We devote a lot of space on the editorial page to criticism of President Donald Trump.
That is because there is a lot of material to work with. For editorial writers, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving.
We also recognize that, with regard to many of our readers, it won’t matter. Whatever criticism we level at the president, it won’t change their opinion of him.
Franklin County is Trump country. The president won Franklin County with almost 70 percent of the vote. While Trump’s national approval ratings are hovering in the mid-30 percent range, the lowest of any president in modern times, our sense is that he still enjoys widespread support here.
That support has been bolstered by a strong economy that continues to roar. The stock market is at an all-time high and is poised to climb even higher. The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent and wages, stagnant for years, are beginning to climb.
The tax-cut bill that the president just signed is likely to fuel an even stronger economy. The economic outlook is as rosy as it has been for a long, long time.
The president can claim credit for this success even if much of the foundation for it started under President Obama. That is the way it works.
And the reality is that for many Americans, a strong economy is all that matters in terms of their support or nonsupport of a president. As James Carvill aptly advised President Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Rightly or wrongly, the most important thing most Americans, including those here in middle Missouri, care about is whether they have a job and their 401(k) is growing. A strong economy enables both of those things.
We will continue to comment on Trump’s many missteps and sometimes appalling behavior. But as long as the economy continues to soar, it won’t matter.