Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Why Is Trump So Stupid

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Steven Hayward speaks at a UC Berkeley event in 2017.

Conservative author Steven Hayward, a Berkeley Law lecturer and visiting scholar at Berkeleys Institute of Governmental Studies, looks to the past for a guide to the future. The late 1960s and early 70s were a time of upheaval in the U.S., he said, and the nation was shaken by assassinations, bombings, riots and campus unrest. Eventually, though, much of the fury burned itself out.

Hayward believes that many working class people embraced Trump because he seemed to understand their sense of being left behind. But like other scholars, he suggested the Biden administration will be more conventional, bringing a calm that could reduce the exhausting polarization and conflict of the Trump presidency.

Several scholars, however, suggested that Democrats hold some responsibility for the repairing the cultural divide because they helped to cause it. They have increasingly lost a sense of alliance with people in rural America and the declining industrial regions, said Berkeley sociologist Neil Fligstein, and as a result, theyre seen as distant, arrogant elites.

Neil Fligstein, UC Berkeley sociologist and director of the Center for Culture, Organization, and Politics.

Jadhav, meanwhile, goes beyond the political and economic to something nearly spiritual.

At the same time, he sees an essential need for engagement between coastal people and heartland people, metropolitan people and rural people.

We’re Not Stupid: Twitter Users Agog Melania Trump Says She Was Clueless On Jan 6

Twitter wags were still gagging Friday over Melania Trumps claim that she had no idea people were storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and were battling to jettison the results of the presidential election her husband lost.

Many tweets in response to the news were along the lines of: Were not that stupid.

The former first lady insisted she was taking inventory at the White House that day and was too busy to pay attention to the news, her husband or the violent crowds of Donald Trump supporters two miles away.

She was fulfilling an obligation to record the contents of the White Houses historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations, Melania Trump said in a statement Thursday.

Official Statement from Mrs. Melania Trump

Office of Melania Trump

The former first lady offered the explanation nearly 19 months after the U.S. Capitol attack and following the recent release of an alleged text message exchange with Stephanie Grisham, her former chief of staff. As the attack was underway, Grisham asked Trump to issue a tweet denouncing the violence. Melanie Trump replied, no. Grisham also addressed the text message in her book, Ill Take Your Questions Now, published in September 2021.

I can dispute every single thing that she said with emails, with texts, Grisham told CNN on Thursday.

Many Twitter critics had already made up their minds.

Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid

Its not just a phase.

What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar. They built a tower with its top in the heavens to make a name for themselves. God was offended by the hubris of humanity and said:

Look, they are one people, and they have all one language and this is only the beginning of what they will do nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one anothers speech.

The text does not say that God destroyed the tower, but in many popular renderings of the story he does, so lets hold that dramatic image in our minds: people wandering amid the ruins, unable to communicate, condemned to mutual incomprehension.

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Xenophobes The Economically Disadvantaged

Another segment of hard-core supporters feel strongly that America is under attack by foreigners, including Central Americans crossing the southern border. They also falsely believe the Chinese sent COVID-19 to kill Americans.

Sixty years ago, these supporters would have been in the my country right or wrong camp supporting American involvement in the Vietnam War. They believe they are supporting traditional American values, free enterprise, hard work and white society against destructive change.

For these supporters, Trump promised the wall along the southern border to keep out rapists, talks often about the Chinese virus and says kind things about counter-protesters, even excusing the actions of the young man, Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of killing two people at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Wisconsin.

A sizeable segment of Trump supporters, and the ones who often get the most attention, are the economically abandoned. When Trump was elected, some in the media were quick to dismiss his supporters as lacking education, and therefore unable to grasp that Trump lied, embellished the truth and stoked bigotry.

Thats unfair on several levels.

For one, as corporations move their manufacturing offshore and the U.S. economy relies more on high-tech jobs, the less educated have lost their jobs, whether in the coal mines of West Virginia or the industrial areas of the Midwest.

Despite Drift Toward Authoritarianism Trump Voters Stay Loyal Why

Yes, he really said that.

Despite his authoritarian tendencies, President Donald Trumps supporters have stayed with him because of a complex interplay of economic, cultural and racial factors, resulting in a fierce, almost cult-like loyalty, said scholars at the University of California, Berkeley.

More than a month has passed since the fiercely contested U.S. presidential election, and the nations institutions are moving day-by-day toward acceptance of the outcome that made Democrat Joe Biden the winner over incumbent Republican Donald Trump. But Trump is neither conceding nor moving on and, it appears, the same is true for millions of his supporters.

