Donald Trump has been great for my blog, if not for the level of discourse in the nation. He helped me hone my language-focused political analysis in 46 blog posts. For an LSD flashback experience, starting with his announcement in June of last year, just read the titles of what I wrote, with a little retrospective commentary. And then use what you learn to decide who you’re voting for — or against — tomorrow.
18 June 2015: The batshit candor of Donald Trump. As soon as Trump announced, I spotted that his candor — that is, saying exactly what he thought — was uniquely attractive. And as “batshit” indicates, that it had little to do with the actual truth.
20 July 2015: On Donald Trump and when a politician shouldn’t tell the truth. Our first indication that Trump made shit up. I had no idea how extreme this was going to get.
21 July 2015: Donald Trump is no idiot; he’s executing the blowhard gambit. From this post: “Likelihood that he believes he can make up facts and still have a chance to be the nominee: low.” Wrongo.
7 August 2015: Post-debate, my radical prediction about Donald Trump. Analysis: Donald Trump wants to shift the debate and change how politicians talk. He does not want to be president. Also wrong.
8 October 2015: Arrogance, confidence, and the four kinds of experts. Donald Trump is arrogant: absolutely certain and totally confident. Not analytical at all.
19 October 2015: Donald Trump, memes, and the dangers of post-factual politics. This post, about a false meme that states that in 1998, Donald Trump told People Magazine that Republicans were stupid, has 91,000 views and is my second-most-popular post ever. I think it was prescient about how falsehood is now woven into the social media narrative. And people keep commenting on it saying that they saw an interview that never actually happened.
21 October 2015. The Boston Globe’s oversimplified analysis of candidate speech. According to the Globe, Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level. They think this is a problem — I say it’s a plus for him. I was right.
4 November 2015. Cyber-rattling from a weak, equivocal, and ignorant Donald Trump. Trump shows he’s an idiot about computers.
8 December 2015: Donald Trump: knocking a bully off the pulpit. Trump fits the classical definition of a bully. Yup.
9 December 2015: How Donald Trump has changed political branding and marketing. Trump’s style will reset how all politicians work in the future. Just wait. You’ll see.
11 December 2015: Hate Donald Trump? Then give democracy a chance. Voters will reject Trump. Wrong in the primaries. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.
18 December 2015: Upcoming Donald Trump policy proposals. Satire. Dangerously close to the truth.
28 December 2015: Donald Trump endgame: The Trumpist Party. Predicts he’ll do this after he loses the nomination. Wrong, but still might be right after the general election.
22 January 2016: Tweetable highlights of National Review’s Donald Trump Takedown. Brutal. Quotable. Made no difference.
27 January 2016: Six short words explain why Donald Trump quit Fox News debate. “I am afraid of Megyn Kelly.” Because Trump understands media.
25 February 2016: The moral vacuum within Donald Trump: a campaign speech by . . . I really wish someone would have given this speech that I wrote.
26 February 2016: Matt Taibbi, master of metaphor, vivisects Trump in Rolling Stone. How a great writer describes a crisis.
2 March 2016: In the wake of Super Tuesday, Trump’s VP choice will be pivotal. If Trump wins, Pence will be president within two years. But Trump is so loud, nobody has noticed this.
15 March 2016: The 4 kinds of bullshitters (and where Trump fits). The demagogue uses words powerfully and doesn’t care about truth. Fareed Zakaria picked up on this theme later.
21 March 2016: The dark side of Donald Trump’s presidential deal-making. Let’s hope we don’t get to find out if this is true.
28 March 2016: Interpreting non-answers from Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren. How to not respond and get away with it.
4 April 2016: Donald Trump’s mistake: telling the truth about abortion bans. Punish the woman, he says. A peek into Trump’s thought process.
7 April 2016: Donald Trump campaign to declare bankruptcy, sell assets. Satire, but some people thought it was true.
11 April 2016: Analyzing the Boston Globe’s fake Donald Trump front page. The Globe does a devastating takedown: plausible headlines about the future Trump administration.
4 May 2016: Gender subtext will power the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump showdown. “Nasty woman.” “Grab ’em by the pussy.” This sure was right.
10 May 2016: The conservative case for a Romney run: a Moneyball analysis. Conservatives should have backed Romney as a third-party candidate.
10 June 2016: Prepare for the most vacuous election campaign ever. Accurate.
13 June 2016: Donald Trump’s shallow thinking is perfect for Twitter. Explains a lot.
27 June 2016: Donald Trump, negotiator of brinksman? Brinksmanship works better in business than when the whole country is at stake.
7 July 2016: After Alton Sterling shooting, candidates vacuous platitudes. There’s that word vacuous again. Seems right for this whole election.
9 July 2016: How our leaders responded to events of this week. After a terrible week of shootings, Trump gets a D for empathy with blacks and an F for lack of policy suggestions.
18 July 2016: Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal,” and the ethics of ghostwriting. Tony Schwartz tells all. Was that fair?
21 July 2016: Donald Trump convention speech is 8% policy, 92% fluff. Not much there there.
27 July 2016: “Make America Great Again” looks the wrong way. Go forward, not backward, please.
3 August 2016: Fareed Zakaria says that Donald Trump is a bullshitter. Is he? Yes.
9 August 2016: The boldness of security experts’ Trump critique. I analyze the language the national security officials use to decry Trump, and find it bullshit-free.
10 August 2016: Blame yourself, not the media, for salacious Trump coverage. You asked for it.
11 August 2016: Data scientist David Robinson analyzes the anger of Trump’s tweets. 140 characters, but so much insight.
19 August 2016: The problem with celebrating those Trump statues. You hate Trump. Is it ok to put up a naked statue of him? I say no. Very controversial.
22 August 2016. What happened after I poked the Trump statue hornet’s nest. There are certain words that even I am not allowed to use.
23 August 2016: Trump concession speech leaked. Tune in Tuesday night to see how close I am to the truth.
20 September 2016: No one will keep you safe. Not Trump. Not Clinton. No one. Politicians can’t say anything useful after bombs go off in New York and New Jersey.
27 September 2016: Donald Trump’s debate ramble was like an Abbott and Costello routine. 222 people thought this was funny enough to share on Facebook.
8 October 2016: How not to apologize, by Donald Trump. After the Access Hollywood tape, Trump shows how not to be sorry.
14 October 2016: The New York Times’ boldly effective response to Trump’s libel threats. A lawyer for the Times puts Trump in his place. “Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.”
24 October 2016: The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s florid endorsement of Donald Trump. To get behind Trump, you need purple prose.
In the next two days I’ll be writing about what we’ve learned from all this. And then, most probably, that will be the end of my analysis of America’s most challenging presidential candidate ever.