About two weeks ago as I was preparing some articles to be written well ahead of time to accommodate my schedule when I thought about something somewhat positive Donald Trump had done for America. Off the top of my head I thought of four words and an expression he had brought back into America’s everyday vocabulary. Let’s explore.
Words and expression fall in and out of popularity. Trump has brought some back (as well as some now much more often uttered obscenities but we will refrain from discussing them here today). In alphabetical order here are the four words.
The first word is dotard. A dotard is an old person (usually male) who is regarded as weak and especially as senile. In this case we have to give an assist to Kim Jung-un. The North Korean leader used it in a tweet war he was having with Trump and it sent all of us scrambling for our dictionaries. This is not a new word, but simply one that had long ago fallen out of fashion.
Moving right along our next word is emolument; in this case as in the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution as specified in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of said document. An emolument is a gift, title etc. Under the Constitution any elected official is prohibited from receiving an emolument from a foreign government without the express permission of Congress. I have read the Constitution in its entirety several times and always pretty much skimmed over the Emoluments Clause; mainly because it seemed like such a no-brainer. Prior to the Trump administration my only recollection of it coming into play was when Congress passed a special bill to allow the late Senator Ted Kennedy to accept induction into The Most Royal Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the UK. While that is an extremely high honor, especially for an American, there is nothing monetary involved and Kennedy followed the Constitution.
The third word is projection and I admit I first learned of it from my good friend and frequent commenter Jeff McKnight. Later the media picked up on it. It’s kind of the reverse of the playground taunt, “I know you are, but what am I?” Trump is a master practitioner of it. Think of “Lyin Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” when Trump is arguably the biggest crook and liar in American political history. It is almost assured that when Trump accuses a perceived enemy of something negative he possesses that trait.
The last word is the one of the four I use the most – sycophant. It’s the PG rated version of the more common expression: brown nose. In this case no matter what Trump says or does the sycophants agree and tell him how brilliant he is. That is not too bad when it is the likes of Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller. We expect it from them and have learned by now to pretty much ignore them. The problem is that it has extended into almost the entire Republican congressional delegation. That is dangerous for both the Republican Party and the nation.
The expression is one I love because it is so colorful and expressive – word salad. That is basically how Trump speaks. He simply strings a lot of words together (often in incomplete sentences) but really says nothing; or at least nothing lucid. It is the oral equivalent of what Joe Biden likes to call malarkey.
Well, there you have it. I guess even a bad president can make a somewhat positive contribution to America. We learned four “new” words along with a new expression and didn’t swear in the process.
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