"It wasn’t simple language that made so much of the election dispiriting," wrote Robert Lehrman, former White House speechwriter and author of The Political Speechwriter's Companion, in The Observer Sunday. "It was the staggering amount of unsupported assertions, ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, apple and orange comparisons, and massive, unapologetic lying. That would survive no matter what kind of diction presidents use to dress them."
"There are many flaws in the language of politics," says Lehrman, a longtime advocate of grading speech drafts on the Flesch Readability Score and making them understandable to readers at as low a grade-level as possible. "On Friday, the millions of Americans listening to the new President should listen hard for them. But here’s one thing they don’t need to worry about: that they’ll understand it. That’s something Donald Trump understands."
And something, Lehrman argues with his own version of nuanced clarity, that all leaders can learn from. Have a read, and see if you agree. —DM