Letter: Reassessing Trump’s skills as a public speaker

To the Editor:

In letters on February 9th and 26th, I wrote to the Press in response to your article on Ridgefield's own Cody Keenan, President Obama's gifted young speechwriter, saying that in contrast, President Trump seemed to prefer to ad lib his speeches, relying only on himself and thus often falling back on his favorite subject — himself. As a result, I worried that when a national tragedy occurred, as it surely would, he would be unable to rise to the occasion as any president must.

Well, here that tragedy is — a driver with malice mowing through a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring many. I realize now that my earlier letters naively underestimated Trump's deficits as the voice for the nation. It's not just a matter of lack of eloquence that arises from ad libbing. Trump has no interest in knitting the nation together, only in justifying himself, in this case taking no blame for riling up the right-wing haters who then descended on Charlottesville, eager to wreck havoc. So if that self-defense causes him to fail to say unequivocally that Nazis are bad and have no place in a society that defeated their kind more than 70 years ago, then so be it.

What words might we expect from this president should he really unleash “fire and fury?”

Perrie Ridley

Nutmeg Ridge, Aug. 21