I’ve always been the sort of person to speak in superlatives. I talk about the greatest thing, waggle my tongue around three-syllable words that overflow the conversation, wave my arms about, waggle my eyebrows, roll my eyes.
In writing, I try to take out my excitable words, seek other phrases that are less “Golly Gee!” and more description-enhanced. Less “fabulous”, more evocative.
But, since Trump, I’ve even lost those.
See, he’s absorbed the superlative arena. With his endless rants and talks of “bigly” and “the best” and “great”, and his manic gesturing and twitter rants, I am rendered mute.
Since the election, I’ve been left speechless, even, in a verbal slump, angry at how words can be used to lie in all sorts of crazy, meaningless ways. Angry at the pundits, “Oh this was only campaign rhetoric. He’s not going to do that.” It’s okay to lie, they seem to say, because no one believes you anyway. Left without speech as I reel in horror as the actual future rolls out ahead of me, burning ground, shrivelled hopes, fear…
It’s like I can’t think of words strong enough to explain my despair. I don’t even live in the US and I am unable to deal with this. His hateful speeches have opened the Pandora’s box of every country’s racism and sexism, and said, “Hey, let’s show our ugly side.”
And so we do. We aim our frustration at “other”, we snarl at anything that seems to put us out, even mildly. I know my patience is pulled tighter than a piano string as I hear one bad news item after another. As Mr. T settles intothe White House (oh, but he wants to commute back and forth to his tower because that will only cost millions and hours of frustration for New Yorkers but at least he’ll be able to sit on his gold toilet in peace), more ridiculous stuff happens, more stuff so outrageous I am left gobsmacked and verbally crippled.
It’s like my mouth closes tighter with every dangerous move. I feel bit like Mrs. Lynde in Anne of Green Gables, mouth pulled into a knot, shoulders tense, head throbbing.
Perhaps it’s because, if I open my mouth, I’ll start screaming.
I share your opinion of Trump. I am disgusted by him, his wife, his kids, his sycophants, the media and, most of all, the deplorables who voted for him. But, superlatives (the value of) were lost years ago. What was once the domain of advertisers has become commonplace. All news is now late- breaking, horrific, stunning, etc; everyday speech is littered with amazing, awesome, incredible and on and on. Superlatives now have as much meaning as bigly.