Words Have Power

I never thought I’d ever be writing about politics—such a touchy subject—on my blog and yet it took hours until I had an epiphany that this was not about politics. This is not about the American presidential race. It is much bigger than that. So please note that I’m not going to share my views on the different policies that one candidate did or did not intended to follow, or on the American system, or the party I would have chosen to vote for if I were an American citizen. Forget about your political tendencies because this blog post is by no means about it.

Whether it be during his campaign or in archives that resurfaced, Donald Trump has been widely known for his extravagant persona, his seemingly unparalleled public appearances and his numerous outrageous comments. I do not intend on quoting him but you can find some compilations here, here and here.

Trump’s recurrent and deeply offensive comments have proven to be simplistic generalizations of all sorts, be it on gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. There should be no arguing on the nature of those statements. And yet, some people seem to have grasped them light-heartedly, whilst others may have understood them literally. I am not personally willing to discuss the second type of people who seemingly shared such beliefs. On the other hand, I am more intrigued by the ones who took Trump’s abhorrent comments as mere jokes or as crowd-pleasers to attract voters and thus didn’t believe they reflected his real intentions. In the end, his discourse has seemed to appeal to those who rejected the politically correct predilection. But rather that politically incorrectness, the GOP frontrunner has opted to be openly insulting and scandalous. One should not omit the fact that considering each and every Mexican as a criminal is utterly xenophobic. I’m not eager to discuss whether you believe his words or not. My point goes way beyond that.

words-create-know-what-you-want-to-create-before-you-speak

My point is that, indeed, words do have power. Words hold meaning. They aren’t insignificant enough to be released in the air, more so in politics which places the art of rhetorics at its center. It may be with difficulty that one can overcome misogynistic, racist or intolerant ‘jokes’. Years before the Holocaust, during his jail time, Hitler started writing his ideological pamphlet (note: I’m not here arguing the parallel made by many with Trump—again this is not about politics). It started with words. Words trigger actions, as seen most recently, unfortunately. Words are important. They convey a message. Words are to be taken with caution. They can be radiant as they can be daunting. They can be loving as they can be hurting. They can tear down or they can build up. Words transcript myriads of emotions. And thus, words are not to take lightly, because they are weapons.

If you believe in the power of words, too, please use them with caution. Manipulate them with fairness and beauty. Understand them as a whole. Acknowledge their meaning. Words enable you to make up stories, so let them be authentic. Do not distort or pervert their value. Words matter. They always do.

You cannot legitimize the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of The United States by understating his words or by assuming that he ‘did not mean it’. Words do hold meaning. 

P.S. Again, this is not about politics. I’m not trying to explain the reason behind the vote for Trump. This is not about my political tendencies (which by the way can’t be found nowhere in this post). It is only about words and my personal opinion on public expression.

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2 thoughts on “Words Have Power

  1. Giulia, I’m not a fan of Trump or Clinton. In fact, I voted for a little known third-party candidate. However, the situation is much more complicated than you’re painting in your blog post. You see, both sides felt like their way of life would be completely flipped upside down if the opposing candidate was elected. Conservatives felt like their religion, their right to own guns, and the right to parent their children the way they saw fit was at stake. Liberals felt like their right to live life as minorities and the future of their daughters was at stake.

    Everybody was driven by strong convictions. For many, the election came down to compromising on many things just to fight for the one or two things the individual could not compromise on. Basic communication theories were also at play, but I won’t give you a lecture on those. Let’s just say that people internally justify things to hold onto their convictions.

    Ask people again in six months how they feel about the actual words Trump used and you’ll find very few people who will excuse it. Just don’t mention Trump’s name when you do it or else they’ll see through the exercise.

    1. I truly did not want to make this post about politics. So of course, I know that people did not vote for the words I was talking about – there are policies and programs behind their words fortunately. I didn’t want by no means to imply that Clinton would have been a better president (because that’s absolutely not what I think either). I really was just focusing on the role that words have, which in my opinion is greater than we think. I do agree with you but I was not trying to explain the reason behind the vote for President-elect. I was merely expressing my belief as regards to what’s being expressed because personally it shocks me that people give little importance to what presidential candidate say openly in public. My post was just a personal opinion, without including any political bias.

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