Everyone says Donald Trump is crazy, so I decided to test their theory and challenge the assumption that he is made of the wrong temperament. I run Republicans Overseas in the UK; we have to process the Trump victory; we think he’s being misrepresented.
The political elite, along with the media and their regular pundits, have been so busy picking on words — evaluating Trump according to their own personal standards — that they keep missing what is happening before their eyes. Across the board, no matter the group, they have applied their own elitist standards of how one should behave and how one should speak.
No matter how wrong they have been, it seems they care more about being right than analysing how our culture has changed and how the voters have spoken. At least CNN’s Quest for Business attempted to attribute the demise of our culture going all the way back to Jerry Springer.
The main criticism of Trump is his personality, not his temperament. Trump’s personality and tone do offend some people; however, after knocking out 16 competitors, perhaps these critics might have been better served analysing his successes rather than judging his behavior.
So, for those who want to understand Trump’s temperament, they would be best served by comparing him to history-making former presidents, such as: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan.
For each and every President, it was their temperament that led to their success. Like it or not, the Keirsey Presidential Evaluation reveals that Trump has the same temperament as these arguably successful past presidents. Scrutinizing the temperaments and characteristics of past presidents shows every one of them thrived on action, risks, challenges, and change.
While Franklin Roosevelt was not a long-term strategist, he was a prodigal tactician with a very clever ability to influence people and immediate events with an extraordinary sense of timing. Many political wonks and historians agree that Kennedy and Johnson were powerful politicians who understood the game and played it energetically, shrewdly, and unflinchingly. Both were crafty, hard-working opportunists, able to use any event to accomplish a goal. Clearly the same can be said of Trump.
Fairness never played a role in FDR’s temperament. In the book Eleanor and Franklin, the former First Lady revealed, ‘’The President used those who suited his purposes. He made up his own mind and discarded people when they no longer fulfilled a purpose of his.’’ Even when he had nothing at stake, Franklin often would be devious simply for the pleasure of it.
Kennedy and Johnson could be equally underhanded, unprincipled, scheming, brazen, and downright dirty in the way they played the game of politics. Both JFK and LBJ were accused of being womanizers. FDR used people and cast them aside like paper napkins. JFK acted secretly during the Cuban Missile crisis, as did Reagan in the Iran-Contra affair. Sometimes these presidents were considered impulsive, even reckless. But each man served the United States during a time of complexity, great turmoil, and social upheaval. No president has ever proved to be a saint.
Like Trump, Reagan was accused of being loyal to a fault. Reagan genuinely fretted when he had to reprimand or fire anyone he knew or liked. Trump stood by his campaign manager in the Michelle Fields brouhaha. Calling for Trump to fire Corey Lewandowski can only be deemed as an extremely self-preserving act. Standing by Lewandowski proved the right, loyal, and fair decision.
When Trump declared the primary process was rigged, Cruz, Kasich, and the pundits tagged Trump as a “whiner.” However, rather than picking on words or tone, they would have recognised one of Trump’s strongest characteristics – his desire to ensure fairness in execution and implementation applied equally to all.
Theodore Roosevelt’s interest in fairness, honesty, and support of “the little guy’’ appealed to most Americans. Reagan was, and Trump is, an egalitarian. This strong belief in the principle that all people deserve equal rights and opportunity is somehow confusing the Conservative wing of the Republican Party. Reagan’s goal was the same as Trump’s – slice the fat out of the monstrous Washington bureaucracy. But not at the expense of citizens.
Mastering the mediums of the modern world changed how politicians connected with citizens. PR acumen served the political agendas of both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt. They had a powerful ability to use the press to communicate directly with people. However, Franklin had a new medium – the radio – which took his message directly into the homes of Americans and which he used brilliantly to persuade voters without being edited by the newspapers. JFK did the same, only with television. He used TV to run a cutthroat, negative and cruel TV media campaign successfully exposing Nixon’s weaknesses.
It’s not really a surprise that in 2016 Trump took campaign communications to new heights, employing social media and a fearless use of Twitter to connect directly to potential voters and expose his opponents’ weaknesses. Most pundits agree: Trump rewrote the book on American politics. It will never be the same.
Reagan entered and occupied the Oval Office with a disarmingly simple agenda consisting of three objectives – release the entrepreneur from government bondage, restrict the size and activity of the federal government, and get tough with the “evil empire.’’
Should he win, Trump would enter the Oval Office with four straightforward proposals: put America first and rebuild her strength economically and militarily, use beneficial trade policies putting America first; solve the immigration crisis; and change our tax structure to bring money back to America.
Finally, Trump’s most noticeable characteristic is based on his ability to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances and to alter his behavior in the moment in order to operate effectively in the most unstable situations. It’s clear that what some pundits consider Trump’s weaknesses are actually evidence of his deeply ingrained principles: love of country, a desire to impact others in a positive way, a realistic grasp on how the world really works, and a strong mission to get things done.
So, let’s finally put this criticism of Trump’s temperament to rest. His temperament is exactly what our country needs at this critical time in our history.