Of Mob Boss Behavior, Trump, and the Ukrainians

Trump Gangster

I believe it’s entirely legitimate to compare Trump’s behavior to that of a mob boss. But I also believe such language may not be helpful. Here is my reasoning.

If the intended audience is committed anti-Trumpers, the rhetoric is unnecessary.

If the intended audience is people previously committed to Trump, or inclined to sit on the fence, the rhetoric probably will not be helpful

The rhetoric demands that the hearers conflate three steps in the reasoning process. Step one is simply getting them to read the document and rub their noses in what was said—specifically the part where Zelinsky speaks of buying mobile anti-tank missiles and Trump turns immediately to asking for a “favor.”

The reader needs to understand that this is the language of reciprocity. The two topics are related, not unrelated. It’s not as if, during the course of a serious conversation, there was an idle aside at the Ukrainian team’s chances in World Cup competition.

And remember two things. First, the audience to whom you’re speaking is made up of people who like Trump or who are open to liking Trump. And, second, Trump released the damn “transcript” himself. It’s natural to assume that he would only release the “transcript” if he were convinced in exculpated him, not that it inculpated him. Why would you release a document that proved your guilt? Only a really stupid person would do such a thing.

So, don’t assume that getting readers to accept an accurate interpretation of the words on the paper will be easy. But if you get there, the second step is to have a discussion about whether conditioning military aid on help against your political opponent is right or wrong.

Not legal or illegal. Right or wrong.

Once the hearer accepts what the words on the paper say, and accepts that the situation they describe is profoundly wrong, then you get to the question of what adjectives, adverbs, and analogies best describe the situation.