Maybe you’ve noticed this. I sure have. Too many social media users never read articles beyond a few words in the headline, and then, making matters worse, they stupidly assume to know everything about the content of the piece, despite having not read it. After failing to understand anything about what was written, they scramble over themselves to blurt their dissatisfaction in the comment section or on their Twitter feed, haughtily explaining why your article is wrong while comporting themselves as experts on an angle they clearly haven’t read about.
This dynamic happens to also illustrate Donald Trump’s barely existent grasp of the facts. The extent of Trump’s knowledge of the issues is very likely based on half-listening to goofy Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends, backed with exactly zero reading of official government memorandums gathering dust on the Resolute Desk. We’ve already heard that memos handed to Trump are required to be less than a page in length, with brief bulletpoints, as if an issue like healthcare or the climate could be summarized so sparsely. But it too often seems as though he doesn’t even read those.
Most of the time, Trump acts like a fifth grader bullshitting his way through an essay exam on topics he knows nothing about. In fact, we should assume that Trump knows nothing. Full stop. Not just about the issues, but also about history, too. Hell, he barely has a working knowledge of typical human behavior. Trump and his family, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric and the rest of the 5th Avenue weirdos, are like the Coneheads: vaguely attempting to behave like normal humans but not quite getting it right.
What’s remarkable about this space alien thing is that Trump’s awkward, eternal now, full-of-shit behavior is perfectly acceptable to around 62 million Americans, despite the reality that Trump is the first real villain to hold the office since Nixon or Trump’s hero, Andrew Jackson, who he also likely knows very little about. He’s not even a smart villain. He’s much more Solomon Grundy than Lex Luthor.
Despite it all, Trump is acutely aware of the fact that whatever he says, no matter how ludicrous, his bullshit will be fully accepted as reality by his loyalists. Trump commands an army of comment trolls who don’t read, and he knows it, because why should they read? The president said it so it must be true, right? It’s got to feel liberating to know that he could blurt total gibberish and his people will parachute into their social media feeds to repeat his gobbledygook by rote.
This is precisely why you won’t hear Trump publicly apologize to former presidents, especially Barack Obama, for suggesting they never call the families of American soldiers killed in action. Here’s the full quote from a joint presser with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Rose Garden today:
I’ve written them personal letters. They’ve been sent, or they’re going out tonight, but they were written during the weekend. I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families, because I have done that traditionally.
I felt very, very badly about that. I always feel badly. It’s the toughest — the toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens. Soldiers are killed. It’s a very difficult thing. Now, it gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day — it’s a very, very tough day. For me, that’s by far the toughest.
So the traditional way — if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I am able to do it.
They have made the ultimate sacrifice. So generally I would say that I like to call.
I’m going to be calling them. I want a little time to pass. I’m going to be calling them. I have — as you know, since I’ve been president, I have.
But in addition, I actually wrote letters individually to the soldiers we’re talking about, and they’re going to be going out either today or tomorrow.
Once again, he’s bullshitting an essay exam he was unprepared for. But here’s how his enfeebled gray matter malfunctioned today. Right after he said “at some point during the period of time,” knowing that it’s been weeks since American Green Berets were ambushed in Niger, he realized it makes him appear insensitive to the troops, having allowed so much time to elapse. Naturally, his gaffe wouldn’t have occurred if he actually did his job with the same thoroughness as previous chief executives, but he doesn’t. Trump gets away with doing to bare minimum. In fact, he would’ve quit months ago out of pure exhaustion if he actually tried to accomplish a typical day-in-the-life.
Still kerfuffled by his initial gaffe, Trump shifted into a familiar “whining and grievances” posture in order to obscure the real news that he hasn’t yet spoken to the families of the Green Berets. Maybe if he complains about how hard it is to be president, he’ll gain the sympathy of those who were scowling at the “period of time” dodge. Hence more whining by easily the whiniest, poopiest-diapered president in history.
And just in case whining didn’t work, he went with throwing Obama under the bus. Of course he wasn’t concerned about fact-checking because Fox News doesn’t fact-check Trump, so who cares if he lies? Besides, the rest of the news media, along with all of us following along on social media, will be distracted by the falseness of the Obama claim, and we’ll completely overlook the fact that Trump admitted to not calling the families yet.
If that was his plan — to distract from his initial remark with a lie about other presidents — then mission accomplished. The focus on Twitter and Facebook appears to be the Obama lie rather than the fact that Trump said he hasn’t called the families more than ten days and counting after the ambush.
Trump can’t even do the basics. He can’t get it together enough to call grieving families and he can’t talk about slain American soldiers without gagging on his own horseshit. He can’t talk about anything of substance, sure, but when it comes to being commander-in-chief, he’s either acting like a this kid, or he’s miserably failing his “Support the Troops 101” essay exams.
For his people, however, he’s still the Bestest President Ever, an evaluation based on criteria no more stringent than what a little boy hears from his doting mother.