What nickname would fit Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump?
Certainly he has not been shy about naming his rivals: "Lyin' Ted", "Little Marco", "Heartless Hillary", "Crazy Bernie", etc...
Crude but effective, nicknames stick, as any kid who has had one can verify.
And in today's world of Tweets, where the entire message is only a handful of words, naming one's rival can frame the debate.
So why don't Trump's opponents just nickname him back?
That is not as easy as it seems. Nicknames have to be succinct.
For example, Trump gets flustered when confronted by strong women: like Elizabeth Warren, Megyn Kelly, Rosie O'Donnell, Carly Fiorina, and of course Hillary Clinton, all of whom reduce him to his worst. When challenged, he splutters and fumes and repeats himself. Later on, he will make up some rude words for them, relating to their size, appearance, even their bodily functions--when the objects of his derision are not there to defend themselves.
Am I wrong? Think back to his most famous insults to women: about Megan Kelly's menstrual cycle, Carly Fiorina's face, Rosie O'Donnell's shape, Elizabeth Warren's native American roots, even the sound of Hillary's voice, which he calls "screaming". (Perhaps he wants her to talk softly, so his own squawks can dominate.) Were any of those women in the room with him, when he talked his scripted trash about them?
Hardly an attractive quality-- but how could it be fit into a nickname?
Gender-threatened Trump? Misogynistic Donald? Neither has the right ring.
Big words don't do it.
If only we could borrow Trump's insult expertise... Imagine the nicknames he could dream up, if challenged by someone like himself!
For instance, what about that obsession with his hands? Do they seem unmanly to him? Are they small and soft, having never been calloused by manual labor?
He appears embarrassed by them, to the point where he waved and displayed them on TV--as well as making a not-too-veiled reference to the size of his penis.
How about far more important characteristics, like honesty-- can we trust what he says?
He makes commitments casually, but is not so eager to fulfill them: note his promise to debate Bernie Sanders ("turns out Trump was not serious about the promise he made")--
--or to reveal his tax records.
At the Washington Post's fact-checking site, political statements are judged for accuracy. The Post has itemized many of Trump's statements as deserving "four Pinocchios" (their lowest rating), including:
"...(Trump's) claim that the Mexican government is sending criminals and rapists to the United States (when) a range of studies shows there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans..."
Truth-challenged Trump? Promise Procrastinator? Or maybe what the late William F. Buckley said of someone else: "He is a man of his most recent word."
While criticizing war hero John McCain, (shot down over Viet Nam, McCain suffered two broken arms and a leg, endured torture in the notorious "Tiger Cages", refusing to be rescued until his men could be freed with him) Trump showed no interest in military service himself, avoiding the draft by a series of student deferments. He also claimed medical unfitness because of "bone spurs" in one or the other of his feet. Challenged on the issue, he at first claimed he "could not remember which foot it was", then later stated it was both of them.
Born into one of the wealthiest families in America, Trump claims the only advantage of being born rich was that his father once gave him a "small loan" of a million dollars. He seems to think it unimportant that he also inherited $40 million, was sent to the best schools, lived surrounded by servants most of his life, and was even allowed to take over a business empire-- built by his hard-working father.
And the cruelties he recommends for immigrants, in a country built and enriched by them?
Trump wants to evict ten million Mexicans, people who might lack documentation papers now, but whose country used to own nearly half of America-- California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
Mexicans in our land deserve a pathway to citizenship--as Trump's own mother earned her way, after migrating from Scotland in 1930. Just 18 years old, Mary Anne MacLeod arrived in America full of boundless courage, and just $50 in her pocket. Unlike the oft-repeated story that she merely overstayed a holiday, she was in fact an economic migrant. Searching for a better life, she worked four years as a domestic servant, before meeting and marrying Fred Trump. Naturalized as a citizen in 1942, 12 years after she arrived, Mary Anne Trump's heart was kind; she became a major philanthropist--but Donald?
Not only does he intend to wall off Mexican migrants, but Trump even "suggests" prohibiting the entry of Muslims: banning the members of a religion practiced by nearly a quarter of the population of the world.
What attribute depicts such heartless exclusion?
My Hispanic-American wife Gloria has a one-word suggestion:
In the end, perhaps, the names we carry longest are the ones we earn ourselves, by the actions of our lives.
Remember the classic Western THE PROFESSIONALS?
At the end of the movie, wealthy villain Ralph Bellamy shouts at hero Lee Marvin:
"You... you bastard!"
To which Lee Marvin replies:
"Yes, sir. In my case, an accident of birth. But you, sir, are a self-made man."