The “mixing” of messages got started with Primadonald’s Tweet about our need to be more nuclear; to wit: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.
This statement, by itself, is a 140-character testament to Trump’s wishful thinking: We will produce more nukes (that’s what “expand” means, literally) and that act will bring the rest of the world to its senses. Like the other nuked-up nations – Russia, India, Pakistan, India and North Korea – will all roll over and stop their own production and whittle down their stockpiles. Uh-huh !!! Can anyone, realistically, see Putin behaving in that fashion; subordinating Russia’s nuclear might to ours?
Ah, but not to worry because right on the heels of Primadonald’s riff, we have his “spinners” sallying forth to provide “clarification”. Sean Spicer, the president-elect’s choice for press secretary dodged the issue completely, assuring us that Tweets are his boss’s unconventional way of speaking directly to the American people. Of course, what Spicer didn’t add was that Tweets lack detail and nuance making it a challenge for the news media to actually report on, critique and fact-check them. In effect then, Trump’s 140s become the equivalents of Rorschach ink blots; you are free to see in them whatever strikes you as consistent with your own biases. And the president-elect’s policy vis a vis nukes? Who knows?
Next up – Kelleyanne Conway, Primadonald’s White House consiglieri who tried to pour oil on troubled waters by assuring us that no, there won’t be more bombs added to our stockpile even though the word “expand” (see above) means exactly that. Thus, we can now add to the Trump gang’s approach to reality, the rejection of standard, widely accepted dictionary definitions to go right along with the disregarding of facts, evidence and history.
So, to review: Primadonald Tweets one thing, Spicer goes off on a tangent from there, and Conway bastardizes the English language to calm any anxiety we might have over the resumption of a nuclear arms race. And all this because Trump simply lacks the ability to speak with clarity because he prefers to sound off before carefully deciding on a plan of action that once formulated, can be made public and in detail.
What a sad contrast to President Obama’s deliberate, careful choice of words and his preferred MO of working things out in private before speaking to us through the news media.