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Your Opinion: Trusting Trump’s ‘just words’

Your Opinion: Trusting Trump’s ‘just words’

January 11th, 2019 in Opinion

Robert Haslag

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

My recent submission addressed responsibility for the government shutdown and erroneous absolute faith in the “wall” as a border panacea.

Again, our president made this televised statement in the White House on Dec. 11, 2018, “If we don’t get what we want…I am proud to shut down the government…I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you (speaking to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi).” He made a more troubling statement on Jan. 4, 2019, at a televised press conference on the White House lawn, while addressing a question regarding his Dec. 11 statement. His response attempted to make that statement irrelevant saying his Dec. 11 statement was “just words.”

This simple statement belies his ability to conceptually grasp words like elections have consequences. Our legal system, economic structure, defense relationships, international communications and our simple day-to-day communications have meaning. This reliance on words is so intertwined in our society that to minimize it as Mr. Trump has only proves he has absolutely no comprehension of this. When a daughter verbally commits to being home by 11 p.m.; a parent begins worrying if she is not. When a man says he intends to kill someone, that arouses most people’s concern and those words could produce a criminal citation depending upon later actions. When a government makes a written treaty commitment, those words produce a reliance upon that government acting as promised. Indeed, the reason for Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran Agreement is his assertion they are not abiding by their “words.”

Trump proved in that simple statement that for him every word he uses is a transactional one he hopes will entertain, please his base, terrify any Republican who dares disagree with him or make him a new “friend.” Or not! Trump was totally prepared to sign the December Budget Agreement, until Rush, Ann and Hannity howled to remind him of “words” previously and enthusiastically used to arouse his base. Simply, anyone supporting this man should integrate this lack of respect for “words” as a warning they should remove their rose-tinted glasses and realize his promises are transactional and any statements are for him “just words.” And 7,500 of them were lies at worst and “inaccuracies” at best. To trust him is a lemming’s leap.