The 2016 Republican presidential race brings a lot of surprises with it. For this author, perhaps none is bigger than that he would find himself in the position to defend a blonde, female Fox News anchor against the charge raised by Donald Trump that she is a "bimbo."
Even before the Donald Trump had desperately resorted to calling the resolutely cool -- and, yes, good-looking -- Megyn Kelly a "bimbo," I had been toying with that very term myself in the days leading up to the debate.
Quite unlike the current debate, I had been wondering whether or not to describe Trump -- a man -- as a bimbo. Specifically, in an effort to comprehend his appeal to larger audiences, I had been thinking about Trump as a kind of "bimbo prince."
A brief look into Wikipedia proved my instinct was right. While the bimbo term eventually, in an early form of sexist stereotyping, became largely confined to blonde women of a certain kind, this narrow usage militates not least against the generally iron laws of grammar.
The real meaning of "bimbo"
Notably, the word bimbo derives from the Italian word "bambino" -- baby. The Italian language is known to create some new words out of contractions of longer ones.
Accordingly, bimbo, a masculine-gender term that means "(male) baby" or "young (male) child." In contrast, the feminine form of the Italian word is "bimba." This fact alone should conclusively settle the debate of Kelly as a "bimbo."
As early as 1919, in the Oxford English Dictionary, the term was mutated a bit, gaining sharper edges. It was used to describe men, initially as a mere fellow or chap, than an "unintelligent or brutish male" or as a "stupid, inconsequential man, contemptible person."
One cannot escape the realization that all these usages, from almost exactly 100 years ago, are perfect attributes to describe "The Donald."
Trump's ultimate problem is not that he isn't an intelligent man (in his own way). His problem is that he is certainly brutish and contemptible. He is also something of a throwback, in the style of the mucho macho moments of the "Mad Men" TV series.
Trump is also bashful and tends to overshoot his rhetorical targets at liberty. In addition, he plays quite loose with the facts, although he is usually intelligent enough to quickly cover up his tracks on those persnickety facts when challenged.
Mr. Trump's real talent is one that few people have. Not only does he seem to be completely incapable of feeling ashamed no matter how grotesquely he acts.
The reason why he doesn't have to worry about this is straightforward. Despite a lot of close-up camera shots being fixated right onto his maney forehead, Trump, for biological reasons, cannot do what most other people would do when they find themselves in a similarly embarrassing trap of self-inflicted overstatements -- which is to blush.
Trump, of course, cannot be counted as among the normal people, as he will be the first to admit, if not claim outright. The reason why he is physically incapable of blushing is that his face is roseated almost incessantly - and not just when he is on fire.
For any person like that it is nigh impossible for any blushing to take shape. It simply cannot crack through such a layer of constant redness.
Trump's the one
For all these reasons, in any sober-minded evaluation as to who the real bimbo is in the Trump vs. Kelly race, the "bimbo" question should not even be a matter of debate. Trump's the one.
Whatever one may otherwise think of Fox News, Megyn Kelly, is certainly neither unintelligent nor brutish.
Let us also use this current bimbo episode in American life to put an end to the false sexist occupation of the word bimbo. It has nothing to do with women, for purely grammatical reason to begin with.
As regards Trump, we should not get our hopes too high that this will be the end of his being the main attraction in the Republican presidential race.
Theoretically, one could hope that Trump, while incapable of blushing, might realize, as the saying goes, that for every index finger someone like him points at somebody else in indignation, there are at least three fingers pointing right back at the person trying to sow dissent.
Unfortunately, that form of folk wisdom -- and truth - is one that, for all his folksiness, simply eludes Donald Trump. One must in fact seriously doubt that he will ever learn the underlying message, bimbo that he is.