According to virtue ethics, there are certain attitudes, dispositions, and characters that enable people to develop full humanity, such as courage, wisdom, and temperance. There are also vices such insensibility and cowardice which undermine the common good and human relations. This essay will analyze the virtues and vices that drive the presidency of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States.
What is a Virtue?
Virtues are dispositions that allow people to follow their ideals and develop full human character. One of the key virtues that Donald Trump displays is sincerity or honesty. The Oxford Dictionary (n.d.) defines sincerity as the absence of hypocrisy or pretense.
The virtue of sincerity is also considered as the openness and genuineness with which a person expresses himself or herself in behavior and actions (Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.). The words and actions of a sincere person reflect a truthful heart. Sincerity can relate to how a person relates with other people without pretense; but it begins within oneself.
Sincerity is also referred to as earnestness – being truly interested in one’s beliefs. Being sincere is a straightforward and honest approach to issues. The virtue is also described as the state of honesty in intention and communication.
What is a Vice?
A vice is a negative disposition that ruins a person’s character. One of the critical vices that affects Trump’s leadership is insensibility. According to the Oxford Dictionary (n.d.), insensibility refers to unconsciousness, lack of emotional appeal, and indifference.
The vice is also defined as the lack of concern or understanding about other people’s issues. Insensibility is opposed to temperance because insensible people are deficient with the pleasures of touch and emotions. Anything that contradicts the natural order of things is vicious, and nature introduces pleasure into the ordinary operations of human life.
Thus, insensibility, which is opposed to the virtue of temperament, is a vice because it causes lack of concern for the pleasures of others in the daily operations of human life. Insensitive people express the susceptibility of emotion.
The Virtue of Sincerity
Donald Trump depicts the virtue of sincerity because he always speaks out his mind and delivers the promises he makes, and stands for his beliefs regardless of the opposition he gets. For instance, Trump promised in the election campaigns to the Presidency in 2016 that he would pursue strict immigration policies such as building a wall at the border with Mexico (Peterson-Withorn and Wang, 2016).
He has strongly stood with the promise as he has enforced zero tolerance to immigration, and continues to push for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border amidst strong opposition from within and outside his Republican Party (Forbes, 2017). He has followed up what he said during and after elections with actions.
Sincerity entails being free of hypocrisy and pretense. Indeed, the President has avoided hypocrisy by pushing for his beliefs on immigration.
A sincere person often expresses a truthful heart by words and action, and Trump has matched his election promises with actions as president. According to Devinatz (2017), the election of president Trump was boosted by increased support from labor unions who had historically been supporting the Democratic Party.
Through the idea of making America “Great Again”, the Republican candidate promised increased opportunities for working class individuals. This message appealed to the Southern states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. After elections, the president implemented economic policies such as tax cuts, protection of local industries, and deregulation (Lim, 2018).
The policies have led to increased economic growth and increased employment. The economy has grown by 2.5% in 2017 under Trump administration, showing that the president was sincere with the promises of improving the economy. Furthermore, the President promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act which was implemented during the Obama Administration, and he has attempted to introduce changes to the Act through Congress several times (Idalskiand and McCallum, 2017). Thus, the President is sincere because he delivers what he promised.
The Vice of Insensibility
Defined as lack of concern, insensibility is a common vice for Donald Trump. Although the president speaks and acts in a sincere manner, he often goes overboard in his speeches to make insensitive comments. During his campaigns towards 2016 elections, Trump claimed that Mexican immigrants are rapists, animals, and drug dealers (Abel, 2018). The statement shows that he is insensitive.
Although he is sincere about fighting crime and drug trafficking, the methods he uses to achieve his goals are insensitive. Donald Trump is quite indifferent about the feelings of his victims in his hatemongering. The statement could be referring to real criminals, but his communication style is insensitive because he does not care about the emotions of genuine Mexicans in the United States.
The President has also been using Twitter on several occasions to make statements and announce actions that show complete lack of sensitivity and responsiveness to people’s concerns. According to Devinatz (2017), Donald Trump uses angry tweets to pass insensitive messages that often cause conflicts and public dissatisfaction.
Trump uses the language to correct what he considers as wrong issues in the American society. However, through the process of enforcing his principles the president makes wild accusations and uses bad and divisive language. For instance, he once twitted that the North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un is short and fat (Devinatz, 2017).
Donald Trump’s provocations are insensitive because it undermines the appeal to the emotions of other people. An insensitive person provokes anger, hate and division. He makes his opponents to become emotionally horrified. Therefore, Trump’s vice of insensitivity undermines his sincerity and commitment.
Virtue Ethics play a significant role in promoting human character, behavior and relationships. Several virtues affect the character, behaviors, and interactions of individuals in society. On the other hand, vices undermine good character, behavior and human relations. The United States’ President Donald Trump is one of the key leaders who have demonstrated both vices and virtues publicly.
The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, demonstrates the virtue of sincerity. The virtue refers to the demonstration of honesty and lack of hypocrisy and deceit. The U.S. President has demonstrated sincerity by delivering the promises of his campaign messages regardless of how crude the methods he uses may be.
The president boosted the economy, increased employment, and protected the domestic industries through certain policies such as tax cuts and deregulation (Ball, 2018). Trump has also acted toughly on immigration as he has always promised, and committed most of his time trying to implement policies that protect national interests. All these actions are in tandem with what he always advocates. Thus, he is sincere and honest about what he says and does.
Donald Trump demonstrates the virtue of sincerity and the vice of insensitivity. The president has been sincere throughout his presidency because he has fulfilled the promises he made during campaigns, including the promises of deregulation, repealing affordable healthcare, changing immigration policy, and improving economic growth and levels of employment in the country.
Despite being sincere, the president uses insensitive language and communication styles to pass his messages. The leader has been making insensitive comments on twitter about people of color, depicting discrimination and acting harshly against immigrants.