Donald Trump Stupidity
One President stands alone as being the stupidest and most ignorant President in American history: Donald Trump.
His lifetime of ignorance and stupidity was once fodder for tabloids and the entertainment industry, but once he became President his actions and behavior didn't only affect him, but the country he led and the world who was held captive to his dumb, ignorant, unpredictable and oftentimes dangerous behavior.
Dangerous and Stupid Actions and Ideas
Donald Trump had more than his fair share of dangerous and stupid ideas during his Administration, with some leading to disastrous consequences for average Americans. It is possible Trump may not have fully grasped the impact his words had on some people, which many Americans took literally, but ignorance is no excuse for the harm he caused to the United States during his four years in office.
Sometimes Trump’s seemingly off the cuff comments would have global consequences, where his words negatively affected the stock market, damaged America’s relationships with allies, and gave our adversaries ample opportunities to capitalize on our polarization at home.
Trump pushed a number of dangerous and stupid actions and ideas during his Presidency, some of which include:
- Seemed to suggest that injecting household disinfectants into our bodies would help eradicate COVID-19 during a White House briefing early on in the pandemic, which led many people to believe it was true and prompted a spike in calls to poison control centers in the days and weeks following his comment. Afterwards, a number of cleaning and disinfecting companies urgently pled with people to not follow Trump’s advice and reminded us that their products are poisonous if ingested or injected.
- Disclosed highly classified military and intelligence secrets to Russia’s foreign minister during a private Oval Office meeting closed to the press. The top secret intelligence was provided to the United States from a U.S. ally with the understanding it would stay confidential and did not give Trump permission to share it.
Criticized and undermined America’s relationship with NATO by threatening to pull out of the partnership, openly embracing the partnerships adversaries, and proposing to drastically cut America’s financial contribution to it.
Asked top government officials briefing him why they weren’t recommending he order dropping nuclear bombs into hurricanes in order to “disrupt it” before making landfall in the United States, apparently leaving the person briefing him at a loss for words. While the idea of nuking a hurricane didn’t originate with Trump, it has been widely regarded as fringe science for decades.
Called for painting his proposed border wall black in hopes that it would be scalding to the touch in the desert sun, electrifying it, capping it with spikes and creating a moat filled with alligators and snakes. His demands forced officials at the Department of Homeland Security and the Army Corps of Engineers to spend months studying the feasibility of Trump’s suggestions only to go back and inform him that his ideas weren’t possible. Even more shocking, Trump advocated that border control agents shoot people who crossed the border illegally in the leg.
Touted unproven treatments for COVID-19 Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine even after the FDA revoked Emergency Use Authorization for them. The FDA initially had given EUA for the two drugs, but later reversed course and revoked their authorization after determining neither drug was likely to be effective in treating COVID-19. Even so, Trump continued to promote hydroxychloroquine in the weeks and months after the FDA studies found it could do more harm than good in treating COVID-19, which caused people to waste their money and potentially negatively effect their health.
Demanded the NAVY abandon a decades long project to upgrade aircraft carriers catapult systems to a electromagnetic launch system and revert back to steam. Canceling the upgrades and reverting back to the old steam system would cost billions of dollars and take at least fifteen years to complete because current carriers being built are designed for the new technology and changing the design mid-build would be extremely expensive and time consuming.
Called for the United States to purchase Greenland from Denmark, which caused a diplomatic incident after both Greenland and Denmark forcefully pushed back and insisted that "Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland.".
Opposed wind power by falsely claiming it causes cancer and costs more than traditional fossil fuels to produce. According to Trump’s own Energy Department, “land-based utility-scale wind is one of the lowest-priced energy sources available today.” Additionally, there is zero evidence the noise from wind farms causes cancer.
Suggested that raking forests would prevent fires after speaking with the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Mr. Niinistö remembered their conversation differently and explained that his country’s fire prevention does not consist of raking the forest, but instead utilizes controlled burns and takes advantage of their closeness to the Article Circle, which provides them with abundant rain and snow.
