It may be the case that Donald Trump speaks at the level of an elementary school student. However, at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday, he demonstrated his mastery of the coordinating conjunction “but” — while also managing to compliment Saddam Hussein.
For all you grammar nerds out there, let’s have some fun and break it down!
Here’s how he started:
“Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. Really bad guy.”
Good start. See how he skillfully establishes his first point? He begins with a rhetorical question: Was Saddam Hussein a bad guy? Yes, he was! He was a “really bad guy.” In fact, Trump might not know this, but Saddam Hussein is actually connected to thousands of civilian deaths.
In 1988, his regime killed tens of thousands of Kurds and destroyed about 90 percent of Iraqi Kurdish villages, becoming the first government to use chemical weapons against its civilians. For example, in 1988 his forces used chemical weapons about 5,000 Iraqi Kurds in the town of Halabja. He was tried, convicted, and hanged for the 1982 massacre of about 150 Shiite men and boys in the town of Dujail. There are many more examples of Hussein’s crimes — a good place to check them out is this PBS Frontline feature. But I digress.
To the next part of Trump’s speech:
“But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists.”
Note how the word “but” establishes an interesting contrast. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, “but” he was also good at killing. Trump makes a little mistake when he confuses the word “civilian” for “terrorist,” though. It’s an easy mistake to make. In fact, before the 2003 Iraq invasion, Saddam’s own government was listed by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“He did that so good.”
This is unacceptable. The correct word is “well.” “WELL,” Donald! I cannot believe that you would stoop so low to confuse an adjective for an adverb! I mean, what is this world coming to?!
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