If you can stand it, and my wife can’t, listen to one of Donald Trump’s stump speeches. I know for some of you that may be asking a lot, but for those of you interested in the English language, watch and listen.
Though I am not a fan (hopefully I have made that point perfectly clear) I am fascinated by his use of the English language. I would never categorize Trump as a dummy, nor would I bestow the brilliant moniker on him as so many of his lemmings have, but the one thing he has done and it fits his positioning as an outsider is that he simple speaks. Trump dumbs down his sentences in short simple burst which appeals to, you guessed it, blue-collar Joe and Josephine.
If you listen closely he hammers points home with intensifiers; very, great, totally and invectives; losers, dummy, idiots, morons, and stupid. Honestly, if you close your eyes, what you hear is the speech pattern of a ten-year old on the school playground. This isn’t a dig at Trump, he is smart (words I never thought I would say) to play the cards he was dealt and speak to the audience he was left with.
Compare a Trump speech to a Bernie Sanders speech and you quickly see the intellectual line that divides America, and it is quite the chasm. I long ago removed education and the use of language as a qualifier of someone’s intelligence. I have met enough men and women in my life who spoke simply but were supremely intelligent. Likewise, I have met people who loved to sprinkle their thoughts with $100.00 words but were ultimately dumb as a bag of rocks.
Trump understand who he appeals too, he understands his market. He speaks to them in words they can relate too, words they hear everyday. But this may also explain why we have no idea how he proposes to solve any of the issues he rails about, it is to complicated to express. His followers don’t want to hear him detail how he proposes to fix the tax code, that would put them to sleep. This is all they want to hear; “I will lower your taxes, the tax code is stupid” a statement that needs no further explanation, but for some of us it really does.