A Dissection Of Trump's Downright Offensive Inaugural Address

A Dissection Of Trump's Downright Offensive Inaugural Address

After a close reading of Trump's speech, a review of its literary and logical aspects. Ought to be read after reading the speech; link provided at start.
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After doing a close reading of Trump's speech, I believe that Trump should fire his speechwriter. This is not about Trump's political views. This is about the quality of writing and nearly offensive lack of logic.

Language-wise, the address comes short. The rhetoric fails to underscore any meaningful point. There is emotion in its usage, but it's the empty emotion of watching other children's ballet performances. Even though you clap and try to remind yourself of the precious nature of children, even though you know you are supposed to feel something, you are ultimately unstirred. "The American carnage stops right here and right now" is abuse of language; it is redundancy. The speechwriter also falls back on cliches invoking expressions that were first employed literally hundreds of years ago and hand-waving inspirational quotes about dreams or dreaming the same dream or the exceptional nature of America. The one fling at imagery, a comparison between factories and tombstones, feels overwrought, like Victorian hysteria, because it sticks out so much among the other bland expressions. There is nothing new in this speech, nothing grating or fresh. Even Don DeLillo's stilted, inhuman dialogue makes you sit up and notice something. There is nothing demanding in here; you could sleep through it. It's the same touchstones of "freedom" and "America" and "patriotism" and the lame urgency of our current situation—a total bore.

The language is not streamlined either. There is no coherence in the description of our disappearing factories or failing education system which culminates in the pronouncement of these troubles as "carnage." Nothing warrants this word; there is no set-up. Trump's speechwriter utilizes classic metaphorical expressions (e.g., "robbing" someone of something intangible, "stealing" someone's life) that most people would never directly connect to violence because most people have heard these phrases before. This is continued throughout the speech; description of various phenomena is discrete and treated independently. There is no sign of the governing "vision" which Trump promotes within the speech.

Worse yet is the condemnation of Trump that the speechwriter allows to slip through. The pronouns are out of control. The speechwriter can't even pretend that Trump's assertions were consistent. Trump flip flops between "we the people" and "you the people" and even throws in a "they the something else that may also be part of the people." It's a total mess and acknowledges the uncomfortable truth that Trump's central message—that as a member of the "people" and as president, he will be a conduit for the people's will—is impossible. Trump is not a member of the "people" because he holds power over us. The speechwriter failed even to pretend that this is true. It's not like this artifice would have been difficult to maintain either. Simply consistently using "we the people" would have worked. Trump's speechwriter inadvertently introduces a point of view that contradicts Trump's own message and does so out of total incompetence.

Logic is also glaringly absent. The speechwriter makes Donald Trump look like a fool by constructing all sorts of poor arguments. In asserting that patriotism will lead us to affection for one another and unity, the speechwriter dips into some symbolic physical realm to make a completely abstract argument. In arguing that we are all patriots because we bleed red blood, the speechwriter confuses correlation with causation. The speechwriter even knocks Kellyanne Conway out of the water by turning to tautologies to assert our unity. He or she could have just said "might makes right" and called it a day.

This speech is offensive. Yes, it attempts to deceive the American people, but it does so shockingly poorly. A careful reader can feel the clumsiness of the author, careening from side to side knocking vases over while trying to delicately guide the needle of public opinion. It displays a middle schooler's skill at writing and five year-old's skill at logic. Someone should be fired for this awful thing.

Cover Image Credit: NBC News

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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2019 Just Means That The 2020 Election Is Coming

I don't want things to be that way, people running for President make it that way.

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The 2020 election has begun with Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing that she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president.

Other likely candidates include Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. And those are only the people eating at the adult's table, there are other Democrats that will probably throw their hats in the ring just for some publicity.

The last time a primary began to decide the opponent for an unpopular incumbent Republican president that had lost the popular vote in his first campaign was just 15 years ago, in 2004 when John Kerry became the nominee to challenge President George W. Bush.

Kerry may have lost the election, but he did have an easy primary. Kerry beat out his early challengers and went on to easily win almost all of the primary caucuses and elections.

I do not think that 2020 will be so easy and that is due in part to 2016. The 2016 primary may have eclipsed 2008 in terms of being one of the most consequential primaries in US history.

2016 showed the ideological split within the Democratic Party, with many New Democrats, socially liberal economically conservative centrists, holding most of the power within, while there's a strong grassroots force urging the party leftwards. Critics will claim Hillary Clinton lost because she was not left-wing enough. And Bernie Sanders's surprising success shows that anybody who wants to be the nominee has to appeal to the Sanders demographic.

This article is not really here to endorse any candidate, you can read my other articles to figure out who I'm voting for, it is however here to point out just how difficult it will be to win the nomination.

A candidate has to, according to the so-called experts: be left-leaning but also be a centrist, and be able to get minorities out to vote but also appeal to some Trump voters that they think they can win over by calling out the President's divisive tactics.

Trickle-down economics and massive deregulation always throws the economy into a recession, but the question now is when will that happen? If it happens during the 2020 election it's safe to say it's over for Trump, but if a Democrat has to challenge a Republican while the economy is doing great, it will be all the more difficult. The election will turn into a debate over so-called "social" issues (assuming Trump does not take us to war).

Issues that seem to be on most Americans' minds are healthcare and immigration. The healthcare debate will turn into a debate amongst Democrats over whether or not single-payer is possible and will likely be one of the most divisive issues of the primary. Immigration will be easy, every Democrat will go the safe route and boldly proclaim that putting children in cages and letting them die is not good. This will lead to Trump accusing them of being Antifa thugs.

The road to the White House is not meant to be easy. You need to fight hard to win the hearts of Americans, unless you are a Republican then you just need to win over rich Americans and let the electoral college do the rest of the work.

But seriously, we need to start the process of finding someone that will undo the years of horror unleashed by the Trump administration and also put the country in a new direction. Someone that will help the old and the young, and all workers. It's time for a leader that works for the American laborer, not the American entrepreneur, and above all, it is time for a new president.

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