To the editor:

Theodore Roosevelt coined the term “bully pulpit,” by which he meant that his office was a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. In those days, the word bully meant an excellent person. Nowadays, bully usually means someone who hurts those weaker than oneself.

Upon reading President Donald Trump’s tweet denigrating Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony at the impeachment inquiry on Friday, it was apparent that the definition of Roosevelt’s term bully pulpit has evolved, as language often does, to adapt to present usage. Thus: Trump’s office is a terrific platform from which to hurt anyone who is in a weaker position than he is, but strong enough to threaten his fragile ego — a bully’s pulpit.

Cynthia Muse

Rye

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