First, the good news in this piece. I love that there are still words I don’t know. I was reading a New York Times piece this morning, and it mentioned “imprecations.” Impre-what? I thought I knew all the -tion words, coming as they do from Latin. I can almost always decipher a -tion word by its resemblance to a Spanish word. But not imprecation. The definition was just as delicious: a curse or malediction. Malediction! That one I knew, but hadn’t heard in forever. Two yummy words to start off the day.
Now the bad news. The “imprecations” of the piece are the awful things that people shout at Trump rallies. I mean… really bad. This is important because it points to the baser instincts to which he is appealing. There have always been and will always be protesters and rabble-rousers at rallies. There will always be strong passions. But, as John McCain famously did during the 2008 campaign, when a woman in the crowd told him she didn’t trust Obama because he was “an Arab,” and he responded with, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man,” responsible candidates shut that kind of thing down instead of inflame it.
The worst part about this to me is that he’s just using this as a tool. Like a kid who sees that a fart gets a laugh and then farts all the time, he’s just reflecting back the ugliest, nastiest instincts he sees in the crowd, seemingly without an understanding of the long-term effects of his rhetoric. Once you pull the lid off this kind of hatred and legitimize it by giving it such a public voice, what happens? What do these people do with all this rage once the campaign is over?
Anyway, it’s disturbing, but it’s important to bear witness and speak out. So here’s the 3-minute video. Imprecations and all.