Henry Rollins: If Trump Has the Best Words, Why Does He Always Say the Wrong Thing?
Danny Liao

Henry Rollins: If Trump Has the Best Words, Why Does He Always Say the Wrong Thing?

In 12-30-15, at a campaign stop in South Carolina, comrade Trump got his pre-lathered fans extra gooey by beating up on President Obama and his administration’s achievements, or lack thereof, in Syria. Trump expressed his exasperation at using the word “incompetent” and, in his ceaseless quest to make America great again, had to call Obama apparently what he is — stupid.

“The world has blown up around Barack Obama. Now I don’t know if you saw his recent release, they were talking about the department of state, State Department, and they said, very strongly, the things that they’ve done. Well, they couldn’t find any because what have they done that’s good? And they said, ‘bringing peace to Syria.’ Did you see that? So instead of saying they made a mistake, call it a typo, they made a mistake, they’re trying to justify it. ‘Well, we meant we’re working on it.’ Can you believe, bringing peace to Syria? ... The level of stupidity is incredible. I’m telling you, I used to use the word incompetent, now just call them stupid. I went to an Ivy League school, I’m very highly educated. I know words. I have the best words. But there’s no better word than stupid. Right? There is none.”

Actually, the State Department did basically say they were “working on it.” The statements that same December from John Kirby, the State Department’s spokesman at the time, are online and can be read in full by anyone who’s inclined.

So, if President Obama’s every sentence was routinely deconstructed to root out the America-hating, Islam-first sentiment, Trump supporters should expect the same scrutiny to be exacted on Trump’s statements, for their incompetence, stupidity and comedic payoff.

Let’s look at some of the verbal roadkill the president recently dropped off for the fake news media to bag and tag.

Standing up to North Korea’s erratic leader, Kim Jong-Un, Trump whips out his bestest words, and from his golf resort, he expectorates:

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. And as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

Comrade Trump is clearly winging it. An attack on North Korea would result in South Koreans and Chinese dying by their sheer proximity to Pyongyang. A dull-minded burst of bellicosity like this from a back-bench member of Congress wouldn’t be surprising, but from an American president, it’s — I would like to say incompetent, “but there’s no better word than stupid. Right? There is none.”

The word that sticks out like the proverbial condom in the salad is “frankly.” Trump, lost in his world of narcissistic narcosis, feels that he’s on a roll, and he can’t stop talking. As if “fire and fury” wasn’t corny enough, he has to level with you, “and frankly power.” It’s like the non sequitur ending of a young poet’s absurdist anti-joke said in a Parisian salon on an absinthe-soaked afternoon.

Not being able to let it go, at a later skirmish with the press, Trump fills the piss bottle once again and the best words spilleth over.

“I will tell you this: If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack — of anybody that we love or we represent, or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous. And they should be, because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”

The unfocused opacity of this man’s junkyard mind is incredible. I can see the tears of laughter rolling down Kim’s cheeks as he realizes he can play the American president like a children’s game.

Last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, thousands of neo-Nazis, militants, Antifa, protestors, bystanders and members of the fake news media all got together to swap spits and beat the hell out of each other over the removal of a statue of Civil War general Robert E. Lee. It was pure 21st-century American greatness, from the tennis shirt–clad frat boys and their Friday night tiki-torch parade before the Saturday clash, to the multiple injuries and three fatalities — two police officers in a helicopter crash and a woman killed after a car slammed into a group of people.

Within seconds of something like this happening, it is the president’s duty to make a statement. Unsurprisingly, it was the first lady who was the first to say a word, albeit via Twitter, but nonetheless:

“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.”

Somewhat banal but well-meant and appropriate. About an hour later, her husband piled on.

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets [sic] come together as one!”

Sure! Show us how you do it. Proceed, comrade.

Here’s how you don’t do it. As president and best-words guy, say this:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”

You don’t repeat “on many sides” twice, thus coating the white supremacist element at Charlottesville with extra insulation, or talk abut yourself in the third person and attempt to offload the weight of the issue by dragging the previous president into it.

I’m not highly educated and the best words aren’t in my vocabulary, but here goes: Trump is a fucking coward.

Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.


More from the mind of Henry Rollins:
Make America Filthy, Hungry, Broke and Stupid Again
Ask Yourself What Side of History You Want to Be on
Don't Let the Trump Show Distract You From What's Really Going On

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