So, let’s see: thus far we’ve talked about Trump’s lying, his cruelty, his inappropriateness, and his good looks (just wanted to see if you were paying attention). But I don’t think we’ve actually covered the overriding trait that sort of acts as the umbrella covering all things Trump, and that is his complete and utter stupidity. His lying is legendary, his cruelty becomes clearer and greater with each passing day, his inappropriateness ranges from talk of orgies at a Boy Scout gathering all the way to assault and abuse, and his stupidity? Oh, where to begin.
To have to admit to the world that your country’s leader has half the brains of a termite (with equally destructive capabilities) is about as humiliating as it gets. And it gets even more embarrassing when you realize that we as a nation of voters knew how dim Trump was during his campaign, and still he was voted into office (if you discount the millions more votes that actually went to the other candidate). He was the new self-proclaimed ‘Everyman,’ the man with millions of dollars and the Midas touch who so many still believed would look after the little guy, the middle class, the downtrodden. I have a feeling that most of his voters would agree that it’s just not working out even if they won’t admit it. In fact, because folks fell for his line and his promises, it fairly screams ‘takes one to know one,’ or ‘stupid is as stupid does.’ And Trump and Company were obviously counting on that.
Trump assured the American people that he attended an Ivy League college, that he is, in fact, ‘a very intelligent person.’ In reality, he got into Wharton because of a favor to a relative. One of Trump’s professors reportedly called Trump ‘the dumbest goddam student I ever had.’ Most of his much touted wealth came from daddy, not from savvy business acumen. Early reports started filtering out of the White House that Trump refused to read reports and briefs, that everything had to be condensed to a Clifford the Big Red Dog level and kept to a minimal length of time so as to fit into an attention span that, if compared to a limbo stick, would find Trump head down on the ground in a millisecond. One of his campaign aides tried to school him on the US Constitution and gave up early on. A few Amendments in, Trump reportedly lost his focus and his eyes rolled back in his head. That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. The Evangelicals, of course, believe that, while he may have read nothing else, he has read the Bible. Or, at least, Two Corinthians.
John Kennedy gave us , “Ask not what your country can do for you.” Fillmore declared, “An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory.” Cleveland said, “It is better to be defeated standing for a high principle than to run by committing subterfuge.” FDR gave us, “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” Obama claimed, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” From Trump, we get, “I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke” and “While Bette Midler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct” and, of course, “Listen, you m-----f------, we’re going to tax you 25 per cent!” The websites listing ridiculous Trump quotes are endless and bear witness to the very public idiocy of a man who didn’t know Puerto Rico was part of the country he leads or why the Civil War was fought or the difference between HPV and HIV. He doesn’t understand that promises from the likes of Kim Jong-un or Putin are worth less than farts, smell as bad, and can’t be blamed on the dog. Trump can’t spell, of course, and while this in itself isn’t a sign of stupidity, his refusal to have anything released to the pubic proofed beforehand, is just not smart. And he does it again and again.
Trump tweets incessantly, including information that touches on national security and undermines his own agencies and lawmakers, not to mention (and more frighteningly) our own military. And that’s nothing but stupid. He has no understanding of how the stock market works, and his own White House staffers have confirmed his ignorance in that area. He takes credit for the gains but doesn’t feel he deserves blame for the losses. Most recently, Trump has decided to use thousands of immigrant children as bargaining chips to force Democrats to green-light his infamous wall, which has no hope of justifying the billions required to build it as long as ladders, desperation, and human ingenuity exist. And Trump was apparently born without the chip that allows him to admit he’s wrong. Instead, he only knows how to double down and make things worse. I’m calling that stupid.
If we’re going to talk about how stupid Trump is, I should probably point out that one article I read called Trump smart, if that’s the right word, in one important way: He knows how to manipulate people, notably his ardent supporters, into believing exactly what he wants them to believe. I’ve heard others say this as well. This means that he’s able to perpetrate a sort of mass stupidity. His supporters believed in his campaign promises, and even though he’s failed to come through on many of them, his supporters still believe he will. They also believe his lies, which spew out of him like rancid pea vomit shoots out of that poor Exorcist kid. He can’t help himself (stupidly) and they believe him like clueless sheeple (even more stupidly). But the manipulation Trump appears to demonstrate is most likely not his own; the hands of puppeteers Steve Miller, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (I could shorten that, but the name just says it all) and others are shoved so far up his overly generous puppet backside that you can see their evil fingers in his mouth when Trump smiles. And this crew truly epitomizes evil. But since they’re calling a lot, probably most, of the shots, I don’t think we can give Trump credit for any smarts in this area.
There’s much more one could say about the gross stupidity of Donald Trump. So much more. I could, in fact, keep recording daily examples on infinite loop and still not cover what idiocy he has unleashed since he actively entered the political arena. But I think that, while it’s important to stay informed on this stuff, one should probably limit exposure to manageable doses. A friend once claimed studies have shown that regular watching of Spongebob Squarepants actually lowers kids’ IQ points. If that’s the case, I can’t even imagine what regular exposure to Trump would do to one’s IQ. Although when I look into the blank eyes of those who still blindly follow him and swallow his stupidity like Jonestown Kool-Aid, I have an inkling.
Other commentaries by Gail Barth:Evil Presidents
Gospel of Trump
Dear Donald Trump and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens
Sing-Along with Donald Trump
What is Wrong with America...