Words are well-worn tools of politics. They can build as well as destroy. They can create a firestorm in a sea of tranquility. They can also be used to calm troubled waters. Prime Minister Allan Louisy’s first national budget to parliament in 1980 was proceeding smoothly when suddenly John Compton, in his new role as leader of the opposition, dismissively interrupted for the umpteenth time: “Words, words, words!” Finally Louisy could take it no more. Abruptly aggressive, he fired back: “Words, words, words? Words got you where you are today!” The chamber roared. It may have been Louisy’s best political moment.
I’ve read with interest the several articles by persons critical of both candidates in this year’s U.S. presidential elections. There have been more troubling questions raised about the Republican candidate Donald Trump than any other in recent memory. Trump uses words to intimidate, threaten and destroy his opponents. He also uses words to flatter and deceive. Of greater concern are words thinly disguised or unspoken.
From day one Donald Trump has used the unfavourable economic situation in the U.S. which, by the way, was created by the policies of an earlier Republican president: George W. Bush. The excessive greed of U.S. bankers and real estate moguls did the rest. America has not fully recovered from the rapacious attacks on its financial institutions. The deadly tailspin into which greed had plunged the U.S. economy has largely been rescued by President Obama, the man Republicans love to hate.
The way Trump and his Trumpeteers tell it, during his two terms President Obama had done little more than practise his impressions of Al Green. Thanks to other Republicans, however, the true picture has not been blurred. They have told the world why it would be a major mistake on the part of Americans if they should make Donald Trump President of the United States. Foremost among them is President George Bush, senior. Still, to my knowledge, no Republican or American journalist said as clearly as I would like that, as president, Donald Trump would present a clear and imminent danger to the world. Why? The answer is to be found in his words, including those in his early morning tweets. His words betray an unhappy person, ill at ease with those who do not think like him or who do not support him.
The person who comes to mind whenever I listen to Trump or read his body language is Adolph Hitler. Who but a troubled and tormented person wakes up and begins his day by tweeting nasty words against an opponent? What manner of man wakes up each day with mischief on his mind?
Trump’s clear suggestion that the father of one of his Republican primary opponents was a murderer is par for the course – for Trump. Nothing is out of bounds!
Frequently interrupting an opponent or a moderator is bad manners, at any rate according to the values of all but the irrevocably uncouth. Is Trump’s America what the rest of the world looks forward to? How many times did Trump try to bully Hillary Clinton – and the moderator – during their first debate?
His ‘Make America great again’ mantra should send chills down the spines of minorities in the U.S. Trump clearly implies that black America should meekly return to the plantation and work, as in the old days, and a president Trump would take care of them. How does one examine Trump against the demands for reparations? As if to give his hand away, he surrounds himself with retired military generals. Can I be the only one to have noticed the similarity between Trump’s campaign message and that of Hitler on his way to taking over Germany?
It was reassuring to hear Hillary Clinton reminding fellow Americans during the debate that words matter. Trump’s German ancestry and the words he regularly uses at his rallies make for an interesting coincidence. The world cannot afford to ignore the fact that in the right circumstances words can prove to be the deadliest of weapons!