08 September 2018

The Simpleton

I've written here more than once that when a conservative Republican criticizes Donald Trump, everyone needs to pay attention. To that end, conservative Republican Michael Gerson wrote an excellent column for the Washington Post yesterday (link here) with the title "We are a superpower run by a simpleton."

Some excerpts:

"Trump pursues no deep or subtle strategies. He does not even consistently seek his own interests. He responds like a child or a narcissist — but I repeat myself — to positive or negative stimulation.... It is the reason that Trump’s lawyers, in the end, can’t allow him to be interviewed by Robert Mueller. It would be like a 9-year-old defending a PhD dissertation. Or maybe a rabbit jumping into a buzz saw."

Skipping ahead a bit to: "Here is the increasingly evident reality of the Trump era: We are a superpower run by a simpleton. From a foreign policy perspective, this is far worse than being run by a skilled liar. It is an invitation to manipulation and contempt."

Jumping ahead a bit to: "What we are finding from books, from insider leaks and from investigative journalism is that the rational actors who are closest to the president are frightened by his chaotic leadership style. They describe a total lack of intellectual curiosity, mental discipline and impulse control."

Democrats, of course, have been sounding the alarm since the beginning of the Trump presidency. But the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to act like the emperor's new clothes are wonderful. Do they think this problem will simply disappear if they ignore it?

The answer could be that Republicans are hostages to part of their base, the percentage of Republicans who still support Trump. Will it take a humiliating defeat this November to wake them up?

Because they have to stop putting party before country.

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