In a book soon to be published called Language, Meaning, and Truth, you will find something like what follows.
Unfortunately, and notwithstanding the obvious problems we have just referred to, labelling is not just common but mandatory in far too much political discussion in the press, and certainly for shock jocks and those who make a career out of working TV chat shows. While some people naturally thrive on conflict – Napoleon and Hitler are two bad cases – some people in the press engage in conflict for a living. These people rarely have a financial motive to respond reasonably, much less to resolve the conflict. To the contrary, they have a direct financial interest in keeping the conflict as explosive as possible. It is notorious that controversy feeds ratings and that bad news sells newspapers.
If you put up an argument to one of these people who live of the earnings of conflict, the response will very commonly involve two limbs – a personal attack on you (the Latin tag for which is ad hominem), followed by some labels, which are never meant as compliments. So, for example if someone, were to query the rigour of the policies of the government toward refugees, a predictable response would be ‘What else would you expect from someone who subscribes to the ABC? How would you like these people to move in next door?’ There is no argument – just vulgar abuse.
The CIA reported that Russia had intervened in the US presidential election. That report did not please Donald Trump. In trashing his own intelligence community, the president elect gave a text- book example of the response referred to above – a personal attack followed by some labels – no argument – just vulgar abuse.
These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’
This is what we must expect as we go from a president of intellect and integrity to a buffoon and bully who has neither. This is the reaction of an uneducated spoiled child – which is what Trump is.
Poet of the Month: Vergil (Eclogues)
Need I mention him who, having sown the seed,
follows closely, and flattens the heaps of barren sand,
then diverts the stream and its accompanying brooks to his crops,
and see, when the scorched land burns, the grasses withering,
he draws water, in channels, from the brow of the hill.
Or him who grazes his luxuriant crop in the tender shoot,
as soon as the new corn’s level with the furrow,
lest the stalks bend down with over-heavy ears.
Or him who soaks out a marsh’s gathered water with thirsty sand,
especially in changeable seasons when rivers overflow
and cover everything far and wide with a coat of mud,
so the hollow ditches exude steamy vapours?