Each year, the standing U.S president adheres to certain traditions. There is the State of the Union Address and the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, to name a few. In both of these events, the president is expected to attend. Knowing Donald Trump, he will defy anything and everything that is not to his standard. In his place, a comedian from the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Hasan Nahraj, hosted the dinner. It wasn’t really a night of debauchery, more of a night of humility and hilarity for the American people.
The Irony of it All
An Indian-American Muslim man, hosted one of the important events in the White House, while the man of the hour, was notoriously absent. Hasan Nahraj took this responsibility simply because no one else wanted the job. Could anyone blame him? Trump has made an enemy of the media by threatening one of the fundamental aspects of the first amendment: freedom of speech. People also did not want to be a symbol everything Trump has stood for thusfar in his presidency and in his campaign. It was ironic that a minority, Muslim man was chosen for the task of leading the Correspondent’s Dinner given Trump’s stance on minorities and Muslims.
Not one member of his administration was in attendance on Sunday night. Given that it was the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, one would expect at least someone from Trump’s administration or cabinet would be there. Instead, they were on the tail-end of a bevy of jokes from the host. The journalists in the audience were in heady agreement of Hasan’s numerous jokes and jabs at the president. It is clear, that their view of the current president, is mired with disrespect and disbelief.
Compare and Contrast
Compare this event, with that of previous years. If you watch former President Obama’s previous dinners, the differences are evident. First of all, the president actually was in attendance for all 8 of the dinners. Each of the events were a mixture of lightheartedness and seriousness. Obama had, and still has, a distinct charisma that Trump very much lacks. That side of him appeared only during the campaign trail. When his presidency was announced, out came the impulsive remarks, and “fake news” remarks, along with a new tweet or two.
I could go on about the differences between Obama and Trump’s presidency, but that would mean talking about politics. That’s for a later discussion.
Bottom line: this dinner was supposed to be a show of solidarity on behalf of the president towards the press, and the others in attendance. By not showing up, Trump broke tradition and showed a whole lot of disrespect for the press, as he continues to do. His approval ratings are somewhere in the 30-percentile range. If he continues to challenge the unalienable rights of every American citizen, they will continue to drop
The question remains, is all this enough to impeach him? Or will the American people continue to be swayed by his blatant disregard of the Constitution?