I go and come back from vacation and Donald Trump is still there, speaking idiocies, firing insults and presenting bombastic plans. I hope I haven’t said anything too sophisticated. “The Donald” doesn’t deserve it. The title of this column is obviously an allusion to Bill Clinton’s legendary campaign slogan in 1992 (courtesy of James Carville) during the campaign which resulted in the election of the Democratic candidate: “It’s the economy, stupid!”
Trump’s sheer stupidity and the indecent xenophobia (as in the “plan” for the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants) yield results. For those who have patience, this article shows how stupidity goes hand in hand with cruelty.
The fact is that Trump continues to lead in the polls among the battlefield of 17 candidates in the Republican presidential primaries. In the most recent polls, Fox News and CNN, Trump is getting 25 percent and 24 percent of voter preferences, respectively. The Trump carnival is also yielding ratings like crazy for both broadcasters. In the evening news, he reigns … stupidly.
I am personally tired of hearing that Trump is a success because he speaks the language of the politically incorrect. In his hyperbolic demagogy, Trump translates complexities into a simplicity that sounds good to a portion of the population.
As The Economist reminds us, Trump’s preferred audience is white men with a low level of education and income who have lost economic and social status, in part due to global competition and automation, as well as to feminism and civil rights.
Nonetheless, it is worth remembering that Trump also fascinates a huge contingent of Republican women. I wouldn’t dare to try to dissect the reasons, especially after the misogynist treatment he gave broadcaster Megyn Kelly, from Fox News, at the Aug. 6 debate. Republican women pro-Trump, pathetic!
In his populism, Trump attracts Americans who are anti-immigration and in favor of increased social benefits such as retirement pay (again, if anyone has the patience for this, another illustrative item, which fits Republican as well as Democratic voters). Trump is not in favor of small government. The tycoon believes that the country should be governed by someone great and egomaniacal such as himself. And let’s not forget that he defends trade protectionism. Speaking in as sophisticated a language as the person in question, the conservatives who invest in Trump have gone mad.
In Trump’s clever marketing campaign, simplicity is the key to success. In Politico, Jack Shafer wrote that Trump resists multisyllabic words and long sentences when speaking in a debate or in interviews to the press. Everything is literally short and straight.
Shafer notes that Trump’s prose style is a reinvention of a vocabulary of 850 words (basic English), selected in the beginning of the 20th century by linguist C.K. Ogden. In school tests, Trump’s linguistic austerity is comparable to a third-grader.
Trump’s favorite word (no surprise) is the pronoun “me.” With pleasure and rudeness (and I will leave it in English), he bombards his adversaries with expressions such as “total losers,” “idiots,” “morons,” “dumb” and evidently “stupid.” Idiots like broadcaster Rush Limbaugh welcome Trump’s current popularity as proof of “people’s wisdom.” What a stupid comment!
An alert to end this column worthy of a third-grader: Don’t mistake Donald Trump’s stupid simplicity with low intelligence.