Putting things in perspective

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Sorry it’s been awhile. I’ve been so busy trying to get ready for a vacation that I’m not even going to take that I’ve hardly had time to breathe, much less think about keeping up with my blog.

Take yesterday, for example. On top of trying to meet an impossible –albeit self-imposed — work-related deadline,  long laundry list of things to do. Literally.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

So I grabbed some money, two full bags of dirty clothes, detergent, and trundled everything across the street to the neighborhood laundromat. Inside, I loaded my favorite washing machine and then got some quarters from the only functioning change dispenser.

Back at the washing machine, I began dropping quarters into the slot one by one. Clink, clink, clink, clink… I didn’t think much of it when one failed to register, and deposited another one. But that one got stuck, too. Slightly aggravated, I pushed the coin return button. And… nothing happened.

Then I got that sinking feeling. You know, the one you get when you’ve dumped a whole bunch of coins into a vending machine and it either gets stuck or the item you want doesn’t pop out. Then I got really mad. I could see the quarters — I just couldn’t reach them. And I didn’t have anything with me that I could use to dislodge them.

So before I went back home, I asked if anyone in the laundromat had car keys or a paperclip that I could borrow. One of the guys asked what was going on and offered to help. As it turned out, it was a good thing he was there, because he had just what I needed, a utility knife with a long, thin blade. Working quickly, he easily freed the quarters, and then waited while I inserted a different quarter.

For some strange reason, the rest of the quarters registered with no trouble, averting any additional drama. I thanked the man for his help and we went our separate ways.

And that was that. A random, yet ordinary encounter between two strangers on an ordinary day. One needed help. The other was willing and able to provide it.

Oh, I almost forgot. The guy who helped me is black.

Just something to think about the next time you hear a news report about racism and hatred in America. After you’ve given that some thought, ask yourself why the media is promoting that narrative. Who stands to gain from it? And who stands to lose?

That is what is known as critical thought. And that will go a long way towards healing this country.

Eli says: take a breath, America

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Eli hates it when I’m angry.

He doesn’t even like it when I raise my voice.

There’s no doubt about it.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

He makes his feelings on the subject perfectly clear.

If I raise my voice for any reason, but especially in anger, he bites me. Repeatedly.

I don’t know why he does that, but I think it probably has a lot to do with the abuse he took before I adopted him. Or perhaps it was the violence that he witnessed…

At any rate, he has very sharp teeth, so it gets my attention. Believe me.

So perhaps I should turn him loose on the rest of the country. He could just go around biting anyone who’s yelling about something, or yelling at someone else, for that matter.

It would get their attention. Believe me.

On second thought…

But then again, that’s a huge responsibility for huge responsibility for one cat.

I mean, let’s be honest. It seems like everyone in America is angry about something these days. It seems like everyone is yelling. People are yelling on TV. People are yelling on radio talk shows. People are yelling on social media. People are yelling about politics, politicians, and anything remotely political.

And there’s only so much Eli could do. It would take him a long time to bite everyone.

So maybe it’s time to take a collective breath, America. And maybe it’s time to take a take a good, hard look at ourselves, our behavior and the way we treat others. Maybe it’s time to take responsibility for our actions, and our words. Because that old line about “sticks and stones” is a myth.

Words are incredibly powerful. Especially when everyone is screaming invective at the top of their lungs.

Some unsolicited advice…

For what it’s worth, here’s how I keep my temper in check online and elsewhere.

  1. If I’ve got to vent I do it in private.
  2. I repeat the following until I am calm enough to have a rational, civilized discussion: I am an adult. I am in charge of my feelings. No one has the power to make me feel anything. Only I can decide how I react.
  3. If I see an offensive comment online, I count to 10 before I decide whether to engage, and how to engage with the person who made the offensive comment.
  4. l remind myself to respect everyone’s right to their opinions, even if I don’t agree.
  5. If all else fails, I take a deep breath and count to 10, and remember what my mother taught me at a very young age: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…

Travel bans, terrorism, totalitarianism and Trump

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Today I am taking a break from writing about animals and the law to write about… animals and the law. In a manner of speaking, anyway.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Like most of you, I am absolutely gobsmacked by what’s going on in the United States these days. It’s gotten to the point that when I wake up each morning, I find myself hoping that whatever transpired the day before was all some sort of bizarre nightmare and that sanity will be restored within a few hours. So far I’ve been dreadfully disappointed.

