Apr. 13, 2018

TITLE: Dumb luck?

Donald Trump is the unpresidented leader of this nation and every American should be honered that he was elected. Even with the special councel having been appointed and despite the constant negative press covfefe, our great country will come together once again in order to heel, and heel we will! He did not loose to Hillary Clinton during the very sacred election process, even while having to deal with President Obama's tapp on his phones. Even lying Ted Cruz and leightweight chocker Marco Rubio teamed up in a last ditch effort to stop his great movement. But they failed!

Nope, it's no longer April Fool's Day. Every day is April Fool's Day anymore. Every sentence in the above mishmash contains an error Trump actually made on his Twitter account. And you can stow the rationale that they were all innocent finger slips or typos. Each of the ones I used -- and dozens more I could have chosen from -- are errors he repeated often and without an apparent understanding they were misstakes, showing a basic lack of everyday intelligence and curiosity about the world around him rather than the result of clumsy thumbs -- or surprisingly smart butt dialing.

Which brings us to the real question. By his own tweets and endless, achingly uneducated comments Trump has shown himself to be dumb by sixth grade -- er, FOURTH grade -- reading and grammatical standards.

But is he SMART?

He does have a certain innate blustering, reptilian wile that has gotten him further in life than one might have expected, you know, even before the whole President of the United States gig. Actually, maybe we all need to be more like our president. Definitely try this: When your own child or grandchild comes home from elementary school with an F on their spelling or grammar test, go right down to that school and rain holy hellfire down on the teacher. Clue them in to the fact that our own president can barely complete a sentence without making an error that even the recess bullies would beat on him for. Just make sure to put little junior a level plane with our president's path to financial success by first dropping a couple hundred million bucks in their piggy bank.

Maybe fancy book learnin' isn't what's needed to run a country in such a messed-up, swampy world. Maybe all those smarts actually get in the way.

Being incurious certainly isn't new to the office. Think back just 15 years to 2003 to George W's run-up to the Iraq War. Many good Americans said: He's the president, right? Sure, on the surface, invading Iraq appears to have no connection whatsoever to the 9-11 attacks, but my responsibility is to support the person in that office. After all, maybe there's something I don't know. Maybe there really are weapons of mass destruction or a delicate, unseen balance of power that only Bush and company can correctly assess.

I remember in the early (easy) days of the Iraq war thinking: Did Bush's dumb bluster just luck America into a massive win in the Middle East? Sort of like Inspector Clouseau tripping over his own feet at the very moment the bad guy rushes him and falls over the balcony. Then, of course, a few months later all hell broke loose.

Here's the point: If you're thinking Trump's "dumbness" is a distraction or, even worse, refreshingly charming -- you've got it exactly, precisely, 100% backwards. It's not that he has more important things to do than waste precious time on correct grammar; it's that his inability to link six cogent words together corrupts every aspect of his decision making process.

And now with crises burgeoning all around us -- China, Syria, Russia, North Korea -- Trump's "decision making process" increasingly seems to be leading him to surround himself with the same voices who were instrumental in drowning out debate in the prelude to the Iraq War. Like James "Mad Dog" Mattis (who gives rabid dogs a bad name, notwithstanding recent contrition about the Iraq war). And Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. And Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo. And let's not forget National Security Adviser nominee John Bolton.

And we all know how that turned out. Trillions of dollars wasted. Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost. What could go wrong. There is no "dumb luck." Just dumb.

Keep your eye on the calendar in the months leading up to the November midterms.

And, this time, be ready to say something.


Multiple award-winning author Charles Carr has written thousands of columns and articles for many of So Cal's best-known publications. Carr is also a noted playwright with his next show in pre-production at San Diego's Balboa Park. More info at www.charlescarr.com.