Opinion/Editorial

DECORUM

The power of the written and spoken word is so great that these iterations and revelation of intellectual foundations cannot be taken lightly by anyone.  Human speech goes back hundreds of thousands of years, at the least.  The written word can be traced back ten thousand years, at the very least.   When the written word was invented it was feared and resisted.  Some thought it would be the end of the spoken word and humans thinking independently and freely.  It was also feared that the written word would only be interpretable and available to the wealthy, or those supported by the wealthy.  Decorum is an old word that is best defined on Wikipedia: “a principle of classical rhetoric, poetry and theatrical theory that was about the fitness or otherwise of a style to a theatrical subject. The concept of decorum is also applied to prescribed limits of appropriate social behavior within set situations.”

Every president of the United States, in modern times, has been considered a person of great decorum.  Even presidents Nixon and Johnson, who had a penchant for the use of foul language on occasion, acted with great decorum when they spoke or wrote to the American public.

What is happening in Trumpian times is the result of a great loss and disrespect for decorum.  Behavior is beginning to be changed across the country because the public is, indeed, capable of reading and listening to the nuance of speech and writing by its leader and modifying its behavior accordingly.  The recent spate of mass shootings brings this issue of decorum straight out into the public forum.  No longer are their fears that the written words will surmount or lessen the impact of spoken words, today the electronic words on the Internet or through Facebook and Tweeting serve to provide the fear that regular reading and writing will totally disappear.  As has been seen with the advent of this new presidential leadership, the Tweet, a form of near stream-of-conscious writing and transmission to action has allowed for a lack of decorum to suffuse its way into the entire culture.  Has it become okay to hint at outrageous racism? Is it being marginally approved that some people may be killed over the favor of others on the basis of skin color alone?

It is a shame to watch the lack of decorum that shambles of communicative garbage come out of the president’s office in the form of his Tweets. What happened to the decorum of this high office? What happened to the elegance of the Reagan era, whether anyone agreed with his policies, or not? What happened to the class of Obama, whether he was right or wrong about Obamacare and more? How is it that so many of the citizens of the USA can simply and willingly forgive and ignore what is being communicated to the entire public by this man? How is it that he can say rotten, obviously racist stuff, and the mass media will not cover it as the outrage it truly represents?  Has the population of America forgotten about the rise of Adolf Hitler? He did not storm into office. He was pulled into office during his time, and by a population that willingly dehumanized other humans to the point of killing six million of them. Whom would ever have believed, ten years ago, that this underbelly of America might be so sadly lacking in elementary intellect, schooling or basic understanding of what happens when a bellicose, non-reading, boorish, unintelligent man takes over the operations of running a country as huge and powerful as the United States? Where is the surprise in any of this?

There should be none at all…and maybe there is not. The Trump apologist army looms over every aspect of this country today, and watching the news is a sad exercise, just waiting for more rolling stupidity to occur, and for the man we must all claim as president, to tweet some insane crap about the people he hates and wants everyone else to hate too.  Donald Trump did not directly tell any citizen to murder another citizen. He did. And has, however, made it sound like doing such a thing might be okay under certain racially motivated conditions. As a warm loving and kind American do not accept that kind of message from him or anybody else.

~James Strauss

 

Sign up for Updates