At first, it may have been endearing to some. Here was a successful business leader and reality television star who always spoke his mind. Donald Trump said out loud what people were often thinking but would never state in public. He was brash and fearless, and the media could not tame him. The nicknames and insults were sometimes funny, usually mean, nasty, and almost always inappropriate.
Trying to Get Obama
It started when he spoke out about President Barack Obama’s citizenship and birth certificate. Then it was the debate stage. Twitter is where he dominated the discourse. Now it is Truth Social, his own social network. This guy’s big mouth always got in the way.
Speak Loud and Carry a Volatile Stick
Why can’t he just keep his mouth shut?
Why not instead speak softly and carry a big stick? He speaks loudly and uses the stick to strike out against the media, his opponents, his enemies, his allies, and his friends. Some speak back. Others are afraid to pick a fight. Some remain silent during the insults. Others can ignore it however bad it gets. The abuse from Donald Trump can be relentless. Take Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also a Republican. Trump has been tormenting McConnell for years, but the Kentucky senator rarely takes the bait and retorts. This may be the best way to deal with Trump, but the negativity takes its toll.
You Need a Thick Skin
You cannot be thin-skinned when it comes to dealing with the former president. No one is safe. Try to criticize him, and you are left behind. Turn into a whistleblower, and the pain lasts forever. Disagree with him, and you could be fired, even if you are a long-term and loyal member of his team. No matter how devoted you have been in the past, you can find yourself kicked off the Trump Train in an instant.
Make Your Own Attorney General the Enemy
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is another example. Sessions was one of the only senators who endorsed Donald Trump early on. But Sessions made a mistake, according to Trump. In 2017, He recused himself from any matters dealing with the Trump electoral campaign and its various investigations. You can’t find a nicer guy than Sessions, who has a reputation for being decent and soft-spoken. The recusal was ethical, but Trump savaged Sessions and used a slur to insult him, a derogatory term for people with disabilities. This was against a friend, mind you.
How Many Insults Were Bandied About?
The insults and negative terms documented were unbelievable. A New York Times study in 2021 listed all the negative things that Trump said from 2015 to 2021. This was just what he shared on Twitter. The study did not keep track of what he said to the media. The list is exhaustive and impossible to count. The Times went from A to Z and listed all the scornful comments. Just by taking a quick perusal of the list, each letter of the alphabet has dozens and dozens of negative terms, mean rejoinders, acidic complaints, and hurtful insults.
Let Donald Trump Be Trump
This, of course, made so many enemies that it was difficult for Trump to govern. His handlers could not keep him under control. They said, “We let Trump be Trump.” Well, Trump was a pain in the rear who always went too far.
Trump’s legal woes are beyond the scope of this article. You are likely already familiar with many of them. Most attorneys will tell their clients who face legal jeopardy to be silent and put a lid on media appearances and quotes. Trump remaining quiet? Are you kidding? How many times has Trump said, “witch hunt?”
The Three-Word Rallying Cry
Trump’s communication ploys can be politically effective. He excelled at three-word phrases that thrilled and mesmerized his supporters, such as “Build the Wall; Lock Her Up; and Drain the Swamp.” These are memorable and can be repeated often and chanted at rallies by his faithful.
Is He the Meanest President Ever?
Trump could be considered the meanest president of all time. His supporters even talk about how his mean Tweets were something to be ignored and that we should focus on Trump policy wins instead. There may be some truth to that. Were we all just too sensitive and politically correct? His supporters loved the way Trump took it to the Democrats and the media. Perhaps at first, it was the dream situation. All the pent-up fury and resentment during the Obama years held by Republicans was finally articulated by one of their own, however crude. It was a way to get even and fight back, especially for people who were left behind politically and blue-collar workers who thought they were forsaken by an unjust economy.
Now Trump is running for president again. Some Republicans are ready to turn the page and move on from Trump. His personality has already done the damage. There are those who dislike Trump and those who hate him. That’s probably most of the country. About 30 percent of Republicans will always have his back, but that leaves everyone else.
His big mouth may be his final undoing.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.