Saturday, August 21, 2021

Not Stupid, Not Crazy


At the beginning of the panel discussion on Friday evening's "Real Time with Bill Maher," the host introduced Afghanistan as a topic by remarking (at 15:58 of the video below)

What do you do when- oh, I don't know, a guy like Donald Trump gets elected President somehow and you've got this ridiculous clown in this office, this buffoon, he's both stupid- I've always said that- he's stupid and crazy. That's a hard trick to pull off. But he is.

He's stupid and he's crazy. O.K. So everything he did was fuc*** up with crazy and stupid and didn't work. And then- thank God, we elect- got him out of office and the adults are back in charge.



He is ignorant, or at least he was until he became President of the USA and learned a little about government. He may be emotionally unbalanced. However, "stupid and crazy" is different. On Wednesday night, Mehdi Hasan, substituting for Chris Hayes on "All In," talked to Dr. Peter Hotez and to Olivia Troye, director of the Republican Accountability Project and adviser to Vice President Pence, wherein she participated in the White House Coronavirus Task Force. In an intriguing, and extremely significant, exchange:

HASAN: Olivia, I have to ask the question. I know I`ve asked you this before, but I`m going to ask again. Dr. Hotez mentioned, you know, Trump would have been in briefings. You just mentioned that there were these meetings where these things were discussed.

Did Donald Trump ever pay any attention to any of the science or any of the details in any meeting you saw him in or heard about him attending?

TROYE: So, this is why this is so frustrating to watch. Donald Trump paid attention. He understood the science. At times, he would ask questions about it. He would repeat the questions back. And it was fully cognizant of the fact that he actually was tracking the situation. And at times, he understood how dire it was, which is why he himself has been vaccinated. And which is why you see people like Abbott right now, right, they`re taking these treatments that have been told that are helpful when you have COVID, even though he`s been vaccinated.

All of these people understand the science, which is why this is so egregious because they`re actually putting their own supporters at great risk repeatedly. And it`s negligent and it`s irresponsible leadership and they know that they are doing it....

Donald Trump paid attention. He understood the science. At times, he would ask questions about it. He would repeat the questions back. He was fully cognizant of the fact that he actually was tracking the situation. And at times, he understood how dire it was, which is why he himself has been vaccinated.

Troye describes an individual who is neither crazy, instead "fully cognizant of the fact that he actually was tracking the situation." And she describes someone not at all stupid, for "he understood the science.... and at times, he understood how dire it was." Months later, once a vaccine became available, he responded as any rational individual would do and got vaccinated.

There were nearly 400,000 deaths from SARS-CoV-2 in the USA on Donald Trump's watch and it was no accident.  All along, President Trump was not stupid or crazy, but somewhat calculating and fully engaged. He understood and was fully cognizant of the situation.    He spent the final eleven months of his presidency downplaying the coronavirus, impeding efforts of states to respond to Covid-19, discouraging the wearing of masks, encouraging large gatherings, and in myriad other ways encouraging the spread of death.

He didn't do it because he was stupid or crazy, because he was neither. He did it because he believed the weak and physically inadequate needed to die. It was not the product of psychosis or stupidity but of simple, unvarnished evil.




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