I am now going to wonder out loud: Is the president of the United States wired in a way that enables him to shift the tone of the public discussion?
Donald Trump has been ranting and railing seemingly since the beginning of his presidency. Every major speech he has delivered — beginning with the Inaugural — has been laced with gloom, doom, anger and rage. He took office proclaiming the nation to be in a disastrous state. He pledged to fix what ails the nation.
But along the way he has continually and incessantly blamed, in no particular order, his immediate predecessor, Democrats in Congress, the media, illegal immigrants and individuals and groups that are too numerous to single out in this blog.
Republicans have largely given the president a pass. Not all of them, though, have remained quiet. Some lame-duck congressional Republicans have pointedly called Trump out over some of his various idiotic statements.
All of that has prompted Trump to respond with vigor and extreme prejudice against those who oppose him.
Thus, the gloom, doom, anger and rage has only accelerated.
We’re not even two years into the president’s term in office and it already feels as though he’s been in front of us forever.
He launched his re-election campaign less than six months after taking office in January 2017. He’s already in full re-election campaign mode, traveling to various communities in states he won in 2016. He is firing off lie after lie while hurling insults at his political foes.
My question about the president’s emotional wiring stems from my belief that were he able to do so, he could change the tone and tenor of the national discussion all by himself. Yes, the president who said that “I, alone” can fix what troubles the nation could “alone” change the tone of the discussion.
He chooses not to do that. He calls himself a fighter, someone who hits back at those who throw the first punch, toss the first stone, hurl the first insult.
The result has been an increase in the national anger. The American political divide has turned into a political chasm.
A president who vowed to “unify” the nation has it within his power to make good on his pledge. He has decided instead to keep us divided.
That’s how he rolls.