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Has Trump transformed what it means to be Presidential?

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 means

Trump is an unconventional President. Yet, his supporters consider this one of his strengths. Trump has changed the meaning and importance of acting presidential.

Acting presidential has now become acting boring

Trump has often compared acting presidential to being boring. Many Americans now agree with him.

Acting presidential is not necessary for being president anymore

Trump campaigned on the premise of getting deals done and putting America first. These are now the defining features of "acting Presidential".

Trump makes racism seem more acceptable

Trump's policies have disproportionally affected ethnic minorities. His speeches and accusations towards these demographics are accepted by his supporters.

Trump has defined leadership as being strong

Trump's refusal to compromise and strong stances on issues are the reason his supporters like him. But being presidential sometimes means listening to experts and advice.

Trump has not changed what acting presidential means

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.

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.

Trump's behaviour affects international relations

In the international sphere, what it means to lead a nation has not changed. Acting unpresidential is seen as a weakness. Trump’s behaviour and America First policies have plunged US favourability internationally.

The meaning of presidential has been evolving for decades

The way we communicate has changed drastically in recent years. Leaders now promote their messages through more far-reaching methods. Trump is the latest in a long list of presidents who are seeing the benefits of social media.

Trump is not the first to change the rules

As technology has changed, so has leadership and the ways presidential candidates reach out to voters and make themselves more approachable.
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 17:56 UTC