There was a political cartoon on the Internet this past week entitled "Suffer the Children." It was drawn by artist Jen Sorenson. The cartoon, in four panels, described how Trump policies are having a detrimental effect on children. One panel showed a little girl complaining that she couldn't breathe as a result of the Trump administration returning to dirty coal and moving to end clean power. Another showed a child complaining that her mother would no longer be able to afford insurance if Trump was successful in killing the Affordable Care Act. One other panel had a crop duster in the background spraying chemicals over a field with a notation that Trump's EPA chief had trashed a ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that harms children's brains. A child in the foreground of that panel was telling Trump, "You are literally lowering my IQ!"
It was that panel, the one about pesticides harming the intellectual potential of children, that particularly caught my interest. Yes, I'm sure it's true, just as I'm sure that EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is far more concerned with protecting corporate profits than he is in the general health and well-being of the American public that he is supposed to be serving.
But looking beyond a thoroughly evil government policy that poses a direct and extremely harmful threat to a broad spectrum of Americans, and young Americans in particular, I began to wonder if Trump himself wasn't also placing a limitation on the intellectual level of the entire country through his limited vocabulary and inability to speak on a mature level. His repetitive use of simple sentences (and often just sentence fragments) spiked with nonsensical adjectives like "bigly" and "huge" must be having an impact on the way the rest of America communicates.
It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to argue that as America transforms from the intellectual highs of listening to the eloquence of Barack Obama and sinks into the reality show drivel of Donald Trump that our ability to communicate necessarily begins to erode in the process.
In exploring Trumpisms and adjectives often used by Donald Trump, I came across a list purporting to be Trump's favorite (most used) words and terms. Not only do the following sound like Trump, they also reflect the limited intellectual playground on which he operates.
Donald Trump's most used words: win, stupid, weak, loser, we, they, politically correct, moron, smart, tough, dangerous, bad, lightweight, amazing, huge, tremendous, terrific, zero, out of control, and classy.
Most of those words would be more likely to appear in episodes of Duck Dynasty than they would in Supreme Court decisions or United Nations resolutions.
Surprisingly, "bigly" and "nasty" did not make the list.
The kids in the cartoon were right. Some of the environmental policies of the Donald Trump administration are posing health risks to children and even limiting their intellectual development. But beyond his dangerous and greed-based policies, Trump just flapping his jaws creates a very real risk of submerging America's intellectual potential under a tsunami of stupid.
It shouldn't hurt to listen when a President speaks.