Monday, January 20, 2020

On The Veracity of Trump vs Schiff

A Trump supporter said recently to me about Trump:

"...well everyone says stupid things here and there and why is it only women have the reserved right to change their minds. but this could depend on what deal he was working on and whose skirt he needed to blow smoke up that day? So why is it politicians aren't allowed to change their mind or positions?

That was in response to something I posted:

I responded back: "Interesting comparisons lol And good to note, Trump's still saying stupid things. At least he's consistent in that sense. We've not heard Schiff literally rambling incoherently like Trump has, however.

"If you apply even loosely the rules of grammar on Trump's free-wheeling (not reading another's words off a prompter) speech, he literally does not make any sense much of the time.

"However, if you guess what he means, leaving many to read disparate things into it, working into Trump's hands, then it makes sense. It's just questionable what sense that may be. It's why he says one thing, then later the opposite and has to do with media platforms and news cycles. And a new form of plausible deniability most rampant among dictatorships and wannabes."

Except, the difference between a high level of communication (a lower score) and a lower level of communication (like Trump's higher score) is that the better you communicate the more succinct and understandable you are and the worse, the more what you say is left open to interpretation. It's a crapshoot sometimes what Donald John Trump is talking about and we see that in social media with people arguing over what he ever could possibly be talking about in his statements. Especially when one day he says one outrageous thing and then the next day says the opposite. On purpose. To confuse and inflame.


It got me thinking...

I took a random slice of Trump and Adam Schiff's speaking and analyzed them. I didn't look at the content. Just paged down in the transcript, grabbed a random paragraph (no, honestly, I did not cherry-pick this. I hate people doing that. And, I'm not a Republican or Trump supporter).

The higher your score, the dumber you are, less educated, less articulate, and less meaningful. Typically we speak in less collegiate levels for ease and speed. But to descend into grammar school does a similar function to speaking at too high a level and leads to difficulty and ambiguity. That is to say, people have to guess at your meaning. Something you should NEVER see in a POTUS. It is behavior we see in dictators or wannabe dictators and people trying to sound smarter than they are in being consistently unclear.

Flesch Reading Ease:

Schiff: 55.03

Trump: 75.88

Adam Schiff on Face the Nation: "Well, we've gotten an initial briefing on it, and it really is too early to say. We grieve, obviously, for the families of those who were lost. And we're going to press Saudi Arabia to do a full investigation on their end, even as we do one on ours. And I wish the president of the United States, rather than trying to speak for the Saudi government, were pressing the Saudi government for answers. But we're going make sure that we not only get to the full truth here, but also that we review whatever protocols we have in place for the selection of people that participate in these military training programs both here and abroad, so that this kind of insider attack never occurs again."

Donald Trump Dallas Rally Speech Transcript – October 17, 2019: "The economy is booming. Our people are prospering. Our country is thriving and our nation is stronger than ever before. But the more America achieves, the more hateful and enraged these crazy Democrats become. Crazy. They're crazy. They're crazy. At stake in this fight is their survival of American democracy itself. Don't kid yourself. That's what they want. They are destroying this country but we will never let it happen. Not even close. For three straight years, radical Democrats have been drawing to overthrow the results of a great, great election. Maybe, maybe the greatest election in the history of our country. They want to oppose an extreme agenda. They cannot pass it and they cannot win it at the ballot box. They're not going to win. The not even going to get they won't come close in 2020. They know it. They know it. They're not going to win it. They say, let's see. What's another idea? What's another idea? How do we win this election? You know, I really don't believe anymore that they love our country. I don't believe it."

The Flesch score uses the number of syllables and sentence lengths to determine the reading ease of the sample.

A Flesch score of 60 is taken to be plain English. A score in the range of 60-70 corresponds to 8th/9th grade English level. A score between 50 and 60 corresponds to a 10th/12th grade level. Below 30 is college graduate level. To give you a feel for what the different levels are like, most states require scores from 40 to 50 for insurance documents.

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