Saturday, July 28, 2018

Israel's new Nation State Law reminiscent of Aprtheid Laws ( Section 10 of the Urban Areas Act) sets legal parameters for Judification of Zion ( Israel , the Shomron and Yehuda) often refered to as " Historic Palestine" (if Palestine existed ever or not)

Before being allowed to immigrate to Israel in 1986, I was repeatedly detained with out trial ( and never charged) for anti Apartheid activities in  South Africa. As soon as I step off the plane at Ben Gurion on a miserable wet morning on January 21st after been chained naked to a chair for much of the previous 3 months in a dimly lit damp cockroach invested BOSS (Bureau of State Security cel)l , I resolved my conflict " Human Right" versus " State Security" and have always placed Israel's State Security first and formost . I have always voted for the Likud and even served as a Likud Central Committee Member for  10 years..... and now Israel's New State Law throws me into a huge quandry. .... however way you look at it and especially section 7b it is too reminenced of Section 10 of the Urban Areas Act ( The Native Laws Amendment Act of South Africa. The Native Laws Amendment Act, 1952 (Act No. 54 of 1952, subsequently renamed the Bantu Laws Amendment Act, 1952 and the Black Laws Amendment Act, 1952 and commonly referred to as the Urban Areas Act), formed part of the very apartheid system of racial segregation in South Africa. It amended section 10 of the Group Areas Act. It limited the category of blacks who had the right to permanent residence in urban areas. While Section 10 had granted permanent residence to blacks who had been born in a town and had lived there continuously for more than 15 years, or who had been employed there continuously for at least 15 years, or who had worked continuously for the same employer for more than 10 years. Non-whites living in urban areas who did not meet these criteria faced forcible removal.

Israel's Basic Law reserves national self-determination exclusively for Jewish people and makes discriminatory immigration and housing national values. Yet, what is omitted – especially the lack of geographic boundaries – is at least as relevant as what is admitted: when situating the newly adopted Basic Law within existing and proposed Israeli legislation, practice and policy, what emerges is the consecration of a vision for an exclusively Jewish state in all of historic Palestine.
From the very beginning, as negotiations were taking place between white, European elites to give away Palestine, the benefactors of the to-be stolen land were adamantly opposed to a discussion of borders. Even after Zionist colonizers declared victory following the initial conquest of the majority of Palestinian land in 1948, their leadership refused to acknowledge the boundaries of their new State of Israel. Pinhas Rosen, who would become Israel’s first Minister of Justice, was overruled when he suggested to David Ben-Gurion that the state demarcate its borders in its 1948 Declaration of Independence:
Rosen: “There’s the question of the borders, and it cannot be ignored.”
Ben-Gurion: “Anything is possible. If we decide here that there’s to be no mention of borders, then we won’t mention them. Nothing is a priori.”
Rosen: “It’s not a priori, but it is a legal issue.”
Ben-Gurion: “The law is whatever people determine it to be.”[1]
Indeed, the law is not an instrument of justice, but rather a tool used by the powerful to serve their interests. Ben-Gurion was, as colonizers have often been, refreshingly honest. And while the intervening years of Israeli politics have been marked by brilliantly executed window dressing, the Israeli Knesset just pulled back the curtain and returned Israel to its roots. The text of the law is explicit, and what is unsaid is also revealing: No mention of Palestine, Palestinian history, Palestinians, or Arabs; no mention of equality, democracy, or human rights for all; and significantly, no mention of borders.
While the absence of borders might seem to suggest that the expansionist ambition of the early Zionists is still unrealized, the demarcation is actually omitted because there is no longer a need to articulate where the sovereign State of Israel ends. The facts on the ground and supporting legislation speak for themselves. The opening article of the Basic Law does nod to the imaginary two-state solution by purporting to make a distinction between Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel or historic Palestine) and the State of Israel (presumably land within the 1967 “Green Line” and any already-annexed Palestinian land such as East Jerusalem). However, the law itself blurs the line. For instance, Article 3 declares “a greater, united Jerusalem” to be the capital of Israel, reaffirming the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. And Article 7 casually endorses “Judaization” or the promotion of Jewish-only settlement. Supporters of the law have rushed to interpret Article 7 as applying only to areas within the Green Line, though nothing within the law itself or in the policy of any Israeli government would suggest any such limitation. And reading the new Basic Law together with the over twenty “Annexation Laws” proposed in the Knesset over the last three years uncovers the legal scaffolding for the complete colonization of historic Palestine already in place.
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These Annexation Laws are at various stages of the legislative process but all create the conditions for the de facto confiscation of private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank through the application of Israeli domestic law to areas in and around the illegal Israeli settlements. The same method was used to illegally annex East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights to Israel in 1967. In its response to a Supreme Court petition by Adalah regarding the “Settlements Regularization Law” – the most egregious of these Annexation Laws – the Israeli government stated plainly: Jewish settlement in the West Bank fulfills the values of Zionism; and the Israeli Knesset, which is not subject to international law, is the source of authority in the occupied Palestinian territory. Before its Supreme Court, the Israeli government defined itself as the sovereign in the West Bank settlements, meaning there is only one legal regime operating on both sides of the Green Line – throughout Eretz Israel. And last week, the Knesset enshrined Jewish supremacy as the absolute constitutional value of this legal regime, while also definitively eliminating the possibility of Palestinian self-determination anywhere in that entire geographic space, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
The new Basic Law therefore signals the end of any prospective Palestinian national project, as long as this new era of bald-faced, legalized racism lasts. This law thus has severe consequences for Palestinians and other non-Jewish citizens or residents currently under Israeli control. With Judaization as a national value, the Israeli government could justify the forcible transfer of populations, and with discrimination enshrined, non-Jewish people have limited ways of challenging unequal access to land, housing, or state resources.

