The stricken punditocracy agrees that Donald Trump is missing a crucial quality, a je ne sais quoi necessary for his office. He may be president, but he is not presidential. The liberal world is in mourning for this dispositional quiddity, presidentialness.
According to one recent poll, 70 per cent of Americans surveyed held that Trump has – particularly in his genuinely startling use of social media, his deliberately offensive provocations – acted ‘unpresidentially’. Plucking examples from vast reserves, the LA Times decries Trump’s ‘self-indulgent and unpresidential demeanor’; the Village Voice his ‘unpresidential’ ‘antics’; the Atlantic ‘the unpresidential things Trump says’. And the angst is global. The Irish Times lists ‘[a]ll the unpresidential things Trump has done since he got elected’; according to The Guardian, asserting a taken-for-granted antipode, Trump is ‘tyrannical not presidential’; indeed for the Toronto Star, ‘Donald Trump defines the meaning of “unpresidential”’.
It’s common on the Left to point out what has apparently not counted as unpresidential: slave-owning; massacre; imperial butchery. What is there for which to hanker?More