Welcome to the White House.
Is it just me or does it feel like it’s been an eternity since the Nov. 3 election?
Anyway, I know you come into office with several mission-critical priorities screaming for attention.
The pandemic has killed roughly 400,000 Americans. Economic conditions prompt comparisons to the Great Depression. Social justice has taken to the streets. And just to ensure the degree of difficulty is as high as possible, that Trump guy will be lurking in the shadows with a bagful of banana peels.
I know this isn’t going to be easy, but it is what you signed up for.
After all, Trump saying “there are fine people on both sides” after the white supremacists marched through Charlottesville inspired your run for the presidency. You had to figure he’d cause further carnage before we could excavate him from the White House.
Now comes the reason for this letter.
I suggest you expand your cabinet.
Again, I appreciate that you’re super busy, but hear me out on this one.
Right now your garden-variety cabinet consists of:
- Health and Human Services
- Homeland Security
- Housing and Urban Development
- Veterans Affairs
- And the Attorney General
Notice anything missing? Consider what more than any single action has crushed our democracy.
I’m suggesting you add a “Secretary of Words” to your cabinet.
What an ombudsman is to a newspaper, this person will be to our democracy, overseeing outbound communications.
Words have made the pandemic worse. Need I remind you of Trump’s mantra that “the pandemic is about to turn the corner” among his many ditties. Or what happens every time Rudy Giuliani moves his lips.
Words have cultivated falsehoods that hurt everyday life.
I promise this will be the one and only chart I use to make my case. An NPR/PBS poll asked if people trusted the 2020 election as accurate:
Seventy-eight percent of Republicans said no. Because Trump and his gang of yahoos have been using words to evangelize an unfair election 24/7. It doesn’t matter that the courts have rejected countless claims due to an utter — if there were ever a place for such an adjective, this is it — lack of proof. They carried on as if truth is a minor inconvenience, like a vending machine out of Doritos so you end up with potato chips.
Put partisanship to the side. If people don’t believe a fair election is a fair election, we’ve got a problem.
We need someone in your administration paying attention to words; hence, a Secretary of Words.
Lest you think the suggestion is self-serving and I’m pining for the role, I assure you that’s not the case. I love my current job. I also recognize that I’m not wired for politics after watching all 156 episodes of The West Wing.
Still, if you ever need a second pair of eyes for a speech or another missive headed for the American people, I’m happy to help out .
Interesting post, Lou. At fist glance, I thought you were advocating for someone to clean up the government-speak (aka gobbledygook) that typically flows from federal agencies. But perhaps there’s a need for your Secretary of Words as well. Best wishes in your crusade. Lord knows the country could use some better writing.
I will continue the crusade.
P.S. No reason we couldn’t fold the clean up of “gov-speak” into the role.