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Codifying the myth of human hierarchy is deadly – when states elevate one group of people as more valuable, others are dehumanized and their very lives are threatened. At the same time, by explicitly (re)stating and constitutionalizing this myth, the Israeli Knesset has also clarified the root of the problem. And when the root of the problem is understood, so too is the solution. The alternative to this colonial, supremacist present is a decolonized future of equal rights for all. While settler-colonialism is a zero-sum game, decolonization is not. Supremacy insists that only one group of people deserve freedom; equality means we all do.
[1] Tom Segev. 1949, The First Israelis. Picador: 1988. p. xviii

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The End of Democracy in the Jewish State of Zion , by the Bard of Bat Yam, Poet Laureate of Zion , Stephen Darori

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Since its founding in 1948, Israel has grappled with the conundrum of being both a Jewish nation-state and a democracy. Is it even possible?

The Nation-State Law surely created varied reactions since last week. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan led the pack, calling Israel “the most Zionist, fascist and racist country in the world.”

“The Jewish Nation-State Law... legitimizes all unlawful actions and oppression. There is no difference between Hitler’s Aryan race obsession and Israel’s mentality.

Hitler’s spirit has re-emerged among administrators in Israel,” said Erdogan, who has not been exemplary in dealing with the Kurdish minority in his country.

Of course, that hyperbole goes way overboard in describing the effects of the law on Israel, but closer to home, there has also been more nuanced, but still barbed criticism. Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, said Israel “passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us [Israel’s Arab citizens] that we will always be second-class citizens.”

Officially called the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People,” the legislation – which was passed by a vote of 62-55 – states that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people, and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.”

It puts on paper some of the defining characterizations of Israel that have been part of the country’s fabric since 1948, many of which are already parts of laws that codify and express Israel’s Jewish identity. For example, the Law of Return, passed in 1950, automatically grants citizenship to any Jew immigrating to Israel.

But the law goes beyond previous declarations of Israel as a Jewish state by further marginalizing its minority citizens in stating that the state’s language is Hebrew and relegating Arabic – the language of 20% of the population – to “special status in the state.”

Another clause says, “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation,” wording that can be construed as supporting Jewish-only communities.

Kulanu MK Akram Hasson and other top Druze officials filed a petition on Sunday asking the High Court of Justice to strike down all or part of the law as unconstitutional.

Hasson said the law transforms the country’s Druze population and other minorities, including Arabs, into second-class citizens. The petition called the law “a terrible blow to the Druze sector, a terrible blow to democracy and a terrible blow to Zionism.

