Saturday, January 02, 2016

The Willy Loman Of American Politics: Of Herr Trumpf's Five Most Used Words, #1 Is "I" And #4 is "Trump"


Have Men Gone Limp? and The America We Deserve author, Dave Shiflett-- who ghost-wrote the latter for Herr Trumpf-- announced on Fox's Alan Colmes Show Wednesday that he wouldn't vote for Herr, who he described as "very liberal" and as a person with "no class." He doesn't seem to have walked away from working with Trumpf with a good impression. "He’s got people thinking that he’s the man we need to stare down Vladimir Putin, for some reason. I mean, I don’t know who he’s actually stared down. He’s a real estate guy; I guess he’s had to stare down some cement contractors and stuff." Arthur Miller he's not.

It was just about a month ago when we looked an an analysis of Trumpf's vocabulary based on a Flesch-Kincaid grade-level test and saw that he speaks on a 4th grade level, lowest of any of the Republican candidates-- which, obviously, goes a very long way towards explaining why he is the favorite of the Republican voters. Dr. Ben, for example, speaks on an 8th grade level. Do you think typical Trumpf supporters can understand a thing he's saying?
Flattening the English language whenever he speaks without a script, Trump relies heavily on words such as "very" and "great," and the pronouns "we" and "I," which is his favorite word. As any news observer can observe, he lives to diminish his foes by calling them "losers," "total losers," "haters," "dumb," "idiots," "morons," "stupid," "dummy" and "disgusting." He can’t open his mouth without bragging about getting the Clintons to attend his wedding, about how smart he is, the excellence of his real estate projects, the brilliance of his TV show, his generous donations to other political campaigns and so on. In a freakish way, Trump resembles that of Muhammad Ali at his prime-- except the champ was always kidding (even when he was right) while Trump seems to believe his claims (and often is wrong). Or perhaps he is afflicted with binary vision disorder, which renders all within his eyeshot either great or rotten.

It’s obvious that Trump’s verbal deficit, as grating as it may be on the ears of the educated class, has not caused him much political pain. The media has noted the opposite: Trump’s overreliance on sports and war metaphors in his public utterances, his reductionist, one-dimensional policy prescriptions-- including nuanced geopolitical arguments such as get tough with China and Mexico, which are killing us!-- inspire trust in many rather than distrust. Trump’s rejection of "convoluted nuance" and "politically correct norms," mark him as authentic in certain corners and advance his cred as a plainspoken guardian of the American way. By not conforming to the standard oratorical style, he distinguishes himself from the pompous politician. Less is more when you’re speaking Trumpspeak.
While poor Jeb and his well-paid team of advisers plot how to beat Trumpf-- presumably after besting Rand Paul, Christie, Rubio, Dr. Ben and Cruz, all of whom are beating him at the moment-- by using words like "jerk" and "unhinged" and calling him the "chaos candidate," language experts are once again trying to figure out Trumpfian appeal based on the crap that comes pouring out of his mouth. They are finding that he's "unlike other presidential candidates in almost every way in terms of his speech-- his word choice, his way he tells stories, and even how he uses his hands. Mark Yoffe Liberman, at Herr's alter mater, University of Pennsylvania, compared the transfer student from Fordham whose rich parents bought him a transfer to the one Ivy League school that would take him to the Jebster, who graduated from the elite Phillips Academy in Andover before being rejected by Yale and being forced to go to the University of Texas.

What he found was that Bush talks, predictably, like most politicians. His most-used words are rather big and policy-like-- “strategy,” “government,” “president,” and “American” all placed in his list of top 13 words. Six out of those 13 are one syllable, like “growth” and “state.” His favorite word is “the.”

Trump’s favorite word, however, is “I.” His fourth-favorite word is “Trump.” Eight out of his 13 favorite words are one syllable, and the two syllable words are simple-- “very,” “China,” and “money.” His only three-syllable favorite word is “Mexico.”

“These words bespeak a world of difference between the mentalities of the two men,” UPenn professor of Chinese language and literature Victor Mair commented on his colleague Liberman’s findings, which he posted on his popular blog Language Log. Later, Liberman published another post finding that, while Bush uses more complex words than Trump, Trump actually talks way more than Bush.

“Bush displays his vocabulary at a greater rate; that is, he uses a larger number of distinct word types for a given number of word tokens,” he wrote.

Word choice isn’t the only way Trump differs from his presidential candidate contemporaries. Jennifer Sclafani, an associate professor at Georgetown University who studies the construction of political identity through language, said Trump is an enigma-- the “anti-politician” when it comes to talking.

“The impression from people I talk to just casually is that he comes off as incoherent, that you can’t really grasp the core of what he’s saying,” she said.

...Overall, when it comes to the political world, Trump’s language defies precedent. But for Sclafani, she thinks she may know where it all comes from.

“He’s turning political discourse into reality TV,” she said. “I’m sure if someone did a study on discourse structures of reality television shows, and compared it what he’s doing, there might be some overlap.”

Trumpf uses the language and sentence construction to communicate to 4th graders, the lowest level of any candidate from either party. Who do you think aims highest? That's right-- Bernie Sanders gears his message towards men and women with high school educations. He's logical and his arguments are values-based. He would make the greatest president in contemporary history. Please consider helping him get there-- and stopping Herr Trumpf from dragging us down.

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At 7:38 AM, Anonymous David Ketih said...

Like Loman, Trump has a raw and obvious desire for being accepted. No matter how shiny the casinos, how perfect the women, or how lavish the airplanes, Donald has never truly been deemed a success by society. Rather, he has spent his entire career trying to manufacture success. Whether that meant creating a television show where he could exude alpha-like superiority by saying "you're fired"--the equivalent of a guerrilla pounding his chest in a zoo--or taking over the entire west side highway between Manhattan's 60th street and 80th street so that his name is as obvious to passerby as possible, Donald's attempts at manufactured fame and social acceptance have proved to be failures. As Miller depicts Willy Loman fighting for that last chance at acceptance/success in "Death of a Salesman," Trump has shown us--over the course of this Presidential campaign--the same attempt at 11-th hour victory. However, like Willy, Donald's fate--in society--was doomed before he ever uttered the words "make America great again." America may be great again, but Donald will just never be that great. Such reality led to Willy's death.


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