To paraphrase Marc Anthony in Shakespeare’s great Julius Caesar, I come to defend Donald Trump, not to bury him.
My fellow progressives continually call out the president for lying. And he does tell untruths all of the time, of course. But have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps half—if not more—of his untruths might be based on denseness rather than duplicity?Let's be clear – When Trump barks out his current mantra, “No collusion, no obstruction,” he’s lying. And he knows he’s lying. He knows his campaign had more contacts with Russians than a Tolstoy scholar, and he knows witness tampering is obstruction.Click To Tweet
But on other topics, Trump is supremely ignorant, as I’ll demonstrate below. I honestly believe that most of the time, Trump is so shockingly ignorant that he’s simply too dense to know what the truth even is. There’s a reason that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to Trump as “a f____ moron,” media mogul Rupert Murdoch called him “a f____ idiot,” and one of his University of Pennsylvania profs opined, “Donald Trump was the dumbest student I ever had.”
Even special counsel Robert Mueller concurs. His verdict on collusion boils down to the fact that Trump and his Keystone Kops of a campaign were too stupid to effectively collude.
So just how ignorant is Donald Trump? Well, he thought that you could cut the deficit by having the Treasury Department print more money, according to what his one-time economic advisor, Gary Cohn, told The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. His plan to cut the deficit completely in eight years? “Just run the presses; print money.” Doh!
Trump is an economic airhead in other ways, as well. He clearly doesn’t understand that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) applies to domestic companies as well as foreign ones, as Forbes pointed out. Nor did he understand that Fed chair William Powell isn’t part of the Trump Cabinet and can’t be fired on a whim.
Most of the time people think he’s lying when he says that China pays the tariffs, but I truly think he doesn’t understand that tariffs are additional costs levied on manufacturers and wholesalers, who then pass the costs down to consumers. Because he doesn’t understand anything! So why would he understand that?
Needless to say, Trump’s fatuousness isn’t limited to economics. Not only could President Dunce not foresee that the federal courts would throw out his unsubtle Muslim travel ban, but he also didn’t foresee the optics of his Muslim travel ban, with all the television news crews showing the chaos at the airports as the result of his Executive Order 13769. How did he respond? The ban is “working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over,” Trump said.
Really? Pandemonium at airports as refugees were blocked from being processed while they were already in the United States? That was going to convince people that Trump’s travel ban was a good move?
To compound the injury to his own cause, Trump then went on to say that Christian refugees would be given preference. Good going, Einstein! You made it even more certain that the federal courts were going to vote against you at trial. Which, of course, is what happened – all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which dealt the travel ban the final coup de grace.
Donald Trump’s ignorance apparently doesn’t stop at the boundaries of the continental United States, either. No, I’m not talking about his ill-conceived border wall proposal, although that, too, is idiocy when 42 percent of undocumented immigrants enter legally and then overstay their visa.
No, I’m talking about Puerto Rico, which President Dunce clearly doesn’t realize is part of the United States. How could it be, he reasons, since they’re so brown and speak Spanish? Why else would he say that they “only take from the USA”? He doesn’t say that about any other American places – even Mississippi and Florida, which are pretty black and brown.
A contributing factor to Trump’s ignorance is his sloth. Here’s a man who is supposed to have the most important job on the planet, yet he works only from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. four days a week (although you should probably subtract an hour or two for lunch from that). Friday through Sunday he spends at one of his golf resorts so he can bilk the taxpayers.
But just how lazy is Donald Trump? He hasn’t read a book in literally decades. If you need a good laugh, just watch Trump squirm when two reporters from Axios ask him what he’s read lately. Faced with having to come up with actual book titles, Trump gets so nervous that he accidentally plugs his nemesis, CNN! Hilarious!
Maybe that’s why President Dunce thought that Andrew Jackson could have staved off the Civil War – which started 15 years after Jackson’s death. Or maybe Trump’s dumb enough to believe in Zombie Andrew Jackson. Who could say?
Trump is so lazy that he hasn’t even read the books he had ghost-written under his byline. How do I know that? Tony Schwartz actually packed The Art of the Deal with some good business advice – most of which Trump ignores. If the ideas had really come from him—or if he had even bothered to read the book—he’d know this stuff and follow it. But apparently he’s just that lazy, that he couldn’t see the utility of reading a book he’d supposedly written. His reading level appears to be so low that you can watch Trump pathetically trying to avoid reading a deposition in this video (go to the 32:20 mark on the YouTube video). And who hasn’t seen Trump stumble while using a teleprompter? (A combination of lack in practice in reading and being too lazy to look over the material in advance.)
I could go on and on and on, but you’ve more than gotten the point. I’m sure you already knew that the six-time bankrupt Trump was no Rhodes Scholar (that would be William Jefferson Clinton), but I hope that I’ve filled you in just how dumb the president is.
So next time you’re faced with your Fox News-infused neighbor or relative at some gathering, don’t argue that Trump is a liar. Instead, shake your head, look sad, and say, “Isn’t it amazing that Donald Trump is so uninformed that he thinks blah, blah, blah. It’s really sad.”
If nothing else, it should make the other person hopping mad. And if, instead of arguing whether Trump’s a liar or not, you’re arguing about whether he’s ignorant, haven’t you already won the argument? In fact, you might find that Trump’s ignorance is something you can both agree on.
[Update by the author]
Some people have all the luck! If only Donald J. Trump had lobbed his back-to-back stupidity just two weeks earlier, I would have been able to include them prominently in this article. There is no justice!
As you know, President Dunce admitted in front of ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and every person on the planet with a television set that he’d collude with Russians—or anyone, frankly—if that foreign power offered to tilt the election in his favor. Yeah, totally consistent with his all-caps “NO COLLUSION” denial. Originally in the article, I insisted that Trump colluded and knew he colluded. Now I’m starting to think that he’s too dumb to know what the word collusion means. Once again, I overestimated Trump’s intelligence. How do I keep doing that?
That Trump has an extraordinarily limited vocabulary isn’t a revelation. But on Friday (June 14), Trump revealed that he has no idea what the word fascist means. He called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of Trump’s criminal behavior “a fascist statement.” To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, that word doesn’t mean what you think it means, Mr. President. It doesn’t signify “mean” or “untrue.” If it was a fascist statement, it would be one that sounds like it came from some of your tiki torch-bearing followers.