“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” This is a quote from Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. It seems like a strange thing for the President of a powerful country to say, especially when it concerns an ally located just south of the American border. But, as has quickly become apparent, Donald Trump is not above making odd, controversial and downright weird statements. His fondness for Twitter tirades is well known, his fondness for tirades in general is well known often those who are not part of the inner circle or even part of the cult of ‘The Donald’ are left wondering why he does this. Indeed, it seems to have become a par for course for many on both the left and right to discuss what exactly the President means when he goes off on one.
There does not seem to be a clear explanation for this, but there do seem to be various theories circling around. Some such as Jaimeson, believe that Trump’s language is a hang up from his days as a businessman: ‘‘He’s telling you that the Trump brand is a good brand, that everyone likes the Trump brand.’’ Given that Trump has not yet made a clear break from his actual business affiliations, this is perhaps not that strange, after all, there is a common saying that when in unusual situations, we stick to what we know, and after a lifetime in business, what would Trump know better than business? Others such as Baugh believe that his speech patterns and the harsh and abrasive language he uses, are a sign of his upbringing. ‘‘There is a style of speaking that’s associated with tough New Yorkers, the stereotype of men in New York and we typically associate this with working-class men. They’re not only plain-spoken but they’re tough guys.’’ Considering Trump’s upbringing in New York in the 50s and 60s, when there generally was a trend toward certain hyperbolic tendencies, this might not come as too much of a surprise either.
Trump has been called unique by many political commentators, for often making a lot of statements and seemingly important political decisions over the social media platform Twitter. When he announced the ban on Transgender persons serving in the military, he did so over Twitter. When he announces big statements such as a reduction in immigration figures, he does so over Twitter, when he launches scathing attacks on members of his own party, he does so over Twitter. This could suggest that he wants to get his message across directly to his core support base, without the potential for dilution or addition that could come from other sources within the media. Given his fondness for labelling anyone who does not support him ‘Fake News’ this does not surprise. It instead suggests that Trump either incredibly smart, or incredibly foolish. A tweet can be deleted, but once it is out there in an unpolished form, everyone can see it, unless they are blocked from viewing your account. A tweet cannot be edited or shaped and crafted in such a manner as to appear professional, given the limited characters available. Thus, Trump is either trying to bypass the mainstream media, and communicate in this unfiltered manner, so as to seem more genuine, or he is an impulsive man, given to his most destructive impulses. His attacks on Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republicans in the Senate, and on the Republicans in general, are quite harmful, and could do more harm than good for both Trump and the Republicans in the long term, but that does not seem to be a major thought for Trump.
Instead, it seems Donald Trump prefers to focus on himself. Trump formed his own network under the Fox branch to report ‘real news’ news which mainly focuses on how ‘well’ the US is doing under its current president, and which ignores any criticism of him, be it legitimate or otherwise. This would be worrying in itself, given that it would add to the already growing cohort who believe Donald Trump can do no wrong, but with recent news that the President only receives positive briefings about what the press reports about him, suggests a man who cannot take criticism, does not want to face anything that is not a pat on the back. This is not a good indication of the man, who sits in the Oval Office. It suggests that he never quite grew up beyond the part of life where a child is rewarded with applause. And with his recent actions in regards to North Korea this merely increases concerns about how suitable he is for his role.
Donald Trump is a man with a great many quirks and habits that make him an interesting person to observe. They do not however, make him a good president, nor one that should be getting the sort of attention that he receives. Consequently, the choice facing all is whether to focus more on him, or to ignore him and risk missing something that could make the petulant child he often comes across as being, making a decision that damages all of the world.