The Jewish Nation-State Law disproportionately and unreasonably harms [all minorities, turning them] into exiled people in their own homeland.”

As Prof. Dov Waxman of Northeastern University wrote, Israel has never been a truly liberal democracy that treats all its citizens equally regardless of their ethnicity or religion. “Instead, from the outset it has been an ‘ethnic democracy’ or ‘ethnocracy’ as scholars have labeled it, serving Jews first and foremost. While Arab living standards have certainly risen over the years, Israel has never fully lived up to the promise contained in its Declaration of Independence to ‘foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants,’ and ‘ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,’” wrote Waxman.

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has grappled with the conundrum of being both a Jewish nation-state and a democracy. Is it even possible? Those tenets in the new law include many of the values that probably many people reading this right now share and weighed when deciding to pick up their lives and move to Israel – the symbols of the country like the flag, Hatikva, Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and the Hebrew calendar as the guideline for the rhythm of the country.

But they were already well in place. Did we really need a new law that states the obvious, but also further erodes any sense of Israel’s minorities of belonging to the country? As we wrote last week when the bill passed, we agree with Likud MK Bennie Begin, who before abstaining on the vote for law, said it should have stated clearly that Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state, is committed to safeguarding the rights of its minorities. After all, isn’t that what being a Jewish state is all about?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How Do You Say Apartheid in Hebrew by Paul Mirbach ( republished )

In late autumn of 1985, I made the long journey on Egged buses from my kibbutz near Karmiel to Jerusalem, in order to interview Gidi Shimoni. Shimoni, for me, was a cultural hero, a shining beacon of success for a South African who made Aliya to Israel. Not only was he a member of Habonim, our Zionist-socialist youth movement like myself, but he was an example of one who had made it “big time”; he was a senior Doctor of History at the University of Jerusalem, a leading intellectual and a respected force in academia. The subject of my interview, was Jewish fascism. This was the time when Meir Kahane was elected to the Knesset, riding the wave of racial hate and Jewish superiority to get elected. It was for an article I was writing, for a Habonim publication, which I had volunteered to edit. Shimoni did not disappoint; the impression he had on me has lasted to this day. This quote has stuck with me, never forgotten: “Chauvinism is when you take one value, however honorable it may be, and raise it above all other values. Fascism is when you make that value an absolute, and subjugate all other values to it”. It was like a light came on in my brain, like I had an epiphany, a clarification of the epithet from the definition.

So, when Professor Emeritus Gidi Shimoni published an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post in February 2011, explaining why Israel was not an Apartheid state, I not only agreed with him, but I used his article in my arguments with people who did call Israel an Apartheid state. Two nights ago, the Knesset passed the Nation State bill, writing into law that which we have known and has been recognized by the vast majority of nations throughout the world – and I found myself wondering what he would say now, in light of his article in 2011? Let me say that I have the utmost respect for Professor Gidi Shimoni; my intention is not to show that he was wrong, but that our reality has changed. (Map of Bantustan states in Apartheid South Africa)

In 2011, his first premise in differentiating Israel from Apartheid South Africa, was in the essence of the nature of the conflict; he wrote, “The essence of Israel’s conflict situation has always been a clash of nationalisms; ultimately over the question of who should have primacy in gaining national self-determination in a contested territory. By contrast, the South African conflict evolved out of a centuries-long, near absolute domination exercised by a self-defined racial minority (the whites) over an externally-defined racial majority of the population, which was denied equal civic rights, above all the primary democratic right, enjoyed exclusively by the whites.”

The Nation State Bill (“the Bill”) states:
– “The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.
– The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

In other words, for the two million Arabs and other minorities born and living in Israel, Israel is not their national home, and they have no right to self-determination, which is unique to Jews. So, as an Arab, you could trace your roots back to generations living in Israel, and your citizenship is not an indigenous inalienable right, but granted you begrudgingly, whereas a Jew who got off the plane yesterday, has greater claim to be here than you.

