Considering Trump’s temperament

Let’s consider Trump’s temperament. He has said that he has a wonderful temperament, a winning temperament. Regardless of your opinion about presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, something about his aspect is apparent, almost universally understood, and that is that he is a fighter. That is to say, he doesn’t back down, but he also is very adversarial. His adversarial demeanor is probably best demonstrated, though, by his less than mellow temperament. This is not an endorsement of presidential candidate Clinton or any other candidate, but this is explicitly against Trump as it is this author’s opinion that placing reactionary egotists in positions of authority rarely goes well for their underlings.

Just last week, he demonstrated his reactionary attitude in a tweet regarding his portrayal on Saturday Night Live. While a sensationalist may say that this is evidence that he is a threat to free speech, that is both not a foregone conclusion and simply not plausible, even if he were to become our 45th president. The most important thing we can conclude about his tweet is that Trump actually took the time out of his presumably busy schedule to bother to give a thought about a satire of his image. Rare is the public figure who would be bothered to notice such things. They are public figures, and public ridicule is inherently part of the job. I believe a thick enough skin to ignore comedians is a necessary requirement of any public office.

One of the most important tasks of the presidency is diplomacy. Trump, being reactionary, needs only a small nudge in order to start an international incident. This would be disastrous for tense relationships like we have with Russia and Iran. Additionally, an unstable temperament has the potential to strain existing cooperative relationships, especially those that are not one hundred percent beneficial to the United States. Diplomatic agreements are rarely meant to benefit one side.

Perhaps the most important of all is the president’s relationship with Congress. If you think that the GOP was not cooperating with President Obama, consider the relationship with Trump. They already lack a solidly sound relationship with him, and the Democratic Party would in likelihood be as opposed to Trump as the GOP was to Obama. Things were done, yes, but not easily.

Let us also consider what the effect of obtaining presidential power would be on Trump’s psyche, or at least consider the effect of the powers he believes he will obtain upon becoming president. He often speaks in glimmering generalities and ultimatums which largely consist of him declaring that he will accomplish everything as if he were a Czar and he need only speak a word and it be so. This is not what the President of the United States can do; this is a fiction. Our three branches have a series of checks and balances specifically meant to counter authoritarian ruling.

The main concern here is not that Trump will have unchecked power but more that once he realizes he doesn’t, what will his next move be? Will he realize that he must be cooperative with Congress? This is the most optimistic possibility. Will he simply be unproductive and argue and stall? This would be the most frustrating thing for the American public. Is it possible he will do drastic things to expand presidential power? It has been done before.

Essentially, I posit that Trump’s attitude, demeanor, and overall temperament are security risks and can potentially cause strife domestically and with foreign bodies. This is no laughing matter, and the overall habits of Trump should be taken into consideration, perhaps weighed more than the things he says. His “winning temperament” may actually cause all of us to lose, and this is without considering his policies or even his words. As a citizen, would you really want someone who can be aggravated by a tweet to be anywhere near the Oval Office? Think about it.

Kalli Joslin

Section Editor, Web Editor, and resident cat-lover at The Sandspur.

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