President Donald Trump is an American literary giant, with a well-honed style unparalleled in American letters.
Take his carefully observed and complete word picture from Thursday: “I heard poorly rated Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come Low IQ Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
This piece has every element of good writing. I felt like I was there at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve looking at the face-lift. It grabbed me. It’s dynamic. With four sentences, Trump punctures the vanity of a celebrity couple desperately trying to get in the door, and caps it with a fitting conclusion: “I said no!” The story begins on the TV show, winds through a vivid flashback, and wraps up nicely as a morality play. This is an Aesop Fable for the Botox generation.
Trump writes pitch-perfect editorial cartoons. He sets the scene, richly defines the characters, adds vibrant details, and creates a resonant image revealing deeper meaning:
Nancy Pelosi and Fake Tears Chuck Schumer held a rally at the steps of The Supreme Court and mic did not work (a mess)-just like Dem party!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2017
Trump is a wordsmith of the highest order. His voice is unmistakably his own. He often works late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, like all the greats do. His opponents are reduced to Jungian archetypes colored by their own central failing or hypocrisy (Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl come to mind as influences). Trump, meanwhile, is the clear-eyed protaganist navigating his way through an eccentric and hostile world with his ethics intact. His detachment from the haters and losers around him gives his voice an effortless authority, like Kurt Vonnegut’s omniscient narrators but in the first person instead of the third. How can the critics say he’s rude and vile when, in fact, he’s the perennial Everyman of his stories?
Like most great artists, Trump lacks esteem from the cocktail crowd in his own lifetime. His haters, however, are terrible writers. Here’s Hillary Clinton (or, rather, Hillary Clinton’s team): “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.”
That doesn’t even make any sense. It’s a play on “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” but “glass houses” and “stones” are two different objects, so why is “covfefe” used twice? The whole sentence reeks of self-satisfaction but means nothing. What point is she, or rather her team, trying to get across? Fortunately, Don Jr. was there to workshop her:
What house is he in again??? That's what I thought. You're trying too hard. https://t.co/9Yomz1Emb5
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 1, 2017
The anti-Trump collective writes ugly sentences filled with fallacies and propped up on the crutch of easy sentimentality. Senator Murphy:
Many Republicans will condemn this tweet in strong moral terms.
Then they will spend rest of day trying end insurance for 22m Americans. https://t.co/AzvKyC4OZG
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 29, 2017
False equivalence, bro.
Mocks people w mental illness. Cheerleads effort to end their insurance.
Not sure how much more monstrous this can get. https://t.co/S9op7qhCPN
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 29, 2017
Incomplete sentences. Didactic. You can’t begin a sentence with “Not sure” without undermining trust.
Murphy again: “Pick up your phone. Call your Senator. Tweet them. Write them. Do it now.”
“Senator” is singular and “them” is plural.
But let’s be clear: The Republicans’ so-called “healthcare” bill comes back to life more often than the lead zombie in a horror movie.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 27, 2017
She starts a sentence with “But.” She ruins the flow with “Let’s be clear.” Why wouldn’t we be clear? Why not just be clear in the sentence without the idiotic lead-in? Who is “Let’s”? Is she referring to me, as well? I’m always clear.
The whole thing hinges on an analogy joke but it’s not funny.
A bill that is opposed by the @AmerMedicalAssn because it will literally harm millions is not a "health care" bill.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 26, 2017
This is called the “passive voice.” It is clumsy and boring. “A bill that is opposed by…” would never lead off a sentence on this website.
Here she does it again: “This loving and hard-working family is what keeps me in this fight. Watch their story.” You can’t have “is what” in the middle. There’s no reason for it and it ruins the flow of the sentence. Also, she presupposes that we already know what “this fight” means. I actually follow politics and I have no Earthly clue what Elizabeth Warren is fighting for.
Others invented the phrase. But let me be clear: I accept it. I stand by it. I proclaim it. #NeverTrump.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 29, 2017
Again with the “let me be clear.” What a raging load of self-congratulatory tripe.
It's ridiculous to even have to make this argument, but here it is. Words matter. Morality matters. Culture matters. https://t.co/73a3mP3gH6
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 29, 2017
Raincoats matter. Ice hockey matters. The Wright Brothers mattered.
French already lost me with “It’s ridiculous to even have to make this argument, but here it is.” Oh wow. Here it is. Thanks, man. That’s the kind of salesmanship that almost got him to a formal presidential announcement.
This is why I have no sympathy whatsoever for those who choose to stay and enable this… or defend this… or ignore this 2/2
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) June 29, 2017
So…many…fallacies. Such…abominable…sentences. Totally…terrible…writing.
Trump’s smarty-pants critics are terrible writers. Trump, on the other hand, breaks news (Trump Tower was surveilled), shares memes (Chuck Schumer having a beer with Putin), and influences the hearts and minds of millions.
How many papers reviewed Jonathan Franzen’s latest book? Tony Kushner’s latest play? David Lynch’s latest film?
All Donald Trump has to do is throw down a “covfefe” and the state of Georgia passes a law banning the word on license plates. How’s that for relevance?
Laugh all you want. BUT LET’S BE CLEAR. It’s ridiculous to even have to make this argument, but here goes: President Donald Trump is the greatest living American writer.
Show some respect.