Carnes: I can’t not help explain this merry-go-round of Trump retractions (column) |

Carnes: I can’t not help explain this merry-go-round of Trump retractions (column)

Richard Carnes
My View

After the Stinky in Helsinki, I feel obligated to help folks understand the difficultly in not speaking incorrectly from time to time.

Wait, I mean “speaking correctly.” Sort of a double negative, if you don’t not catch my drift.

The self-proclaimed “stable genius” with the “best brain” who knows “the best words” misspoke at the most critical point so far in his presidency?

I think not (note the singular negative).

This is like Dick Nixon saying, “I am not not a crook,” George Washington claiming, “I can’t not tell a lie” or Bill Clinton admitting, “I didn’t not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski …”

I felt like my intelligence had been highly insulted by his claims of “misspoke,” but then the president let me know (via tweet) that only those at the “higher ends of intelligence” would have loved and understood how successful his meeting with Putin actually was.

That made me feel so much better, but only until my wife explained it to me.

He continued by calling out the fake news media as the “real enemy of the people” and thought, based upon Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial, that it was an “incredible offer” to let the Russian criminal help investigate the American crime he committed by interrogating American citizens.

My head started aching again at that point.

What with all the double negative misspokes, I was beginning to question if Kim Jong Un actually said, “I meant I wouldn’t denuclearize” and if down in Texas the shouted phrase is, “Don’t not forget the Alamo.”

A double negative is a positive, right?

When Mick Jagger sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” we all knew he was actually bragging that he “gets” plenty, right? (Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.)

And I am now to assume this means the European Union is not a foe and Mexico is not paying for the wall?

Please correct me if I am wrong, as evidently I confuse easily.

I would say the president wouldn’t have used “would” when he could have used “wouldn’t,” but he also could have used “could” on account of the facts, but U.S. intelligence offices saying he “should.”


And who can forget Lindsey Vonn saying, “I won’t not accept an invitation to the White House” and Mikaela Shiffrin saying, “I won’t not shun Vail Resorts for Alterra.”

It all makes so much sense now.

Yes, and the president isn’t not in Putin’s pocket and can’t never not tell the truth (a triple negative?) as he has never not misspoken for the last 500 days or so.

I sincerely hope this doesn’t not help with your understanding of our current situation, but here’s one more to help drive the point home.

“Don’t Make America Not Great Again.”

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a real “double negative.”

At least no one is not saying “covfefe” anymore.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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