To be fair, I felt the same way about a lot of stuff that happened in the last eight years — but there’s no use crying over spilled milk. It’s what’s happening now that matters…

Trump’s travel ban

As most of you know, I am a first-generation American whose father fled his country (which was then a Communist regime) as a political refugee. So you can imagine how I feel about President Trump’s so-called “travel ban.”

Frankly it doesn’t sit well with me. And apparently it doesn’t sit well with a federal judge, either.

According to published reports, “Federal Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who presides in Seattle, halted the enforcement of Trump’s order Friday night, effective nationwide.”

Robart did so by granting the temporary restraining order (TRO) sought by the attorneys general from Washington state and Minnesota.

In rendering his decision, Robart said the states “have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. “

He also said the Executive Order “adversely affects residents in areas of education, employment, education and freedom to travel.”

The Trump administration immediately vowed to fight the TRO. So how all of this will actually play out remains to be seen.

Terrorism and totalitarianism

Acting Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Gillian Christensen told the media that, “(Trump’s order) is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so.”

Maybe so. But an Executive Order banning immigrants and refugees from certain countries from coming to the United States for a specified period isn’t the answer. A travel ban does nothing to address a far greater threat to this country — and that is the threat posed by the terrorist sympathizers and radicalized individuals who are already here.

Furthermore, an Executive Order targeting people from specific countries where a great deal of hatred is directed towards the West in general and the United States in particular only creates more ill will. As if our enemies need another reason to hate us…

Finally, signing such an ill-conceived Executive Order and then firing the acting attorney general who refused to defend it doesn’t seem very presidential to me. In fact, it sounds downright dictatorial. Or maybe even totalitarian

For those of you who don’t know, a totalitarian is someone who embraces totalitarianism. And for those of you who don’t know what that is, here’s a simple definition:

Totalitarianism refers to an authoritarian political system or state that regulates and controls nearly every aspect of the public and private sectors. Totalitarian regimes establish complete political, social, and cultural control over their subjects, and are usually headed by a charismatic leader.”

Hmm… Sound familiar? And here I was thinking that I live in a constitutional republic….

So long, Mr. President…

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

It’s happening. Whether we like it or not.

On Friday, Donald J. Trump — (alleged) scumbag, misogynist, bully, and world-class suck up to Vladimir Putin — will become President of the United States, and by default, “leader of the free world.”

For a lot of Americans — and a lot of people around the world — it is a sad and scary thought.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

I must admit, I’m not a fan. But personally, I have always respected the Office of the President even if I haven’t always respected the man in office. So as soon as he is officially inaugurated, I will try to afford Mr. Trump the courtesy owed to a man in his new position, and I will try to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It is only right. After all, I did the same for the outgoing president — and for the record, I’m not a huge fan of his, either.

But, if nothing else, President Obama (or more accurately, someone from his public relations staff) was nice enough to respond to my letter. In December 2014, I wrote to Mr. Obama in order to “express my profound disappointment” in his “ongoing lack of support and respect for American law enforcement officers.”

Yes, I am quoting from my own letter.

I also said, in pertinent part:

The fact that some officers engage in reprehensible conduct cannot and should not be denied. Those who in any way violate the laws they are sworn to uphold should be held fully accountable, and anger and frustration when that fails to occur is understandable.

Yet what you willingly fail to realize is that those officers are the exception to the rule. The truth is the vast majority of American police officers are decent, honest, dedicated, hard-working men and women.

