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.

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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Starbucks Corrects Its Wrongs In Light Of Recent Racial Bias Issue

All stores in the U.S. will be closed on May 29th to perform racial bias training.

Recently, a video of two African-American men being arrested in their local Starbucks for simply standing and waiting for their friends in the lobby/seating area surfaced on the internet. Since this situation was brought to light, there has been an uproar of public outrage focused on the blatant racial bias these men were faced with. Even Starbucks itself had something to say about it.

For many African-American citizens, this situation is all too common. Being racially profiled is not a thing of the past and more than just these two men have experienced it. The ACLU writes about the experiences of citizens being racially profiled, stating,

"We rely on the police to protect us from harm and promote fairness and justice in our communities. But racial profiling has led countless people to live in fear, casting entire communities as suspect simply because of what they look like, where they come from, or what religion they adhere to."

In light of the recent incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks, many fans expressed outrage in the comments section of this post, but Starbucks responded to almost every viral, angry comment:

However, in the midst all of the outraged comments were fans who appreciated the message that Starbucks was trying to send:

Despite the mixed reviews on Starbucks' course of action, the company is standing strong in their choice to address the issue and correct it.

People come to Starbucks stores to drink coffee, hang out, talk with their friends, and have a good time. It is absurd that these two men were escorted out and arrested for doing just that. I, personally, have done that same thing and have never once been asked to leave.

As a country, we need to think about the way we treat people of color and other minorities. It is a shame that this kind of public outcry had to happen to bring racial profiling to our attention. People are treated unfairly for no reason other than the color of their skin every day.

Way to go, Starbucks.

Thank you for recognizing that this was not an isolated incident and that racial profiling happens all the time. Thank you for taking the time to publicly announce that you are willing to go through the proper training with your employees to ensure that it doesn't happen ever again. But most of all, thank you for making a statement to the rest of the nation and the world about what kind of company you are, what kind of people you represent, and that racial injustice will not be tolerated.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Why Earth Day Is Underrated, And What You Can Do

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” –The Lorax

April 22 may be just another day to most, but with climate change on the rise and wildlife becoming extinct, it’s more important now than ever to recognize Earth Day and understand what it entails. Our society as a whole cannot let this day pass with nothing done. It has to serve as a reminder of the action that must be taken.

Late January of 1969 would come to be a turning point for our nation. At the time, the worst oil spill in history occurred in Santa Barbara, California. Founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson was horrified, yet inspired. Soon after, he announced his idea to teach the nation about the environment and built a staff to promote events across the country.

Earth Day brought thousands of colleges and universities together to fight for the cause. It became a sense of unity for everyone. No matter who you were, what race you were, where you came from, Earth Day was able to empower these people and help them realize they all wanted the same thing for the home we share. This kind of behavior is exactly what we need today, and should enable us to see that we’re all on the same side.

By the time 1990 came, Earth Day became a global event. 200 million people were involved to fight for environmental issues.

Today, Earth Day and the environment face many challenges. With those who deny climate change, deforestation, oil lobbyists, fracking, dying animal life, politicians dividing our nation on these issues, and much more, Earth Day astoundingly continues to prevail through the obstacles. With over 190 counties participating in the event each year, and more than 1 billion people, it’s never too late to do your part and contribute to the day.

Here are some basic things that anyone can do to make a change. Every day counts, and anything you do matters.

1. Join a local outdoors cleanup

Rivers, forests, beaches, whatever is near you. Help clean up litter and debris.

2. Carpool

This is probably the simplest thing you and your friends or family can do. If you’re going to the same place, drive together. For every mile you don’t drive- you’re reducing your carbon footprint by 1 pound.

3. Bring reusable bags when you shop

They’re cheap, cute, and save an abundance on plastic.

4. Use a reusable water bottle

Save on wasting plastic bottles every day.

5. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products

Typical cleaning products are high in chemicals and toxicity.

6. Always recycle!

Paper, plastic, cans, anything you can. Every individual thing recycled makes a difference.

7. Use LED lightbulbs

This can reduce your footprint 450 pounds per year.

8. Volunteer at local environmental groups

See if your school has an environmental club, or anything local in your town. See how many people you can get to do it with you and make a day out of it.

9. Donate your clothes and check out thrift stores

Instead of throwing them out, give them to somewhere they will be of use. Also, thrift shopping is inexpensive and you can find some really unexpectedly great items!

10. Don’t wait until Earth Day to do all of these things

Keep up the green behavior year-round.

Do your part, and do what you can today.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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