Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Wind power inspires Trump to unprecedented flights of rhetoric

Donald Trump's speeches are often indecipherable streams of consciousness (or perhaps unconsciousness), although his supporters seem to like them. Gone are the days of oratory and rhetoric - and not that long gone: Barack Obama produced a few speeches for the ages. Indeed, gone are the days of whole sentences and coherence.
A recent campaign speech to young conservatives in Florida (yes, apparently the next election has already started) was one of his most incomprehensible and amusing. Wandering at random, over about an hour, the "speech" - reminiscent of a Rick Mercer rant without the pithiness, humour or political sophistication  ranged and raged over the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi, the impeachment process, and the Republican so-called Never Trumpers, whom Trump summarily dismisses as "the dumbest human beings on earth".
Pride of place in the speech, though, and the subject that brought him closest to apoplexy, was devoted to that scourge of the earth, wind power. No-one is entirely sure just why Trump has decided that wind turbines (or "windmills", as he calls them, possibly in an attempt at satire) deserve such unrelenting attention, although some believe it stems from a wind farm in Scotland that had the audacity to blight one of his golf courses. Be that as it may, the subject yielded some howlers at the speech earlier this week:
  • "I've studied it better than anybody I know."
  • "I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. They're noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill some day. You'll see more birds than you've ever seen in your life."
  • "They're made in China and Germany mostly ... But they're manufactured tremendous, if you're into this. Tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So, the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon foorprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right? Spewing. Whether it's in China, Germany, it's going into the air. It's our air, their air, everything, right?"
  • "You see all those [windmills]? They're all different shades of colour. They're like sort of white, but one is like an orange-white. It's my favourite colour, orange."
  • "You know what they don't tell you about windmills? After ten years, they look like hell. They start to get tired, old."
Positively Shakespearean, and evem more difficult to follow. Cicero is probably doing cartwheels in his grave right now.

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