Donald J. Trump, reckless defiance

Everybody should fear Donald J. Trump. Not only the GOP candidates, as Paul Waldman wrote Wednesday. And for more than the seven reasons Matt Latimer listed last month.

What makes of him a seriously frightening candidate is inside him: it’s the self-made-man-unrestrained-ease he oozes at the lectern. Since he has nothing to loose, he acts, as Andrew Ginsburg noted Monday, as “an un-watched over child” who’s not afraid of trying because he doesn’t care if he breaks something.

Wrecking ball negotiator

When you’re used to get what you want by banging your fist on the table – or by taking a bunch of dollars out of a wallet so obese you need an elastic band to keep closed – you may think you’re powerful. And you are, in a sense.

Mr. Trump thinks his banging-on-the-table power is equivalent to political power. ‘Mr. Trump, are you a good negotiator?’ ‘Sure – bang! See?’ We hear it when he unwinds the step-by-step strategy he’ll use to compel Ford to withdraw its project of building a plant in Mexico [listen]. He’s convinced it’ll be an offer Ford can’t refuse.

His wrecking-ball-strategy style is projected by the way he uses his rasping voice: he couldn’t care less about the way he sounds, so much he’s used to shout at the people he talks to and get what he expects.

His throat is tight because he puts too much strength in it. When children first go into kindergarten they start to press their larynx to make their voices louder: they’ve realized there are other children competing for attention. And it’s a tension – and intention – that transforms into a high pitch.


Mr. Trump never takes no for an answer. When he foresees one, his inside pressure builds in and he’ll need to open the spigot in order to avoid a disastrous explosion. He’s angry and we hear it in the air he blows at the end of each sentence [listen].

The first reason is he inhales too much air. He’s maybe afraid of choking, as a typical hypertensive. The fact is he fills up his lungs to the maximum – better too much than too little – and talks on this air. But his utterances are short – because his speech is improvised, which is great – so, he has air left at the end of the words.

The second reason is he presses his vocal folds together too tight to speak so the flow of air is weak. That’s why his voice is so raspish [listen], narrow, and high pitched [listen].

This vocal behavior tells his grouchy temper. Very nice when he’s nice, but beware of explosions.


On the other hand, he’s natural. He doesn’t need to read from a teleprompter or a paper. He just says what he feels like saying. Of course, he’s not a politician: he’s just a rich guy who does what he wants and wants what he sees (as Lou Reed would put it), and who’s accountable only to his own business. He doesn’t measure his words – he’s not afraid of hurting anybody or messing things up with groups of interest. Why would he? To himself, he’s the most important person in the world, and no takes other advice than his, as Maggie Haberman and Michael Barbaro write today..

His self-confidence is shown in the way his speech dynamics evolve, following his train of thought. In some parts, we hear long pauses and a calm articulation. In some other parts, we hear shorter pauses and a fast speaking pace. He cuts words, he interrupts a sentence and starts a different one, or makes lengthy paragraphs pausing only to breathe in.

So, his speech, made of plain words and void of rhetoric, sounds sincere. We hear a man sincerely convinced of being right. . He knows his tactics will succeed [listen]. He knows he’ll be a terrific president of the United States of America. He’s so confident, he transmits it to the audience – part of which is buying it, an increasingly big part. His voters will be those who want strong leaders who’re not afraid to speak the truth, as, they think, Candidate Trump isn’t.

That’s what his opponents should fear.

5 thoughts on “Donald J. Trump, reckless defiance

  1. Carolina, yes you nailed Trump! He’s definitely cantankerous and has wrecking ball tactics. Love the way you included Lou Reed in this post!


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