We've never had a president who talks like Donald Trump. For many of his supporters, that's a plus: He tells it like it is. In his blunt, often racially-charged statements on immigration, they hear an unflinching commitment to truth, a rejection of PC culture. In his parroting of key phrases and slogans, they hear consistency. And in his less cogent moments, the times when he stops mid-sentence to chase some butterfly of a passing thought, they hear a down-to-earth everyday guy who doesn't talk like the elites, who doesn't need speechwriters or teleprompters.
For those who oppose him though, his rhetoric and delivery is not just dangerous horseshit, but transparently, eye-gougingly obviously so. He panders, self-congratulates, sulks, threatens and whines, and it feels impossible to mistake that behavior for anything else. And yet, here we are. It's as good an analog for the current state of affairs as any: two sides listening to the same exact words and hearing profoundly different messages.
Ever since his campaign began, we've been regularly submitted to week-long news cycles revolving around a new Trumpism. It's hard to keep track.
"Blood coming out of her whatever."
Many journalists and linguists have written about Trump's tenuous grasp of diction and minimalist approach to vocabulary, and they often argue that it's not for a lack of intelligence. He is, after all, a salesman, and in sales, you cater the language to the audience. And clearly, the pitch has worked.
A couple weeks ago, I was searching through CP
's stock-photo catalog (iStock) for "Fire and Fury," after the president used those words in a threat to North Korea. I don't know why, but I started trying out each one of his phrases to see how a neutral source like a stock library would respond. What would his simplistic, limited language generate from a system built on simplistic, limited words and tags?
It turned up some surprising results. "Fake news," for instance, generated dozens of images featuring that exact phrase, leading me to believe it's a fairly common search. "Bad hombres" sadly turned up no results. "Rigged" brought me to lots of pictures of chains.
Below you'll find 14 stock photos generated from searching various Trumpisms into iStock. Click on the line on the left and drag all the way to the right to reveal the answer. The first eight are phrases from the campaign and beyond; the final six are his derisive nicknames for his various opponents from the election.
Ed: I have no idea either. I think maybe she is a witch, hunting?