Trump slammed as ‘lazy’ for 17-day holiday

Time off: Trump played golf six times in his first month as president. © Getty

On Saturday Donald Trump jetted off to his golf resort in New Jersey for a 17-day break. His critics accuse him of shirking, but should we be more relaxed about politicians going on holiday?

On Saturday Donald Trump embarked on a 17-day holiday at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. His aides are billing it as a “working vacation”.

Inevitably, however, a quick search reveals how Trump has criticised people for going on holiday in the past.

In August 2011 he tweeted: “@BarackObama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a 10 day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Nice work ethic.”

In his 2004 book Think Like a Billionaire, Trump writes: “Don’t take vacations. What’s the point? If you’re not enjoying your work, you’re in the wrong job.”

But Trump has changed his tune, taking 11 such “working” vacations before this month to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as to New Jersey.

But Trump is not the only president to enjoy getting away from it all. Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, would go on sea voyages “because he was so stressed and burdened by all the demands on him.”

The USA is the only advanced nation which does not mandate paid leave. Most Americans get only two weeks off, but 54% of workers ended 2016 with spare days of unused time off. Two thirds say they continue to work while on holiday.

Should such a hard-working population put up with Trump going away for 17 days?

Working out

“This is blatant hypocrisy,” say many of Trump’s critics. Being president of the United States is the single most important job in the world. It is one that requires a person’s full attention. If you are playing golf, you cannot run the country.

“But Trump does not run the country,” reply others. The USA is a free society that runs itself. Presidents age quickly in office, and it is common sense to see that Trump will function better if he relaxes from time to time. And perhaps we could all do with taking a break from politics for a while.

You Decide

  1. Is Donald Trump right to take a 17-day holiday?

Activities

  1. List the five things you think are most important about going on holiday.

Some People Say...

“A bit less Trump is no bad thing.”

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Donald Trump is taking his first official holiday as US president. He is going to his own private golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, for 17 days.
What do we not know?
How much work Trump will really do on holiday. Most American politicians take time off in August, so there are not going to be any wrangles over Obamacare or the wall to distract him.

Word Watch

Martha’s Vineyard
An island located to the south of Cape Cod in Massachussets. It is best known for its affluence and the number of famous people who spend the summer there. As well as Obama, Bill Clinton made it a favourite destination.
Mar-a-Lago
Trump purchased the Florida resort in 1985, putting his then-wife Ivana in charge of running it. The Trumps have private quarters in a closed-off area of the house and grounds.
54%
According to the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off study.
Two thirds
According to jobs site Glassdoor.

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