The numbers, presumably, dont lie: Results certified by officials from both parties show Biden defeated Trump by more than 7 million votes. Since the polls closed, however, Trump has blitzed the nation with unproven claims that he was robbed of victory by widespread fraud, and today only 15% of his 74.1 million voters say Bidens win is legitimate.

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Donald J. Trump

Some suggested that generations of creeping economic insecurity have inspired deep anger, compelling many voters in the white middle and working classes to embrace Trump, flaws and all, because he challenges the American status quo.

Adam Jadhav, Ph.D. student in geography

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Four Years In Office Have Only Convinced More Americans That The Trump Might Not Be A Stable Genius

A WashingtonPostABC News poll taken the last week of May 2020 asked Americans,Do you think Trump has the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively aspresident? Fifty-two percent of respondents said no, with only 46 percentsaying yes.

One might see this solid majority response as the weary, off-the-cuff judgment of an American public worn down by Trumps barrage of outlandishclaims about coronavirus treatments, or fantasized accounts of legions of violentantifa leaders orchestrating the present nationwide protests over the policekilling of George Floyd. But in truth, this was far from the first poll tofind that a substantial number of Americans see Trump as not very bright. An Economist/YouGovpoll in 2019 asked, Compared to other presidents since World War II, wouldyou say that Trump is more or less intelligent? Forty-seven percent said thathe is less intelligent, 22 percent said he has about the same intelligence, andjust 21 percent thought he is more intelligent.

Closely related to doubts about Trumps intelligence is thequestion of whether he is too ignorant to do his job. In 2016 and 2017, the FoxNews poll asked people, Do you think Trump has the knowledge to serveeffectively as president? In the five times the question was asked, 60 percentof people said no and just 40 percent or fewer said yes.

Michael Cohen On Why Republicans Support Trump: ‘we’re Stupid’

Michael Cohen has offered a blunt explanation for why Republicans, including himself, have supported President Donald Trump despite his numerous wrongdoings and attempts to dismantle Americas democracy.

During an appearance on MSNBC, Trumps former longtime fixer and personal attorney told host Joy Reid that he predicts Trump, if he loses, will claim the Nov. 3 election was rigged and use Attorney General William Barr to invalidate ballots that he will say are fake in order to stay in office.

He doesnt care about the Constitution of the United States, he said. He believes that hes above everything.

Reid noted that Trump cant do these things alone and that Cohen and many others went along with Trump for a long time. She asked, Why do they do it?

Because were stupid. You know, were a bunch of sycophants, Cohen said without hesitation. Hes very much like a cult leader. When youre in his good grace, you believe that you have this enormous amount of power, which you do, and he somehow manages to convince you to use that power for bad.

“He’s very much like a cult leader,” Michael Cohen says of President Trump. “When you’re in his good grace, you believe that you have this enormous amount of power, which you do and he somehow manages to convince you to use that power for bad.”

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Explore The May 2022 Issue

Check out more from this issue and find your next story to read.

The story of Babel is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit. Something went terribly wrong, very suddenly. We are disoriented, unable to speak the same language or recognize the same truth. We are cut off from one another and from the past.

Its been clear for quite a while now that red America and blue America are becoming like two different countries claiming the same territory, with two different versions of the Constitution, economics, and American history. But Babel is not a story about tribalism its a story about the fragmentation of everything. Its about the shattering of all that had seemed solid, the scattering of people who had been a community. Its a metaphor for what is happening not only between red and blue, but within the left and within the right, as well as within universities, companies, professional associations, museums, and even families.

Babel is a metaphor for what some forms of social media have done to nearly all of the groups and institutions most important to the countrys futureand to us as a people. How did this happen? And what does it portend for American life?

The Rise of the Modern Tower

Things Fall Apart

Belshazzars Feast

Politics After Babel

Violence A Real Possibility

Kurt Andersen: Trump ‘Shamelessly Stupid’ For Believing In Reinstatement

Many who identify with these different groups may fall into more than one category for instance, evangelical Christians who are angry about the de-industrialization of America.

Why are Trump supporters likely to make the situation worse this election?

The answer should be obvious. When a group feels that something critical has been denied them for a long time, its members will protest. If the protest still does not bring about change, some or all will resort to violence to try to force change.

Among the staunch Trump supporters are those who will merely vote for him, those who will demonstrate for him something Trump encourages and those who will use violence in order to ensure the re-election of the man they see as their only potential saviour. Violence is a real possibility as the campaign progresses.

