The mainstream media and politicians on both sides of the aisle are bemoaning President Trump’s Twitter attacks on MSNBC anchors Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough and CNN. The constant refrain: the President is “lowering the tone of political discourse.” Well, after listening to the “experts” CNN trotted out yesterday to “analyze” the President’s tweets I’ve got this to say about that . . .
While the POTUS’ tweets lack a certain elegance — “dumb as a rock” is not what I’d call an imaginative metaphor — the CNN talking heads (in that segment and a dozen others) lacing into the President were right down there in the gutter with him.
They wasted no time launching vicious, demeaning, ad hominem attacks. They called President Trump mentally unhinged, moronic and more. The language was different, but the game was the same.
And really, hasn’t it ever been thus? When President Obama slipped into his Reverend Wright-channeling call-and-response preaching mode, whipping the crowd into self-righteous fervor, his attacks on conservatives and Republican policy were no less mean-spirited than President Trump’s tweets. They were simply more rhythmic.
While I admired former President Obama’s style — on those rare occasions when he wasn’t as stilted as a Disney audio-animatronic display — I believe President Trump’s tweets are far more effective. In the sense that they de-mystify the office, signaling a welcome end to the imperial presidency that has plagued this country since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Or maybe before.
Bush the Younger made some inroads in that regard with his plain-speaking style (punctuated by worrying pauses, caused by his need to circumvent his stammer, which was mistaken and mocked for stupidity).
Trump’s limited, common vocabulary — perfect for Twitter — shows him to be a man, not some sort of political demigod. It reveals the entire political process to as nothing more or less than a bun fight.
Make that a bar fight. And here’s where President Trump’s non-style style helps The People of the Gun . . .
At some point, one of the two bills legislating national concealed carry reciprocity will make it to a vote — most likely after some heinous terrorist attack that highlights American civilian disarmament in many urban areas. Gun control advocates will, as always, ramp up their “blood in the streets” rhetoric to new levels.
President Trump, though, will not engage in any kind of rational appeal for its passage. (Some might say he’s incapable of such a strategy, but I couldn’t possibly comment.) If he weighs in — and I pray to God he will — his remarks will be visceral. Personal. And those attacks will help galvanize support for the Bill.
Let’s face it: the average American is unwilling or indeed incapable of high-minded, high-toned rational debate. Seriously. Check this out [via highered.mheducation.com]:
Total vocabulary size varies greatly from person to person, but people typically use about 5,000 words in their speech and about twice that many in their writing. A college-educated speaker of English could have a vocabulary as large as 80,000 words.
Wharton-educated though President Trump is, his vocab lingers toward the bottom of that scale. (Remember “bigly”?) So when President Trump makes the case for national concealed carry reciprocity, he’ll use the words and bare-knuckled strategy that put him in the White House. And it will be effective.
Well, that’s my take. But honestly, does it matter?
Despite his remarks above (an echo of then-prospective Justice Elena Kagan’s prevarications about “settled law”), with Justice Gorsuch now on the Supreme Court bench, gun rights restoration — for the disarmed denizens of blue states — is only one Justice away.
If Trump and his fellow Republicans elevate another conservative to the Court, Americans’ firearms freedom will be assured. Or at least as assured as they can be. And certainly in terms of carrying firearms outside the home.
Everything else — including Trump’s tweets and federal action or inaction on gun rights legislation — pales in insignificance. It’s all just noise. And, I have to say, music to my ears.