Claiming physical exercise depletes the body of energy reserves. The last time medical professionals subscribed to the theory that the body has a finite amount of energy reserves and exercise depletes them was during the Victorian era (1837-1901). In the modern era, doctors and other health professionals overwhelmingly recommend daily exercise whether it be a brisk walk or resistance training.
Short Attention Span
Donald Trump’s inability to stay focused during briefings and meetings is well reported with a number of former Trump Administration officials and world leaders describing his minimal attention span both on and off the record.
Trump’s inability to stay focused had real world consequences because advisers, politicians, and foreign governments had to try to figure out the best way maintain his attention during meetings with him.
- Trump was unable to stay focused during meetings and had a very narrow comprehension of national and international affairs, according to his first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson would “go into meetings with a list of four to five things [he] needed to talk to him about, and I quickly learned that if I got to three, it was a home run, and I realized getting two that were meaningful was probably the best objective."
- Tillerson went on to say that he realized the best way to get through to Trump was by bringing charts and pictures with him when they met because visual effects held Trump’s attention better.
Trump’s short attention span had national security officials on their heels throughout his Presidency, with top briefers often struggling to figure out the best way to brief Trump on the top issues facing the country and world. He would often go off on long tangents about all sorts of topics not relevant to the briefing that was being held, leaving the briefers trying, but often failing, to get Trump to focus on the briefing at hand.
Internationally, Trump’s short attention span forced NATO to recommend to member countries that Prime Ministers and Presidents limit their private discussions with Trump to “two to four minutes at a time” in order to keep his attention.
Donald Trump willfully ignored and cast aside any information he didn’t personally agree with, whether it be from his top advisers or even cabinet officials, sometimes leading to catastrophic consequences.
- Trump’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic led to disastrous consequences for the country and the world at large. His downplaying of the virus from the very beginning and rush to reopen despite the vehement opposition from public health officials led to a cascade of largely preventable illnesses and deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Trump’s ignoring anything he didn’t personally agree with led to the unprecedented step of intelligence agencies hiring outside consultants to help them figure out a way to better communicate with him.
Trump’s hostility to addressing climate change has been well documented, leaving us with the potential of reeling from the consequences of his inaction in addressing the climate crisis well into the future.
Intellectually Lazy & Lacking in Knowledge
Donald Trump’s intellectual laziness covers a wide spectrum of topics. Trump often refused to educate himself on the issues and instead insisted on forging ahead with however he personally felt on any given issue regardless of the facts on the ground.
Former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was reputedly overheard calling Trump an “idiot,” “dope,” and saying he has the “intelligence of a kindergartner” during a dinner with tech CEO Safra Catz at a Washington, D.C. restaurant. Both McMaster and Catz denied the exchange, but four trusted sources confirmed that Catz personally told them about the exchange and an additional well-connected source confirmed McMaster told him something similar in private.
Gary Cohn, who was Donald Trump’s top economic adviser at the White House, blasted Trump’s unwillingness to read by lamenting that “It’s worse than you can imagine … Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers, nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.” Other top aids at Trump’s White House even apparently “believed that for all practical purposes [Trump] was no more than semi-literate.”
Trump’s laziness and hostility towards educating himself trickled down to his spoken and written word, where he would mispronounce and misspell words and phrases sometimes multiple times in one sentence and even create words out of thin air like when he memorably Tweeted “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” shortly after midnight.
Trump rarely reads … anything. He said in a 2016 interview that he doesn’t have time to read because he’s “always busy doing a lot.” His aversion to reading extended to how he received intelligence briefings during his time as President, where briefers were forced to include a lot of graphs and charts and put his name in briefings as often as possible in an attempt to keep his attention..
Marveled that a lot of people didn’t know Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
Expressed how honered he was to serve the American people.
Repeatedly demanded an investigation into the oranges of the Russia probe.
Boasted that “one million eight hundred and seventy thousand million [COVID-19] tests had been administered in the US.
- Couldn’t pronounce “Yosemite.”