Donald J. Trump has let the cat out of the bag.
The president’s long-planned State of the Union speech is going to stress several points, but he said he wants to stress “unity” in his pitch to a joint session of Congress and to the nation that will watch him on TV.
Well, now. What do you think about that? Here’s what I think.
I believe the president will have to demonstrate his quest for political unity by scrapping a petulant rhetorical device we hear Republicans use all the time.
The first time he uses the term “Democrat” as an adjective — as in “Democrat lawmakers” or “Democrat Party” — will be a clue that his unity pledge is just another empty platitude.
That bit of rhetorical chicanery grates on me. I hate hearing it because I know why Republicans do it. They bastardize the term “Democrat” that way because it has an edge to it. The term doesn’t roll off the tongue the way “Democratic” does.
The conversion of “Democrat” into a adjective began during the mid-1990s when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich decided to characterize Democrats as the “enemy of normal Americans.” I’ll hand it to Republican politicians ever since. They’ve done a good job of turning their “friends” on the other side of the aisle into political cartoon characters.
The latest top Republican, Trump, now is set to talk yet again about unity. He wants to unify the country. He intends to use the SOTU speech as his vehicle for doing that.
Good! I wish him well. I want him to unify the country. I want him to bridge the divide.
I also want him to stop pis**** off those of us who align with the Democratic Party simply by using the term “Democrat” in that insulting manner that has worked so well for the Republics.