A Moron?

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken

A friend—the same friend, BTW, who passed along the Trump Mountains photo above—has taken to quoting H.L. Mencken.

Meanwhile, a post by one Bess Levin claims, Trump Two Weeks Away From Claiming He Saw Biden Selling Drugs Outside the Washington Monument. Ms. Levin writes,

As you’ve probably noticed by now, Donald Trump has spent the entirety of his presidency saying certifiably insane, 100% made-up stuff, including but not limited to suggesting he invented the word “caravan”; claiming you need an I.D. to buy cereal; insisting a hurricane was going to hit Alabama when it definitely wasn’t; telling people that wind turbines give you cancer; dubbing himself the greatest environmentalist president in more than 100 years; and repeatedly talking about a nonexistent commercial flight filled with “thugs” who apparently used their frequent-flier miles to get a deal on a red-eye to Washington. With fewer than two months until the election, these statements have only gotten more absurd and have focused nearly completely on his opponent, Joe Biden. In the last few weeks, the president has claimed his opponent is controlled by “people that are in the dark shadows,” that he’s fine with children being “slaughtered,” and that if he’s elected, you’ll have to flee your home in the middle of the night. On Thursday it was shown that Trump took his Biden commentary to its next “logical” conclusion, claiming in an interview that the Democratic nominee has gained an edge in the polls by using…performance-enhancing drugs.

“I think there’s probably—possibly—drugs involved,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in an interview that will air on Saturday night. “That’s what I hear. I mean, there’s possibly drugs. I don’t know how you can go from being so bad where you can’t even get out a sentence.”

Notice that even in the fog of his pathological lies and dementia, a teeny-tiny part of Trump knows that he’s full of shit, hence the hedging that the Democratic nominee for president of the United States is “probably,” “possibly” on drugs. Still, that doesn’t stop him from floating the idea that there’s no other explanation for Biden performing well on the campaign trail than perhaps that he’s juicing. This, as a reminder, is coming from a guy who struggles with simple words in the English language, whose demeanor makes people think he might have had a stroke, and who, just this week, pronounced the words “from among” like [“frug amon.”]

But Here’s the Thing

When I listen to the Woodward taped conversation about the virus, I get the strong impression that Trump is engaging in a fairly normal conversation—fairly normal, that is, given the distressing topic of the discussion. He’s not especially articulate, and he shows awkward word choice, but he doesn’t sound like your crazy uncle or the nutjob at the end of the bar. He appears to be in touch with reality.

And then, a short time later, he starts raving before a crowd about how the virus is a Democratic hoax.

I discussed this general issue in the post on Brooks, Borowitz, and the Many Ways of Being Stupid.

Based on the evidence taken as a whole, when he’s raving about Democatic hoaxes, he doesn’t in fact believe his own bullshit. He is a moron, but not in that sense.

His stupidity consists in miscounting the number of really stupid people in the United States. And, yes, ladies and germs, there are a godawful lot of stupid people in the United States. Just not as many a Orange Man thinks there are.

Accordingly, as discussed in the Brooks/Borowitz post, his imbecility lies in failing to link cause and effect—in failing to understand that his appeal to the stupidity of his stupidest followers will likely do him more political harm than good.