What the 'Trumpification' of the presidency means to Generation Z

Roundup
tags: Trump, Generation Z



Julian Zelizer is a history and public affairs professor at Princeton University and the author of "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." He's also the co-host of the "Politics & Polls" podcast. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

With the kind of comments that Donald Trump allegedly made to the pregnant widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, regardless of what Chief of Staff John Kelly was suggesting he say, Generation Z won't be surprised if a president fails to display empathy and is more focused on lashing out against adversaries. 

We must wonder how younger generations will be impacted by the "Trumpification" of the American presidency. For Generation Z, the Americans born between 1995 and today, it is possible that the institution will not be held in the same esteem it once was. But even if an adult is not blindly nostalgic about the complicated history of the men who inhabited this office, they surely must understand that we have seen things in the last 10 months that have challenged the basic norms and values we expect from a commander in chief.

Perhaps the worst danger is that we are no longer shocked by anything.

If Richard Nixon taught the baby boomers that they could never fully trust a president, Trump is erasing any expectation whatsoever that the president should aim to heal and lift the dignity of the Republic. 

Most striking has been the fact that he abandoned any sense that a president should strive to achieve unity. He is at war with almost everyone. One of his most consistent characteristics has been his willingness and eagerness to divide. Since his campaign, he has introduced Americans to a new enemy on a weekly basis. ...




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