Just to be clear, incentivizing our president to be more presidential-sounding doesn’t actually change the policies he’s supporting. In fact, this speech explicitly doubled down on certain policy planks that should be seen as antithetical to any reasonable conception of American values. The VOICE program he outlines is designed solely to divide and create an irrational fear to justify an exclusionary policy that denies people not only opportunity but refuge based on where they are born and what religion they practice.
If Ted Cruz or Sherrod Brown, capable speakers, laid out this platform, it would still be abhorrent.
If Barack Obama or Ronald Reagan, very good speakers, laid out this platform, it would still be abhorrent.
Placing value on this (or any) president “sounding presidential” independently of the policies they espouse is not designed to save democracy. It is to make ourselves feel better about the injustice that is being sanctioned.
And the end result of that cannot be anything but increased complacency.
We cannot lose sight of what this administration is proposing. Not just the big headline-grabbers like an Obamacare repeal or the immigration EO, but also the 25% cut to the EPA in the White House’s budget blueprint. Or, on the same day that our president insinuated that desecration of Jewish graves was a false flag attack to get back at him, the potential elimination of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
And sure, whether Donald is prone to freelancing and revealing his lack of knowledge and information probably does make a real difference regarding other countries’ views of us. But what exactly have we done lately to deserve the high standing that we have been told to expect from others?
That can, and hopefully will, change. But in order for that change to happen, we must not be distracted.
We must stay informed.