Arrogance and ignorance are a lethal combination, especially for someone running for president. Arrogant but brilliant, you can tolerate. Many geniuses have been arrogant. Personally I don’t care for it but at least one has to admire their intelligence.
And I suppose everybody has a right to be ignorant but sometimes I admit sometimes I find it exasperating. (I didn’t even like the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” though there was a classic line I will refer to later.) Dumb but not arrogant you can just ignore. But arrogance AND stupidity, I draw the line. (Add narcissism, sexism and racism and it only goes downhill from there.)
As an example, not long ago Donald Trump was speaking at a packed rally in Las Vegas. He apparently thought Nevada was pronounced Nevahda and mentioned how a friend was so stupid he pronounced it Nevada and got hell for it. But he, Trump, was smarter than that. Not exactly.
While Trump was mispronouncing Nevada the audience was shouting that he was wrong. And they were his supporters! Trump was lecturing people how to pronounce their own state and even when they were collectively correcting him, he was so arrogant and stupid, that he didn’t hear them. (Or couldn’t stand being wrong on anything?)
A less benign example is Trump’s infatuation with Vladimir Putin. It’s so extreme it seems obvious he’s either got investments in Russia or vice versa, the oligarchs Putin has created have invested in Trump. Proof may have taken place at the GOP convention this past summer.
The GOP 2016 platform had a plank that supported supplying Ukraine with defensive weaponry so they could defend themselves against a Russian invasion. That’s totally consistent with Reagan Republicanism. But, mysteriously, the plank suddenly disappeared! Trump had the audacity to say, “I don’t know anything about it.” Huh? You’re the nominee but you don’t know about the platform? As Trump says so often, “Give me a break!”
And here’s just one of many “dangerous” aspects to Trump’s arrogance and ignorance. He claims Russia hates ISIS as much as we do and we should let them do all the bombing they want in Syria. “Why not?” he asks while disparaging Obama and Clinton for criticizing Putin whom almost everybody considers a tyrant.
But what Russia has just completed in Syria is an elaborate anti-aircraft missile system. ISIS, of course, doesn’t have any planes. So it’s pretty obvious what that system is intended for, American pilots who are currently flying missions giving cover for anti-ISIS forces taking back territory.
But Trump continues to say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be friends with Putin and Russia?” It might help if Putin wasn’t aiming his anti-aircraft missiles at our planes. Is Trump that stupid? Possibly, but I think it goes back to the oligarchs and money. (Money being the only thing that has mattered to Trump his whole life, other than putting his hand up women’s skirts.)
The above-referenced “Dumb and Dumber” was a 1994 movie about the cross-country adventures of two goodhearted but incredibly stupid friends, Lloyd (Jim Carey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels.) In one scene Lloyd asks Mary (Lauren Holly) what are the chances that she could fall in love with him. Clearly not interested, she responds, “One in a million.” Instead of accepting the rejection, Lloyd says enthusiastically, “So you’re telling me there’s still a chance?!” That’s how I see Trump, except Lloyd was goodhearted.
Much like Lloyd, Donald Trump can’t accept rejection. And he definitely can’t deal with losing. Obviously seeing his poll numbers plummet, and living in an alternate universe, Trump’s invented a new mantra, “The election is rigged.” (When “The Apprentice” didn’t win an Emmy he said the Emmy’s were rigged, too!)
Trump’s “rigged election” theory is beyond absurd. Since 2000, in over 1 billion ballots, there have been 31 cases of possible voter fraud and many of those will likely be debunked. President Obama summed up exactly how I feel, “Trump should stop whining.” Amen.
But, at Wednesday’s debate, Trump’s whining continued in spades. In addition, he issued another slur to Latino voters, “We’ve got some ‘bad hombres’ we’ve got to get out of the country.”
Trump also became the first major party presidential candidate in history, in advance, to not commit to accepting the results of the election. “I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump said arrogantly. Trump’s comment was dumb, dumber and a dangerous threat to the fundamental principal of democracy, free and fair elections.
And yet Trump surrogates Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani insist, “Donald means only that the media is rigged.” Throwing his surrogates under the bus, Trump tweeted that rigging was, “Also at many polling places.” Yikes!
Heaven help us if Trump wins on November 8th. Frankly, I’d sooner vote for Lloyd than Donald!
By Jack Neworth
Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and email@example.com.