Ever since the election in November there has been a great deal of talk about Donald Trump being “Not My President”. I’d like to take this time to talk about the significant difference between “My” and “The” in this discussion.
To start, lets be very clear about just one thing, come next month Donald J. Trump will become the next President of the United States. Weather you voted for Trump or not. Weather you support him or not, it makes no difference, he will be “The” President. He does not, necessarily, become “My” President if you oppose him or his administration.
The significant difference is that “My” denotes support or likening for some one or something. In this case the current holder of the office of the President of the United States. All Americans should remember to see the Office, not the man, most of the time. When Donald Trump is acting in his capacity of being the President, then he is “The” President. All other times he is just “My” or “Your” President. All Americans are free, for now, to say what ever we want about President Trump when he is not being “The” President. We are not free to say anything when he is acting as “The” President.
Many people have asked me, “Well, how can I tell when he is ‘The’ President and when he is not?” Good Question, and not an easy one to answer but there are some good clues. First, and easiest is you can be fairly sure he is in his role of “The” President when he is in any of the formal settings of the office, like the Oval Office or the White House Rose Garden. Like wise, he is not in the formal role when he is talking to political leaders of the GOP, or the Democratic Party for that matter. Past Presidents have usually worked very hard to let people know when they are stepping out of the persona “The” President and this made it easier for people to know that when they didn’t send the signal(s) that they were NOT being “The” President then they were being “The” President. That is, absent any signal(s) to the contrary the person holding the office of POTUS is always being “The” President. One of the most common signals is when the President leaves the White House to go to Camp David or on Vacation.
These signals are going to become very problematic with the Trump Presidentcy if he follows thru with his indicated plan to spend a great deal of time in his home in Trump Tower. Also, is he being “The” President when he Tweets? How will we tell? If he follows thru with his stand-offishnes with the press, the traditional signaler of the change of status it will be up to each individual to decide. This may cause some very interesting problems for the new Administration. I can’t wait to see what happens.
So, come January 21st 2017 Donald J. Trump will be “The” President but he will never be “My” President.