Trump is Not Ignorant. He’s Stupid.

I am getting really tired of people on all sides attributing Donald Trump’s behavior to “ignorance.” I can handle ignorance; everyone is ignorant about certain things. For example, if an engineer or a physicist were to ask me difficult questions about those subjects, I would be ignorant and I would defer to those who have studied this for a long time and those who are recognized as experts in those fields. I spent many years working in the law, as a paralegal, and the one thing I learned about lawyers is that they don’t know the law enough to be able to cite a half dozen cases off the top of their heads. That is why they used to assign me or someone else the task of doing the legal research on an issue. We or they would spend hours on Westlaw or Lexis looking up the law. It’s not because they were stupid, it’s because there are thousands of books full of case law in small print, and no one can memorize them all. Likewise, while many people hire me to write for them, I research everything I write about because I will never know as much as they about what they do for a living.

In short, ignorance is acceptable. Ignorance is common. Ignorance is excusable for many people. What is not okay is for a person who is completely ignorant about how government works to run for president. It’s okay if they run for a state or local legislative body, or even Congress, because the learning curve doesn’t affect a lot of people. But president? That puts you in charge of making sure that rules are in place to allow for the compliance with all laws. It also makes you the top diplomat in the country and it means you have to deal with the leaders of other countries in a way that benefits everyone in the country. If you get elected president, you should at least know how the government works and what’s your responsibilities are. There are many reasons I don’t run for office, not the least of which is, I know enough about government to know I can’t do it effectively, and if I can’t do it effectively, I won’t do it at all. That’s why I perform various and sundry tasks for select people who are running for office, but I won’t run myself.

If Donald Trump was just ignorant about the presidency, that would be bad enough. He would be incapable of doing the job at first, but he could learn a lot on the job and at least increase his competency level. However, Trump’s ignorance is willful, and willful ignorance is another word for “stupid.” Trump is stupid. To make matters worse, Lord Donny has zero political skills. The only thing he knows how to do is to sell himself to select groups. Unfortunately, the people he has selected to sell himself to are just about the stupidest 10 percent in the entire country. These deplorables are more than stupid; they wallow in it and wish that everyone else is as stupid as they are.

Trump is trying to appeal to the people who call in to talk radio. If you’ll recall, I have talked about this repeatedly for almost two years. His entire platform is meant to appeal to the absolute definition of “lowest common denominator” in our society. These are people who are being replaced in their jobs by robots, but instead pretend that People of Color and immigrants are “stealing their jobs.” They truly believe that, if they are nice to Trump, he will toss them a couple million dollars and they neither know nor care that he doesn’t actually have any money. These people have zero principles and they have no positions on issues. The only thing they actually care about is pissing off liberals, with “liberal” being defined as anyone who isn’t a right wing crank. I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid. If the only thing I gave a shit about was pissing off right wingers, that would be equally stupid. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy pissing off right wingers, but it’s not a major pastime and it certainly doesn’t define my political ideology.

We have someone sitting in the Oval Office right now who doesn’t want to be there and who knows it. He has zero self-esteem, which is why he blusters so much and says so many stupid things. Trump gets credit for “saying what’s on his mind,” but that’s not a positive thing. Truly intelligent, confident people would never speak of that as a virtue because it isn’t one. The worst part is, however, that Lord Donny has no concept of what his job entails, and he seems to lack even the basic intellectual curiosity to ask someone what his job is and what he’s supposed to do. Instead, he thinks of himself as the “Boss of America” and he writes up “executive orders” that he imagines are the same as the memos he wrote while he was running the Trump Organization. You know, as boss of that company, he would write a memo and imagine that everyone in the company was jumping to obey his command. Of course, given his innate ADHD, it is unlikely anyone had to actually follow his orders, since he probably forgets what he orders within minutes.

The thing is, while the right wing GOP has long dreamt of a president who acted like a CEO, the fact is, the two jobs are completely different. The president is the ultimate public servant, and nothing in Trump’s demeanor indicates something other than “servants” are below him and unworthy of him, making it incredibly unlikely he would ever subjugate himself to anyone, including the country who accidentally hired him.

Look, Trump is not ignorant. Being a political moron, he chose the smallest political group in the country to attach himself to, and he is intent on sinking himself and the Republican Party in his efforts to appeal to them. The more he does this, the worse things will be for him. He will also drown the GOP in the process. But don’t even think he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He is appealing to the deplorable far right in everything. He has people who do nothing but listen to right wing talk radio for him and they report what callers say, and he parrots them every day. He also tries to piss off “liberals” every chance he gets because that is, quite literally, the only thing the deplorable right cares about. Therefore, just know that, whenever our side acts pissed off over Donny, he is securing his base. And that’s okay; we want him to appeal to them. The more he appeals to them, the less he will appeal to everyone else. And that is good for us.

Lord Donny is NOT ignorant. He’s stupid. There is a difference.


Also published on Medium.

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