On Jan 10th, Obama gave his farewell speech from Chicago and he had us all in tears because of his eloquence, his decency, his message of hope, his grace…
Today the President Elect gave his first news conference and he had us all in tears because there was absolutely no news in it, no eloquence (just Trump hyperbole: “He’s a great guy, a fantastic guy”), no decency (“You’re rude” to a CNN reporter), no message of hope (“Obamacare is a disaster”), no grace, especially when he claimed that he was victimized by “fake news” when in his campaign and prior to his campaign he triggered many fake news stories (like perpetrating the lie for 5 years that Obama was not born in this country).
Anyway, he said that this story made the country look like “Nazi Germany” when he, in fact, is copying stuff from the Nazi playbook, like holding inflammatory rallies, delegitimizing the media and silencing and bullying his political opponents. He also spread lies and pissed off the intelligence community once more by telling us that they leaked the much-contested report (not true) that Buzzfeed published. I agree that Buzzfeed did not follow journalistic protocol in publishing the uncorroborated report but as a businessman, Trump should know that Buzzfeed is not a “failing piece of garbage” (people/entities who criticize him always get denigrated for being failures, like Streep being an overrated actress) but Buzzfeed is in fact a very successful and well-funded start-up.
Anyway, The Guardian summed it up best (and sorry, but it almost reads like a headline from The Onion): “Trump’s Trainwreck Press Conference Ushers in a Clueless Presidency.”
On the up side– big segue: as some of you may know or may not know, besides doing translation, localization and working the abuse and conflict queue at Nextdoor, I help kids with their college essay apps, and, this afternoon, I met with another student. I’ve come to LOVE this work as it combines teaching and pumping out some good writing with very few words (not like these blogs, lol– Rambling Rose?). Prospective college students get very little space (300-word essays typically) and they have to tell a real story about themselves in those essays and sound authentic and stand out. This is no easy feat. I betcha many adults couldn’t do it well for a job app.
But it’s like a puzzle where every word and sentence counts. It’s about craft, voice, integrity and swaying your audience…in 100, 250 or 300 words. With the smart students this becomes a thrilling exercise as they begin to understand why good writing is so important (and yet, good writing is, in so many ways, sooooo underrated). When students, like this afternoon, get that, they’ve learned something they’re going to take with them for the rest of their lives, and hopefully, apply it each and every time, whether it’s a research paper in college or a cover letter for their first real job– although cover letters become less important, especially in tech.
Anyway, I’m just saying– good writing, rhetoric, eloquence… it matters… which is why The Donald is an Epic Fail already in my book. Sad! Disaster! So overrated!