Amidst this time of uncertainty, our president has begun calling himself a “wartime” president. During a press conference March 18, Trump said “I view it as, in a sense, a wartime president” while speaking of the COVID-19 epidemic., attempting to put himself on the pedestal of great leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. It’s another sad attempt by the president to clean his image and project himself as something he isn’t. To say that a “war” against a virus equates to leading a country during active conflict is simply false.
The president continued to put on this facade later in the press conference, referencing several times the courage and sacrifice of citizens in World War II . Trump claims that this is America’s time to fight its war against this virus. While the comparison is not off base, it’s all a part of an act that Trump is putting on, creating that fearless leader look that he desperately wants.
It’s no secret this pandemic has caused the American economy to take a hit. On March 12th, the stock market faced its biggest loss in over thirty years. This is a bad look for a president that has prided himself on strengthening the economy, which was his fallback on criticism against him.
Trump needs to put on a new face, fast. The general election is coming up and the charade he’s putting on is to help him get elected. At times like these, the country needs a leader that can be selfless and honest, someone who is only focused on fixing the situation.
Any president is concerned with getting a second term, I’m not faulting him for that. However if the president stopped making this about himself and acted with respect toward the situation, his prospects of remaining in the White House might be a little brighter. The president, once again, is playing his media games when the country needs him most, and these stunts will backfire on him in the polls. He may not be a “wartime” president, but he has an opportunity to be a selfless one, hopefully he chooses to take it.