees and Catholic-inspired anti-women’s rights activists that, “This administration will work with the Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers.” It is worth noting, for the ten-thousandth time that no taxpayer funding can go for abortions. But that is a fact religious Republicans will never accept as the truth because their intent is controlling women and relegating them to nothing more than birth machines or they would cease attacking birth control access and abortion services.
It is highly unlikely this latest poll’s revelation that Planned Parenthood is significantly more popular than either Pence or Trump will have an impact on religious Republicans. It is true that a sane politician would heed the message from voters that there is substantially stronger support for women’s rights, and their healthcare autonomy, than the highly unpopular Trump and even more unpopular Pence, but these religious extremists are not sane. They are patriarchal Republicans driven by religious extremism, like members of ISIS, and will continue ignoring the will of the people no matter how unpopular they or their theocratic policies are. And, they are in power for at least the next three-and-a-half years regardless if Trump remains in the White House or he is replaced by the even more unpopular Mike Pence.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.