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Column: Trump is the unpresidential president-elect

Column%3A+Trump+is+the+unpresidential+president-elect
RJ Matson

If Donald Trump continues with his campaign trail and post-election behavior, it will continue to normalize his erratic words and actions. 

When the term president comes to mind, many Americans think of an individual who exhibits strong leadership and has an overall appeal to the American public. Someone who values family, who parents want their children to look up to. It’s a position of respect, and many Americans have great respect for their nation’s leader and the values exhibited while in office.

This last election season has been, at best, unusual. Many Americans are uncertain about the future of the country and the man about to be sworn into office. 

President-elect Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail and following the election is reason enough for concern. 

Statements and actions made by the president-elect lie outside the range of qualities the American public usually expect to see from their president. 

In the months post election, Trump’s strange and erratic behavior has continued to trickle into the transition to the White House. It’s a difficult situation to put the public in. 

RELATED: Trump versus journalism

Arguably, the media attention given to Trump’s wild statements give him more exposure than necessary and potentially threw the election. On the other hand, how would the public feel about their president-elect if his strange behavior hadn’t been covered at all?

As Americans, we are now forced to walk a thin line in order to keep from normalizing the behavior of our soon-to-be president. 

In a strange way, giving Trump’s odd statements too much attention is similar to the mistakes some parents experience when raising their kids, where giving them too much attention will encourage them to act badly. 

Trump is no stranger to the Twitter verse. We might have thought and silently hoped the strange, middle-of-the-night threads of Trump lashing out at people he believes are attacking him would come to an end following his election, but we were wrong. 

Trump continues to lash out at the media, various politicians and celebrities. If we give him more attention for this, it encourages him and makes his behavior normal. If we don’t call him out on it, he’ll continue to slip under everyone’s watch. It’s a beast only tamable by those keeping a close eye on him. 

Aside from what he sees as counter attacks, his recent feud with John Lewis is only another recent case of Trump’s rash and charged language.

This is not the first time Trump has run head to head with a public figure, and it very likely won’t be the last. 

Trump recently took to Twitter to counterattack actress Meryl Streep following her speech at the Golden Globes.

At this point, gawking at Trump’s charged behavior only encourages him to continue doing it. We’re now stuck in a cycle where when he says or does something shocking, the media covers it, people are shocked and disgusted and it’s forgotten. Repeat the cycle. 

RELATED: Trump takes all

At this point, his behavior is already becoming normal. When we look at the news, it’s another day, another public figure feuding with our president-elect.

He’s an experienced reality TV star. He knows how to put on a good show, and above that, he knows people will watch it out of morbid curiosity. 

It reveals not only the president-elect’s ignorance to those who lead their lives differently from his own, but it also reveals that he is prioritizing his own image above America’s. 

As Americans, allowing his behavior to occur, or even brushing it off as just another incident, normalizes the behavior. It’s something we shouldn’t encourage in Trump, and we shouldn’t allow his behavior to tarnish the image of the executive position.

Allowing him to get away with long Twitter threads and publicly making statements with charged language normalizes the behavior for the American public. It will create the idea that if the president can get away with it, it must be OK.

We want the position of the President of the United States to be one which young people look at as a respected and legitimate position. 

Trump will be in the spotlight as the president, and he should take great care in making sure the impression he leaves on the public is one of dignity.


Follow Leah Gilchrist on Twitter.


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