eyes on the U.S.

TrumpSpeak To Berlusconisms, New Frontiers Of Political Rhetoric

Loudmouths Int.
Loudmouths Int.

PARIS — When Donald Trump talks ... well, that's some kind of talking. During his successful run for the presidency, the world got to hear the billionaire real estate mogul turned reality TV star spout his own singular brand of vaguely aggressive and self-aggrandizing forms of communication. And a week since moving into the White House, there are no signs that Trumparlance will change any time soon. Just won't. Not gonna happen.

The 45th president may be redefining the very nature of American political rhetoric before our ears. While many by now have conceded the effectiveness of his speaking (and tweeting) style in garnering public support, Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist at the University of Edinburgh argues that Trump's rat-a-tat-tat sentences reveal the way his brain works. "His speech suggests a man with scattered thoughts, a short span of attention, and a lack of intellectual discipline and analytical skills," Pullum told Vox.com

Of course, the rhetoric of world leaders, both the substance an style, has been an evolving art form since the days of Julius Caesar. Here are a few lines from the freewheelin" new leader of the free world in his first week on the job, followed by a quick glance around the world — from Chile to Italy to the Philippines — of some other interesting turns of phrase in recent months and years.

DONALD TRUMP (U.S.)


Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/PR

Sometimes I'm sorry to not be a dictator, but alas I'm not one.

MARIANO RAJOY (SPAIN)


Photo: oehf9waueb

Talking about the rain:

This is like the water that falls from the sky, nobody knows why.

JACOB ZUMA (SOUTH AFRICA)


Photo: WEF/Eric Miller

The ANC will rule South Africa until Jesus comes back.

SEBASTIAN PINERA (CHILE)

On the occasion of the Bicentennial of Chile, commemorating 200 years of independence:

Very few countries in the world — you can count them on the fingers of one hand — have had the privilege of celebrating 500 years of independent life, as we Chileans do.

RODRIGO DUTERTE (PHILIPPINES)


Photo: PCOO EDP

I wanted to call him, ‘Pope, son of a whore, go home. Do not visit us again."



Worldcrunch iQ contributions from Camila Mena Daroch, Julie Sullivan, Santiago Sáez Moreno.

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Society

A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.


Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?


The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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