Can anyone honestly say they’re surprised by the most recent Donald Trump fallout?
If so, what are you doing here?
All of us at one time or another have said or done something supremely stupid … but most of us aren’t proposing to lead the country. Clearly Ronald Reagan was joking in 1984 when during an NPR sound check (not broadcast) he said, “I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Still, not his finest hour.
Also in 1984, Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm was reported to have said, ”You’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way. Let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life.” The New York Times noted that the first part of the quote was actually truncated, but even that—”We’ve got a duty to die, to get out of the way with our machines and our artificial hearts.”—still sounds callous.
And there’s Anthony Weiner‘s incredibly stupid actions, so outrageously brainless that I can’t make myself spend any more time on the thin-skinned and put-upon Carlos Danger (or Dangler, as I kept misreading it).
Then there’s the previous possessor of the title of Republican maverick (‘cuz he says what he thinks, dadgummit), Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, political pundit and current Florida resident and cash troller, who famously called Arkansas a banana republic (while he was governor), and loves trotting out the anecdote about women’s libidos and Uncle Sugar.
Politicians seem to spend so much time with their feet in their mouths that I wonder how words ever come out at all. For a time when one of my nephews was a baby, I feared he’d become a politician since it seemed he always had a foot in his mouth (apparently his right foot was quite tasty).
Still, these people do take their feet out just long enough to embarrass their mamas and tick off entire segments of the population … except for those people who feel that they “tell it like it is” and are “politically incorrect.”
Oh, wait … fact-checking is a communist plot, right?
The latest fact-check I noticed was one by PolitiFact, after an NBC interview on Meet the Press in which Trump told Chuck Todd that he hadn’t said the things Megyn Kelly had asked him about in last week’s debate.
Surprise, surprise, he did actually refer to women (and not just Rosie O’Donnell, as he said during the debate) as fat pigs, dogs, and slobs … and more (pity poor Brande Roderick and her ill-advised decision to go on The Apprentice … even though now she says she didn’t remember him talking about her dropping to her knees). So yes, Kelly’s question was accurate, and Trump’s response has been anything but. He’s now even demanding that Kelly apologize to him for asking him a question about his past statements (because that’s just not done … how dare she do her job!).
Gosh, it’s like everybody’s picking on him just because he says things that aren’t true, reveals no actual policy positions, and balks at questions that other candidates have had to face, calling it unfair if he gets questions he doesn’t like. How horrible!
Like a few others in the public eye, Trump is big on hyperbole, but very thin-skinned. In his mind, he’s being strong and politically incorrect. In reality, his apparent inability to take criticism belies all his boasting and reveals a very small man. I’ve never been a fan of Megyn Kelly, but I have a new respect for her and her intent to follow through with her job.
And now I’ll just prepare myself to be called a fat pig by The Donald.
There’s always that other possibility: He’s not being politically incorrect; he’s just rude, entitled, and out of touch with how real people think and behave.
Nah, couldn’t be that.
I’ve yet to meet anyone who isn’t offended by something, but some are more quick to take offense than others … sometimes before the words even trip off the tongue … mainly because they had already decided to be offended before anything was said.
No, that doesn’t happen, I hear some of you say, except on the other side.
Yet it does, and on all sides.
Some people are far too concerned about labels (Big Brother, socialist takeover, etc.), but much of the concern is wildly overblown. Most of the time, those complaining of censorship, for example, have had no experience with actual censorship, like that which happens in places like North Korea, Turkmenistan and Equatorial Guinea. Not getting a letter in somewhere pales in comparison to the horrors citizens of those countries face.
What usually sets my eyes a-rollin’ in accusations of political correctness are mentions of the Thought Police or Newspeak, often accompanied by the quote or variant, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” supposedly by George Orwell in 1984. Quote Investigator and other researchers could find no evidence of Orwell saying this in 1984 or anywhere else. The earliest evidence Quote Investigator found most closely matching the syntax of the quote was in a 1982 book, Partners in Ecocide: Australia’s Complicity in the Uranium Cartel, by Venturino Giorgio Venturini, with no source material listed for the quote.
Some people are just far too obsessed with Orwell’s dystopian imaginings.
I find it hard to put much stock in what purveyors of fake quotes and their supporters say, so when they profess great offense, perhaps at the very concept of truth (you know, things that are really true, rather than what you or your crazy uncle want to be true), I tend to tune out.
I know, terribly fact-ist of me …
Is the problem here political correctness gone wild, or is it that a thin-skinned blowhard just can’t take criticism? Now that the Twitterverse is taking him to task over his remarks, I’m wondering how long it will take before there’s another implosion.
While members of his campaign staff have been quick to repost mentions of him, they apparently haven’t noticed that they’re being trolled (and some seem obviously fake). Women have also been live-tweeting their periods to Trump (some men have also joined in … on the tweeting, not the periods), using the hashtag #periodsarenotaninsult, to often hilarious ends in response to his blood-coming-out-of-wherever comment about Kelly (which he now says meant ears or nose … riiiiiight).
What she said.
Here’s what it comes down to: Feeling empathy for your fellow man isn’t weak or politically correct, nor is being kind and following the social niceties. Being brash and boorish isn’t truth-telling; telling the truth is.
On Twitter after the debate, Trump crowed: “So many ‘politically correct’ fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!”
I agree. Donald, you’re fired. You can sure dish it out, but …
As the Trump campaign rolls along, we should remember what Adlai Stevenson said in a 1952 speech in Indianapolis: “In America any boy may become president, and I suppose it’s just one of the risks he takes.”
God, I’m terrified.