One recent caller to a conservative talk show lamented that Donald Trump speaks as though he is somewhat immature. The caller supports Trump’s positions, but thinks his lack of specificity and choice of words give the impression that he doesn’t have the intelligence to execute what he proposes.
The host asked that caller what he thought of George W. Bush, assuming from the caller’s statements that he probably was a Bush supporter, and the caller responded “erudite.” This comment revealed much to me about the caller. Bush never came across as erudite when he was President, even to people who supported him, as I did.
George Bush was often characterized as being not-too-bright because of his Texas, southern dialect and his somewhat unusual speech patterns. Although in reality, he is quite intelligent. Southern speech is an indication to some, mostly northerners and coast dwellers, of a lack of smarts and that is a grave fallacy. Words are my trade, and I know that what is considered “proper diction and speech” does not necessarily signify intelligence.
Barack Obama is a prime example of someone who is not at all smart but who speaks well. And speaking well comes primarily from growing up in a household of educated people (white people in Obama’s case). Or for southerners like me, speech lessons. Neither of these circumstances, however, have anything at all to do with intelligence.
My take on Donald Trump’s speech patterns is that unlike politicians, speaking formally is not what he has had to do often in his career. Politicians are all talk and little action, for the most part, thus their greater skill at it. Business people probably do little in the way of speaking formally and much in the way of planning and formulating solutions; otherwise, they would go out of business.
Media pundits have also pressed for more details from Trump. They assume that because he will not give details of how he plans to effect change, he doesn’t have the ability to do so, which is an erroneous assumption.
An overly self-assured millennial on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox show recently proclaimed that he doesn’t know what Trump’s plans are for the radical Muslim situation. The clear implication from the still-wet-behind-the-ears young millennial was that he does not think Trump has a plan, nor is he savvy enough to develop one. That is, Trump is “all talk.”
I wonder if it ever occurs to these detail seekers that Trump has amassed billions executing successful business deals, for none of which I would imagine he revealed details beforehand. In Trumps view, only “stupid” people display their cards for all to see before the game begins. I’m not a card player, but I’m told a good one plays his hand “close to the vest.”
Early in the campaign, Sean Hannity of Fox News pressed him about details for how specifically he would handle the Mexican illegal alien crisis. Trump had made the general statement that he would return illegals to their countries of origin. He responded to Hannity that he would not announce how he plans to accomplish the goal, adding a criticism of the Obama administration for constantly announcing military plans to our enemies.
You would think that people like the caller to the talk show and the young millennial criticizing Trump for too much small talk and too little details would consider what we receive from traditional politicians.
In every election cycle, they are quick to present lists and plans and details similar to the campaign promises coming from most Republican candidates during the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. They claimed they would work fervently to stop Barack Obama’s lawless actions. They lied. So, what good were the details?
I am not so much interested in the details of how candidates will do what they say they will do. I want to know the broader plan and if that plan is in line with what most Americans want done. If in executing the broader plan, you run into difficulties, so be it, but at least make a serious effort to execute the plan before you deem it unworkable.
None of the current crop of Republican politicians who are in a position to do so, outside of Ted Cruz, has done anything or very little to combat Obama’s lawlessness. What we have been given are a lot of excuses for why this, that, or the other plan will not work, even though they never put the plan into play to determine if it would work.
Donald Trump has built a financial empire and he’s only in his sixties. He has tangibles to show that whatever he has done and however he accomplished it, his plans have worked.
If Trump can bring to the presidency a record of achievement, albeit in the world of business and not politics, and pull together the brilliant minds of people who have achieved as he has in entrepreneurial endeavors, plus tap into the expertise of intelligent, trustworthy political strategists who can guide him through the political processes, America just might become great again, as he envisions.
I frankly don’t care if a candidate does not come across as erudite. Right about now, we need results, not fake smarts.
© Sylvia Thompson
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