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  • Writer's pictureLarry Kaiser

Trump's Tough Ain't Your Daddy's Tough

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE VERY TOUGH. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING EXTREMELY TOUGH OVER HERE. WE HAVE TO BE VERY TOUGH. WE HAVE TO GET TOUGH, FOLKS In response to recent IED-style bombs found in New York, Donald Trump said on “Fox and Friends, “...we’re going to have to be very tough.”

When Fox News host Steve Doocy asked exactly how he would “change the playbook” against the militant group known as ISIS, Trump said : We’re going to have to do something extremely tough over there.

Doocy: Like what?

Trump: Like knock the hell out of them. We have to get everybody together and and we have to lead for a change. Because we’re not knocking them. We’re hitting them every once in a while. We’re hitting them in certain places. We’re being very gentle about it. We have to be very tough... So, what does Trump mean by "tough"? Apparently, we will have to learn this by examination of the way he uses the word tough in his public statements, because he refuses to answer the question when asked by journalists. EXECUTE THE RAPISTS After the brutal rape of a white jogger in Central Park in May 1989 received widespread media attention, Trump took out a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY! In the ad, Trump said: "Mayor [Ed] Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts. I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence. Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze them or understand them, I am looking to punish them. If the punishment is strong, the attacks on innocent people will stop. I recently watched a newscast trying to explain “the anger in these young men.” I no longer want to understand their anger. I want them to understand our anger. I want them to be afraid. "How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!"

Right after Trump advocated getting "tough" on ISIS, getting "tough" on crime and getting "tough" on Hillary Clinton, and after two of his staffers called for Clinton's public execution, he said on Twitter that, yes, there... "Should be public execution for all to see-you will end this bullshit fast!" "Tough" is linked in Donald Trump's mind--if it is linked with anything at all-- with brutal retaliation, including public executions, against accused individuals, or mere undesirables such as Mexican immigrants and slum dwellers, an assumption of startling consequence that we can make because Donald Trump has never mentioned nor indicated his understanding of a need for the intermediate process of a fair trial in which the accused is innocent until proven guilty, and because he has often made statements derogating even the weakest efforts the justice system makes toward processing fair trials. And so he delivers his tweet... "Should be public execution for all to see-you will end this bullshit fast!"

...and a day later he almost got it right: When called to task by journalists the day following his tweet advocating public executions, he equivocated in a voice reeking of condescension that "Being tough doesn’t mean being nasty, difficult or unreasonable...", so for about ten seconds he seemed to understand, with reluctance and prejudice, that there is a difference between being tough and being ruthless. But apparently he did not actually get it and likely meant that a proper President could order public executions of innocent people nicely and politely without being nasty, difficult or unreasonable. We can make that assumption because two days later, he made a speech in which he again linked the word tough with brutal retaliation against suspects. In that speech he said he wanted... "...public executions of bad people. No trial. They're bad. Bad. Bad. They don't deserve a trial. The only answer for bad people is public executions. We have to get TOUGH, folks."


Is it possible, in the days remaining before swearing in a new President, to teach Donald Trump one of the bedrock principles of a free democratic society? Would our best chance of success be through the use of an example from the business world?

An advertisement placed by Columbia Sportswear Company may help Trump understand that the meaning of "tough" America, "tough" government and "tough" justice has to do with how much stress and brutality America can withstand, not what it can dish out.

Columbia Sportswear Company is hiring two Directors of Toughness.

We want two people who can test gear in the most unforgiving conditions on Planet Earth and then tell the world about it. We’re hiring two people to be testers, world travelers, glacier climbers, brand ambassadors, social media gurus, nature photographers and spelunkers all in one. Can you drop what you’re doing for a tough job like this? Can you withstand the rigors of adventure after adventure? Can you ski and/or snowboard? Well then say goodbye to life as you know it. Welcome to testing the only way Columbia knows. Welcome to your next step in becoming a Director of Toughness.



They are precise definitions from science and industry, and they are contrasted with ridiculous but famous comments that have wrongly mentored America's current infatuation with that lovely ignorance all dressed up in the wrongful use of TOUGH.

In materials science and metallurgy, toughness is the ability of a material to absorb energy and deform plastically (by bending or flexing) without fracturing (Brian Larson, Editor, 2001-2011, The Collaboration for NDT Education, Iowa State University).

Toughness can be determined by integrating the stress-strain curve. It is the energy of mechanical deformation per unit volume prior to fracture.

The toughness of a material can be measured using a small specimen of that material. A typical testing machine uses a pendulum to strike the specimen and deform it.

Tensile toughness (or, deformation energy, UT) is measured in units of joule per cubic meter (J·m−3) in the SI system and inch-pound-force per cubic inch (in·lbf·in−3) in US customary units (Brian Larson, Editor, 2001-2011, The Collaboration for NDT Education, Iowa State University). In order to be tough, a material must be both strong and ductile. For example, brittle materials (like ceramics) that are strong but with limited ductility are not tough; conversely, very ductile materials with low strengths are also not tough. To be tough, a material should withstand high stresses, high impact and high strains. Generally speaking, strength indicates how much constant force the material can withstand, while toughness indicates how much sudden energy a material can absorb before rupturing (O.Balkan and H.Demirer (2010). Polym. Compos.

An honest Donald Trump, a Donald Trump who actually says what he means, would use the word BRUTAL, or BRUTALITY, to express the reckless retaliation he advocates to combat the nation's problems.


Definition of Brutality....Merriam Webster's Dictionary says brutality is the cruel, harsh, and usually violent treatment of another person or group, as in: "...the police were accused of brutality for using excessive force in making arrests."

“Out here, due process is a bullet.” (John Wayne in “The Green Berets” – 1968)

"This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it." -- Charlie Chaplin

The Free Dictionary online says, Brutality is the state or quality of being ruthless, cruel, harsh, or unrelenting, without regard for the well-being of nearby property or persons.

A thesaurus will list words of similar meaning to brutality, words such as: atrocity, barbarism, bloodthirstiness, sadism, cruelty, inhumanity, ferocity, savageness, viciousness, unfeelingness.

While Equivalent words for the real meaning of toughness are: obstinance, pluck, purpose, resolute, stubborn, willpower, backbone, doggedness, firmness, courageous, grit, perseverance, persistence, resolve.

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