Social and political historians, looking back on our time, will struggle to understand the verbal chaos and nonsense produced by such concepts as fake news, alternate truth and virtual reality. And they’ll have it, because it’s all being recorded on silicon chips, magnetic tapes, CD-ROMs and digital matrices for their convenience – our political speeches and journalistic analysis of who said what and why, and who did what to whom.

Truth, justice and the cherry tree. Brianna Soukup file photo/Press Herald

The verbal chaos is not accidental. At least one consultant and political strategist has said, that when the balloting is close and the race in question, you should flood the media with chaos and nonsense, because rational thought and carefully considered decision-making are impossible when you are overwhelmed by chaos and nonsense. And then, casting a ballot will rely on emotions, not intellect, and that’s where we’ve got them, that’s where we have some control.

This verbal chaos appears, not in the form of word salad, but what I call structured gibberish. And here I have assembled, from various speeches and public declarations, a mock-up sample of what our posterity will find as they look back to us and try to understand, “What were they thinking?”

Primary politics:

“Father, I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the cherry tree.”

Advanced politics:


“Well, you know it, and I know it, and everyone knows it, and so I don’t have to tell you. I mean, ‘cause it’s bigger than all of us, in spite of what the pointy heads all say, the activists are pushing their agenda right through academia. You know, the so-called experts with their silvery tongues and help, help, the water’s rising and all that activist nonsense, if you catch my meaning. Wink, wink.

“We know a hoax when we see one, and this is the biggest doomsday hoax of all times. Ice melting, water rising, it’s all nonsense rigged up with twisted charts, manipulated data and all planning for the government handouts sure to come from the lefties who are siphoning off the wealth of the nation down there in the swamp of Washington good old D.C.”

And what were we thinking? I don’t know. Do you?

Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at

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