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anne mikolay 2012 120This past week, Donald Trump has made a few verbal blunders. The man is obviously not adept at communication and neither says what he means nor means what he says.

Getting the president to mean what he says is perhaps an insurmountable task, but teaching him to say what he means is a matter of guidance and forethought. President Trump should abandon his off-the-cuff style and resultant inane twitter remarks in favor of restraint and preparation. The man needs a better communications director, or at the very least, a thesaurus, and until he brushes up on Communications 101, the American people need a translator to understand him.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, President Trump took to twitter to offer “warm condolences and sympathies to the victims and families”. However well intended and sincere this message may have been, thanks to a limited vocabulary, it missed its mark. Had President Trump consulted someone...anyone...before tweeting, his use of the word “warm” would have been corrected. Warm wishes are suitable for birthday greetings or housewarmings but highly inappropriate for one of the deadliest mass shootings in our nation’s recent history. Clearly, in this case, President Trump did not say what he meant, nor did he express himself well in Puerto Rico, where he referred to the post-Hurricane Maria recovery effort as a “miracle”, a shockingly insensitive remark in light of the devastation on the island. And how can we overlook his now infamous explanation of the impediments in the recovery effort? Our President explained Puerto Rico is “surrounded by water, big water, ocean water.” Of course, Trump, in his signature style, was attempting to explain how Puerto Rico’s location hinders its recovery; much needed supplies and assistance must be sent by boat (to disabled ports) or plane (to airports not yet fully operational). Though Americans can glean Trump’s meaning from the facts, he did not say what he thinks he said.

Making matters worse, there are times when it seems as if POTUS is shamefully oblivious to the old adage, “actions speak louder than words”.  While in Puerto Rico handing out much needed supplies, President Trump gleefully tossed paper towels into the crowd. Again, if the man can’t exercise restraint, especially in drastic situations, perhaps he should employ a personal translator to decipher his intent for the baffled masses. Surely Trump’s purpose in throwing paper towels was to reach those in the very back of the room and not to mockingly make light of a dire situation. Regardless of his intention, President Trump’s action was condescending, ill-advised, and not well received. After all, the President of the United States was doling out much needed resources to those in need, not hosting a kiddy birthday party, tossing prizes to giddy children.

While not everybody has a full command of our English language, most people acknowledge the power in words and the consequences of our voice and our actions. Thus, we think before we speak, mindful that the words we choose, and how we phrase our sentiment, leave a lasting impression. Did anyone tell President Donald Trump this?

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