The truth is that these officers put their lives on the line every single day. Targeted by killers, drug dealers and gangs, they go to work knowing they may not come home. Undermined by agenda-driven politicians and activists, they nevertheless put themselves in harm’s way to ensure that citizens can exercise their right to engage in civil disobedience.

Furthermore, as long as our youth are allowed, if not encouraged, to believe the tragic loss of lives in New York City, Ferguson, and elsewhere is simply about race, that’s all it will ever be about. The divisiveness currently being fomented by professional agitators and activists will prevail. We will never make any meaningful progress; we will never learn to understand and respect each other’s differences; our country will never heal.

Four months later I received a response (form letter) from the White House “signed” by President Obama. Here’s an excerpt:

“Law enforcement officials have incredibly difficult jobs and put their lives at risk to protect us. And they are most effective when people have confidence in the system. That is why my Administration is working to enhance community policing, and also to strengthen trust and accountability between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

I am deeply committed to the promise of what our Nation can be, and my Administration will keep pushing for progress through ongoing initiatives, continued engagement with communities and other targeted efforts.”

But sadly, nearly two years later, nothing has changed.

Here’s hoping it will.

Connecticut’s new (kid) governor promotes animal advocacy

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

I know I’ve said it before — and I’ll probably say it again. This is one of the coolest, most awesome stories I’ve come across in a long time. And this time I mean it. Really.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Apparently, Connecticut school kids recently “elected” a new governor. Or more accurately, a new “Kid Governor.” Her name is Jessica Brocksom and she’s in fifth grade.

According to published reports, the John F. Kennedy Elementary School student is the second Kid Governor elected as part of the Connecticut Public Affairs Network’s Kid Governor program.

Brocksom “defeated” six other students from Connecticut schools who submitted campaign videos this year. She secured the victory by capturing most of the 4,000 votes cast by fifth-graders from more than 40 towns.

As one Connecticut TV station reported, the key to Brocksom’s success was a timely and appealing platform.

“I just chose something that I felt very passionate about and I knew animals was one of my things because not many people pay attention to animals,” Brocksom informed the media during her first “post-election” news conference.

Among other things, Brocksom feels strongly about harsher punishments for those convicted of animal abuse.

As the newly elected Kid Governor, Brocksom will share her passion for animal advocacy with her peers beginning after her “inauguration” in January. Specifically, she will share ideas about how kids can get involved in activities to help unwanted and abused animals.

“You can just have a bin and have it like a food drive once or twice a year and you can donate a lot to an animal shelter to help with the animals that have been abused,” said Brocksom.

Organizers said the Connecticut Public Affairs Network created the Kid Governor program in order to “teach kids about civics and state government, but also about civic participation.”

Based on this year’s outcome, I’d say the program’s definitely a success. Congratulations, Jessica. And best of luck in the future. I’d say it’s looking pretty bright.

Here’s what happens when ignorant civilians meddle in law enforcement…

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I came across this story about George Soros. And frankly it makes me sick.

Apparently Soros — a man about whom I have absolutely, positively nothing nice to say — sank millions of his allegedly “hard-earned” dollars into local law enforcement races across the country. Clearly he did this to influence the outcome. And unfortunately, it worked.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

According to the Associated Press, Soros “mouthpiece” Michael Vachon said the billionaire’s motives were completely above-board. Specifically, Vachon claims that Soros “contributed to candidates in these local law enforcement races because of his longtime interest in ending mass incarceration, combatting racial disparities within the criminal justice system and abolishing the death penalty.” Really, it’s all good, Vachon insists. Soros “believes that society benefits when the criminal justice system is fair.”

So do I. But I also believe that the criminal justice system works most effectively when the good people who devote their lives to it can do their jobs without outside interference. I believe it is especially effective without outside interference from people who know absolutely nothing about it.

Call me cynical, but I also find it highly unlikely that Soros’ motives are all that altruistic. After all, he also stands accused of undermining law enforcement by funding the Ferguson protests and spurring similar movements in recent months.

