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Has Trump transformed what it means to be Presidential? Show more Show less
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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 not changed what acting presidential means Show more Show less

The core of what it means to be presidential has not changed. Trump does not act presidential, but that does not change what is expected of him.
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Being presidential means being trustworthy

The President is the person the public looks to in times of crisis. Trump’s response to the pandemic and his dismissal of scientific evidence has reduced peoples' respect for him as their leader.
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The Argument

Many of Trump’s supporters acknowledge that the president is unconventional in his words and use of social media. They voted for him for the policies he promises to implement and to further their own agenda. The majority of Americans agree that Trump is self-centred (80%), and 59% view him as prejudiced[1]. The pandemic and his response to it has brought his unpresidential behaviour to light in a new way. His dismissal of the more than 220,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 by saying “don’t let it dominate your life” has disenfranchised many voters[2]. They want a leader who will understand their plight and do more to support their families. A true leader’s skills shine in times of crisis, and Trump’s response to the pandemic has given Americans a measure of the competence of their commander-in-chief.

Counter arguments

There are other desirable leadership qualities that voters see in Trump. 47% of responders in a survey say he “fights for what they believe in”. The figure raises to 87% in Republican responses, and 71% say he is honest[1].

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/03/05/few-americans-express-positive-views-of-trumps-conduct-in-office/
  2. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/07/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus/index.html
This page was last edited on Sunday, 25 Oct 2020 at 14:51 UTC

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