In a totally unsurprising move, Donald Trump has once again managed to dominate the headlines over a recent remark he made during a campaign stop in Michigan. Referring to Hillary Clinton’s primary defeat in 2008 at the hands of Barack Obama, he said that she got “schlonged.” For those of you who have evolved beyond the seventh grade, the phrase is a slang term for a male sexual organ. The word itself is of alleged Yiddish origin meaning “snake.” Well, you get the picture.
Most likely, Trump’s use of the word was in response to Clinton’s assertion that ISIS is using footage of Trump to recruit new members. An actual ISIS recruiting video, ironically, uses the image of Bill Clinton and refers to him as “the fornicator.” But, Clinton heard from someone who heard from someone else that they are using Trump so she ran with the story, since rated false by most fact checkers. If Trump had only left it at that…
Not to necessarily defend Trump since the term is seldom used in political discourse, but it has been used before. Chris Cillizza had this exchange in 2011 with NPR’s Neal Conan discussing the 1984 presidential election:
CONAN: Chris Cillizza, that ticket went on to get schlonged at the polls, but that’s a historic moment.
CILLIZZA: Absolutely historic moment, Neal, but as you point out, lost 49 states. The only state that that ticket won, which was led by Walter Mondale, was his home state of Minnesota.
Granted, NPR gets less attention than a Donald Trump fart, but suddenly the phrase is deemed verboten by the political press because it was used in reference to Clinton, a woman. Incidentally, that 2011 NPR interview was about Geraldine Ferraro, a woman.
Taking it a step further, David Brock- a Clinton opposition research operative and hack- suggested that there was also a racial component to the use of the phrase. This is to be expected of the Left who sees a racial bogeyman behind every tree. In fact, Brock is the racist here since he is suggesting the perpetuation of a black male stereotype. So now use of the word has become one of those racial dog whistles we hear about? Is it now a form of microaggression?
It did not take the liberal press long to jump on Trump about the use of the word. But, is the use of the word- which was apparently fine on NPR four years ago- any more vulgar than Trump’s comments against Megyn Kelly after the first Fox News debate? We are coming to expect the latest Trumpism on the campaign trail. And there will likely be more. We should not expect any apologies from Trump either since no matter what he says or does seems to affect him in the polls in the overall sense.
But, there comes a time when one has to look inside the polls and what they forbode for Donald Trump should give his tongue pause. He is big at touting his position in the polls, so let’s go inside every poll because the findings are rather consistent despite who is doing the polling. One needs to consider that in 2012, women accounted for 53% of all voters. In 2012, Mitt Romney garnered 44% of the female vote and lost handily. Trump, if these polls are any indication, would get 33% of the female vote. His favorability rating among women is almost 2:1 unfavorable. Trump will poo-poo away these findings while touting the same overall finding showing him with “yuuuuge” leads.
Jim Geraghty at National Review compared Trump to a cross between Andrew Dice Clay and Don Rickles on the campaign trail. That is a rather accurate description of him. But, Clay and Rickles are comedians and there is nothing funny about running for President. Trump is treating the whole thing like a television show fighting for ratings during sweeps week except “sweeps week” is the campaign season. At some point, people will get tired of the antics and these antics are something that a weak Democratic opponent like Clinton will exploit in the general election campaign. She does not need David Brock to dig up dirt on Trump; he is writing the script for a Hillary campaign commercial.
There are many reasons to not support or vote for Donald Trump. The use of a word that may or may not be vulgar is NOT one of those reasons. Trump thrives on the attention. He doesn’t have to run slick campaign commercials as long as he gets free air time from the media. A recent Google search returned 213 million hits on him. No other candidate- including Clinton- came remotely close. You want him to go away, ignore him. But as it stands now, he is the best weapon Hillary Clinton has in her arsenal.