What makes a good President? Is it pragmatism and vision, or, something else entirely? Trump presents himself as a political outsider: his disregard for political correctness is what attracted many of his supporters. Yet, his critics see his unruly behaviour as a weakness; that it is unbecoming for a President. Has Trump changed what it means to be Presidential? The Merriam-Webster defines “presidential” as: “of, relating to, or befitting a president or a president’s authority”. But, is that what Trump means, and his supporters, refer to?
Trump has changed what acting presidential meansShow moreShow less
Trump is an unconventional President. Yet, his supporters consider this one of his strengths. Trump has changed the meaning and importance of acting presidential.
Describe them as you will, few people will refer to Trump’s rallies and speeches as boring. He makes bold claims about policies, current affairs and his latest feuds with the press, other politicians or celebrities.
Many of Trump’s supporters are encouraged by his uninhibited way of speaking. “He tells it like it is” is a common answer to what they like about the president. He is good at telling his base what they want to hear. Some argue his words come across as too bold or problematic, but much of his base rallies behind what he says and follow his lead.
His unpredictability brought about much of his original publicity and coverage. His claims that he could act presidential, but that would be too boring, have come up several times during rallies, to the delight and encouragement of his crowd. Many Americans in the 2016 election voted for Trump of how he spoke, not what he said.
Only Trump and his core supporters see it this way. Even some people who voted for Trump, and are planning on doing so again, admit they would prefer to see him take the presidency more seriously.
[P1] Trump constantly compares acting presidential to acting boring.
[P2] His supporters follow this description and internalize it.
[P3] The definition of "presidential" is changing.