Sorry, George. To coin a baseball phrase, “I call ’em like I see ’em.” And as a reporter I covered law enforcement in three states over 21 years. So I’ve seen quite a bit.

Yes, I’ve seen my share of bad cops and overzealous prosecutors. I’ve seen my share of incompetence. I’ve seen shady defense lawyers play the system to ensure that criminals get away with little more than a slap on the wrist.  But I’ve also had the pleasure of dealing with some wonderful people who are truly devoted to the system and work tirelessly to ensure that the good guys prevail.

So do us all a favor. Put your wallet away and mind your own business. Please.

Here’s what happens when law enforcement and politics mix

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Yesterday, the FBI announced that its review of additional material in the so-called Hillary Clinton email server “investigation” did nothing to change its prior decision. So Hillary Clinton and her cronies will go unpunished. Again.

According to various news accounts, here’s what happened. Following the decision not to pursue legal action against Clinton, FBI Director James B. Comey and his agency faced considerable criticism. Rumors about the level of discontent within the agency has also surfaced in recent weeks. Apparently bowing to the  pressure from within, the FBI recently decided to review the additional material, which it said “‘appeared to be pertinent’ to the FBI’s original Clinton email investigation.”

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

The media has since reported that the new “case” is allegedly “related to ex-New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner using a laptop he shared with estranged wife and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin for ‘sexting’ an apparently underage female.”

Now fast-forward to Sunday, when Comey issued a missive to Congress saying the agency conducted a comprehensive review of “all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.” As a result, Comey said, “we have not changed our conclusion.”

Honestly, with the Liberals screaming about Comey trying to influence the election, did this really come as a surprise?

It didn’t come as a great big shock to me, that much is for sure. To me it’s just another example — albeit an extreme example — of what happens when law enforcement and politics mix.

Yes, I know. It should never happen — but it does. It happens all of the time. And it’s a recipe for disaster. Obviously.

Back in July, I shared my opinion about FBI Director (er… lackey) James B. Comey’s  decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton in connection with the email scandal.

Just to refresh your memory, here’s what he said at the time:

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

He also said:

“I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation—including people in government—but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way.”

And here’s what I said at the time:

“Well, with all due respect, Mr. Comey, here’s what I think. I think you are full of fecal excrement. I think one day, when your ambition is no longer a factor and your career is no longer at stake, you may actually find the intestinal fortitude necessary in order to share the truth about this whole situation.”

But based what’s happened in the last few days, I won’t hold my breath.

Defending the indefensible: the demise of American decency

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

So I was really looking forward to writing about something fun today. I was planning on writing about the use of feral cats to curb the rat population in New York City. Frankly I think it’s genius.

Unfortunately I’ve got more serious things on my mind. Or more accurately, with the U.S. election looming, there’s something important I’ve got to get off my chest. So the post about feral cats being put to work in the Big Apple will just have to wait.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Today I am completely fed up — not only with presidential politics — but with hyper-partisan behavior in general. Americans on both sides of the aisle are happily defending the indefensible and justifying their behavior by saying “well at least he’s not as bad as she is,” or vice-versa.

Frankly it is deeply disturbing on many levels — for many reasons. But the partisan defense of the indefensible is especially troubling when it comes to Donald J. Trump’s (actual and alleged) behavior, Bill Clinton’s (actual and alleged) behavior and Hillary Clinton’s (actual and alleged) behavior.

Let’s begin with Donald J. Trump and Former President Bill Clinton. Both men have been accused of committing serious crimes against women. Trump is currently facing numerous sexual assault allegations. Yet Trump’s supporter loudly proclaim, “at least he’s not as bad as Bill Clinton.” Or something to that effect.” For his part, Former President Clinton has also been accused of sexual assault — and rape.

