Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Trump's own words

It is hard to be calmed even by so flinty a wit as Winston Churchill to whom the line is often attributed, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others" -- hard to be calmed in the face of the words of U.S. President Donald Trump which internet researcher Snopes concludes are true -- words delivered July 19, 2016, in South Carolina as Trump campaigned for the office he subsequently attained.

President of the United States.

The richest and most powerful nation on earth.

An office so pivotal in the world that care and caution might be thought a sine qua non.

Read the words, as John Oliver did on his latest installment of "Last Week Tonight."

Just read the words and see if Churchill can calm the gob-smacked amazement. Trump was talking about the U.S. nuclear agreement reached with Iran when he stepped on the associative gas and was suddenly out of sight. Even trying to punctuate his remarks is, if my efforts are any yardstick, all but impossible.

He wasn't the president on July 19, 2016, but he is now and his words then are not that far out of synch with remarks he can make now:
“Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged — but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me — it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are — nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right, who would have thought? — but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners — now it used to be three, now it’s four — but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years — but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.”
When I was a kid, there was a line adults might flog naughty children with: "Ignorance is no excuse." To parse or guess about or interpolate what Trump said, to apply the cold compress that Churchill offered, just won't wash. The man is off the charts. Period. Yes, we elected him, but that's no excuse. Yes, when offered lemons, make lemonade ... if you can. But in this case, if you can, you are simply salving your own I'm-so-wise-and-well-rounded ego.

Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. Luckily, we no longer live in a democracy ... I guess. When the horse's leg is broken ... well, ouch!

Ignorance is no excuse.


  1. Trump’s incompetence is certainly terrifying. However, It’s scarier to realize:

    1. The “founding fathers” didn’t give us the ability to recall a president and to initiate the recall make it easier to set the recall vote with, say, just 25% yea vote of the House.

    2. That it is so difficult to do social action. I’d bet that an overwhelming number of American would love to see Trump and his entire administration removed, but where’s the networking infrastructure to put pressure on our representatives to get it done?

  2. BTW I loved the bit about Trump’s speeches making less sense than if ithey were made up using an iPhone’s word prediction feature.

  3. Andy -- Seems to suggest that there is life after AI