Posturing, straight-talking, pandering, stooping: We use a lot of action words to describe the foibles of politicians on the campaign trail, and today David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura and host of the always-insightful Slate Political Gabfest, offered up a new term to use for political candidates looking to get a little more limelight: “Trumping.” Let’s all start using this verb right now.
: to get the better of : override
: to play a trump on (a card or trick) when another suit was led
That’s Merriam-Webster’s definition. And, honestly, a good description of the role Donald Trump is playing in this year’s Republican primary battle. News outlets are breathless in their coverage of the Trump candidacy, simultaneously giving the man print and airtime while breathlessly proclaiming shock at the fact that the man is “sucking all of the oxygen out of the room.” At this moment in time Trump is leading in a poll of registered Republican voters, pretty much guaranteeing him a spot in the much-hyped upcoming CNN and FOX News GOP debates.
And how is he doing this? Simply by living up to his name, of course. He’s getting the better of his opponents via outlandish publicity stunts, offensive statements and, well, more outlandish and offensive statements. Multiply that with the force of a controversy-hungry media feeding a starstruck and bitterly divided American landscape, and the man who loves referring to himself by name is absolutely Trumping his opponents.
: to shamelessly self-promote using loud and offensive language : to establish political dominance by doing the same
This is the recommended addition to the definition. Because something’s missing. A little bigness. The dictionary definition of “trump” is, simply, not Trumpy enough. It’s time that our understanding of the word evolved to reflect the greatness that is today’s Trump. On today’s Slate Political Gabfest, co-host David Plotz decided to tackle the subject, much to the delight of fellow chatters Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson. Here’s a quick transcript:
David Plotz: “Given that you need to do well in the polls to get into the debate…doesn’t that mean that we’re going to see–in the next month–just some crazy stuff, Emily? Aren’t they going to be doing some, just, bananas kind of publicity hawking? … Trump has gotten 99% of the coverage of this. But, shouldn’t Ted Cruz be Trumping? Shouldn’t Christie be Trumping? Shouldn’t Bobby Jindal be Trumping?”
Emily Bazelon: “Yeah let’s turn it into a verb.”
John Dickerson: “I mean, you’ve just come up with a term.”
David Plotz: “Yes.”
John Dickerson: “Of art. That’s fantastic!”
David Plotz: “Let’s be Trumping. Always be Trumping.”
Yes, David: Always be Trumping.
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