This is Part One of our 12-part-series of “Trump-Eds,” or Trump Editorials. This series draws largely from the Great Courses Series, “Great American Presidents,” by Professor Allan Lichtman, who has been interviewed many times by news media outlets about Trump’s potential.
Character defined our first President, George Washington. He sought the approval of the people, He sought the approval of the people by being a man of service, sacrifice, and integrity. He was a man who sought fame and glory. He was skilled at math and became a surveyor.
His life was not entirely full of what Americans of modern times would consider “pure” character, flirting with Sally Fairfax, a married woman, behind her husband’s back. He owned land, but was mired in debt in his early life.
He believed in the Rules of Civility, which included, among many other rules (he copied 100 “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior” down in his own writings), that one ought not interrupt another when they speak. He was diligent in following these rules (historians today believe that he followed those one hundred rules to the best of his ability) and driven by respect for others.
When President, above all else, he sought the “Great American Ideal,” which was to leave a legacy that left the country better off than when he became its steward.
Trump Analysis: Mr. Trump embodies many of the more negative aspects of George Washington. He is a land-owning magnate, yet has suffered several bankruptcies in his career. He’s definitely flirted with women and is driven by approval via fame and glory. Our President-Elect is not marked by service and sacrifice, and personal integrity is lacking by modern-day standards. Above all, he does not follow the rule of civility of not interrupting others. Though the President-Elect does believe that taxation has gotten out of hand, as did our first President, this is probably one of the only “positive” similarities between Mr. Trump and President Washington.