In Our Time

The Presidential Style

“Never lose your temper except on purpose” was a firm maxim of Dwight Eisenhower’s.  Donald Trump seems generally to observe the same rule, though certainly not always.

His critics failed to understand this during the primaries in 2016, and they have continued to do so since.  Gleefully, they report daily—almost hourly—on the President’s latest “belittling,” “bullying,” “offensive,” “insulting,” “outrageous,” “inappropriate,” “unprecedented,” or simply undiplomatic statement or remark directed at one public figure or another, at home or abroad, confident that this time it will cause Trump’s supporters, admirers, and apologists to see the light.  They never do, though.  Instead, they are approving, appreciative—and encouraging.  The reason why should be obvious to anyone who knows something about human nature: They’d like to tell the same people the same things to their faces.  Donald Trump is their portavoce.

It’s ironic, though humanly understandable, that Trump’s wholly unconventional and aggressive public demeanor should so offend the left whose predecessors of half a century ago invented a new political style deliberately intended to shock, disgust, and otherwise épater bourgeois sensibilities by its crude behavior...

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