The hidden political message of Chuck Schumer’s inaugural speech – Vox

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Interesting, and well said.

“To some extent, this is standard patriotic rhetoric. But when said in front of a man who thought a Latino judge was not fit to judge him, who has called for a ban on Muslim immigration and for mass deportations, who mocked a New York Times reporter’s disability, and whose entire rise to power would’ve been impossible without his own incredible wealth, it takes on new meaning. Mentioning ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ in front of Mike Pence, a stalwart opponent of LGBTQ rights, stings as well.”


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Trump, The Cabinet, and the Purse-Strings of Power

***Warning: unapologetic speculation follows***

More than two months after Donald Trump’s electoral victory, many who did not vote for him are still in ‘Chicken Little’ mode, with social media commentators frequently inveighing against the impending disintegration of the United States, sandwiched as they are between the antithetical inexperience of the incoming ruling elite (Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Tom Price: looking at you – and your boss), and the abject ignorance of those they see as having cast their vote from some dank recess of the 14th century. Continue reading

Idiocracy’s Advent

Stunning.

When asked during her confirmation hearing of January 17th as to whether she still believes in conversion therapy, Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, side-stepped the allegation inherent in the question by claiming all students “no matter their age, should be able to attend a school and feel safe”.

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Trump’s rhetoric: a triumph of inarticulacy

An interesting look here from the UK’s The Guardian newspaper at President-elect Donald Trump’s use of language*, and what it can tell us. I’m reminded of Austrian writer Karl Kraus’s observation that:

The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so that they believe they are as clever as he.

The author of the article, Sam Leith, tells us that reading-level algorithms “found [Trump’s] speeches pitched at fourth-grade level, i.e. the comprehension of an average nine-year old”. By sheer coincidence, just before last Christmas and while browsing laboriously through my Sina Weibo feed (China’s answer to Twitter), I came across the following Weibo tweet:

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which translates, roughly (and witheringly), as “One of the reasons why I like Trump is that I can understand his tweets with my fourth-grade English”.

“Sad!”

*And an equally interesting article, published today, on Trump’s facial expressions and what they indicate, by psychologist Peter Collett.

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“His spelling and grammar are disastrous, he contradicts himself, trails into incoherence, never sounds dignified or recognisably presidential – but none of it does him any harm. In fact…”

Source: Trump’s rhetoric: a triumph of inarticulacy