Donald Trump Is A Bad President
There is a difference between a bad leader and a bad president: While there may be a situation or position in which Donald Trump could serve as a leader, as a president for the United States, he has, to use Trump-like hyperbole, the absolute worst personality and temperament possible for the job.
A business leader endeavors to achieve economic profit, a goal that is easily quantified and observed: If such profit is generated, and employees are consequently recompensed, then the business leader is viewed as successful, particularly by those whom he leads.
But what is the goal of a US president? What duties does a president have? What responsibilities? Whom do they represent?
The goals of a president depend heavily upon the challenges their country faces during their tenure, and a nation whose citizens are loyal and dedicated can overcome incredible challenges. This is evident in the success of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Famously quoted as saying, “You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you, but in the end, you will tire of it first,” he led a small nation with guerilla tactics against one of the most powerful militaries on the planet, knowing very well that a US victory was ultimately impossible as long as his followers refused to stop fighting.
Just as a small nation can overcome tremendous odds through dedication and loyalty, no great nation falls without having lost those attributes. The Roman Empire withstood myriad challenges from competitors, before it collapsed from within, the dedication and loyalty of its citizenry having been eroded by corruption, political instability, economic failures, and the government’s failure to adapt to changing demographics.
If dedication and loyalty are the determining factors of a nation’s success, then they should constitute a presidential priority; a president should strive to achieve these unifying qualities among the population above all else.
The United States is a diverse country by design, and as Americans we know this history well: A disdain for old monarchies and a revolutionary concept of a democracy, where all men are created equal, have inalienable rights, and all people have a real say in what the future of their country would look like.
The president of the United States — a nation designed to be a diverse country of independent and entrepreneurial spirit — is given the particularly difficult tasks of gathering these diverse people under a unifying banner, and maintaining that camaraderie while enforcing legislation that not all citizens will agree with. How might that even be accomplished? How can one enforce legislation that substantial parts of the population disagree with while not ostracizing them or making them feel as though they’re no longer a part of the nation that they live in?
It’s a huge question with many possible answers, all of which necessitate empathy. People must know that the person enforcing these rules both recognizes and respects those people who disagree, and their feelings. This is where Donald Trump’s absolute inability to do his job becomes apparent.
Trump’s handling of controversial issues makes it difficult to choose a single example to illustrate this point, but immigration from Central America has played an especially significant role in Donald Trump’s presidency. There are two main views on this issue: Some people feel that the large majority of these immigrants are generally good people coming from difficult situations and who want to come to America to make a new and better life for themselves through hard work, in the spirit through which the nation was founded, and we should respect their efforts. Other people argue, with equal legitimacy, that immigration laws are structured the way they are to protect the United States’ complex and fragile economy and we can therefore allow no leniency on these matters.
It is certainly possible to find truth in each of these arguments, and consequently find the issue of illegal immigration difficult to tackle. However, it is an issue that doesn’t have to be anywhere near as divisive as it has been under the tenure of President Trump. I have written the following two demonstration announcements to corroborate this point. The first announcement is given by a president explaining that the children of illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a period of time will be eligible for US citizenship. The second is an announcement that the government will be putting more resources toward border control and identification of illegal immigrants within the country.
- “An agreement was made in congress today to make it easier for children of undocumented immigrants to become US citizens. My administration believes this is not only the smart thing to do, or the right thing to do, but it is the American thing to do. Like so many people throughout this country’s history, these parents came to our country for hope, for opportunity, and now for their children, ours is the only country they know. They’ve grown up on it’s streets. They’ve been to its schools. They watch its TV and they live by its laws. Their folks came from Mexico, or Guatemala, or Nicaragua, but my folks came from Ukraine, and yours maybe from Germany, or Ireland, or Italy. And just as I make perogies, they might make tamales, but we all do it under the same flag. I understand that not everyone agrees with today’s agreement or the specifics of it, and I hear and understand your concerns. This does not mean America is leaving its borders open. Our border security will remain more vigilant than it ever has been, because an economy is a fragile thing, and a society and culture is a complicated thing. But today, many young people will be excited and proud to celebrate their legitimacy as American citizens, and that’s a beautiful thing for us all to celebrate. Thank you.”
- “A budget was passed today in congress, as many of you know, to improve the quality of our border security. It includes measures to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering our borders as well as measures to identify those who are already here. I know how many of you feel about these plans and I understand your feelings. These measures are not taken with joy in our hearts and we do not wish to make criminals of the men and women, boys and girls, who come to our great country wanting to work hard for opportunities they don’t have elsewhere. But our economy is fragile, our culture is complex, and our immigration laws are crafted by incredible minds who take these massive factors into consideration. We as Americans understand the dreams of these immigrants, we know what it’s like to have an entrepreneurial spirit, to forge a life through hard work and innovation, and we respect every attempt to do so, but we must also respect the immigration systems we have in place and the reasons those systems exist, so that we can continue to be the country that offers that opportunity to so many from around the world. Thank you.”
Those two speeches each represent a different side of this argument. Following the divisiveness of the Trump tenure, one might assume that such announcements are apt to deeply offend one side or the other, causing widespread pain, anger and frustration. But I don’t believe that is the case: While I might side with one piece of legislation over the other, neither of these would offend me; While I might disagree with elements, I feel they are both ultimately founded with reason, and approached with understanding and empathy.
It would be impossible to imagine either of these statements being attributed to Donald Trump, who consistently fails to demonstrate such understanding or empathy for anyone with whom he disagrees. Some of his supporters applaud this, bragging that it’s “his way or the highway” and “he doesn’t take any guff.” Unfortunately, while such callousness might be an admirable quality in certain leaders, it’s catastrophic for a US president.
The United States is a diverse nation, where complex issues are met with intense scrutiny and criticism from a large segment of the population — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is that discussion, and welcoming of ideas, that makes the United States so innovative. It only becomes a problem when legitimate criticism is met with complete disregard or, in Trump’s case, outright hostility.
Trump’s inability to be an effective president isn’t due to his policy; it’s due to his presentation of that policy. His lack of empathy and absolute disregard for the majority of the people in the country have facilitated, if not caused, the cultural turmoil we’ve found ourselves in. If we do not elect a leader capable of being a president soon, we’ll go the way of Rome, I assure you.