Time for a Politically Incorrect SWOT Analysis

One glance at a recent New York Times article—G.O.P Race Grows Cruder and More Aggressiveset me to thinking. I wonder how much cruder and more aggressive things need to get before the wheels fall off the proverbial manure spreader. So, it occurred to me, it’s time to conduct a good old SWOT analysis of our country’s vanishing middle ground.

Used in a commercial context, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) helps business leaders carve a winning niche in their markets. Used in a personal milieu, the SWOT approach assists individuals looking to overhaul their careers and character—or what might be left of it. By identifying the good, the bad and the daffy, a SWOT could seriously upgrade the quality of everything from road rage to political debates. So, let’s begin.


  • A profusion of rants and hyperbole inspire family togetherness in front of the tube.
  • Cruder and aggressive helps cruder aggressors grow their self-confidence and leadership skills.
  • Heaping insults discourages prospective do-gooders, leaving an empty field for cruder aggressors to refine their totalitarian slants.


  • Lewd remarks are better suited for driving cattle out of a neighbor’s garden.
  • Like too many martinis, dreary diatribes lose their sparkle by the next morning.
  • Thirty-three pages of abuses by a cruder aggressor caused cluster headaches.
  • Foul assaults stink up the room like poo poo mentioned in the previous manure spreader reference.


  • A constitutional amendment for mandatory choral singing will boost conviviality.
  • Nominating IBM Watson for president promises to reduce caterwauling.
  • Choosing Shrek for a Supreme Court appointment will introduce a nuance of color and balance.
  • Replace words such as idiots, morons, and losers with complete silence or, perish the thought, a smidge of thoughtful political discourse.


  • Persistent cruder and aggressive will likely reduce attendance at National Night Out picnics.
  • A surge of road rage will cause motor vehicle free for alls and public demands to remove stoplights.
  • New reality shows will feature congressional members dressed in flack jackets.
  • A complete breakdown in civility will cause shoppers to avoid supermarket parking lots.

All this reminded me of something my father once said when, at age seven, I was begging for a horse. On this particular day, my begging had erupted into a tantrum with much harrumphing and banging around my room. Finally my dad came to the door, stood with his hands on his hips, and quietly asked,

“Do you know that this rude drama of yours is interesting only to you?”

I do now.

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