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Fake Words

When I was in the 8th grade, I decided to enter the city-wide essay contest sponsored by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce on the theme of “What America Means to Me.” I set about this writing task with determination, congratulating myself on my rather scientific approach.

My method? I sat down and put on all my Peter, Paul and Mary records and copied out the ringing phrases that might work. Words. Somebody else’s words. Then I strung them together.

It worked. My mother was thrilled to open the local paper one evening and see a small headline: Linda Welch Wins Jaycee Essay Event.

My handwritten-in-pencil essay is tucked into a scrapbook she put together. Because she did this, I cannot bear to throw it out. I also cannot bear to read it. I mean, I literally cannot. I start in and just want to gag. The words were well-crafted for an eighth grader, I guess, but the essay contains nothing fresh, original, or anything that even represents my actual thoughts or feelings. Just one cliché after another.

I thought of that essay when NPR started playing President Donald Trump’s condolence speech on the mass shooting in Las Vegas. What a pile of crap! Somebody writes up a bunch of appropriate phrases, loads them on the teleprompter, and then he reads them in that sing-song, bored-with-it-himself voice. Something about we will be united by the power of our love? This coming from a man who clearly has no idea of the concept of love for anyone but himself?

It’s hard to know which is worse, this sort of stuff or all the times when he actually says or tweets what he really feels, giving us a horrifying look into the dark, empty void of his narcissistic soul.

He says the Mayor of San Juan, Yulin Cruz, “showed such poor leadership!”

I just want to gag.

Can’t somebody please find a way to free us from him?
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