Trump’s Address on His Acquittal Showcases Why People Hate Him. And Love Him.
Published in The Washington Post
on February 6, 2020
President Trump inspires devotion and hatred in nearly equal measures. His Thursday address celebrating his acquittal by the Senate showed exactly why that’s the case.
It is easy to see why people hate him so. The speech wasn’t a speech at all. His rambling, disjointed talk touched on so many topics, with so many half-finished asides, that a GPS couldn’t have steered you to the right destination. When he doesn’t have a teleprompter, he is easily the most inarticulate president in history.
He’s also incredibly unreflective. He remains utterly blind to the moral problems on full display in the rough transcript of his infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Rooting out corruption in an important U.S. ally is in the public interest. Telling that ally’s leader to work with your personal lawyer to investigate your potential opponent is not. He doesn’t see that, and he never will.
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Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.