Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Donald Takes Another Dump

You'd be mad, too, if your hair dye kept bleeding down
and staining your face orange. 
The scariest thing about Donald Trump isn't his right-wing ideology, or his xenophobic principles, nor even the fact that he's a liar.  The scariest thing about Donald Trump is the obvious fact that a: he is stupid, and b: a notable segment of America is rallying around a stupid man as their hero.

Trump's stupidity is self-evident, even if you do nothing more than listen to his speeches and interviews. His misuse of language and grammar, his imprecision of word choice, his butchery of idioms, is the stuff of a poorly read seventh grader. He said the other day, repeatedly, that closing our borders to Muslims could be "quick." What he was he was trying to say was, not that a closure could be enacted quickly, but that the duration of the closure might be "short-lived"  or "temporary."

Another quote from an interview on MSNB a few days ago;  "We have to get a hand around a very serious problem. And it's getting worse. And you will have more World Trade Centers and you will have more, bigger than the World Trade Center if we don't toughen up, smarten up, and use our heads." The man talks like a 12-year old trying to bluff his way when the civics teacher calls on him after he was just caught napping.

Here is a recent statement he read aloud, speaking of himself in the third-person:  "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on." He's now repeating this absurd idea once every hour or so in the days since.

Trump's ignorance of current events is obvious, of course, but he's also stupid on simple common sense levels. In practical terms, how would it even be possible to do what Trump proposes? Nowhere on any passport is there any identification of religious affiliation. And it's not like people carry religious identity cards that can be screened at airport security. There is no way, really, to distinguish between a visitor from Turkey or Ethiopia who is Christian from one who is Muslim. Any person of even average intelligence could have deduced the dumbness of the idea just by thinking for a few minutes. (What is unspoken, of course, is the real message: Trump and his fearful white mob would really like to close America to brown people. Period. Brown people scare this bunch. )

And Trump genuinely does not understand the danger he poses here: by posing this as a religious war between all Muslims and the rest of the world, he is doing exactly what ISIS wants—making Muslims feel alienated from the rest of the world. Here's a fact: ISIS would love to see Donald J. as president. I wonder if the crowds in South Carolina have considered that.

Can you imagine this delivering the State of the Union address?
Mind you, it's not a given that a dumb president can't be an effective leader, or that a smart president will automatically be successful.  Ronald Reagan was no genius, but some would acknowledge him as a good leader. And he seems to have at least been smart enough to pick advisors who handled things capably while he took lengthy naps each afternoon. George W. was obviously dim and he also picked horrendous advisors, but he was not as dangerously stupid as Trump. And a couple of very smart presidents—Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama—were disappointing as presidential leaders. In fact, of notably smart presidents in the last 50 years who were also successful leaders, the list might stop at Bill Clinton.

But no candidate I can remember in recent times combined Trump's ignorant stupidity with an equal measure of out-of-control ego. George W knew in his heart-of-hearts that he wasn't the sharpest blade in the political cutlery drawer. Donald J. Trump, on the other hand, is too dumb to understand that he's dumb. Any man who continually brags about his wealth is actually worthless, and the one who repeatedly proclaims his brilliance is anything but. We all see it, but Donald does not.

This latest foolishness has some people saying that Trumps candidacy has jumped the shark, that Ted Cruz' recent advances in the Iowa polls are the beginning of the end for Trump's comedy of errors. (Cruz has his own baggage, the insanity of which is unfortunately being hidden by the even greater outrageousness of Trump). But don't write the Donald off just yet. His minions are just too numerous and too rabid to ignore. There is something almost predestined in the absurdity of what is unfolding here, a political fate that Americans have earned as result of their worship at the church of celebrity.

Hillary Clinton must be rubbing her hands with glee. Without Trump in the race, there are at least three GOP candidates who could likely win.  But with Trump in the race, either as the GOP candidate or as a Ross Perot-style independent,  Hillary wins in a landslide. We hope.