Trump and the Character Question

Brian Joondeph answers NeverTrumper Jonah Goldberg (and others) on the question of President Donald J. Trump’s character:

At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s presidency, those in his party who seemingly should be supporting him are as critical as ever. Now it’s the issue of his character.

NeverTrump Jonah Goldberg recently penned an article, “Character is Destiny,” proclaiming that “Trump’s character will be his downfall.”

Evidence of this poor character is “[t]he president’s style, specifically his insults and Twitter addiction.” Goldberg goes farther, saying, “They are the product of astonishing levels of narcissism, insecurity, and intellectual incuriosity.”

He cites examples of how Trump fires Cabinet members or other officials, not face to face to face, but through surrogates, and his “[p]raise for dictators and insults for allies, his need to create new controversies to eclipse old ones, and his inexhaustible capacity to lie and fabricate history.”

Let’s start unpacking this.

Tweets? It’s Trump’s way of bypassing a hostile media establishment. Looking at Twitter at the time of this writing, the Trump hostility is obvious. I see one tweet from CNN: “Former President Barack Obama lists his favorite books, songs and movies of 2018.”

And another tweet from CNN: “Trump’s lies sometimes seem strategic. But polls show that most Americans see right through it & realize he’s untrustworthy.” Could the contrasting messages be more different?

Is it a Twitter addiction or the only way he can get his message out, running the gauntlet of constant adversarial and negative media coverage?

CEOs delegate authority and responsibility. It’s not at all unusual for the CEO not to personally deliver the pink slip, and typically, by the time it happens, it’s no surprise to the person being let go. Big deal.

Praise for dictators? I’m reminded of the old saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. These foreign leaders, whether Vladimir Putin or Kim Jung-un, have huge egos. What good does insulting them on the world stage do to further negotiations? A better strategy is to be nice to them publicly to let them save face at home while getting tough behind closed doors. Common sense. Look at the results rather than the appearance.

Read more: American Thinker