Further, in 2011, Shimoni wrote, “The Afrikaans term “apartheid” originated during the 1940s to describe an ideological conception and political program that justified, systematized, reinforced and expanded this pre-existent system of racial discrimination and separation.” – In other words, the Apartheid laws passed in 1960, which enshrined in South Africa’s law books the privilege and preexisting preference for White people in South Africa, had existed for decades, even centuries before the law was passed.

The Nation State Bill states “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

This establishes legal privilege and priority for Jews and Jewish settlements, making it a legal precept in our laws. Like in South Africa, it formalizes in our law books the preference for Jews and Jewish settlements, something that has existed in so many facets of our life, for decades. Furthermore, it both contradicts and overrides our Declaration of independence, which has been the guiding light and our “presumptive Constitution”. “The state of Israel will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants” and then it goes on to say that it will “uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex; and will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture.” – How can Israel now do that, when the Bill specifically states that it prioritizes one specific ethnic group? You cannot guarantee “full social and political equality for all your citizens”, when you place a higher value on the aspirations of one ethnic group.

Gidi Shimoni then goes on to assert that “world condemnation (of Apartheid) targeted two indefensible wrongs: firstly, the legalized racist basis of apartheid’s enforced inequalities; secondly the adamant refusal of the apartheid regime to cease its unilateral dictates and accept the option of negotiation.”

When you have a clause which says, “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation”, you have a legalized basis for inequalities.

How, you may ask? Here’s how. Up until now, the basis for allocation of funds to municipalities has been upon the basis of “X” shekels per capita per city/town. (Of course there has also always been a priorities map – which in itself is built in inequality – but by and large the budget for municipal funding was done according to this key). But now, with the law encouraging, promoting and establishing the consolidation of “Jewish settlements”, the road is clear to allocate “X” shekels per capita for Jewish settlements and councils and “Y” shekels (a lesser amount) per capita for others.

As for the second part, about accepting the option of negotiation: when the Bill writes into law that the right to exercise national self-determination is unique ∂to the Jewish people, and that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, and that “The LAND of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established” (thereby describing not only Israel “proper”, but also the West Bank), what basis is there left for negotiation with the Palestinians? – So, in my opinion, the criterion which Shimoni emphasized was lacking in order to meet the condition of being Apartheid, now exists.

Add to that the demotion of Arabic as an official language of the state. Two million people have just been told that the language they speak as mother tongue is no longer recognized as an official language. What will this mean in the future, in terms of teaching at schools and state exams? Will all Arab students soon have to write their Bagrut exams in Hebrew, giving them an institutional disadvantage in their scholarly achievements, and which could have far-reaching effects on their qualification for university studies, professions and prospects? What will it mean in terms of sign-posting of streets and official offices? What will it mean in terms of budgeting for radio stations and culture?

Not related specifically to the Bill, but when an MK from the coalition (Smotrich), says he does not want his wife to share a ward in the hospital with an Arab woman, how long will it take before hospital rooms will be segregated? Or, when an organization like “Lehava”, which intimidates and targets Jewish-Arab couples finds sympathy among members of the legislature who sit in government, how long will it take before mixed marriage will be prohibited?

So far, we have talked about Israel “proper”. With regard to the West Bank, Gidi Shimoni did draw parallels with Apartheid and Israel’s activities in the West Bank. This is what he wrote of Israel’s policy in the West Bank, “It fosters Jewish settlement while subjecting the Palestinian majority to a wide range of administrative and legal discrimination and hardship … and limitations on freedom of movement and housing development”. Further, he explained how Afrikaner intelligentsia spoke of “separate development”, a phenomenon clearly evident in the West Bank.

What if Israel were to annex the West Bank? It is no longer far-fetched. The above-stated clauses of this Bill certainly gives that possibility a push forward, when it speaks of viewing Jewish settlements as a national value. It also does this, when it states in its first clause that “The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established”, thereby dismissing the differentiation between the State of Israel and the Land of Israel. When you add to that the pending law proposal to impose Israeli law on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, you have further evidence of us moving in that direction. If Israel annexes the West Bank, what will Israel do with the 2.5 million Arabs living there? Will it make them citizens and grant them franchise? I seriously doubt it. I think they will be disenfranchised, one way or another. That’s another nail, locking in Apartheid. But more worrying, how can it then justify allowing Israeli Arabs living inside Israel “proper” the right to vote, but not Arabs from the West Bank, if the West Bank will become an integral part of Israel? What does that mean about the traditional franchise of Israeli Arabs?

