Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

We Are So Screwed; An Ongoing Series

Read this piece by Politico, cataloging Trump's recent interviews.  It is so full of batshit crazy, it's difficult to know where to start.  As Prof. David Blight notes accurately, "You can be too ignorant to know your ignorant."  Trump's stunning lack of knowledge about anything important is breathtaking in its scope and comprehensiveness.  Reading the text of his public statements is like reading the stream of conscious answers from the worst student in school who didn't do the homework and is trying to fake his way through the test.

Trump's ignorance collides dangerously with his overwhelming overconfidence in his own abilities.  It may be that on some level, Trump knows he's completely out of his depth.  He recently expressed surprise at how hard presidenting is, and how easier his old life was.  However, Trump is also a raging narcissist, and he's unlikely to admit any flaws or faults within his own abilities or decisions.  Hell, he doubled down on the Civil War nonsense.

There was an episode of The West Wing, when Jed Bartlett was running against a moron, played by James Brolin.  Some character said something along the lines of, "It's not necessary for the President to be a genius, but it's nice to know he has a full toolbox."  Trump's toolbox consists entirely of a hammer, which he pounds into his own head every day.

Needless to say, Trump raging incompetence, ignorance and vanity won't make a lick of difference to the people who supported him.  Wrapped as they are in their own cocoons of ignorance and self-centeredness, they are unlikely to see what the rest of the world sees with clarity: Trump is an erratic moron who shouldn't be trusted to run a school board, much less the United States of America.  He is supported by the people who populate Yahoo! comment threads.  The angry old crank who sends emails about the number of people the Clintons have had killed or how Obama is secretly a Muslim is now president and has the support of his fellow cranks.

To some degree this is the rise of the Internet and Fox News in action.  Without informational gatekeepers to differentiate between the real and the false, the important and the trivial, we spend months yammering about Ebola or "her emails."  This has created an idiot-feedback loop that has given us Trump.

Thanks, Republicans.

Thanks a lot.

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