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Op-Ed: Trump can't comprehend 'presidential,’ and the republic is paying the price

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21.01.2020

I’ve long argued that Donald Trump’s presidency will end poorly because he’s a person of bad character. I still think that’s true, though I very much doubt the impeachment trial now underway will result in his removal. Regardless of its outcome, his impeachment illustrates the damage bad character can do to the presidency, the culture and the constitutional order.

In monarchies and other systems built around one-man (or one-woman) rule, the leader’s quirks, obsessions or inadequacies cease to be any of those things, becoming fashionable attributes of greatness. Bad jokes that emerge from his or her mouth become hilarious; rudeness, strength. Mispronunciations become fashionable locution. The story of Castilian Spaniards replacing the “s” sound with a “th” sound (“therveza” instead of cerveza) to accommodate King Ferdinand’s lisp is myth, alas (or “alath”). But the moral of the story stands.

We’ve seen something similar happen to large swaths of the GOP. Because Trump is unteachable about how the presidency and our constitutional system are supposed to work, politicians and media figures have dropped their long-held views on foreign policy,........

© Los Angeles Times