Obstreperous – adjective –“Stubbornly defiant; attended by a loud and tumultuous noise”
Obstinacy – noun –“Not yielding to argument, persuasion or entreaty.”
Obstreperous obstinacy in human form – Trump team adviser Kellyanne Conway telling Fox and Friends’ viewers on Sunday that serious allegations of scandalous behavior on the part of the president elect while romping in Russia be kept secret “to protect the public.”
One curious thing I keep getting asked is why I use “big words” all the time instead of simply “saying it like it is” like — for example — Donald Trump.
I have no idea. It’s quite mysterious, particularly since such observation ignores the fact that Trump routinely combines incompetence with incoherency heretofore experienced only by those in the throes of deep delirium. I do credit the Sisters of Charity at Cathedral Academy in Syracuse and those no nonsense Jesuits at Le Moyne College for mandatory vocabulary enhancement. I must have been actually paying more attention than I thought.
When I sit down at the keyboard to write this column each week, I tap into whatever emotional key triggers a torrential rush of thought. More often than not this last year it’s been Mr. Trump’s insidious and dangerous rise to political prominence. Tomorrow he becomes the 45th President of the United States. My heart is pounding. My mind is reeling. My head is exploding.
Here’s the deal. While it is traditionally and Constitutionally understood that we Americans will accept without question the national leadership of those selected by established protocol, I find myself intellectually incapable of regarding Trump as anything other than an improbable imposter – a horrible electoral accident and a continuing threat to our general welfare and collective security. A fan for decades of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, I will “rage, rage against the fading light” of our shared historic democracy and “not go gentle into that good night” of the incoming Trump administration.
And why has no one done anything to stop this travesty? That phrase “obstreperous obstinacy” sailed into my head and won’t go away.
Good Republicans have fallen into line like Pavlov’s pups, opportunistically barking belief and wagging their tails at the thought of total federal control and an immediate potential for substantial professional gain. They intentionally have ignored dozens of damning deficiencies and have brushed aside glaring inadequacies becoming ever more crushingly evident with each new passing day. In pursuit of personal fortune, they embrace a perfect fool. This will not end well.
Who would believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend would witness a personal assault by Trump against a civil rights icon who marched with the slain leader in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965, and was beaten bloody in his fight for freedom?
Since Representative John Lewis (D-Alabama) was uppity enough to question his presidential legitimacy while interviewed by Chuck Todd on NBC, Trump twittered, “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart – not to mention crime infested, all talk, talk, talk. No action or results. Sad!”
Social media became instantly flooded with commentary from Lewis’ constituents in Atlanta expressing shocked consternation over Trump’s classless, outlandish claims. The Congressman’s district includes the Georgia Institute of Technology, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the busiest airport in the world.
I love what political strategist Howard Wolfson tweeted in response to Trump’s tirade — “John Lewis did more to make America great in one day on the Edmund Pettus Bridge than Donald Trump ever will.”
By the time my twelve grandchildren and great-granddaughter are old enough to read these words, history will have hopefully reached initial conclusions as to what forces on earth might have been so inexcusably irresponsible as to bring about the election of Donald J. Trump.
I herein nominate “obstreperous obstinacy” and its practitioners.
They surely knew better.
As we all now pay the price.
It won’t come easy.