How Can We Take Trump Seriously?
It's Hard to Take This Seriously
I promised myself I wouldn’t do this again.
This is a difficult promise to keep, though. Not commenting on Trump in this modern world of constant media streaming is like bringing a concentration camp victim to a full buffet table and telling him not to eat. Sure, you can tie the poor man up as full plates of succulent food pass before his quivering taste buds, but that’s just cruel and unusual punishment.
So, here I am… again.
The problem that the GOP has is that Trump is going to be Trump regardless of who is babysitting him. General Kelly can only do so much in coaching him and offering common sense political advice. But that’s never a long-term fix. Sometime in the middle of the night, our current commander and chief will rise from a dead sleep, grab his Blackberry, go on several one-hundred-and-forty-character tweet rants before his brain shuts down in a brilliant explosion of covfefe.
When the next morning comes, the nation will wake up to his petulant ramblings exposing him to be a barely literate chief executive.
This is what we have now. We have this. We don’t have a brilliant orator in office. He’s no Roosevelt, Kennedy, Clarence Darrow, or even a William Jennings Bryan. He’s a maker of word salads and probably the stupidest man to ever hold our highest office.
He's NOT a Smart Guy
Yes, I said that. He’s stupid. It’s true. I checked.1
Don’t judge the man by his wallet. He inherited the bulk of his fortune from his family and his company has traditionally underperformed in the stock market. That's a fact.
Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Magazine, Trump Vodka – all were spectacular failures. He’s filed for bankruptcy four times.
He’s not a smart guy. He's just unscrupulous.
Don't get me wrong. Being unscrupulous gets people far to a point. That point is after they're exposed for being unscrupulous. Then no one does business with them.
Don't believe me? That's okay. Chances are that Trump's supporters aren't rich enough to do business. The ones that are rich enough don't do business with him. Those that have learned the hard way that the man doesn't honor his own deals.
After that, they're no longer supporters.
If you don’t believe me you can talk to any of the people who got stiffed in contracts (from stiffing Freehold Music in piano sales during his Taj days or the caterer who did his marriage to Marla Maples – all lost because Trump buried them in legal fees) or performed services that later became “volunteer work” (his campaign staff) or the poor bastards who gave him money for Trump University (where he pleaded “No contest” and still got out ahead).
Just remember: the kid that rips the wings off of flies is not intelligent, just a sick bully who enjoys his power over things.
He’s just really kinda dumb. Dumber than Jackson, Tyler, Taylor, Andrew Johnson, Ford, Hoover, Fillmore, Pierce, Harding, or even Dubya. Each of these Presidents who had terrible administrations had failed one way or another. Some Presidents, like James Buchanan, were quite intelligent but made really bad choices. Trump makes all these subpar Presidents seem like gods.
Really, he makes Dubya look like John Gielgud.
Just read his tweets or listen to him talk about clean coal.
It’s nearly impossible to read one of his transcripts without hearing him speak it because he never finishes a complete thought. We, as literate people, need complete thoughts from our leader. We need a subject and a verb and something to end the thought that makes sense. Trump doesn’t do that. Reading his words (the words he says not what others write for him) is like reading complete random gibberish.
Here’s a sample:
I laugh because all throughout Obama’s Presidency, we listened to the GOP make fun of Joe Biden’s gaffes.
And yes, Biden made gaffes. Huge ones.
Even Democrats sat back and could laugh at them. Gaffes. That’s what they were: Unintentional acts or remarks that caused embarrassment. Biden made whoppers as Vice President.
But Republicans shouldn’t laugh too hard; people my age still remember Dan Quayle – a man who dabbled in gaffes the way most artists dabble in watercolors.
With Trump, it’s true stupidity.
Which is being kind. Stupidity is a condition that we all slip into every now and then. Every so often we’re not mindful and we do something stupid like denting the car or putting the batteries in our thermostat the wrong way around. We do stupid things.
Trump’s stupidity is one born of ignorance. He’s most likely a graduate of the “I-heard-it-from-some-guy” University with coursework in “My-old-man-always-said” College.
He just doesn’t know what he’s doing. In many ways, I truly pity him. It was like some part of his own mind whispered to him, “You know what? You could be President. It’s not a hard job. You could do it.”
Then Trump’s mind, the same mind (backed by his tremendous ego) that had to have flunked Civics in that military school he was sent to – before he was sent to the Wharton School where the late professor William T. Kelley who taught marketing there, said “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.”2 – said, “Yes, I could… covfefe.”
In Trump's head, there was great rejoicing. Imaginary children looked up at his great orange face in awe as he lay platitudes taken from The Art of the Deal and taglines from The Apprentice. Fictitious people in the mountains would sing songs about his political prowess. Imaginary teenage girls, rated “tens” on his personal scale, would sigh to him as they offered him their flowering sexual fruit.
And all would be grand... in his head.