Or, Israel could adopt Naftali Bennett’s solution, which is to impose Israeli law on areas “B” and “C” as outlined by Oslo, while giving area “A” “autonomy”. Residents of area “A” would vote for their own leadership and administration. If you look at the map, you will see that area “A” basically is the area with dense Arab population – Ramalla, Nablus, Jericho etc – and there is no contiguous territorial connection between them (the connecting line is designated as “B”, which would be annexed). This is his way to circumvent the problem of giving 2.5 million Arabs voting rights. Basically, he is manipulating “democracy” for his nationalist purposes. In Shimoni’s 2011 article about South Africa, he says, “The most notable measure of this “reformed apartheid” praxis was the ruthless enforcement of the homelands (“Bantustans”) policy. Only in their own homelands were voting rights to be granted to the blacks, including those domiciled in white areas.” Sound familiar?

Shimoni describes Israel’s activities today in the West Bank as “a policy and vision that replicates the theory and praxis of the reformed phase of South Africa’s apartheid policy, which was adopted as a survivaliststrategy… Characteristically, they too cast about for spurious arrangements calculated to ensure Jewish control and privilege (like the Whites did in South Africa) – , devoid of Israeli political rights, or relegation of citizenship and electoral rights to the adjacent Kingdom of Jordan… It is in this respect alone that use of the South African analogy to critique Israel is justified, and importantly so.”

The similarity of Bennett’s plan to the Batustan policy is striking!

I wonder how Gidi Shimoni would view Israel today, as compared to his excellent, defining article seven years ago.

In 1982 I made Aliya and along with the excitement of fulfilling my Zionist dream, was relief that I was leaving Apartheid behind me. Now, I feel like history is repeating itself, and once again Apartheid is casting its shadow on my life. The reason why history repeats itself, even when we don’t forget it, is because we expect for it to be a carbon copy of the previous event, with the exact same policies and the exact same process and events – and that prevents us from identifying its repetition. However, it mutates. It becomes cloaked in euphemistic language. It is obfuscated. To prevent history from repeating itself, we need to see the process for what it is and not go into denial, wistfully thinking “we’re not there yet”. Apartheid is here. It is knocking on our door and the knocking is getting more insistent. Will we open it, or barricade it shut?

Paul Mirbach made aliya from South Africa to kibbutz Tuval in 1982 with a garin of Habonim members. Together they built a new kibbutz transforming rocks and mud to a green oasis in the Gallilee. He served in infantry during his army service, serving in both Lebanon and the West Bank, including on reserve duty during the first intifada. Paul still lives on Tuval with his wife and two sons.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

#OyVeyDonaldTrump ..The return of the Bioviator by the Bard of Bat Yam, Poet Laureate Of Zion Stephen Darori

Image result for Donald Trump pompous  delux cartoons
1. A public figure, such as a politician or an actor, who makes outlandish, strident statements on issues, thinking that the average man will care about their opinions.
2. Someone who pontificates about issues of which they are uninformed, yet pretend to be expert.
3. Pompous blowhard, using their celebrity to speak about topics on which they are totally unqualified.

As Donald Trump surges, so does "bloviate." "The bloviating billionaire" — it's clearly an alliteration whose time has come. But there's hardly a candidate or commentator who hasn't been labeled with the word. Thirty years ago it was dated slang; now it's seen as the prevailing vice of our public discourse.

"Bloviate" has risen and fallen in American life. It was coined in the 1840s from "blow," a facetious pseudo-Latinism mocking the inflated oratory of an era when, as Tocqueville observed, Americans couldn't take to the stump without "venting their pomposity from one end of a harangue to the other."

That bloated style had its last champion in the 1920s in the affable person of Warren Gamaliel Harding. Harding was blessed with strong pipes and a fine head of white hair. He prided himself on his gift for bloviating, which he defined as "speaking as long as the occasion warrants and saying nothing." His sonorous platitudes aroused the contempt of H.L. Mencken, who wrote that Harding's English was a "loud burble of words" fit only for morons and small-town yokels: "It reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it."

