Trashing Trump.

It is the new cottage industry in North America—and probably the entire world. We just need our daily fix on what is wrong with American President Donald Trump. The best laughs are at the artificial attempts to temper the tragedy by mentioning something nice about him. We were reminded of this the other day when a writer who is a student of language history told us that we might be wrong to laugh at Trump’s use and abuse of English.

The writer stunned this writer by saying that Trump is not a bad orator and that he knows how to use language to good effect. That came as a surprise.

One of the important aspects of the English language is that it is a living language and it continues to change at a remarkable pace.

But when you describe Trump as an orator, is that with or without a teleprompter? Is if from a prepared text or is it off the cuff? And what mood was he in when he delivered it?

Trump’s State of the Nation address was articulate, boring, self-aggrandizing and too long. It was not Mr. Trump’s usual form. While I am sure he interfered with the writing process, it did show a professional touch.

Trump talking to his lumpen proletariat followers is another matter entirely. He loves his Lump (as I like to think of them). He uses what he thinks is their bad grammar. He repeats himself constantly. The language is gross and over the top. If he is not ignorant, then he must think his audience is.

Before writing about Trump, you really need to see how he handles his rallies. He reminds me of the line in the old Brit sea shanty: We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true British sailors.

Trump’s Lump are a broad spectrum of America. They are older in Florida than they are in Ohio. They chant “Lock her up” about Hillary Clinton with equal enthusiasm. You could be at a Sunday morning prayer meeting if the guy up front was not a well-known non-believer, misogynist and philanderer.

My favourites in Trump’s Lump are the bikers, American Nazis, gun enthusiasts from the NRA and holly rollers who share his xenophobic view of the world. Those religious right love Trump and their fellow church goers—as long as they are white.


Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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