If you’ve been anywhere near social media today you already know that Donald Trump just gave the world possibly the greatest Freudian slip of all-time. It came, needless to say, via the endless stream of cerebral diarrhea that is his Twitter feed. Now at some point, we as a culture may be able to fully work our way to the “acceptance” level of the Kubler Ross stages of grief over the fact that the President of the United States’s primary method of communication is the same one used by 15-year-old girls to defend Zayn Malik from haters. But that’s a discussion for another time. Today the news cycle is dominated by Trump trying to tweet out his inchoate thoughts on China’s seizing of a U.S. Navy drone and accidentally coining a brand new word, one entirely appropriate for the times: “unpresidented.”
In response to the China/Navy controversy, Trump took to Twitter this morning and blurted out the following:
Now since you’re probably someone who completed the sixth grade, and did so by paying attention rather than having your wealthy father offer to build the school a new gym, you know that there’s no such word as “unpresidented.” There is, however, an “unprecedented,” which Trump was obviously intending to say but — since he’s basically a giant dog turd made entirely of Velveeta — didn’t know how to spell. Trump eventually deleted the tweet, no doubt after someone not him delicately pointed out the error, and redid it with the proper spelling, but, yeah, make no mistake: the future President of the United States didn’t know how to spell “unprecedented” until this morning.
Before you step up to defend this idiot or merely give him the benefit of the doubt, it should be noted that this is far from the first time Trump’s shown us that an elementary school reading level isn’t something he has a real mastery of. Just a couple of weeks ago, when Trump was trying to deny the totally true story that he was planning to be involved in the new season of The Apprentice on NBC, he called the report “rediculous.” Last January, he wrote that Ted Cruz would “loose” to Hillary Clinton. In March, he tweeted that a series of commercials taking him on were “payed for” by special interest groups. In a gaffe you couldn’t make up if you tried, he once called Lawrence O’Donnell one of “the dummer people on television.” And of course earlier this year he said it was an “honer” to supposedly win in the post-debate polling.
So, yeah — idiot.
But what makes Trump’s undeniable stupidity so noteworthy isn’t simply that he’s about to become the second most powerful man in the world, after Vladimir Putin. It’s that, in keeping with tradition, Trump spends so much time crowing about how brilliant he is. Remember, back in March, Trump said that he doesn’t need to consult with anyone on foreign policy because he can consult with himself, since he has “a very good brain.” Also, remember, he once boasted, “I know words; I have the best words.” And of course just recently Trump became the living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger Effect by admitting that he refuses to get daily intelligence briefings because, he’s, “like, a smart person.”
American politics generally operate like a pendulum. We swing back and forth between partisan worldviews every four to eight years and for the most part the world goes on turning and the country doesn’t burn down. It’s difficult, though, to imagine a transition in which the outgoing president and the incoming one have been so violently, diametrically opposed. It’s depressing to even consider. Barack Obama has given us two terms that amounted to a masterclass in intelligence, humility, class, nuance, stability, dignity and cool strength under pressure. Trump is a blithering buffoon who can’t spell, can’t dress himself, lies constantly, is dangerously unstable, admires despots, and imagines that he’s the single greatest person to have ever walked this planet and will berate you on fucking Twitter if you dare to say otherwise.
Good God, we’re fucked.
Unless he can somehow be “unpresidented,” it’ll be a miracle if we survive this nightmare.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.