Fire, Cognition, Fury, Persuasion [Updated]

william.scherk

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President Trump, in his inimitable fashion, has pushed back against one of the central themes of Michael Wolff's breathless work of gossip, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The theme -- fanciful, false, 'fake' or not -- is that Trump's White House was staffed with more than a few folks who view the man in the Oval Office as unfit for the job, lacking the qualities of mind that one should expect.

This is not a new theme.

Here is an article in Statnews last year that tried (and failed?) to 'measure' a difference between a younger and older Trump's vocabulary and fluency.  

Trump wasn’t always so linguistically challenged. What could explain the change?

Research has shown that changes in speaking style can result from cognitive decline. STAT therefore asked experts in neurolinguistics and cognitive assessment, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, to compare Trump’s speech from decades ago to that in 2017; they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump’s brain.
 

The author of the Statnews May 2017 article helpfully includes several brief video excerpts -- from 1987 and 1991, and from a more recent video of the President speaking extemporaneously.

 

 

... the decline of Grand Supreme Hoopla ...

Spoiler
 Sebastian Gorka / The Hill:
Don't believe Michael Wolff's book about Trump if you want the truth  —  BY SEBASTIAN GORKA, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 01/08/18 12:00 PM EST THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL  —  When I worked in the White House, I was viewed as strange by many of my colleagues on Sean Spicer
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Not so smooth without the teleprompter. If iii iii if ii if ii i ii i ii i if.

But you know what? To the "experts" it wasn't evidence of the Messiah's possible mental decline, but proof of his brilliance! Obama was said to have an "intellectual stammer." His mind was so superior, so godlike, that his mouth couldn't keep up. He was the most intelligent entity that has ever existed, and everything that he did was proof of it, most especially his errors and failures.

The opposite is true of Trump (and of anyone not on the political left).

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"This linguist studied the way Trump speaks for two years. Here’s what she found."

-- as recorded in "Fire and Fury," President Trump at CIA headquarters:

"I wasn't a fan of Iraq, I didn't want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you when
we were in we got out wrong and I always said in addition to that keep the oil.
Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about it, Mike"-he called
out across the room, addressing the soon-to-be director-"if we kept the oil we
wouldn't have ISIS because that's where they made their money in the first
place, so that's why we should have kept the oil. But okay-maybe you'll have
another chance-but the fact is we should have kept the oil."

"The reason you are my first stop, as you know I have a running war with the
media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth, and they sort
of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community and I just
want to let you know the reason you're the number one stop is exactly the
opposite, exactly, and they understand that. I was explaining about the numbers.
We did, we did a thing yesterday at the speech. Did everybody like the speech?
You had to like it. But we had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed.
I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty
field and I say, Wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out-the field was-it
looked like a million, million and half people. They showed a field where there
were practically nobody standing there. And they said Donald Trump did not
draw well and I said it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them
away, but God looked down and said we're not going to let it rain on your
speech and in fact when I first started I said, Oooh no, first line I got hit by a
couple of drops, and I said, Oh this is too bad, but we'll go right through it, the
truth is it stopped immediately. . . ."

". . . and then it became really sunny and I walked off and it poured right after
I left. It poured but we have something amazing because-honestly it looked
like a million, million and a half people, whatever it was it was, but it went all
the way back to the Washington Monument and by mistake I get this network
and it showed an empty field and it said we drew two hundred fifty thousand
people. Now that's not bad, but it's a lie. . . . And we had another one yesterday
which was interesting. In the Oval Office there's a beautiful statue of Dr. Martin
Luther King and I also happen to like Churchill-Winston Churchill-I think
most of us like Churchill, doesn't come from our country but had a lot to do with
it, helped us, real ally, and as you know the Churchill statue was taken out. . . .
So a reporter for Time magazine and I have been on the cover like fourteen or
fifteen times. I think I have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.
Like if Tom Brady is on the cover it's one time because he won the Super Bowl
or something. I've been on fifteen times this year. I don't think, Mike, that's a
record that can ever be broken, do you agree with that . . . . What do you think?"

"But I will say that they said it was very interesting that 'Donald Trump took
down the bust, the statue, of Dr. Martin Luther King,' and it was right there,
there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So Zeke . . . Zeke . . . from Time
magazine . . . writes a story that I took it down. I would never do that. I have
great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is.
Now big story, but the retraction was like this"-he indicated ever-so-small with
his fingers. "Is it a line or do they even bother putting it in? I only like to say I
love honesty, I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time, although I will
say it when you let in your thousands of other people who have been trying to
come in, because I am coming back, we may have to get you a larger room, we
may have to get you a larger room and maybe, maybe, it will be built by
somebody that knows how to build and we won't have columns. You understand
that? We get rid of the columns, but you know I just wanted to say that I love
you, I respect you, there's nobody I respect more. You do a fantastic job and
we're going to start winning again, and you're going to be leading the charge, so
thank you all very much."
 

"This linguist studied the way Trump speaks for two years. Here’s what she found."

Edited by william.scherk

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