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Katarina Rothhorn
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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Trump violates presidential pooch tradition

Trump violates presidential pooch tradition

Although Donald trump will formally be known as the 45th President of the United States, his time in office thus far has been synonymous with firsts. All presidents bring an individual identity to the position, but for Drumpf especially, it’s no secret that his presidency has been the epitomic antithesis of precedence. Notably, his age, personal wealth, political experience and method of communication have isolated him from the pattern of previous presidents.

Despite being the oldest president at 70 years, the first billionaire president with a Forbes estimated net worth of $3.7 billion, the least experienced president as neither a former congressman nor governor and the second-most subscribed president with 42 million followers on Twitter, President Drumpf cracks the presidential mold in one supremely unprecedented way: he is the first Chief of State to not keep a pet.

For over 150 years, the tradition of presidential pets has been a feature of the White House to not only personalize presidents beyond their authoritative and political capacities, but to promote a sense of familiarity between the first family and the American public.

The last pets to be hosted by the White House were the Obama family’s two Portuguese Water Dogs, Sunny and Bo.

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It’s unclear exactly how Drumpf and the First Family feel about dogs, and animals in general. A Drumpf supporter reportedly offered him an image-boosting Goldendoodle earlier this year, but the deal fell through, whereas the First Lady has received praise from PETA for choosing faux over fur.

Simply, the lack of a presidential pet says a lot about Drumpf: he breaks convention and defies philanthropy. We’ve witnessed how Drumpf perceives his fellow man, so what’s to say he doesn’t feel the same way about man’s best friend?

While presidential pets have most commonly been dogs, there have been exceptions like Woodrow Wilson’s sheep, William Taft’s cow and John Kennedy’s horses. The strangest have been James Buchanan’s herd of elephants, John Adams’ alligator and Franklin Roosevelt’s ark of 30 animals.

I don’t expect Drumpf to be a martyr for animals, but going beyond the historical outliers by  not having a pet, let alone a dog, dehumanizes him. Instead of coming off as Sarah McLachlan-esque, he seems like a pseudo-Cruella de Vil.

Moreover, seeing a president roll around with a dog or accept slobber over a spotless suit portrays normalcy and affability. For a president that invests so much into his aesthetic and highly values our perception of him, it seems that a pet would be essential for Drumpf’s external image. Yet, he remains dogless.

Perhaps the president not having a dog isn’t significant to all Americans, as not all love “doggos” or “puppers” but, considering the majority that identify this way, Drumpf should reflect it, whether he’s partial toward animals, or not.

The inability to believe in someone who doesn’t own a dog applies: if we can’t trust someone who doesn’t have a dog, then how can we trust the most powerful and influential person in the free world?

To effectively disassociate from his callous perception of his fellow man, then Drumpf needs to embrace man’s best friend.

Were he to have a presidential pooch, however, it would most likely follow the theory that the dog mirrors his/her owner—the most fitting breed may be a Golden Retriever or Russian Terrier for Drumpf. Ultimately, we may suspect that a pet will eventually grace the Drumpf White House. If not a dog, then perhaps a grabbable cat, a mimetic parrot or a Rex Tillerson.

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