Thursday, January 06, 2022

Say His or Her Name

The reviews are in, and from Democrats, the left, and most of mainstream media, they are very positive about President Biden's speech on Thursday, January 6, 2022 about Wednesday, January 6, 2021.  Even a resident scholar at Harvard, former Department of Homeland Security official and national security consultant for CNN was impressed.

With all due respect to that  expert in national security, the January 6 event was not a terrorist attack. Had the perpetrators been successful, their goal- keeping Donald Trump in the presidency- would have been met that very same day.  They did not try to attack people uninvolved in their beef, such as family members of Congress members (perhaps to take hostages), but rather the men and women who themselves were expected to certify the results of the Electoral College. It should be enough to recognize the episode as an "attempted coup" or "violent insurrection." But, hyperbole.

Also very positive, but more characteristic of the reaction, this:

If by "tone," the tweeter means that the President appeared passionate, even emotional, well, yes.  Thus, he also appeared sincere because an emotional mien comes across as authentic and can accomplish one's objective. 

But Joe Biden on nineteen (19) occasions cited "the former President" or "the former President's." On no occasion did he mention the name "Trump" or "Donald Trump," an omission which sent starbursts ricocheting. 

The wisdom of this approach should have come as quite a surprise to reform activists responding to the killing by police of Breonna Taylor, a young black woman in Atlanta. A name, used in strategic context, has power.

So say it: Donald Trump. Avoiding this does not make him go away or erase history. If Democrats would prefer to cower and not use the name "Trump," they can call him "Individual 1."

It at least would have the advantage of not being inaccurate and giving the wrong impression.  President Biden was so determined to avoid naming names that he referred to the "former President" even when he was referring to the President, as in "We didn't see a former president, who had just rallied the mob to attack..."; "Not to strengthen and protect our democracy, but because the former president lost..."; "Judges appointed by the former president himself..." In each instance, Trump was President, not a former President; a significant distinction when considering an insurrection.

Whether the President was wise or foolish not to have named the ex-President, Biden's demeanor may have served the purpose intended. Angry, emotional self-righteousness sometimes is tactically effective. After all, it worked for those two famous men of feigned sincerity, Supreme Court nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.


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