“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.” 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. 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 is now the norm 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 Trump’s language habits, but there are various theories circling around.
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 believe that his speech patterns and the harsh and abrasive language he uses, are a sign of his upbringing. His style of speaking can be said to be associated with the ‘tough’ stereotype of New Yorkers. Considering Trump’s upbringing in New York in the 50s and 60s, when there was a trend toward hyperbolic tendencies, this might not come as too much of a surprise either.
Trump has also been called unique by many political commentators, for making a lot of statements and seemingly important political decisions via Twitter.
When he announced the ban on transgender people serving in the military, he did so via Twitter. When he announces big statements, such as a reduction in immigration figures, he does so via Twitter. When he launches scathing attacks on members of his own party, he does so via Twitter.
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 as ‘Fake News’, this is no surprise.
In this regard, Trump is 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.
Nevertheless, his attacks on Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republicans in the Senate, and on the Republicans in general, are harmful, and will do more harm than good for both Trump and the Republicans in the long term – but this 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 ignores any criticism of him, be it legitimate or otherwise. This is worrying in itself, given that it would add to the already growing cohort who believe Donald Trump can do no wrong.
With recent news that the President only receives positive briefings about what the press reports about him, it is clear he is a man who cannot take criticism. He has never quite grown up beyond the part of life where a child is rewarded with applause. And with his recent actions with regards to North Korea, this only increases concerns about how suitable he is for his role.
Donald Trump is a man with 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.
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.