Should Trump lose to Joe Biden, the new president must quickly show sympathy towards the economic issues embodied in the pro-Trump movement and empathy towards the more contentious goals of Trumps supporters, or it is almost certain the violence will escalate.

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Here Are The Top 10 Stupidest Things Trump Did As President

We’re tentatively starting to emerge from the four year-long national nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency, but the reckoning of what the nation endured will take years to really understand. Trump was terrible in so many ways that it’s hard to catalog them all: His sociopathic lack of regard for others. His towering narcissism. His utter ease with lying. His cruelty and sadism. The glee he took in cheating and stomping on anything good and decent. His misogyny and racism. His love of encouraging violence, only equaled by his personal cowardice.

But of all the repulsive character traits in a man so wholly lacking in any redeemable qualities, perhaps the most perplexing to his opponents was Trump’s incredible stupidity. On one hand, it was maddening that a man so painfully dumb, a man who clearly could barely read even on those rare occasions when he deigned to wear glasses still had the low cunning necessary to take over the Republican Party and then the White House.

On the other hand, it was the one aspect of Trump’s personality that kept hope alive. Surely a man so stupid, his opponents believed, will one day blunder so badly he can’t be saved, even by his most powerful sycophants. That has proved to be the case as Trump fumbles his way through a failed coup, unable and unwilling to see that stealing the election from Joe Biden is a lost cause.

He then pointed at his head, and said, “I’m, like, a person who has a good you-know-what.”

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Donald Trump has said that people might call him a dictator and other things but they dont call him stupid anymore after he took a cognitive test.

In an interview with CBN News, Mr Trump once again referred to a cognitive test he took in 2018 and stressed that president Joe Biden should take one too.

And I decided to take one because fake news was having fun no matter what you did, Mr Trump said in the interview. And I took one. And you know what is the amazing thing that happened they now call me a dictator and other things but they dont call you stupid.

In one of the excerpts of the interview, which is scheduled to be released on Thursday, Mr Trump was asked about Mr Bidens competency when the former president made the remarks.

I think so much is riding right on somebody who is running for office, before you have the election, I think you have to take a test, he said.

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Eric Trump Cant Stop Wont Stop Gunning For Dumbest Trump Alive Title

One of the greatest cons of the 21st century was the idea, invented whole cloth by the producers of The Apprentice, that Donald Trump was a genius businessman. Indeed, his time in the White House revealed that not only was he neither a genius businessman nor a genius period, but he was, in fact, in laymans terms, a big fuckin moron. Obviously, the supporting examples are too numerous to mention, but a brief smattering includes his recommendation that people inject household cleaner into their veins his suggestion that we stop hurricanes by dropping nuclear bombs on them his decision to look right at a solar eclipse without protective eyewear and his belief that one can get cancer from the sound of windmills.

Unfortunately for the children he produced, stupidity appears to be a dominant trait. Thanks to their insistence on thrusting themselves into the spotlight, we know that his three eldest kids arent the brightest bulbs either. Robert Mueller famously declared Donald Trump Jr.too stupid to collude. Ivanka Trump reportedly thoughtand could not be convinced otherwisethat libertarian and liberal were the same thing. And Eric Trump, well…well let him speak for himself.

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Was I Stupid Was I Blind

Why Trump Now? Its the Empire, Stupid

When a popular leader continually employs division and misinformation to promote his goals, loyalists can drift from democratic standards and from fact-based reality.

Chatman, the Berkeley Haas leadership expert, trained as a social psychologist. Research, she said, has shown that people can be persuaded by the stories that leaders tell. If a leader makes an appealing promise, people will remain loyal, even if the leader doesnt deliver.

Trump, Chatman explained, has framed a narrative that says, Im the turnaround guy. Im going to drain the swamp. Im going to blow Washington up. And so anyone who was disaffected about government, which turns out to have been a lot of people, likes that narrative.

How far does that influence extend?

Exhibit A: QAnon is a bizarre conspiracy cult united in the belief that Trump is defending the world against a vast network of Satanic pedophiles including Democrats, Hollywood stars and others in the deep state who are attempting to traffic in children and generally to threaten freedom. Trump has welcomed QAnon support and sometimes retweets their communications.

One recent poll found that 56% of Republicans now believe that the improbable QAnon conspiracies are somewhat or entirely true. Only 4% of Democrats agree.

Its much easier and more cognitively consistent to stay in and say, Oh, the media, the Democrats, theyre not giving him a fair shot. . Thats why we dont see any movement in the Trump base.

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