The Empty Vessel Makes the Loudest Sound



Document Type


Publication Date



In a November 2, 2017 CounterPunch Posting and under the title “What’s in a Name? An Invitation to CounterPunchers,” I invited the readers to submit their favorite “nicknames” for as many former and current politicians/public figures as they wished. I also promised to collate the readers’ contributions and to share them with CounterPunchers.

As responses from across the United States, including far-away places such as Central Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, Canada, Tunisia, and Morocco trickled in over a period of five weeks, I began to harvest and inventory the plethora of mostly newly minted nomenclatures, most of which have, since late 2016, appeared in CounterPunch and other online blogs and publications.

By far, over 90% of the responses include a variegated panoply of nomenclature about Donald Trump, his policies, and his many irksome personal habits, utterances, appearance, and foibles. And, to the best of my recollection, there’s not been a single modern-day U.S. President (since Eisenhower and as far back as memory serves) who’s acquired a vast array of colorful, derogatory, and well-earned lexicon of unflattering monikers.

Publication Title