Those stump-speech declamations soon fell victim to radio and the modern fashion for naturalness and informality, taking "bloviate" along with it. By the 1970s, the word was moribund. It was arguably saved from extinction only by the timely interventions of language columnist William Safire, who offered it as a replacement for phrases such as "empty rhetoric."

Then, in the late 1990s, "bloviate" began a dramatic comeback, most likely in response to the sheer pervasiveness of political yammer. Between 24/7 talk radio, cable news, social media, blogs and websites, we're exposed to more raucous voices in a single week than anyone in the age of Harding could experience in an entire lifetime.

So "bloviate" was summoned back to life, but in a new guise. Its jocular origins are forgotten; you sometimes see Safire credited with inventing it. And it no longer implies pomposity or even long-windedness — people complain about all the bloviating on Twitter. (Harding couldn't even have said "Ahem!" in 140 characters.) Sometimes it's just a way of dismissing whole networks and sectors as not worth listening to.

There's no "correct" way to use "bloviate" — it was never a real word to begin with. But I like to reserve it for the fondness for bombast that runs deep in the American spirit. The classic bloviator is someone so besotted with the majesty of the language that comes out of his or her mouth that it takes on a life of its own. In that sense, bloviating is a kind of backhanded tribute to language.

It's an occupational hazard that many people who live by words are susceptible to. Think of Norman Mailer and Allen Ginsberg, or of William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, whose sesquipedalian 1968 debate confrontations are on exhibit in the new documentary "Best of Enemies." Or David Foster Wallace or Christopher Hitchens — the woods are full of fine writers whose need to say things grandly sometimes comes at the cost of saying them well.

The most artful bloviators are self-aware enough to own it. Buckley tossed off esoteric words like "albescent" and "catechize" with pointed nonchalance, as if to suggest that that's how he'd talk if you woke him in the middle of the night. Bill O'Reilly wants you to draw the opposite conclusion. He calls himself a bloviator, as Harding did, but rarely uses an SAT word without disavowing it at the same time. "You're casting aspersions," he tells Jon Stewart, then adds "big word." He over-enunciates fancy words like "opine" and "bloviate" itself, with the implication that there would be something genuinely pretentious about saying them straight.

O'Reilly is typical of the modern political bloviators so carried away with their words that they imagine others must be too. Their ranks are thinner than people make them out to be: O'Reilly but not Sean Hannity, Chris Matthews but not Rachel Maddow, Ted Cruz but not Chris Christie, Michael Moore but not Bernie Sanders, "Colbert" but not Colbert.

That's not to let the others off the hook. The American lexicon is rich with names for hooey and its purveyors: There are "blowhards" and "windbags," there is "ballyhoo," "bluster" and "bunkum," not to mention a less decorous word for nonsense that also begins with a B.

That leaves no shortage of alliterative epithets for Trump: the blustering billionaire, the gassy gazillionaire, the preening plutocrat. (Safire might have said Trump calls for a revival of Mark Twain's favorite, "blatherskite," for a "blustering noisy talkative fellow.")

But if Trump is a bloviator, he's one who regards words with something between indifference and disdain. He'd never overreach for a fancy word and come up with something like George W. Bush's "Grecians" or Sarah Palin's "refudiate." He's utterly unself-conscious about his language, and if he has any self-awareness about it, he does a good job of hiding it. The broken sentences, repetitions, false starts and digressions, the banal superlatives and insults —Tremendous! Fabulous! Moron! Loser! — Trump may be sui generis as a candidate, but his language is the culmination of a fixation with the "natural" that has shaped public discourse over the last century. It's not really public speaking, just a simulation of street-corner schmoozing, which is one reason so many people find Trump "real," "authentic" and even "just like us."

And yet. The bloviator's first object is to dazzle himself with his own words, and Trump's are exactly the simple ones that he wants to hear, particularly when the conversation turns to his favorite subject: "I'm really rich." "I'm a really smart guy."

I think of what the psychologist B.F. Skinner said: The reason we boast is to hear someone saying nice things about us.