Election 2020PoliticsStacy M. Brown

Does Any Other U.S. President Compare with the Unhinged Trump?

“Unhinged” serves as a continuing series developed by The Washington Informer which seeks to chronicle the unpredictable and sometimes questionable behavior of Donald Trump, including potential instances of race-baiting, while providing closer scrutiny of multiple examples of the president’s statements or positions, proven to be false or unfounded, that have marked his presidency.

President Donald Trump has continued his fascination and praise of dictators like North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, which has even caused some of his detractors to pause and consider just how unhinged the commander in chief has become.

Among the eye-popping, “come again?” moments offered by the United States of America’s 45th president to journalist Bob Woodward: Trump’s revelation of helping the Saudi Crown prince cover up the brutal murder of an American journalist.

It’s admissions like that and other “shaking my head” moments throughout Trump’s four decidedly controversial years that have history buffs trying to determine whether America has ever elected as president such a divisive, racially-insensitive, and unabashed opposer of truth.

“Trump is the most divisive and unscrupulous president America has had. Other presidents don’t hold a candle to Trump in terms of incompetence and surrounding themselves with sycophants and inept family members,” Konrad Juengling, a gay rights activist, and writer told The Washington Informer in an email.

“Just look at the last Republican National Convention,” railed Juengling, a collateral descendent of President Abraham Lincoln through Lincoln’s great-grandfather, John Lincoln.

“It was practically a family reunion for the Trump family. Trump’s interests lie in expanding his empire and growing his fortune. If he has to run America into the ground by appealing to racists, homophobes, and nationalists, he’ll do it.”

Dr. Karla Mastracchio, a presidential communication expert and communications consultant, stopped short of labeling Trump the most racist.

However, she qualified it by noting that 24-hour news programs and social media enables information to travel instantly.

“Donald Trump is not the first president to say racist things or support policies and laws that displace people of color,” Dr. Mastracchio observed.

“He happens to be president in a time where digital media is accessible for everyone, so it’s not surprising, he is using this medium to normalize inflammatory language and meanness.”

She continued with a comparison to America’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson, who claimed to represent the common man.

Yet, Jackson’s legacy is that of an overt racist who, in 1804, years before taking office, posted a sign for an escaped slave that read, “Stop the Runaway. Fifty dollars reward. A Mulatto man slave. All reasonable expenses paid — and ten dollars extra for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred.”

Dr. Mastracchio noted that Jackson didn’t have access to mass media and couldn’t reach millions of people worldwide in real-time.

“That capability didn’t exist then. So, while I would say the current president might not be the most divisive, the access digital apps like Twitter provides make the impacts of his speech greater now than in the past,” she posited.

James Hartman, a political consultant based in Louisiana who has worked for candidates in both the GOP and Democratic parties, said it might be unfair to call Trump unhinged.

“That is insulting to those with actual, diagnosed mental illnesses who are functional and seek help,” Hartman contended. “There is no president in modern history who has exploited the economic underclass and pre-existing racial divisions as this president shamefully has,” he added.

“The closest POTUS in terms of controversy would be President Nixon, and his foibles pale compared to those of President Trump. I am a longtime moderate Republican who voted against Trump in 2016 and who will again in 2020. I make my living in politics and public policy; I know what I’m talking about.”

 

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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