If nothing else, both men have demonstrated a proclivity for objectifying women. As everyone knows by now, Trump’s tendency to do so recently surfaced when his comments caught on that “hot mic” 11 years ago became public. As for Bill Clinton — well, there was that affair with a White House intern while he was president — among other things. Allegedly.

So what is the objectification of women? Objectification is commonly defined as “viewing and/or treating a person as an object, devoid of thought or feeling.” The definition of sexual objectification is ” the reduction of people to physical objects of sexual desire.”

So what’s the big deal? According to The Huffington Post, a recent study that included nearly 300 participants found that “over one-third of the participants had experienced sexual victimization as defined by the study.” The study also found that participants who experienced unwanted sexual advances — and worse — also reported experiencing objectification at one time or another.

In that sense, the study didn’t break new ground. It merely confirmed prior findings. It also confirmed what I witnessed as a crime reporter. As soon as someone stops seeing a person or group of people as human beings, it is easy to engage in criminal activity targeting that person or group of people.

In other words, it’s all “locker room talk” and “boy talk” until people get hurt. And then it’s not so funny anymore.

Listen Up, Ladies…

If there’s one thing worse than a man who mistreats women, it’s a woman who defends him. Hillary Clinton — who may very well be the leader of the free world come January — is accused of not only enabling her husband’s behavior, but verbally attacking his accusers.

And then there’s Melania Trump, who recently blamed everyone except Donald J. Trump for the comments that he made back in 2005. To her, Donald’s comments were just “boy talk.”

Really? Unbelievable.

Listen up, ladies. It is not okay. It is not acceptable. It is not a joke, and it is not funny.

It is inexcusable. And indefensible.


Note to Donald J. Trump: Stop playing the victim

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Sexual violence: term used to describe “a specific constellation of crimes including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.” — National Institute of Justice

It is something countless Americans endure each year.

I say “countless Americans” because the experience is not unique to women. Men are targeted, too.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

In a recent media fact sheet, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center cited a survey in which nearly half the number of women who self-identified as lesbians and half the number of women who self-identified as heterosexual “reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes.” Nearly 75 percent of women who self-identified as bisexual reported the same.

In the same survey, roughly 40 percent of men who self-identified as gay, nearly 50 percent who self-identified as bisexual and approximately 20 percent of those who self-identified as heterosexual said they too experienced sexual violence other than rape.

Another report cited in the same fact sheet indicates that “one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.”

And then there are the most heartbreaking statistics of all — those pertaining to the American children preyed upon by sexual predators each year. According to one estimate, one in four girls and one in every six boys will be “sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.”

These are the victims.

U.S. presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, who was caught on tape bragging about and making light of behavior that can definitely be characterized as sexual violence, is decidedly not a victim of anything.

Oh, he says he is. After the 2005 tape in which he bragged about and made light of behavior that could definitely be characterized as sexual violence became public, several women accused him of sexual assault. And he’s been whining and crying about it for days. To hear him tell it, he’s a victim of a media conspiracy, a victim of character assassination, a victim of a slur campaign… and on, and on, and on.

Perhaps his accusers are lying. Or exaggerating.  Or perhaps not.  Perhaps it is a political ploy dreamed up by the Clinton camp and the mainstream media. Or perhaps not. That all remains to be seen.

Hey Donald, There Is No Excuse

What is indisputable is that Donald J. Trump’s “locker room talk” (his words, not mine) was disgusting, reprehensible, vile, inexcusable and indefensible.

In fairness, the Clintons’ conduct (actual and alleged) is also vile, inexcusable and indefensible. But that’s another subject for another blog. For now I’m sticking to the topic at hand.

That Melania Trump said her husband was “egged on” would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. To hear Donald J. Trump tell it, he’s a big, tough businessman who doesn’t take c–p from anyone. He does what he wants, when he wants. No one can intimidate him, and so on and so forth…

But we’re supposed to believe that he only engaged in this “locker room talk” because  someone (presumably Billy Bush) pressured him into it? Or because he wanted to be accepted? Or because he wanted to be one of the guys? Come, come now. What a load of garbage. It’s the kind of lame, pitiful, excuse you’d expect from a teenager. As far as I know, Mr. Trump was an adult back in 2005.

