The Art Of Quantification

« June 2017 »

Memo to Donald Trump: HOW DUMB ARE YOU?

This is not an episode of Match Game. This is a legitimate question, one that has gripped America since Trump descended an escalator and called Mexicans rapists. How dumb, exactly, is Donald Trump? I mean, we know he's stupid, but HOW stupid?

Let's establish a starting baseline. We know that Trump is dumber than he thinks he is, but that's so obvious it's practically a truism. He's also dumber than the people around him say he is, but, again, low bar. The man surrounds himself with sycophants and liars because he can't survive around anyone else and those are the only kind of people who can fucking stand him.

He's also dumber than every Democratic supporter on the Internet who spent months warning us not to underestimate him, that he may be crass and vulgar but he's chock-full of strategery. No. Nobody underestimated Trump. It is, as we shall soon see, IMPOSSIBLE to underestimate Trump. Everyone just overestimated the American public.

The reason I'm asking this question is the following quote from Trump, yesterday, which is simultaneously quintessentially Trumpian and also maybe the dumbest fucking thing he's ever said. Warning. I cannot tell if reading this will make you dumber, but I'm damn sure it won't make you smarter. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"And we are looking at a healthcare that would be a fantastic tribute to our country; a healthcare that will take care of people, finally, for the right reasons, and also at the right cost. It would be a tremendous reduction in costs from what Obamacare is... And what also came out is the fact that this healthcare would be so good, would be far better than Obamacare, and would be much less expensive for the people, and actually much less expensive, also, for the country. So those are a lot of good factors... I think this has a chance to be a great healthcare at a reasonable cost. People can save a lot of money. We get rid of the mandates, we get rid of so much -- got rid of a lot of the taxes. All of the bad parts of Obamacare are gone. Essentially, it's a repeal-and-replace. - Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.

A few things, just for context. First, know that all the parts I cut out were slightly more coherent ramblings about the meeting he had with Senators, and do not affect how much sense the above makes in any way. Second, at a different event yesterday, Trump also promised some kind of "big, big surprise" and said that "Health care is working along very well", which is neither an accurate description of the current state of play nor sentence that uses words the way they're supposed to be used.

But I want you, if you can, to look past his repeated use of the phrase "a healthcare". I know it's difficult. I know it's damn near impossible, especially when you remember he also said "this healthcare". I get it. You're suffering. I had to spend a great deal of time scouring the Internet for these quotes, and eventually found them, verbatim, on the White House website, which tells me that they haven't figured out a way to get away with massaging Trump's transcripts to that they sound like something the transcriber thinks he might have meant. But please, set that aside.

Focus on the part where he says "got rid of a lot of the taxes". Because if a New York Times report is true, he'd literally just learned that. According to at least one aide, when they told Trump the bill's being portrayed as a tax cut for the rich, on account of it being a tax cut for the rich, Trump was confused, because he hasn't done tax stuff yet.

Thanks to this health care bill, we've reached a level of Trump stupidity and incompetence so high that there are multiple reports from the offices of Republican senators about how fucking clueless Donald is on everything. He's not even 200 days in and the number of people who are turning on him, openly, semi-openly, or anonymously, is growing exponentially. He's so dumb that Republican Senators know he's dumb AND are starting to admit it, and you have to be incredibly dumb to accomplish that.