February 9, 2016

THE WAY HE SPEAKS TO HIS SUPPORTERS TELLS YOU WHAT HE THINKS OF THEM:

Donald Trump's foul mouth is just a cover for his ignorance (Michael Gerson, February 8, 2016, Washington Post)

In real life, expletives are often used as a form of aggression or cruelty. A co-worker who tells you to Trump yourself is usually being unpleasant. A co-worker who does this every day is often creating a hostile or demeaning work environment. Language suitable for decent company is a form of politeness, which is a species of respect, which is an expression of morality. And if I am the last holdout on this issue, so be it. I don't really give a damn.

Win or lose, Trump has brought the language and sensibilities of cable TV to presidential politics. This is a relatively small transgression in a campaign that has involved groundbreaking appeals to ethnic and religious resentment. But there is a rhetorical strategy at work here worth noting. In recent rallies, Trump -- in addition to telling people to go "F---" themselves -- said he would "beat the s---" out of anyone attacking us and has now charmingly (and by "charmingly" I mean loathsomely) called Ted Cruz a "p----." Trump identifies crudity with populism, as if using words of four letters were a protest against prim elites. Rough language is intended to convey strength and authenticity. On both counts, it amounts to deception.

Posted by at February 9, 2016 12:19 PM

  

« NO ONE FLIES AEROFLOT: | Main | ALL COMEDY IS CONSERVATIVE: »