Today he is an adult who wants to become president. So my question is this: Should someone who could be so easily influenced and use such poor judgment become the leader of the free world?

Donald J. Trump had an opportunity to exercise true leadership and strength of character 11 years ago. Instead of going along with the “boy talk,” as Melania Trump claims, he had the chance to say, “Hey, man. You know what — that really isn’t cool. Women should be treated with respect. You wouldn’t want someone talking about your mom or sister, or daughter or girlfriend that way. Knock it off…”

But he didn’t.

Actually words do matter, Mr. Trump

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

It is with great trepidation that I am sharing my opinion on recent events in this forum.

As I have mentioned before, this is a business site — and while I have chosen to address controversial issues and share personal experiences here — I have also taken great pains to stick to apolitical topics.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

The decision to do so is largely a matter of common sense, given the ugliness of U.S. presidential politics and the candidates currently involved therein. Furthermore, I am a private person who generally has little desire to air my personal opinions publicly.

However, there are times when I simply cannot remain silent. So today, I am writing to refute U.S. presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s assertion that the lewd and vulgar remarks he made about women 11 years ago are of little consequence.

To begin with, let’s examine Trump’s claims that the remarks were simply “locker room talk” that he engaged in during a private conversation, and that they are not indicative of his true feelings about women.

There are two specific reasons why these claims lack merit.

The first is based upon my personal experience. Having been around plenty of public figures as a journalist, I can say with great certainty that you will very rarely, if ever, see the genuine person when they are in the spotlight. In public, every single second is contrived. Why? Because they know they are being watched. It is only in the private, unguarded moments when they feel safe and at ease, that you will see the person’s true character. So in my humble opinion and experience, the words Trump uttered when he had no reason to fear being caught are definitely indicative of his true character.

The second, and more important is that in Connecticut, where he once had a home and now owns at least one luxury high-rise that I know of, the activity Trump so callously described in his alleged “locker room talk” is a crime. The relevant portion of C.G.S. §53a-72a states that someone is guilty of sexual assault in the third degree when they compel “another person to submit to sexual contact (A) by the use of force against such other person or a third person, or (B) by the threat of use of force against such other person or against a third person, which reasonably causes such other person to fear physical injury to himself or herself or a third person…” The offense is a Class D felony, punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.

To brag about wanting to, or being able to engage in such conduct — specifically kissing women without their consent or grabbing them by their private parts — and then chalking it up to “locker room talk” is inane at best, and arguably symptomatic of depraved thinking at worst.

Now as Trump and his supporters rightfully contend, it is not illegal to say what he said, as long as he never actually acted on it. And, as Trump and his supporters contend, there are some people who may not find his remarks vulgar, offensive or morally reprehensible at all. Frankly, I don’t know who they are — and I don’t want to know. But I digress.

In the last few days, Trump has repeatedly attempted to mitigate his own behavior by drawing comparisons to things former President Bill Clinton has allegedly said and done. However, his insistence that his verbal denigration of women pales in comparison to Clinton’s alleged and actual sexual transgressions also falls flat for one extremely significant reason.

If elected, Donald J. Trump will find himself in a position where a poor choice of words can have very, very, serious consequences — because words are very powerful.

Throughout the ages, words have been used as weapons and used as tools to broker peace. They have spurred men to action. They have sparked revolutions. They have been used to ensure the punishment of the guilty, and for the wrongful indictment of the innocent. Historically, words have been used to lift people from the depths of despair and to beat them into submission. Words have shaped countries and cultures and people.

The greatest dissidents, the greatest thinkers, the greatest leaders of all time, were known not only for what they did, but for what they said, and what they wrote.

So actually, Mr. Trump, words do matter.