A tale of two Trumps

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Trump confuses me. As of right now, I can’t figure out what his deal is. A year and a half ago, President-elect Donald Trump announced his presidency at Trump Tower. He proceeded the announcement with a speech filled with racism, hate and derogatory remarks to pretty much everyone: ethnicities, his campaign opponents, and those on the Democratic side. This behavior kept up until election night, when he suddenly changed his tone. He seemed professional, courteous and almost presidential. In the weeks coming, this new Trump seemed to be around to stay, appearing to lose his presumed racist, misogynistic attitude. So what is going on?

When he first spoke over a year ago, I immediately hated him. This was not the behavior of a man who deserved to sit in the highest office of the land, and news networks and people everywhere echoed this sentiment.

On election night, I was stunned by the outcome. In Trump’s acceptance speech, I expected to hear the same kind of rhetoric from Trump that I’ve been used to. I anticipated his derogatory remarks, predicting him to mock Hillary Clinton for losing and rile up his supporters in a nationalistic frenzy as he had routinely done. I did not expect what actually happened. For the first time, Donald Trump seemed professional, almost humble. He congratulated Hillary Clinton on a long and hard-fought campaign, twice, and asked the country to come together and unify, a surprising move since his words in the past year encouraged division more than anything else. These words took me aback, because this was coming from a man who had seemed intent on dividing the country to the point of starting a new civil war.

In the words of Trump himself, “What the heck is going on?”

Last year, there was the racist and zealous Trump who seemed to be intent on pandering to the white base of the Republican Party, a Trump who was denounced by almost every other candidate and media outlet as unfit for presidency, a Trump who was widely regarded as unqualified for office. All of a sudden, we’re faced with a new, more presidential Trump who seems to have done a 180 degree attitude change. During an interview on 60 Minutes, Trump balked on his promise to charge Clinton, stating that he wanted to first focus on policy matters. He said that he would keep key parts of Obamacare, despite his promises to “repeal and replace” it, and finally he told off his supporters that were harassing minorities.

All of this seems great, but begs the question, which one is the real Trump? Is it the racist, misogynistic chauvinist we had last year, or this professional reconciliatory president-elect we have now? If it’s the former, then this is all just a farce to try to make him seem more appealing to those he alienated. If it’s the latter, then his supporters reinforced a facade and Trump may turn out better than I expected. What lies ahead and what he does next cannot be predicted, as Trump has proven multiple times to be a completely unpredictable wild card. I hope this new behavior is genuine because it’s a lot more agreeable and pleasant to deal with. However, we’ll have to see what Trump does following his inauguration on Jan. 20.

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