Two-hundred and sixty-three days remain until Americans vote to re-elect Donald Trump. I've reached this woeful conclusion after listening to coverage and reading about Democratic primaries where 57 candidates (minor exaggeration) tear each other, and the party apart, reinforcing the trope Democrats eat their own. They're doomed.
There is levity among the dark clouds, including a Rolling Stone headline, "Large Majority of New Hampshire Democrats Prefer Death by Meteor Than to See Trump Win Again."
Sixty-four per cent of those polled chose "a giant meteor strikes the Earth, extinguishing all human life" over the president's re-election, according to a new poll from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
The poll found 28 per cent of conservatives would also rather see mankind wiped out than deal with another four years of Trump.
Sixty-eight per cent of women polled, more than any other group, would welcome a fireball of death over the president remaining in the White House.
Before you dismiss anyone who voted for the meteor, remember, this was hypothetical.
Much like Trump claiming credit for every positive economic development is hypothetical, from the rocketing US stock market, to low unemployment rates, to job growth.
Economists (not to be trusted, according to conservatives, because most attended university) say correlation is not causation. Factors beyond who's in office account for a country's economic performance. There's groundwork laid by a predecessor, world markets, a recession caused by the implosion of the subprime mortgage market…
The Obama administration confronted the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression during its first term.
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It passed a stimulus package in early 2009 to jump-start the economy, which succeeded.
Trump's own Labour Department figures show 1.5 million fewer jobs were created during his first three years in office than Obama's last three.
It doesn't matter to supporters whether Trump is the economic and cultural saviour he claims to be. He has tweeted at least twice he was "heaven sent".
The scent I smell isn't heaven - more like BS.
A Christianity Today editorial late last year by Mark Galli said in fairness to Trump, Democrats have "had it out for him" since day one.
But he said still, facts showed the president tried to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of his political opponents.
"That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral," wrote Galli.
The morality bar in the Trump administration has been set at the level of an underground bomb shelter.
Trump has hired and fired people who are now convicted criminals, admitted to immoral actions in business and paid women with whom he had affairs to go away.
Trump initially refused to acknowledge a wildfire that killed 85 people, then threatened to withhold aid because victims live in a state that didn't vote for him.
There's the infamous vagina-grabbing comment, which should have prevented any woman for voting Trump, but didn't.
The swamp the president promised to drain is filled with his own fixers and campaign staff - 14 aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned so far.
Galli writes, "His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterisations, lies, and slanders — is a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."
Yet a minority of American voters (Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral college) - Trump's base - don't give a ferret's fart about his behaviour, lies or lack of morals.
Just before the impeachment hearings, his approval ratings reached an all-time high. When I ask Republicans in my native country whether character, diplomacy, upholding the Constitution, knowledge of domestic and foreign policy and a grasp of basic English matter, most repeat the same phrase, "Trump's good for the economy".
Business Insider Australia reported the unemployment rate was tracking downward, job growth is holding steady – but Trump's ongoing trade wars sapped business confidence. Companies have pulled back on hiring as a result.
US incomes started rising in 2012 following the recession, a trend which has continued during Trump's presidency. By 2018, the average middle-class family saw their income grow to $US63,179, according to the Census Bureau.
My theory: the better your pay packet, the more amnesia you develop surrounding a politician's misdeeds. This holds true for voters in both parties.
The stock market has been trending upwards. If your retirement fund is doing well, turn a blind eye to nepotism and the fact your president is using his office to further enrich himself, his family and his cronies. I got mine. Now go get yours.
An analysis of Trump supporters in Psychology Today seeks to unveil why his base would follow him off a cliff.
Among the reasons: wealthy Americans are happy he cut their taxes; working-class people are hoping he'll bring back jobs from overseas; he's provocative and therefore more stimulating to watch than other politicians; America's obsessed with celebrities and entertainment; some people see supporting Trump as an act of rebellion; conservative brains have an exaggerated fear response, which the Donald uses to mobilise followers. He's got them s***-scared of immigrants, strong women, anyone who's not Christian, liberals, Taylor Swift and of course, media.
The magazine also mentions the Dunning-Kruger effect, which leads many people to overestimate their political expertise.
"Some who support Donald Trump are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it's ever been, they simply take his word for it."
Dunning-Kruger explains the problem isn't just that they are misinformed; it's that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.
Few Republicans (those not running for re-election) have displayed integrity by standing up to Trump. Utah Senator Mitt Romney was the lone Republican voice in the Senate to vote for impeachment, saying, "Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine …"
I imagine the worst is yet to come. A second Trump administration will be followed by the ascension to the throne of daughter, Ivanka or son, Don jnr.
Is that any crazier than a reality TV star and businessman being elected in the first place?
Republicans vote with greater predictability than Democrats. And in the end, even members of the GOP who still have a conscience will hold their nose while ticking the box that says, "Trump."