MUTEGUYA DENIS: A leader’s insults can be a double-edged sword.

During the US presidential campaigns, there were moments of heated exchange between the candidates as they attempted to win over voters. However, it was generally understood that these exchanges were part and parcel of political campaigning. That all changed during the presidential debate when President Trump launched a vicious attack on his opponent Joe Biden.

Trump accused Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, of being thrown out of the military due to cocaine use. This was a devastating blow to Biden who was visibly shaken by the accusation. While he defended his son’s honour, it seemed that the damage had already been done.

What is surprising is that this attack on Hunter Biden actually worked against Trump. Many of his key supporters denounced his behaviour and even his own niece, Mary Trump, publicly criticised him for interrupting Vice President Biden’s comments about his late son Beau in order to spread lies about Hunter. It seems that Trump had scored an own goal with this attack.

This incident serves as a reminder that trading insults and personal attacks does not add any value to one’s political or social capital. Instead, it highlights a lack of emotional maturity among leaders.

Politicians need to find more positive ways to sell their ideas to voters rather than resorting to insults and mudslinging. Only then can we have constructive debates and meaningful progress in our society.