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The worst thing in the world

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What happens to you here is forever.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

This great interview with Fran Lebowitz is well worth reading in its entirety. I’m going to pull just one quote out of it:

Has this crisis shown us anything about Donald Trump that we didn’t know before?

No. Every single thing that could be wrong with a human being is wrong with him. But the single most dangerous thing about Donald Trump is how unbelievably stupid he is. It’s not the most dangerous thing in someone who has no responsibilities, but in a President it’s the most dangerous thing.

His absolute belief in himself, that is something that is not going to ever change. And he doesn’t care. When people say he’s not showing enough empathy—he doesn’t know what it means. Whenever he uses the word “love,” which he does occasionally, I think of the word “algebra,” because I don’t know what algebra is. I took Algebra 1 four times, because I failed it four times, and I still don’t know what algebra even means. I know the symbols. And that is what love means to Donald Trump.

The most important thing to understand about Trump is that he’s extremely stupid. Rather, the two most important things about him are his stupidity and that he has no empathy for anyone. He’s very stupid and very sociopathic, and he holds the most powerful political office in the world. He’s also fantastically lazy.

OK no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition, but we do need some sort of inquisition right now, about one particular question: How did this incredible thing happen, and what does it tell us about America?

The fact that it happened at all is a total indictment of this country: of its political system of course, but also of its educational system, its culture, its economy, its religion — everything.

People talk about the Electoral College, and of course the Electoral College is a terrible thing that has been anachronistic almost since its inception: the whole point of it was that it was supposed to keep someone who was anything like Trump from becoming president, yet it’s been a dead letter for 200 years now.

But the fact is that 63 million Americans voted for Trump, and another 100 million didn’t even bother to vote at all, which means that more than two thirds of the adult citizens in this country either wanted Donald Trump — this utterly broken and corrupt shell of a man — to be president, or, what’s arguably even worse, couldn’t be arsed enough to care whether he was or not. (Some people wanted to vote and couldn’t because Republicans are now simply fascists. This is also true).

If you made a list of the six most important positive traits for a president to have, and then ranked the 44 people who have been president in terms of those traits, Trump would 44th in all six categories. Or all ten, or all twenty — it doesn’t matter. He’s the worst person to be president of the United States, by Secretariat at the Belmont margins.

For three years people largely ignored what a total indictment of this country his election actually was — oh sure there was lots of complaining, but it was mostly “isn’t this terrible and won’t it be great when it’s over” as opposed to what it really is, which is indisputable evidence that this country is broken and corrupt in quite possibly irreparable ways, because its politics and economics and schools and culture and Houses of Worship — did you notice Trump wished everyone a happy Good Friday? — are bankrupt.

Then a pandemic happened and it’s now becoming clearer every day that electing literally the worst person in the world to the world’s most important political office is what you could call Maximum Possible Societal Error.

Sorry about that, rest of the planet! That’s what we like to think of as American exceptionalism.

We will never get over this.

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