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Public's support of Trump's travel ban shows power of leadership
Despite the coverage, you love it.
To listen to the media coverage, you’d think the general public was strongly opposed to President Trump’s temporary, limited ban on travel from six Muslim countries – which finally went into mostly full effect after last month’s Supreme Court ruling in its favor.
You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
A new poll last week from Morning Consult shows that 60 percent of Americans support the policy – which is astounding on first glance considering how thoroughly the policy has been slammed by almost every media outlet, by activists and by liberal judges.
How is it possible that the public has seen through the noise and gotten behind this policy?
I’d say there are several factors at work here, but the leading factor is simple leadership. The Trump Administration has always had a sound rationale for implementing this policy. It was never about hating or wanting to discriminate against Muslims. It was never about taking away anyone’s rights. It was always about making sure that we were properly vetting people coming into this country, so we didn’t get more San Bernardino-style attacks perpetrated by people who should never have been here in the first place.
Strong leadership in this case meant standing firm when some of society’s loudest voices were determined to misrepresent the policy itself and the president’s motives in proposing it. Amazingly, some of the liberal federal judges who tried to stop the policy even admitted that President Trump had the authority to issue the order, but presumed to strike it down anyway because they suspected he had nefarious motives in doing so.
Overturning those rulings had to be one of the easiest calls the Supreme Court ever made, which would explain why even the court’s four liberal Justices agreed with the ruling. They may not like President Trump or his policies, but their job is to uphold the law, and in this case they did it.
A major element of President Trump’s effective leadership here was basic truth. When Morning Consult took its poll, the poll explained the limits of the policy, and explained that people with close family members in the U.S. would not be subjected to the ban in the same way as those who would not.
When poll respondents had the opportunity to read the actual details of the policy, rather than the media’s misinformation about it, they backed the policy to the tune of 60 percent. It makes a big difference when someone presents you with the objective facts instead of with a lot of emotional propaganda.
I’m sure that the massive protests in airports led much of the public to believe that President Trump was trying to do something horrible. That was not the fact, but when you see so many people upset, you naturally draw the conclusion that something awful must be occurring. That will influence public opinion, whether it should or not.
Now, with the matter mostly settled in the courts and the hysteria finally died down, people can take a rational look at the facts and come to a logical conclusion. That’s why the public backs the policy. They see that it’s not what people were screaming about. They see that there’s a valid reason for it.
But to get to that point took real leadership, and a determination to stand up for what’s right in spite of all the rhetoric and noise. Unfortunately, doing the right thing in Washington D.C. typically requires that kind of strength and tenacity. It’s refreshing that we finally elected a president who has it.
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