Presidential Persona

by baldilocks

I’m reading Donald Trump Is The First President To Turn Postmodernism Against Itself at the Federalist and, while I’m not quite finished reading it yet, it brought up a few thoughts I’d been having about the president’s persona in the action-packed eight days since the Inauguration.

Our previous two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, had vastly different personas than does President Trump and I think we became a little too accustomed to that earlier way of dealing with the public.

President Bush frustrated many of his supporters by never answering his critics and never addressing the many distortions about him. Did he ever talk about the found WMDs or RatherGate or the nonsense surround the reaction to Hurricane Katrina in public? I have no memory of any response. I suppose I could look it up and find out, but the fact that no personal defense of Bush policies by the man himself stands out to me–someone who has followed the news religiously for quite some time–is telling.

As for President Obama, his “defenses” of his policies were, usually, not true defenses, but passive-aggressive verbal attacks against those in the domestic sphere who opposed him and his policies.

President Trump is a whole different animal; not just different from his two immediate predecessors, but different from most national politicians in recent memory—especially Republicans. In short, he is an a-hole and is not shy about letting you know it. And I say that without any insult intended. (Of course, it isn’t as if we didn’t know this already.)

I’m of the opinion that, outside of greatly charismatic types, leaders should be jerks. Not out-of-control, illogical jerks, but controlled tough guys/girls who will get things done and who know when to put fire under the backsides of his/her subordinates. They should unapologetically defend their decisions and policies in public and straightforwardly own their mistakes without bowing and scraping or ignoring them altogether. And if the verbal attacks happen, they should be straight-on and not girly about it–even if the leader is a girl.

I haven’t liked everything that the president has done in the past week (tariff), but I like the decisiveness and the lack of weasel.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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