Trump’s thin skin is a liability turning him into a dangerous bully

By Peter Rosenstein - January 18, 2017 12:00 am

Donald Trump will have to man-up and find a way to move past his insecurities if he is to be an effective President. It’s clear his thin skin and need to respond to any verbal attack will leave him and maybe the nation vulnerable.

The time has come for Trump to accept as the President of the United States and de-facto leader of the free world he will only succeed if he can get over the need to respond to every verbal attack. Someone who he respects, maybe his daughter Ivanka, maybe a psychiatrist, must explain to him every time he responds to verbal attacks from less powerful people it makes him look both small and petty. He may be small and petty, but if he is to effectively represent us to the world and keep America safe and out of war he must refrain from going tit-for-tat with everyone.

No matter what John Lewis (D-GA), civil rights hero and icon, said about him, Trump lost the fight the moment he responded. The same happened when he responded to Meryl Streep, attacking her acting ability when it is widely accepted she is the most respected actress of our generation. It is much more scary and dangerous when he tweets about international relations with China or tries to conduct foreign policy on twitter.

Trump appears to relish living in a social media world and on reality TV. A world where everything he says and does is on tape or recorded which makes it so perplexing when he denies something like mocking a reporter with a disability which he knows is on tape for the world to see. One must question his version of reality and whether he actually inhabits an alternate universe.

He is a participant in what unfortunately has become common place on social media; bullying and attacks without regard to consequences. Sadly it is how people communicate these days. Yet when a President does it and sounds like a fifth grader it is more frightening because the consequences can be much more dangerous.

Mr. Trump is exhibit A when we look at how we have lost our ability to communicate in a civil manner. He displays a limited vocabulary and lack of thought process and understanding of the bigger picture when the only way he can make his point is by tweeting it in 144 characters.

We must assume he knows better but is unable to control himself. He did make longer speeches during the campaign and even managed to read a few off a teleprompter. But his insecurities continue to come to the fore when he gets up at 7am and finds it necessary to release a stream of tweets attacking someone when he would look better and get more respect if he didn’t respond.

It is more difficult to be a bully when you are face-to-face with someone; when you speak to them on the phone; or take the time to actually put pen to paper. Now in Trump’s case his personal interactions with women have not always shown this to be true. But moving away from social media would give even Donald Trump more time to explain himself, think about what he is going to say and how he will say it. Even those without the obvious insecurities of Trump who communicate unedited on email, twitter and Face Book often wish to have their messages recalled. It is why we teach our children once something is out there on social media, once you hit the ‘send‘ or ‘post‘ button, what you say can follow you all your life.

At noon on Friday, January 20, 2017 Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. The nation will be safer if someone close to him suggests and he listens, to do with his twitter account what he has arranged for his children to do with his business. They were told to hire an ethics monitor who has to approve all deals in writing before they are finalized. Mr. Trump should hire a White House social media monitor whose job will be to review and approve all tweets before they go out. It would help him and may actually keep the United States and the world safer.

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