The sound I make

Thugly truth

After the first shock-wave hit the internet—Stormy Daniels’ tell-all on 60 Minutes about her sexual encounter with the US president—media pundits turned their gaze to thuggery.

Editorials surfaced in the second shock-wave that focused on threats made to Daniels to keep mum on the affair, once she told Anderson Cooper that a stranger pulled a Sopranos move.

The stranger “looked at my daughter and said: ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom’,” Daniels says.

And a moniker takes hold: President-as-thug.

Armed with the headline, All the Presidents’ Thugs, The New York Times’ Editorial Board chastised the thug-in-charge, observing:

We live at a time when a porn star displays more credibility and class than a president, his lawyers distinguish themselves through swagger more than legal skill, and we seriously wonder just how thuggish the man in the Oval Office is. It seems like a bad dream.

The word thug originated in India, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.Thug means you’re a cheat and a swindler. A brute and a boor and a liar to boot.

Name-calling is easy but the Times backs up its claims with pages and pages of evidence of Trump’s lies and deceptions.

“The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right?”

The lie was told to justify gun-sales and policing, but the truth is the murder rate is far lower than in the 1980s and 1990s.

His thuggery includes going after Barack Obama like a junkyard dog goes after a bone, spreading the lie that Obama was foreign-born and vowing to kill Obama’s health care policies.

The Affordable Care Act “covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them — it was taken away from them.” Another lie.

Truth is health coverage for Americans increased by about 20 million people.

And to justify tax-breaks for his family, cronies and cabinet members, Trump stated this whopper:

“We’re the highest-taxed nation, just about, in the world.”

Not even close.

Thug is a swell moniker.

The utterance shows that a word’s meaning can be expressed through its sound: onomatopoeia.

The Greeks translate onomatopoeia as “the sound I make.”

And that sound makes sense: he’s a thug.


30 March 2018

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About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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