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President Donald Trump stops to speak to reporters as he prepared to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 19, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

The Lyricism of the Trump

Christopher Brauchli

When the lyrical muse sings, the creative pen dances..

—Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium

It is easy, when getting caught up in impeachment talk, crude behavior towards women, assaults on integrity, and other Trump behavior, to overlook one useful didacticism that he has provided to the very young in this country. It is the art of addressing parents (or other adults) with whom a child has become very angry. It can be used, as the Trump has shown, whether or not the anger is deserved. What is clear is that if a parent (or other adult) has earned the child’s wrath, that wrath can best be given, as the trump has shown, by the ageless tradition of name calling. There is no better tutor in that art than the trump.

Name calling has made great strides. When furious with a parental edict years ago, the worst vitriol this writer could muster was to tell the offending parent that he or she was a skunk. Since the offending parent was active in what was the forerunner to the civil rights movement, the verbal attack was, on occasion, enhanced by the addition of a racial slur before the word “skunk.” The result of these outbursts was the emergence of a soapy washrag applied to the inside of the speaker’s mouth.

Thanks to the leadership in linguistic vitriol provided by the three-year-old-equivalent who occupies the playroom known as the Oval Office, the young have been provided with a whole new lexicon that they can use when offended by parental or other adult edict. Herewith a few examples. Others abound and a good source for them is provided at the end of this column.

A response to an admonition for conduct engaged in by the child that the child thinks the adult has completely misunderstood, is to tell the parent that he or she is “dumb as a rock.” That is especially appropriate if the adult the child is addressing has enjoyed a successful career. An example of its proper usage is given by the trump’s description of Rex Tillerson, the former president of Exxon and, for many months, the Secretary of State in the trump playroom. To explain his dislike of Mr. Tillerson, the trump said Mr. Tillerson was “dumb as a rock.” To emphasize his point the trump said, in another meeting, that Mr. Tillerson was “lazy as hell.” In another closed door meeting the trump told those present that former vice-president, Joe Biden, was also “dumb as a rock” and in a very recent meeting described him as “stone cold crooked.” Any of those pejoratives would be useful for a child retorting to a parent or other adult by whom, the child believes, he or she had been wronged.

Another response to an admonishing adult by an offended child, is to tell the object of the child’s ire, that he or she is “creepy sleepy” and, therefore, the child has no obligation to do as bidden. That comment too, was a Trumpian description of Joe Biden.

Telling the parent that he or she is a “slime ball” is another rewarding retort that can be administered by the child. That is how the trump referred to James Comey, who was, among other things, the former director of the FBI.

The child may tell the parent who has offended that he or she is “Wacky and Deranged” for the criticism leveled at the child. That is how the trump referred to Omarosa Marigault Newman, one of his former aides who had fallen out of favor. And, of course, if the child is too young to understand the meaning of “deranged” the word “wacky” can be used by itself as the trump did when describing Frederica Wilson, a member of Congress.

The child being admonished by a parent might respond that the parent is a spy and should be shot, a suggestion made by the trump about the unnamed whistle blower. The child might also, for good measure, say that the observer is crooked for having reported the misconduct by the child since the child is, in that context, denying that the conduct of which the child stands accused, ever occurred.

It is, as noted at the outset, impossible to list all the responses to a parent or other adult the child has learned from the trump, and may wish to use when dealing with an offending adult. For a long, if perhaps not complete list of all the offensive words and expressions that have come from the tweeter-in-chief when referring to those who have fallen from favor, the child who has learned to read or the parent of the very young child, is directed to Wikipedia. That publication has done an excellent job of compiling a list of all the verbal garbage that has been spewed by the playroom’s occupant when not watching television. If the words that have emerged from the trump cesspool commonly referred to as his mouth , prove useful to the very young trying to adequately express their displeasure with an adult, the trump will have left his only useful legacy.


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Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli is a Common Dreams columnist and lawyer known nationally for his work. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Colorado School of Law where he served on the Board of Editors of the Rocky Mountain Law Review. For political commentary see his web page at humanraceandothersports.com.

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