Former President Barack Hussein Obama issued a stern warning to President Donald Trump, during a conversation with David Letterman on the new Netflix program, saying:
“One of the things that Michelle figured out, in some ways faster than I did, was part of your ability to lead the country doesn’t have to do with legislation, doesn’t have to do with regulations, it has to do with shaping attitudes, shaping culture, increasing awareness.”
Even though he was very cautions about pointing fingers to President Donald Trump, his message was obvious.
It is evident that he referred to Trump’s recent comment about the African nations during a private meeting with legislators at the White House, when he said they are “shithole countries.”
The President however, denied this allegations in a tweet and two other Republicans also said that they could recall no such thing.
According to a report from CNN, the Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin, who was there at the meeting claimed that Trump did use the term and said things that were “hate-filled, vile and racist.”
Dismissing these comments as “distractions” would be a a mistake since the President’s rhetoric is a very important element which sends a message on behalf of the whole nation.
The fact that the President is willing to use such ‘crass and hateful’ rhetoric in public is more than careless and could be fatal to a country like the U.S.
All presidents are human beings and they have used informal speech in public throughout history, many times. There are even records of them cursing, screaming, yelling and saying mean things sometimes.
President Lyndon Johnson, speaking to a military adviser, referred to Vietnam as “little pissant country”. He was also not shy of using the “N Word” and uttering racist rhetoric.
After the Watts riots back in 1965, he complained how African Americans have to accept that they have “obligations as well as rights.” Also a great part of his daily conversations were not appropriate for children. He was heard once, saying, “I do know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.”
President Richard Nixon, reportedly oftentimes swore and used anti-Semitic language behind closed doors. He once called Henry Kissinger “Jew-boy.”
This is not the end of foul language in the White House, however.
According to CNN, “President Carter famously told a group of legislators that he would “whip his ass” while President Clinton was famous for his curse-filled tirades in private meetings”
Nevertheless, even after such infamous speech has been made known to the public, the country would expect that in formal situations, presidents should refrain from such behavior and abide by a certain level of decorum.
The report explains how the problem isn’t that the President uses curse words, but the context in which he chooses to utter those particular words.
According to CNN: President Trump, who launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, was reported to have said that all Haitians “have AIDS” (the White House denied the statement) and that Nigerians “live in huts.”
When he said during the campaign that US Judge Gonzalo Curiel should recuse himself from the Trump University lawsuit because of his Mexican background, Speaker Paul Ryan called it the “textbook definition of a racist comment.” Trump’s comments about Muslims in the US and around the world, perpetually painting them as a dangerous and hostile population, are too extensive to list in one article.
It is very important, especially now with all this recent obsession with his “mental health fitness” to avoid such public representation.
He has used such careless rhetoric in his recent tweets about North Korea as well, with which he entails enormous risks for the country.
The biggest part of the president’s job is to remain thoughtful and calculative, to act wit caution and be aware that every wrong statement can initiate a number of massive consequences, and some of them might even be deadly.
It is evident that as records show many presidents have been willing to go with their gut sometimes and say something off the script, but it’s important that that doesn’t become a habit.
The biggest danger from tolerating such a behavior in a president, is that the public might accept it and even view it as a part of what being a president means.
Being bold and courageous are admirable qualities, however it’s very important to be careful that these qualities don’t turn into self-destructive tendencies.