Witerati: Not to let slandering dogs lie, Trump style
In delivering dog-hood as the new metaphor for womanhood, Trump may have beaten even Indian politicians at the vocabulary of dog insults.punjab Updated: Aug 19, 2018 11:03 IST
When wordsmith William Shakespeare popularised in his play the phrase “every dog has his day”, he hadn’t perhaps reckoned for a fella far in the future called Donald Trump, who would do to the canine proverb what a bunch of vineyard hands do with bare feet to grapes during wine-making – squash ‘n’ stomp them beyond recognition.
In darting a dog slur at former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the POTUS did give the “dog” his day out on Twitter, but it was an outing even the canines may not have ruminated over with relish.
What Trump did was not just demean womanhood, he also dehumanised democratic vocabulary.
Blight and the Beast
With his dogged degeneration of lexicon, Trump staged his latest twisted theatrical: Blight and the Beast.
Spectators to Trump’s Theatre of the Abysmal-Slur are familiar with the POTUS’ propensity to pitch parallels from animal-hood at womanhood. Previously, too, women – journalist Arianna Huffington, actress Kristen Stewart & Co – were at the receiving end of his dog insults. Womanhood (Rosie O’Donnell) scarcely stood spared even parallels with pigs poked by the presidential gab.
POTUS’ professed partiality to poking canine castigations, however, shoves many other maligned anthropological analogies into lexicological eclipse.
Monkeys, rats and cockroaches stood sidelined in the political vocabulary of vermin vitriol as the dog had his day, due to a Donald. This dehumanisation of political lexicon – that has historically seen the Nazis calling Jews “rats”, pro-slavery propagandists likening African-Americans to “monkeys”, or Hutus demeaning Tutsis as “cockroaches” during the Rwandan genocide – literally saw presidential discourse go to the dogs. Trump catapulted canine castigation into the new metaphor that dislodged rival anthropods – rodents, simians and blattarians – from “15 minutes of shame” in statesmen’s slurs.
Donald’s decided dislike for dogs is as famous as his canine insult is now infamous. Dogs display distaste for Donald as much as he doth detest them. If Trump’s first wife Ivana is to be believed, her poodle Chappy habitually harboured hate for Trump, such that even if the now president perambulated into the proximity of the closet wherein the poodle was perched, Chappy would let the whole wide world know the displeasure at Donald’s digression into dog territory by delivering a dozen deafening, decibel-packed yelps.
A curious case of pests of the presidential kind not letting sleeping dogs lie.
Political civility goes to the dogs
As far as slapping slurs goes, one thing parliamentarians of the world’s largest democracy, India, may do best is being unparliamentary, outrivalling even American democracy. But it’s to the credit of Indian politicians that they may have scarcely surpassed Trump’s theatrics of tainting womanhood as dog-hood.
Rather, a pedigreed parliamentarian of India elevated the adage “every dog has his day” to new heights by crediting the cognitive brilliance of certain neta-hood’s tweets to canines. When Congress prince Rahul Gandhi credited canine Pidi with being the brain behind his (Rahul’s) tweets, he catapulted canines to a lofty pedestal in political vocabulary.
One occasion the dog didn’t have his day in desi political vocabulary was under the Nehru regime. Inviting Feroze Gandhi to speak in Parliament, T Krishnamachari (TTK) reportedly once commented caustically: ‘Now, Mr Feroze Gandhi, the lap dog of Nehru, will make a statement.”
Omarosa would do well to cull a tip or two on how to toss back canine castigations with glee, from Feroze’s fabled repartee: “ … TTK is a top pillar of the Indian democracy and now the lap dog of Nehru should do to the pillar what a dog does to a pillar!”
A furious case of “every lap dog has his day”!
First Published: Aug 18, 2018 22:15 IST