The President is almost always aiming to unite others when he speaks, unlike Mr. Trump, who without question is the most polarizing figure in the 2016 race for the presidency.
New York Times columnist, Mr. David Brooks today took the words right out my mouth with his Op-Ed entitled ‘I Miss Barack Obama,’ which focused primarily on the decline of behavioral standards across the board in this year’s presidential campaign and how it highlights Mr. Obama’s leadership, cachet and, moreover, his class and dignity. A few of my associates have said, when reacting to Mr. Donald Trump’s antics—his most recent is repeating on stage an audience member’s claim that Mr. Ted Cruz is a pu**y—that the more the brash billionaire acts uncivilized in public, the more presidential Mr. Obama appears to the nation and the world.
Mr. Obama, a black man elected twice to the country’s highest office, has plenty of critics, but even they would be hard-pressed to find a time on the campaign trail or in the White House when the father of two was not refined and composed, calm and smooth, and careful with his language. The President is almost always aiming to unite others when he speaks, unlike Mr. Trump, who without question is the most polarizing figure in the 2016 race for the presidency. Mr. Trump’s national spokesperson, Ms. Katrina Pierson, today defended her boss’ profanity by suggesting that the candidate, who’s self-funding his campaign thus beholden to no one, has single-handedly resurrected freedom-of-speech.
Over the course of his campaign, Mr. Trump has said he’ll bomb the sh*t out of ISIS; mocked a reporter with a disability; joked about shooting someone without fear of condemnation from supporters; encouraged an attendee to engage in a physical altercation with a protester; and openly participated in the discrimination of others based on their religion or ethnicity. Mr. Trump, no matter the negative feedback he receives, remains largely unapologetic about his behavior and language. He believes, as do his followers, that being braggadocios, loud, obnoxious and insulting is somehow a trait of masculinity and, more so of leadership. But, of course, it’s not. The aforementioned traits are, however, characteristics of a narcissist and bully, neither which are acceptable in a leader whose job it is to care and protect others.
In contrast, Mr. Obama, as a candidate and as the nation’s chief executive, has remained a gentleman, especially to those who disagree vehemently with him. He’s been humorous but never hurtful; sarcastic yet avoiding caustic; opinionated though not offensive. The regal image of the Office of President has remained intact because of Mr. Obama’s demeanor and actions though it’s threatened now with Mr. Trump’s candidacy, which many pundits and media-makers wrote off as a sideshow only to be caught off guard by its mainstream positioning. Mr. Trump, the front-runner among Republican candidates, has already de-aggrandized the presidential campaigning political process; his election to the White House would cause the dilapidation of the Office of President.
Being the President of the United States should be equally about behavior, values and attitude as it is about political competence. Voters aren’t just electing a policy wonk and doer.They are electing a national spokesperson who should represent values and beliefs the country embodies, most notably inclusion. Not only is Mr. Trump, who wants a temporary ban on Muslim entering America, not the right guy to deliver that message, but his time on the campaign trail should result in an additional strict qualification for President: temperament.
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