In reality, he didn’t realize that being President of the United States is literally the hardest job in the world which has mind-bogglingly amounts of tedious work and diplomacy.
No one in their right mind would ever want this job.
The Trump Campaign: Too Disorganized to Collude or Trump Collusion Confusion is Part of His Delusion
A conservative friend of mine pinged me about a USA Today article written by JD Gordon. (USA Today, “Trump camp too disorganized to collude”, November 13, 2017)
Gordon was the spokesman for the Pentagon from 2005 to 2009 and later worked with the Trump campaign team. When members of the Trump campaign team had been in contact with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, he was there. The media has documented how he came forward to talk about his part in it and how he was trying to soften any of the language for the Republicans' platform regarding "lethal defensive weapons" to the government of Ukraine, where Russia was sponsoring separatist fighters.
This went against Kislyak’s claim that he had not met with RNC or the DNC representatives despite the fact that Gordon and Carter Page had spoken directly with Kislyak.3
Gordon maintains the charges brought forth against Trump and the campaign are a hoax. He said mistakes were made by an inexperienced staff and some political operatives who may have committed some financial crimes.
You Try Washing Out Troubling Collusion Stains But You Still Have a Bad President in the White House
Gordon is not stupid.
His new article was not going to have any earth-shattering facts that could lead to an FBI summons. Instead, he offered the theory that the Trump camp was too disorganized to have colluded with the Russians and tells a tale of an overworked staff and there being “zero evidence” of campaign-related wrongdoing.
Whether this is true or not is up to debate.
However, I’m not going to buy the “They couldn’t have done it because they were too damn incompetent” excuse. Personally, I think the real scenario was getting their collusion mission done and the incompetence came later when no one planned for “Day 2” problems after the election.
Thus, if the Trump team entrenched themselves in power, they’d be practically impossible to remove from office. After all, the mechanisms available for doing that are few and hard to use.
There’s the 25th Amendment to the Constitution that might remove Trump from office pending proof of mental incompetence. There is also the impeachment process which requires a substantial majority vote.
The campaign team's primary goal was getting Trump to the White House. I think no one thought past that. It's probable no one covered their tracks.
In a way, it also follows Gordon’s theory of disorganization.
It’s an easy mistake to make. The mission was to get Trump to the Presidency. That was going to be difficult enough. The poll numbers back then were overwhelmingly in Clinton's favor. He had lost all three debates. The poll numbers from Nate Silver's 538 site, at one point, had a 90/10 probability of a Clinton win.
If you look at the footage of when Trump won, he was genuinely surprised.
Had Trump lost the election, no one would have cared if he had any contact with the Russians or Wikileaks. If they had, Trump would have probably slithered away, leaving his campaign team to take the blame.
It wasn’t that they were too stupid to pull off the collusion. It was they were too stupid to properly cover it up.
Should Trump be impeached?
Think about it.
Remember when Trump told everyone he had nothing to do with the Russians?
You know, outside of the Miss America Pagent and when he claimed to have met Putin and then said he didn’t. Don’t be surprised by these factual errors on Trump’s part. Over seventy percent of what Trump says has varying degrees of inaccuracy and falsehoods (not to mention outright lies).4
Had there been any kind of preparation in covering this up, there never would have been any sort of mention from Eric Trump bragging to Golf magazine writer James Dobson about having access to over a hundred million dollars of Russian bank funds to develop new golf resorts.5
Nor would there be any kind of money trail going back to 2005 with Trump’s probable Russian money laundering scheme where he sold a forty million dollar Palm Beach home to a Russian “Fertilizer King” for a hundred million dollars and then the buyer sold it again for a break-even price.6
The literal truth of things is what will hang Trump.
Gordon also expressed his view on the impeachment case of Bill Clinton. His concern was when Kenneth Starr was brought on board as a special prosecutor the White Water charges (that Starr was supposed to investigate) that eventually turned into charges that had nothing to do with that investigation.
Bill Clinton was eventually done in, not on the White Water charges or even having consensual oral sex with Monica Lewinsky, but on the perjury he committed during his testimony.
In this respect, I think Gordon has a real point.
My prediction is simply the following. If there is an impeachment trial in the Senate, eventually Trump will have to take the stand like Clinton. What the charges will be are inconsequential. Whether this goes for the Russian collusion or whether it goes for money laundering or any of the hundred other crooked emoluments violations he’s guilty of, it really does not matter. You need to remember one thing and one thing only.
Trump is, at his core, a pathological liar.
Whether this is due to inherited dementia (like his father succumbed to) or because he just likes telling lies, he can’t reliably tell the truth. I’m not going to bring up sources of this because there are just way too many lies. However, what I will do is bring up the Politico statistic of seventy percent of the things he says are just untrue. Whether it has to do with the size of the Inauguration Day crowd or whether it has to do with Obama wire-tapping Trump Tower, or knowing or not knowing Putin, Trump can’t help himself.7
He just lies… badly.
