The Rising Swamp of Trump’s Doublespeak

Trump campaigned to “drain the swamp”. We all know what that meant—watching politicians wade waist deep into the awful muck of the stagnant bayou that is our Congress and witnessing the facile, inept, and outright foolish acts of our political leaders who scam taxpayers for profit or fear.

Shouldn’t we clean that up? Could this outsider break the good old boy system and drain the swamp for sound, commercial-style best practices and strong, tacitly untainted leadership?

Sounded good. So…?

Many candidates make suspect comments in their bid for the White House, that’s nothing new. But has a campaign promise been so malignantly touted and so egregiously claimed, yet emerged as so blatantly false?

President Carter campaigned that he’d never support a foreign dictator (paraphrasing: “…those antithetical to our principles”) then asked Congress to support Argentina, Nicaragua, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines, all of which were under dictatorships or totalitarian regimes accused of human rights violations.

Sr. President Bush said famously, “No new taxes” then proceeded to raise taxes to prop up the failing economy.

While I strongly believe neither president served the American public well, I would grudgingly admit both made choices which, in their mind, overrode what they promised in a false hope it promoted the common good.

What is so obvious to anyone with a brain is that Mr. Trump acts as if he never made any promises, or rewrites history to make his promises belie the current facts. In his mind, he can do no wrong because no wrong was done. He knows he doesn’t mean what he says. Most of it is improvised idiotic babble anyway—and there’s the old saying that if you can’t remember what you said, it must have been a lie.

Short of draining the swamp, Trump has knowingly (even laughingly?) filled it with the worst litany of criminals since Harding’s administration (or substitute Grant’s or Nixon’s). Anyone with ethics, a decent moral code, or a conviction of choosing right over wrong is ousted and subject to such undeserved vitriol you’d find a seven-year-old’s name-calling mature by comparison. Vile, childish tantrums regularly issue from the leader of the free world.

Now trump believes mail-in voting is as allegedly fraudulent as his own business dealings, except … wait for it … when it’s in his own best interests. Then mail-in voting is like a well-oiled machine, somehow transformed from impossibly corrupt to skillfully adept.

And thank goodness for self-interest, eh? I mean, since GOP elected officials (senators, congressmen, governors, state reps) are panicking over such claims, afraid they would lose elections because Republican voters might take Trump seriously, Trump changed his tune somewhat. Now he offers that a state like Nevada’s postal service is unprepared for the crush, while claiming that Florida is completely ready. Hmm, Nevada against Trump (amazingly), Florida for Trump (quelle surprise).

But back to the swamp, now up to our chins.

Let’s talk emoluments (and who doesn’t like to?).  There exist these couple of clauses in the constitution, a document btw Trump repeatedly uses to wipe his ass (damn those patriots), whereby Trump attaches powers to himself he doesn’t have or bends faithful meanings to his will in perverse, even criminally insane ways. To wit: his near decision to send troops to police our American cities against all authority to do so; and spitting on people’s first amendment rights when he thinks he is looking bad [Ed. note to Mr. Trump: that’s more often than you even realize] by tear-gassing US citizens peacefully demonstrating so he can have a ridiculous (I mean, stupidly ridiculous) photo op at a church where he doesn’t regularly attend services. To Trump, even a steeple backdrop and the Christian bible are simply props for his Orwellian propaganda of doublespeak.

Then there are the many, many, many—a crazy number of many—hundreds, even thousands (as of this writing) lawsuits against him and his cronies (meaning, his cabinet members, advisors, and administrators—all whom we trust are running our government for us in the most efficient, decent, and correct way—LOL). Many of his associates are in jail, going to jail, or under serious threat of jail time.

Trump’s allegedly fraudulent schemes stretch so deeply in so many directions and are uncovered so quickly that state district attorneys across the nation play Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus as office background muzak and smile maniacally at their burgeoning political careers.

Draining the swamp? It’s up to our eyeballs.

Drain the swamp. Let’s examine what Orwell said:

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

–George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, 1946

Clearly Trump worships at the Orwellian altar, but with a perverse sense of his duty to the American people. Orwell sought to shine a light upon the ridiculous doublethink and newspeak (later collectively known as doublespeak) of his novel 1984 where the populace is ruled through propaganda while believing they are freely engaged in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His novels are meant to educate us against the use of these devices and to clean up our own act in the process. Orwell abhorred the use of doublespeak, e.g., where firebombing a village is “pacification” and genocide is “ethnic cleansing”.

Trump can say the US numbers against COVID-19 are better than the world’s, that we’re “winning” when we’re losing, that testing should be decreased because indeterminate “books” and “manuals” say so. He claims mail-in voting is fraught with fraud when there is no evidence for such a claim. He denies collusion and then colludes with foreign powers, notably the Russians (what does Putin have on Trump?).

He wants to postpone the November national election, for what? … as a means of making us “freer” perhaps?

What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.

–Edward S. Herman, Beyond Hypocrisy, 1990

Trump is stealing our liberties, instilling fear of outsiders, moreover using fear to breed hate all while claiming he is making American great. That is not a great America. That a good 30-40% of Americans agree with this is staggering and sad, for me and for them.

Anyone can make a mistake. To all the Trump supporters out there, it’s time to put right this egregious error and make peace with your fellow citizens, and those yet to be citizens, including those you may think of as non-mainstream, but are progressing as mainstream as anyone else: those that are LGBTQ+ who have already lived through too much pain and hate and only want to bring love and acceptance into our hearts.

We all have foibles, we all err. We say that is human, but to be truly human is to err and correct, to catch the mistake and make it right. That’s progress. That’s the American way—at least, should be the new American way. We can all make that happen.

Equality. Tolerance. And shitcan the Doublespeak, please. We’re way past 1984, people.

Stay Friendly and Healthy.

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