The various “words of the year” as proclaimed by august wordsmiths, such as the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster, are woefully inadequate for the 2017 we just suffered through. Youthquake? Please! There’s a fake word, signifying nothing, if I ever saw one.
How about complicit, which at least is an actual word? That’s a little better. Here’s how you use it in a sentence: If you didn’t vote in 2016 because you didn’t think it mattered, you’re complicit.
No, the only word of the year for me is Trumpus. It is the first cousin of rumpus. Old timey wise guys used to greet one another with the phrase, “What’s the rumpus?” They wanted to know what the latest uproar was in the underworld, who shot whom, that sort of gangsta gossip.
Trumpus is a new word form, a compound verb/object. Our president is the verb and we are the object. Synonyms include Chaos, Twit-Storm, and Hissy Fit.
Today Americans are asking one another, “What’s the Trumpus?” What was our all-thumbs drama king up to at 3 a.m. today? Which longstanding U.S. ally has he gratuitously offended, whom in his own cabinet of curiosities did he demean, which geopolitical adversary is he comparing body parts with — from brains to less cerebral organs?
I now check the 24-hour news cycle compulsively, like I did after 911, worrying if something else terrible has just happened. It’s like watching a perpetual slow motion train wreck.
And the news is now all-Trump all the time. As William Wordsworth (who knew words) would say, “He is too much with us, late and soon,” like a fungus among us. Our president can’t take a baby step without ginning up some fake controversy over global Armageddon or his alleged IQ or his collegiate credentials.
He recently boasted that he went to “the very best colleges, or college.” If I were that college, or colleges, I’d think twice about broadcasting his attendance.
Trump is so good at dominating the news cycle that he can foment mayhem without getting out of bed, where he spends a lot of quality time with his remote, his digital device, and a bevy of Big Macs. (Melania sleeps elsewhere.)
As a result of his exhausting ability to raise a rumpus for no discernable purpose, we can’t take a baby step without having Trump land on top of us like some obese chunk of space junk falling from the sky.
Trump relaxes every environmental regulation he can. Trump opens entire American coastline to offshore oil drilling. Trump withdraws U.S. from another longstanding international commitment, like the Paris Climate Agreement (to which every other nation on earth has agreed).
Yes, my fellow beleaguered Americans, we are being Trumped — every day in every way. Conversely, he is Trumping us al l— ergo, the etymological beauty of Trumpus. The evocative three-letter ending of my word of the year is a nice touch, too.
When will it stop? It won’t. There is no end to these Trump rumpuses. By the by, the plural of Trumpus is Trumpuses — sounds like a Dr. Seuss character, doesn’t it (because of Trumpuses we’ve lost our compasses)?
When world affairs are slow, he has locked horns with the Pope, Meryl Streep (whom he termed “overrated”), the parents of a fallen American hero, and, oddest of all, Hillary Clinton, as if the 2016 election is still on.
Like a third-world despot (and unlike any U.S. President ever), he has called on “his” Department of Justice to investigate his former opponent. About the only person on planet earth who gets a pass is Vladimir Putin.
There is no normal, dignified, quiet, or down time in this White House. Recently our “Sky King” president took credit for air safety in 2017. A day without inanity, great and small, emanating from the White House is as common as snow in Namibia.
Our near future will be one Trumpus after another. If this makes you nauseous, or embarrassed for your country, or if this wasn’t what you voted for, there will be another election coming along soon. Put it on your calendar.
David Holahan is a freelance writer who lives in East Haddam.