As a rule, the words “Donald Trump” and “intellectual clarity” should never, ever be in the same sentence. That is unless you are a deranged political hack with delusions of grandeur like Newt Gingrich who has hitched what is left of his media career to shilling for the most idiotic president in US history.
After president Trump delivered a truly repulsive speech to the United Nations that was designed solely to appeal to white nationalists at home, Gingrich declared Trump had given “intellectual clarity” on his political philosophy:
Pres Trump in UN speech put intellectual clarity on his principle that the American President should represent America not global system.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) September 19, 2017
To recap, Trump used his time at the UN to threaten to “totally destroy” North Korea, and lecture the rest of the world on American supremacy. “We can no longer be taken advantage of,” complained Trump, reiterating his truly tired talking point that the rest of the world leeches off of America. “In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty,” declared Trump. “Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values”.
“As president of the United States, I will always put America first.”
This was nothing more than theater for Trump — red meat for Breitbart readers and Fox News viewers who love nothing more than watching the president lecturing foreign nations on the greatness of America and scolding them for trying to take advantage of the country’s great benevolence (this despite America contributing far less as a percentage of its GDP to foreign aid than almost every other developed nation). For Gingrich though, this represented some sort of great intellectual achievement for Trump — a defining moment in his presidency when he told the rest of the world to get lost.
In reality, Trump’s posturing at the UN was a sad attempt by a sad little man to project power — power he is losing rapidly at home. He gave “clarity” to a decrepit form of nationalism that humanity needs to discard if it is to survive the next few decades, and to call this “intellectual” in any shape or form is an insult to anyone vaguely familiar with the history of the 20th century. Trump is a white nationalist with real fascistic tendencies, and his existence is in itself a threat to global stability. As he ramps up nationalistic rhetoric, other countries will follow suit (see Russia, North Korea and Iran), and we will enter into a new phase of virulent nationalism that could quickly undo the progress we have made since 1945.
This all seems to be lost on Gingrich, who sees Trump as some sort of maverick dynamo shaking up the political order for the benefit of the United States. As the majority of Americans and the rest of the planet watch in horror as a once great nation transforms itself into a global laughing stock, you have to wonder what Gingrich has been smoking. Then again, this is the man whose major policy proposal when running for president in 2012 was building a moon colony and declaring it part of America.
You do have to give it to Gingrich though, the cognitive dissonance he displays when it comes to Trump truly is out of this world.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.