Trump is gone, but not forgotten.
The damage he’s done, the 25,000 or more lies he spewed out that led so many people to begin living in an alternative fact-free universe for the last five years, will stay with us for years unless his legacy is trashed and his millions of deluded followers wake up to the reality of his mendaciousness, narcissism, corruption and selfishness.
Fortunately ex-President Trump has provided us with the very word we need to accomplish this: his own surname!
It turns out the surname Trump that his German grandpa Fred Drumpf chose to provide at the Ellis Island immigration desk dates back to the Old English term trumpery. Still occasionally used, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as meaning “worthless nonsense” and traces its etymology to the Old Scot-English noun trompery meaning “deceit” and the Old French verb tromper meaning “to deceive.”
Sound about right?
The word even makes a cameo in Shakespeare’s The Tempest when the Bard has sorcerer Prospero instruct his faery servant Ariel:
“The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither
For stale [bait] to catch these thieves.“
I’ve been thinking over the last few months of the presidential interregnum about all the trumpery (fallacious bunkum) emanating from the White House in Trump’s desperate and increasingly comical effort to undermine confidence in the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election, which Joe Biden won by over 7 million votes, a margin of 4% while racking up 306 Electors — 36 more than needed to win the Electoral College.
My proposal is that going forward we all adopt trump as an obscene multi-purpose epithet for anyone engaging in fraud, evasion, subterfuge, and popularize trumpery to describe what they are spewing. Given the word’s venerable linguistic roots, we’re halfway there already!
Now I’m not gonna trump to you. This project is going to require a lot of effort to make it go viral. If we want to sink this narcissistic blowhard’s chances for a second act, we need to work collectively now and over the coming four years to make Trump’s name a synonym for deceit and garbage instead of just for garish, overpriced hotels, golf clubs and casinos.
Whenever this loser ex-president tries to boast about his “accomplishments” in office, or about his “stable genius,” or his not having paid off large numbers of women he has assaulted or paid for sex, and as he adds to the tens of thousands of lies that the Washington Post totaled up from his sordid years in the White House, let’s call it not lies, but trumping.
As for the spewings of the army of political sycophants who remorselessly shoveled more trump on his behalf, including the QAnon conspiracy nuts and the shameless Fox News hosts who help conjured an “alternative facts” world let’s label it trumpery.
But don’t feel limited to the Trump crowd. Let’s start employing trump in our daily conversation in its original meaning, not to denote one clownish egomaniacal narcissist, but to describe all sorts of more prosaic lying and fabulism.
And don’t think of trump as just a noun. Like the F-bomb, the word can function as almost any part of speech. Let’s make trump, trumping, trumpy, trumpish and trumpery all part of our national vernacular.
I for one am trumping sick of this guy and his cult following being taken seriously. Let’s just start calling out their trumps, trumpishness and trumpery for what it is. But let’s go further.
When anyone tells you a whopper, say stop trumping.
When someone is talking BS, say cut the trump.
When someone’s boorish, say stop being so trumpish.
When someone harasses you , say stop being such a trumping trump.
When you buy some product that turns out to be junk, demand a full refund for the trumpery.
With public participation we can make addressing the ex-president as Mr. Trump a profound insult. We’ll know we’ve succeeded when respectable “family” news outlets start referring to ex-President T***p. Actually, Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” is already doing this, using T***p to indicate the word is obscene. But let’s lose the capital T too.
No trump! This could work!