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Truly Stunned

2020-03-16

I was just getting ready to write the first of many follow-ups to my previous post, but then something astounding happened at the latest Press Conference.

I’m still wrapping my head around it, but it’s like Donald Trump was replaced with a completely different person. For the first time in his entire presidency, I finally saw him act like a leader. Here are some highlights:

  1. He refrained from blaming problems on the usual bad guys (ex: the Liberals, Obama, or China). He simply acknowledged that the problems were real, and not some kind of hoax or conspiracy that was out to get him.
  2. Likewise, he didn’t accuse the media of blasting “fake news”. In fact, he declared that the media was doing an excellent job, and should be trusted.
  3. He dropped all of his typical language. For the most part, he avoided making huge, exaggerated claims. His showmanship all but disappeared.
  4. He didn’t put words into peoples’ mouths. Instead, he actually delegated the podium to the experts and allowed them to speak for themselves. (Especially when receiving a question that he was not qualified to answer)
  5. Similarly, he refrained from spitting out “facts” (ie: making up answers on the spot). If he didn’t know something, he simply acknowledged that he didn’t know the answer, and would need to follow up later.
  6. He acknowledged that the economy was most likely in a recession. He did not try to assert that it was a momentary blip caused by mass hysteria, or that there would be an easy fix. (For the record, the stock market dropped throughout his entire press conference; yet, he focused on stating what needed to be stated. Quote: “The best thing we can do for the markets is get through this crisis”. Wow!)

I wasn’t the only person that noticed these changes in his demeanor, either. This wasn’t “The Trump Show” as usual. He was doing what needed to be done, regardless of the impact it would have on his legacy.

Like others, I’m concerned that this will be a very short-lived change. His previous persona threw us headlong into a crisis and very nearly wrecked the entire country. As @aspleenic put it: “He’s not being a leader, he’s doing what a collapsing society is forcing him to do”. I suspect that this assessment is most likely correct.

But, regardless of the reason, I think we need to applaud Trump’s change in demeanor. It will help to dispel the “Never-Trumper” myth and promote constructive dialog across parties. Furthermore, if enough people applaud this behavior, then perhaps he’ll maintain it.

I’m still most likely going to write the posts I was planning to write, but don’t worry: the aim of these posts is not to bash Trump. The fact is that the problems we have been observing over the past week are exactly the flaws that “The Liberals” have been pointing out for ages. The Coronavirus is only significant because it created a situation where these flaws directly impacted the majority of our society. So: stay tuned!