President Trump did not deliver his State of the Union speech on the January 30th 2018.
Trump does not speak like that nor does he think like that. That was definitely not a Trump speech.
Trump delivered President Stephen Miller’s State of the Union speech. So opinion poles did not reflect Trump’s views, but the views Stephen Miller wants the public to think Trump has.
- 97% of Republicans approved of Miller’s State of the Union speech
- 72% of Independents approved of Miller’s State of the Union speech
- 57% of Democrats disapproved of Miller’s State of the Union speech
Stephen Miller’s views are obviously popular with Republicans and Independents.
Other presidents are involved in their State of the Union speeches. They control the policy and tone of the speech. They listen to advice, but ultimately it is the president’s policy that is reflected in the speech. The speech writer’s task is to follow the president’s policies and cues and polish it up ready for delivery on Capitol Hill.
Not this president. Here the speech writer sets the president’s policy.
The Trump Whisperer
We have heard of horse whisperers and dog whisperers, but now we have a Trump whisperer. Steve Bannon was considered the White House puppet master controlling Trump. He was even called “President Bannon.” But Stephen Miller is a more cunning and efficient puppet master. Bannon was too large, in the spotlight, and showing too much ego. Miller lurks in the shade of Trump’s ego.
Bannon threatened Trump’s ego. Miller comforts Trump’s ego. Miller can read Trump and is great at handling and controlling Trump. He has the ability and talent to deliver to the public a fairly eloquent and controlled Trump.
Donald Trump, away from Stephen Miller’s words shining on the teleprompter, is a different being. Trump has a signature speaking style unique among politicians and world leaders.
Trump speak is characterized by:
- Superlatives. Very many bigly tremendous words.
- Repetitions. For example, “very” (three times), “many” (two times) and “really” (two times). Not only words, but phrases and returning to subjects already covered. Sometimes he will repeat the same phrases three or four times in the same answer.
- Disjointed grammatically awkward verbiage of highly simplistic words, like a word salad past its expiry date.
- Disjointed subjects. Trump can speak about many subjects in a single disjointed sentence without starting or ending any of them. Sometimes Trump appears to suffer an inability to decide what to talk about.
- Confusion. Sometimes he answers in such a convoluted manner, spewing out irrelevancies that it it difficult to decipher what he is trying to communicate. Or he contradicts himself with mutually exclusive statements in the same sentence.
- Contradictions. Donald Trump seems unaware of when he contradicts himself, and he probably doesn’t care. He can take both sides of an issue in the same sentence.
- A limited vocabulary populated mainly with negative and superlative adjectives. These appear to be his “safe words“
- Linguistic quirks like his emphasized super-vowel pronunciation of words like “huge” sounding like “Youuuuuuge.”
- Trump sometimes refers to himself in the third person.
- Trump frequently comments on his own comments.
- Trump’s speech exhibits a narrow negative emotional affect, which is increasingly harsher, angrier and more unhappy. He cannot be less happy, because in his public persona at least, he never seemed happy to begin with.
- He frequently fades off in mid thought, leaving it up to the listener to finish the thought.
- When he lies frequently ends with “Believe me.”
- Trump avoids giving details, but adds that it will be “Amazing” and end with “Believe me.”
An Example of Trump Speak
During a campaign rally in South Carolina on July 21, 2015, Trump made a comment on the Iran nuclear deal.
What Trump was trying to say was:
“The Iran deal is bad for the United States.”
What actually came out of his mouth was:
“Look, having nuclear … my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT. good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart … you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world … it’s true! But when you’re a conservative Republican they try … oh, do they do a number … that’s why I always start off, Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune … you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged … but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me … it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are, nuclear is powerful, my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right — who would have thought? But when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners … now it used to be three, now it’s four … but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years … but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.”
The purpose of Trump Speak
Trump does not care about details such as facts, truth or even coherent communication. Donald Trump is a narcissistic salesman.
What he does best is selling. Where he likes to be is at the center of attention.
Trump speech serves both.
He can sell to his base because they complete his sentences the way they want the sentences to be completed.
Donald Trump rambling on for five minutes in front of a crowd of journalists, hanging on to every word in order to try and make heads or tails of Trump speak, satisfies his narcissist soul.