Donald Trump's Nevada Strategy Does Not Include Correctly Pronouncing The State

I've never actually been to Nevada. There was a weekend in Las Vegas that some of my college friends organized, which I did not make it to, and it's just not a place I've gotten to yet in my dorky life goal of hitting all 51 U.S. national parks (though Great Basin does look truly lovely). But even despite that, I, unlike Donald Trump, know how to pronounce Nevada. It's Ne-VA-duh. As in "I am glad Dad had a rad time in Nevada!" (And I am! It would be bad if Dad was sad. I'd be mad!) It's not Nev-AH-duh. Except now Donald Trump is explaining to Nevadans how to pronounce it, and I don't know what to think!

At a rally Wednesday night, in Reno, Nevada (Nevaaaaaada), Trump stood in front of thousands of residents of the Silver State and explained to them how to say the name of their own home. I guess Trump probably knows this best, right? Just like he knows "more about ISIS than the generals do," and he knows more about the tax code than the government officials who wrote it or the tax accountants who actually created his 1995 net operating loss wizardry.

OK, so Trump mispronouncing the state's name probably isn't that big of a deal. The pronunciation that everyone in the state knows but people from elsewhere mess up has a long history in presidential campaigns — Michelle Obama said Nev-AH-da as well in 2008. And I really doubt that anyone in the state was planning on voting Trump until they were horrified by him relaxing what should be a tense front open vowel. But it's of a piece with the rest of Trump's trip to the state, where he made it clear he has no interest in meeting the people of Nevada on their level.

In an interview with KSNV news in Las Vegas, Trump said absolutely nothing substantive when the interviewer asked him about a major issue that faces the state — the use of the Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a nuclear waste dump for power plants across the country.

You can seriously read the above quote and erase all of Trump's comments highlighted in yellow, and the whole interview would make about as much sense. Trump showed that he doesn't really have any thought of the environmental impact of his policies on the state that would be most affected by them.

Trump's run for president has been largely predicated on an insistence that Washington elites don't know what's right for people in the rest of the country, that politicians have sold out the futures of ordinary people without asking them. Yet, Trump is traveling around the country touting nuclear power, and then going to Nevada, telling people they're mispronouncing their own home state and showing he has no idea how his plan might affect the people there. It only highlights that that his claim of taking back ordinary America from Washington elites is as well-thought-out as his feelings on Yucca Mountain.