Saturday, February 18, 2017

Making America Grate

Taking in a Trump news conference makes me nostalgic for George W Bush. Both men had to drop breadcrumbs to find their way out of a sentence but Dubya seemed benign, even humble. Of course he had much to be humble about.

Our current POTUS forgets the question in the few seconds it takes for a reporter to finish asking it. Regarding the spread of anti-Semitism he replied that he won 306 electoral votes, the largest margin ever. This was the answer to some imagined question in his head and a falsehood, at that.

His attention span and thought process are offensive to a rational mind. His non-sequiturs belong on Saturday Night Live. And he butchers the English language like a fingernail screeching on a blackboard which, I understand, is the same frequency as a baby’s cry provoking our ancient brain to shudder. One might say, Grate. 

Words don’t lie. People do. In the wrong mouth language can lead us into sinkholes, incite a mob or melt a glacier. The more we fear the more we loathe and that demands a fresh supply of negative terms.

With his fifth grade vocabulary Trump rants about everything wrong with the world in some sort of post-literate mindlessness.  His hyperbolic superlatives have the effect of numbing the brain. His favorite word is I but it seems as if it is, very, which precedes every adjective unless he can add the est as in greatest, smartest, biggest (himself)….miserable, disgusting, nasty (everyone else). His opponents are all losers, total-losers, stupid, idiots or morons….and more recently, fake.

His constituency might call it authenticity. The rest of us see it as near-incoherence, the ultimate dumbing down of America. On the other hand maybe this is not retardation but the ultimate salesman who has found a mono-syllabic way of communicating with his base.

The English language favors the nay-sayers. There are many more negative words than positive ones. We are hard-wired to express trouble. Grab them. Throw him out of here. Lock her up. Trump has tapped into the reptilian brain of aggrieved workers and the God-Gun folks who must imagine some monstrous threat to their existence.

There seems to be a correlation between corporate greed and low intellect. We may never know Trump’s I.Q. Clearly Republican choices since 1980 are not for smarts but for electability.

Aside from his grating the English language Trump’s first month has caused more grief, needlessly, to millions of Americans. America has gone tribal not unlike the Sunnis and Shiites. His cabinet and Supreme Court nominees have further grated us. We are in for four years of more grating, more shredding of international pacts on climate control, torture and assaults on our Constitution. Will his presidency grate even his own party sufficiently to move the conscience of Congress?


  1. FYI: the IQ numbers you quoted are a hoax:
    Otherwise I mostly agree with everything you said

  2. Thanks, I appreciate the correction. I shall edit out that paragraph.