Comedienne Samantha Bee called it, the “Word Salad Spinner”
What a great line!
She was trying to explain why Donald Trump’s political soul mate, and fellow language masher Sarah Palin, decided to pass on a golden opportunity to crush additional syntax, in front of a gibberish-friendly crowd, at The Donald’s coronation in Cleveland. Bee surmised that the former Alaskan governor was put out, and a little bit jealous, that Trump stole her schtick.
Palin of course, is the pioneer of the mangled English, or “Manglish” dialect. It’s a language in which vaguely English words pour forth so randomly, that not a single, lucid sentence leaves the lips. Trump, it seems, has taken Palin’s regional patois mainstream, so that it’s now widely understood, if not spoken, by American Republicans.
Bee’s evocation of a ‘lingo centrifuge’, that spits out such garrulous garble for both Palin and Trump, was hilarious; as good an explanation of their ignorant idioms as anything else, and better than most. It got a big laugh on Bee’s show Full Frontal on Monday, but it may not be as funny in November, when the joke could be on all of us.
This week, the New York Times proclaimed that Hillary Clinton has a 76% chance of winning the race for president. The article also went on to point out that those are about the same odds, as the chance of an NBA player missing a free throw. In that light, even the fiasco of Trump’s clown-car convention, seems less damaging than it may first appear. Like the side view mirror that proclaims, “Caution: Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear”, The Donald may not be as far behind Hillary, as Democrats would like to believe.
How is that possible? Surely anyone who was able to stomach the surreal antics of the GOP brass, as they tried to fashion a viable candidate out of this disastrous nominee, would come away dumbstruck by the sheer lunacy of it all. More often than not, it seemed like the Republicans were operating in a parallel universe, completely disconnected from reality.
From Melania’s plagiarized speech, to Rudy Giuliani’s shrieking endorsement of Trump as the candidate “with the best values to lead the world”, the sheer level of denial, and rejection of fact, was breathtaking. And not in a good way.
After all, this is the same Trump that called Mexicans rapists, declared torture a good thing, claimed that most of the crime in America is perpetrated by Blacks, and that there should be punishments for women that have abortions. And let’s not even talk about the blatant misogyny, or the blanket condemnation of Muslims.
Yup Rudy, those are some good values, all right. Inspiring for sure.
Trump disgorges caustic crap in such voluminous quantities that it’s a daily challenge to simply keep track of everything that he’s said, and try to decide which, (so far) is the most offensive pronouncement of his campaign. He seems such a boorish simpleton, that those of an elitist persuasion might easily dismiss him, as nothing but a crude commoner.
And that’s a problem for Team Hillary, because “commonality”, is something that is desperately lacking in her campaign, and her persona.
Clinton is a woman who finds it difficult to forge any kind of emotional connection with every day Americans. In this regard, she is the polar opposite of her husband Bill, who had an affable charm that made voters feel like he was just “one of them”. Republican Ronald Reagan, was a master of the same sort of easy-going, aw shucks, Andy-of-Mayberry folksiness, that voters found irresistible. Hillary, on the other hand is often seen as aloof, cold, and power-hungry. Dismissive of those who can’t keep up with her intellectually, and awkward, with the individuals that comprise the unfamiliar masses. And that isn’t even her biggest problem.
Hillary’s long association with the the seemingly shady and morally flexible, has cast her ( fairly, or not ) into an unflattering light. Whether it was Whitewater in the ’70’s, Benghazi, or private email servers this year, the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, have a history of entanglement with controversial issues, and questionable judgment. Although no criminal accusation has ever proven to bear the weight of legal scrutiny, the very fact that Clinton has been the target of so many, is cause for concern.
Like a coating of greasy moisturizer, Hillary just can’t seem to wash the residue of suspicion from her hands. That taint, leaves an unpleasant stain of distrust upon almost everything she touches, and that could very well prove to be her ultimate undoing.
The uncivilized rantings of Donald Trump may cause voters to cringe, but there is a sense at least that these, are the honest pronouncements of a man, speaking from his gut. The electorate also sense that Trump, like them, is angry. There is a commonality there, a connection, even if it isn’t necessarily a positive one.
And as bad as Trump can be, ( and I don’t think we’ve seen the worst yet ) he is still capable of the odd moment of goofy, boyish appeal. You may know that he’s a bad boy, but his conspiratorial smile draws you in anyway, because you know that on some level, you’ve been caught in the same position, yourself. That flawed link, combined with the sense that, even if he is just talking bat-shit crazy nonsense, he is still being The Genuine, Honest Donald, may be enough for every day Americans. The commoners. The ones who desperately want to finally trust just one politician, to see things their way.
Hillary will never be that politician, but Trump, conceivably, could.