What's in a Name?

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"What's in a name?" Juliet asks. "That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet." Well let's take Trump. Trump of course sounds like Trump card. To trump is to beat or trumpet which is to herald. Everything about Trump conjures the notion of overpowering. A three no trump bid in bridge, beats three spades, three diamonds or three clubs. You don't monkey around with a name like Trump and Trumps don't march to the beat of a different drummer. They're majorettes. Donald's grandfather Frederick immigrated from Germany and the name exudes an earthy almost Anglo-Saxon feel compared to Clinton which has English overtones, Cruz, which is Hispanic and Kasich which is Czech. Sanders is another ball of wax. When you thinking of Sanders your mind goes to The Larry Sanders Show which starred the recently deceased standup comedian Gary Shandling. Bernie may have had to live down his initials BS but when you hear the Brooklyn accent and the urgency of which infects literally every sentence of his speech, you think of other standup of a similar vintage like Larry David. Will Sanders end up being the Larry David of politics, that is to say a big hit, but not as big as Seinfeld, the comedian with whom he was once associated? Lest Ted Cruz be given short shrift it can definitely be said that the name Ted Cruz does not conjure images of J. Crew, whose metrosexual style is a trifle too New York for someone who is unlikely to wear a rust colored belt. And what about those other names. When you hear Kennedy you're most likely to think "dead," like the punk rock group (Dead Kennedys), Johnson may bring up The Great Society, but not until you've thought of Johnson and Johnson. And then there are Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson, whose egg shaped head, is an example of the pathetic fallacy and Nixon who got nixed. Eisenhower rhymes with power and Washington was a person before being a city or state which is something that Omaha residents are reminded of on a daily basis when they cede to the fact that Lincoln is the capital of their state. Harry Truman earned points for the connotation of his name when in a stunning upset he beat the Republican, Thomas Dewey, for the presidency.

photo of Donald Trump's grandfather, Frederick

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}