I can hear the Trump supporters now.
After they’ve finished this article and their lips stopped moving after they've taken their fingers away from their screens, they’ll be outraged. Truly, it is my expectation to see a litany of horribly spelled comments along with toxic insults about my mother.
Seriously, I don’t care. I'll gleefully accept my hit count while they fill my comments section with their venom or I'll just remove it entirely.
Their commentary won't affect my life at all.
It is highly unlikely that I’ll see them at my local supermarket or that they'll be at home or whether they'll create voodoo dolls in my likeness while sacrificing hamsters. I didn’t write this article for Trump supporters to like me.
Instead, I’ll say this.
I am passionate about my patriotism. I live in an area of New Jersey that is probably the heartland of the American Revolution. I literally live where the Battle of Monmouth took place. When I go to the Freehold Courthouse to visit the monument, part of me swells up with pride that I grew up in a country that took the price of liberty seriously and gave me the right to write articles like this.
I love my country. I hate what’s happened to my government.
I know I’m on the right side on this one. I judge that by knowing that the Ku Klux Klan and the White Nationalists are on the other side. The group of people that support Roy Moore and his child molestation ways, they're on the other side, too.
But let me get back to Trump.
As I value this country, I believe that it needs to be in the hands of someone who is not like Donald Trump.
I think we need a leader who respects the people enough to not tell us lies seventy percent of the time. I think we need a leader who sides with its people and not with corporations. I think we need a leader who isn’t looking to fatten his pockets by steering the laws of the land to his personal benefit.8
I think we need a leader who will keep us safe and secure and not antagonize an unstable leader who has access to nuclear missiles just because he got called a few names.
And wouldn’t it be nice to have a leader that hired a competent staff? How about one that could actually put the best people in charge instead of “the best people” in charge.9
How about we try this on for size? Wouldn’t it be nice if our President championed laws that helped everyone instead of destroying programs that do just that? How about keeping NPR and PBS? How about supporting public libraries?10, 11
Hey, how about we have a President who doesn’t want to screw the middle class?12
How about we not spend seventy billion dollars on a useless cross country border wall? Something that would be a testament to our leader’s racial intolerance while being a monument to his ego. Hoover got his dam. Trump wants his wall.13
How about he gives a crap about kids with cancer?14
How about not electing a swindler? I'm sure the people who bought into Trump University would like that.
How about someone with real family values? After all, he’s thrown his own brother’s family overboard when it came to taking care of his own family. Fred Trump, Jr. may have died a drunk but his younger brother should not have swindled his family out of his inheritance.15
Really, it would be nice.
Yes, I know there is a lot of toxic waste with this article. I know it. I’m not being fair and balanced because perhaps I have yet to see the other side. And just so you know, I’ve been looking for the silver lining to his Presidency. Yes, the deregulated corporate world in removing safeguards will inflate the market again. With that, we should all remember what happens when bubbles pop.
And yes, I fully acknowledge that this piece is geared to be a horrible muckraking article condemning our President. I don’t plan on changing anyone’s mind.
If you don’t like Trump, keep not liking him.
If you like Trump, go back to your crayons and coloring books and stay within the lines... and know, in the end, you did not help make America great again.
1 - Chicago Tribune, November 3, 2017, "Donald Trump's biggest flaw: He's not that bright"
2 - Foreign Policy.com, “Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President”, June 16, 2017
3 - Kaczynski, Andrew, (9 March 2017). CNN, "Russian ambassador denied meeting with Trump or campaign officials in October speech" Retrieved 27 May 2017
4 - Politico, “Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain”, January 2017
5 - The Guardian, “Eric Trump said family golf courses attracted Russian funding, author claims”, May 7, 2017
6 - Miami Herald, “Donald Trump and the mansion that no one wanted. Then came a Russian fertilizer king”, February 27, 2017
7 - The Nation, “Is Trump a Liar or a Lunatic? Both.”, October 11, 2017
8 - The Economist, “How Donald Trump is monetizing his presidency”, July 20, 2017
9 - The Washington Post, “Trump’s ‘best’ people aren’t even average”, July 25, 2017
10 - Fortune, “Trump Budget Has Public Broadcasting in a Fight for its Life”, March 16, 2017
11 - The Hill, “Trump drops the mother of all bombs on libraries”, May 15, 2017
12 - ABC News, “Trump adviser 'can't guarantee' taxes won't go up for the middle class”, September 28, 2017
13 - PolitiFact, “Would Trump’s border wall cost the same as one and a half U.S. aircraft carriers?”, April 29, 2017
14 - Forbes, “How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business”, June 29, 2017
15 - The Hill, “Trump helped draft will that excluded his brother's children”, January 2, 2016
© 2017 Christopher Peruzzi