We’re confronted on a daily basis with the reality that the most powerful man in the world is also one of its stupidest citizens, certainly its least curious, and a man only happy and intellectually stimulated when idiots on Fox say nice things about him through the TV. We all know this.
We see examples of it all the time. During the shutdown, he pulled one of his classic negotiating moves, which is: walking out of a meeting. I say “classic” because he’s been talking for literally decades about how this is his key power move, how it is an unbeatable negotiating tactic.
The problem, of course, comes when 1) everyone knows that is your only tactic and; 2) when you have no leverage. But the President is so convinced of his deal-making genius, and so sure that people will cower, that he is unable to learn anything new or be shaken one degree from the surety of his self-regard. That makes him a moron!
(Caveat: maybe this once worked in the high-stakes world of New York real estate, making other real estate people and bankers cower. While as an occasional tactic it is not without merit, it is just another example that our plutocratic class is, by and large, a bunch of pudding-brains twits.)
And so we come to one of the central paradoxes of the Trump Era. Because he’s such a consistent, record-shattering idiot, to an overwhelming degree about literally everything that matters, it is easy to forget just how much of a world-class powerlifting dope he is on any specific thing.
The tweet above is the perfect example of his arrogance, his ignorance, and his 4th-grade understanding of climate change being brought to public on the strength of his 2nd-grade wit. He not only thinks he is right about this; he is sure he is devastatingly right. End of story. It’s cold in the Midwest.
And it is! Right now, I’m getting ready to head to the train to go to work, and it is really goshdarn cold. And it is 25 degrees warmer than it’ll be this time tomorrow! These are, as everyone knows, record-shattering temperatures.
But of course, and I shouldn’t even have to say this, there are a few obvious things to point out.
- Climate isn’t weather. I know this, you know this, everyone knows this.
- This tiny part of America isn’t the world.
- This few days of cold isn’t, like, all the time.
- Intense polar vortexes are an outcome predicted by the climate change model
Really, all anyone has to do is look at a current climate map.
It’s still super warm most everywhere else, and even more to the point, how can someone say “Looks like everything in the weather is goddamn crazy! Clearly the climate is fine!”
Look, I know you’re bored reading this. We all know this. I’m bored writing it, and genuinely depressed about it. We have an idiot as our President. We have an idiot, with one particular specialty of idiocy, at the worst possible time. And here’s why I’m particularly depressed.
That was right before the 2014 polar vortex, and I remember very clearly being enraged. This one stuck in my head. The sheer ignorance, the buffonery, the certainty of his position was heightened by the fact that I had to hear about it. Like, I didn’t follow him or anything. But I saw “Trump talks to Fox about Global Warming” on Slate or whatever, or “Check out Trump ROASTING climate extremists to the chuckleheads at Fox and Friends”.
I actually remember walking around and being livid that this charlatan was paid attention to at all, when any of his “points” could be so easily refuted (by the exact same list above, in fact). It was maddening and infuriating. Why was anyone caring at all what he had to say? I took some comfort in the fact that no one actually was.
And now he’s President. The worst public figure of his generation, the embodiment of everything stupid and cheap and tacky and vulgar and flauntingly ignorant in our society. At a time when we are, at best, already tipping over the tipping point, we have a sentient cheeseburger insisting not just that things are fine, but that he’s the only one who really knows. Trust him.
As a side story, I remember that week in 2014 extremely clearly not just for the bitterness of the vortex, but for it being the week my dad passed away. For days, I wasn’t able to dig my car out, and my wife and I took buses and cabs to see family. But the day of the wake I of course wanted my car, and worked like hell to dig and push it out, but I couldn’t.
I was doing that thing where I was steering and pushing, to no avail, as car after car passed me by. Until a pickup truck slowed down, and three men jumped out. They were three Mexican men, spoke only Spanish, and to my mind, probably hadn’t been in the country that long. They weren’t dressed for a normal Chicago winter, much less that particular one.
So here they were, thousands of miles from home (I assume). And without question, they jumped out, and helped me push my car out. No hesitation. And I don’t know if the biggest guy could see that I was going through some shit, but he put his hand on my shoulder, and nodded with the “it’ll be all right” look. I won’t ever forget that kindness through my sorrow, that human connection in the inhuman weather, that sheer unflinching decency.
So yeah, regarding the President’s racist push to keep people out of this country, I say this sincerely: fuck you. You aren’t worth a single immigrant.