Thursday, September 01, 2016

Mouthing Off

"America needs you, Harry Truman," sang the musical group Chicago once upon a time. This was a song released back in 1975, at a time when we had just lived through Watergate and Vietnam, and the ghost of Harry Truman was infinitely preferable to the corporeal thugs that were lurking around Washington at that time. The wish was for some straight talk, someone who didn't mince words.
Now it's 2016, and we are on the cusp of electing another leader for this great land of ours. My guess is that somewhere back in the seventies, Donald Truhump heard about Harry Truman's plain-spoken ways and he got it into his head that straight talk meant that it should come right of the top of his pointy little head, without a filter.
Whether he is speaking in front of a crowd or furiously typing with those little tiny thumbs of his, this "from the hip" style continues to plague him and his campaign. This wouldn't be such a problem if he wasn't taking great wide swings at people and things that he knows nothing about. This past weekend, for example, when he chose to use the occasion of NBA player Dwayne Wade's cousin being shot and killed in Chicago as an opportunity to "connect" with African-American voters. The twit tweeted, "Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!" If you haven't been listening to what his creamsicle-ness has been saying for the past week or so, the Republican Candidate for President of the United States has been asserting that African-Americans don't have anything to lose if they vote for him. It that's not a brand new kind of campaign strategy, I don't know what is. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter into the voting booth and flip the Terrump switch." 
Okay, so with a little reflection, we can all figure out what he meant by that, but isn't this the problem? Even his own handlers have a hard time straightening out the Trumpspeak for those who are used to rational discourse. It is not a surprise that the phrase "shoot from the hip" describes careless aim, but it sure does mean "quick on the draw." 
We live in wiggly times when our presidential candidates can be appreciated for how quickly they spout whatever nonsense comes into their head. We are told that this is a country that has become too sensitive, too politically correct. I don't buy that. It's always somebody else's toes that needs to be more forgiving to the boots that trod upon them. Sorry, clodhoppers, you need to watch where you're going. And what you're saying. That's what plain speaking really means. 

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