Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trump, hysteria and language/speech

I do not know whether there was actually any collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice in what Trump said to Comey.  I wouldn't say I'm particularly eager to find out because it would be a blow to the republic. In an already much-divided country, it would further divide people. There would be much gloating on one end of the political spectrum and much denying on the other.

What I continue to think about is how much speech and language matter.

Like in the alleged statement Trump made about Mike Flynn to Comey about Flynn being a good guy and letting this go.

Was Trump asking Comey to actually stop investigating Flynn or was he just talking in the Trump way without much consideration to what his words mean and how they are perceived by others?

I don't know, but it matters.

What I think is both fascinating and sad is how what Trump says would not be tolerated in any other professional capacity, and yet it is tolerated in the president.

If a student had done something seriously wrong, worthy of expulsion or criminal charges, and a principal told a teacher that the kid is a good guy and to just let it go, would people perceive this differently than they do what Trump says?  Could the principal get away with saying, "I was just talking in that way I talk; it can't be taken seriously?"

I don't know, but it matters.

If a doctor had done something seriously wrong, worthy of criminal charges, and a hospital administrator told the nurse who had been in the ER when it happened that the doc is a good guy and to just let it go, would people perceive this differently than they do what Trump says?

Speech matters, regardless of what you intend.

Being an outsider and offering a fresh viewpoint can be a very beneficial thing, and in most cases I think it is a good idea. But being an outsider without any skills of observation or pause or restraint is not a good idea.

Being honest does not mean conveying every thought that runs through your consciousness.  When I read the definition of honest, it actually means a lot of things. Free from deception, but sometimes we can be deceived by our own perceptions of the world. Honest means humble and plain, and I don't see much that is humble about 45. Honest means reputable and respectable, and I'm afraid those don't define the president either, at least in my book.

I have never, ever been a fan of people who run off at the mouth.
Even when I appear to run off at the mouth, I know full well what I am saying and the audience to whom I am saying it.

So as much as I despise Trump's running off at the mouth and the keypad on Twitter, I also am having a hard time with the hysteria of those who keep yelling "impeachment" without, perhaps, a clear understanding of what that requires. I recently heard part of Barbara Jordan's speech at the Nixon impeachment and a discussion about maladministration not being grounds for impeachment. As much as I personally think the Trump administration is a series of dumpster fires of its own making, I withhold judgment on illegal activities until I have definitive proof. There seems to be some running off at the mouth among those who abhor Trump as well.

I can take everyone a lot more seriously if they spend a little more time thinking through their thoughts than just blasting them into the public realm.

No comments: