Tuesday, September 08, 2020

How Trump gets away with his incoherence

If you've ever wondered why or how Donald Trump manages to get away with being quite as incoherent as he is, there are probably two main reasons:
  1. The media tends to interpret and paraphrase him as far as possible, because his verbatim speeches are too long-winded and too scattershot for readers to understand or bother with; and
  2. He tends to deliver them with such gusto and animation that the actual content becomes almost secondary (people think that anyone talking with such conviction must have a good point, even if the point itself makes no sense).
This is interesting psychology, presumably learned from years as a vapid entertainer. Certainly, if you read, rather than listen to, some of his speeches, they are arrant nonsense, but he still manages to get his point across to those who are politically aligned, and therefore willing to excuse his ramblings. A couple of recent examples:
"If you get the unsolicited ballots, send it in and then go, make sure it counted, and if it doesn’t tabulate, you vote. Just vote. And then if they tabulate it very late, which they shouldn’t be doing, they’ll see you voted and so it won’t count. So send it in early and then go and vote, and if it’s not tabulated, you vote, and the vote is going to count. You can’t let them take your vote away. These people are playing dirty politics—dirty politics. So if you have an absentee ballot, or as I call it a solicited ballot, you send it in, but I would check it in any event. I would go and follow it and go vote—and everyone here wants to vote—the old-fashioned way."
"I don’t think it’s inevitable. It probably will. It possibly will. It could be at a very small level or it could be at a larger level. Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared. We have the best people in the world. You see that from the study. We have the best-prepared people, the best people in the world. Congress is willing to give us much more than we’re even asking for. That’s nice for a change. But we are totally ready, willing, and able to—it’s a term that we use, it’s “ready, willing, and able.” It’s going to be very well under control. Now, it may get bigger. It may get a little bigger. It may not get bigger at all. We’ll see what happens. But regardless of what happens, we’re totally prepared."
Mind you, Joe Biden is not exempt from such gobbledygook. Old Joe is knocking on a bit too, and is definitely an old windbag:
"Look, there’s institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Redlining, banks, making sure we are in a position where—look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount of money we spend, from $15 to $45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise to the equal raise of getting out of the $60,000 level. No. 2, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home. We need—we have one school psychologist for every 1,500 kids in America today. It’s crazy. The teachers are—I’m married to a teacher; my deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have to make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school—school, not day care, school. We bring social workers into homes with parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help; they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the phone—make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school—a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there."
Phew! Giving Trump a run for his money. Ah, how we miss Barack Obama, who spoke in  complete paragraphs, and was never at a loss for sensible comments.

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