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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump's Legacy: Body Shaming and Name Calling

Is President Trump a necessary overcorrection to a culture that was beginning to become too disrespectful and prejudicial? Is he "sent by God" as some on the far right say, and is this savior of sorts here to demonstrate to us just how horrible it is to name call and disrespect others--will that be his legacy?

Day after day, we read Trump's tweets that call people names and refer to blood and body events. Many were shocked when he referred to a women's period during his campaign, and today he refers to blood from a face lift in a tweet. We've heard him call people "losers" and today he discusses an individual's IQ inferring that the person is not bright. Again and again he disparages people he doesn't agree with, and opens the flood gates to those, like him, who respond to issues and individuals with demeaning remarks rather than civil discourse, discussion, and debate.

The question this prompts is why does he do this?

I don't remember a time when a President of the United States was so outwardly disrespectful and demeaning to others?

So why now?

I can imagine many reasons why President Trump may do this.

First, he may do this because it keeps his name at the forefront of articles and the news. Rather than paying attention to deeper, more impactful issues, people are paying attention to his tweets leaving room for him to quietly support issues of greater depth and impact--issues that we may or may not agree with.

Next, he may do it to stay at the center of national and international debate. I've read about the importance of hearing a candidate's name when it comes to voting, and perhaps he knows that his outlandish tweets keep his name up front.

Further, he could be suffering from a physical disability that challenges respectful conduct. Recently, I sadly noted the demise of someone I valued greatly. The man's behavior deteriorated significantly over time. In the end, he had a tragic death--a death that was later found to result from a physical disease.

Or, he just may believe that it is right and good to use harsh words and disrespectful phrases to demean his enemies. He may not believe in civility and respect, and do whatever he wants to do to get his way--a sort of wild west approach to leadership.

Whatever his reasons, I for one do not agree with his use of name calling and disparaging, personal comments. I believe that when the President of the United States acts without respect, he signals to others that it's okay to act without respect and that tears at our country's strength and character.

His comments, often prejudicial in nature, elevate some while demean others--they take a simplistic look at human nature by naming things "good" and "bad" rather than seeing the complexity of matters. His comments belittle human dignity, intelligence, and worth by inferring that the American people are simplistic and beneath the complexity needed to truly analyze, judge, resolve and/or develop the important issues of the day. Further, it seems that he has little regard for the average American as his policies and choices appear to support only those, like him, who have great wealth and represent a predominantly white male culture.

President Trump is confronting the American people with speak and acts that we have not dealt with anytime in the recent past. How will the American people respond to his brash disrespect and erratic behavior? What will this President's legacy be? Will he move past body shaming and name calling to matters of respect and importance or will he continue to represent behavior that is unacceptable in most grade schools, families and communities?

What do you think?