Each time Donald Trump has a new meltdown, it’s even more bizarre than the last. At some point you’d think he’d max himself out, to the point where he couldn’t top himself in the derangement category. Yet Trump’s monologue today about airplanes and Albert Einstein represents a whole new level of, well, weirdness.
For reference, here’s what Donald Trump tweeted today: “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”
Here’s the thing. I sorta kinda get what he’s trying to say here. There are plenty of modern products that are more complicated than they need to be. All you have to do is try to navigate the interface on some of the lesser “smart televisions” out there, in order to be reminded of this. But one would think that airplanes, considering what they do, are one of those products that should be complex. Further, pilots are smart and professionally trained people who know exactly what they’re doing. Airline pilots do in fact lean closer to Albert Einstein than to Homer Simpson.
Donald Trump knows that his base is full of idiots, simpletons, and people who feel like society has passed them by. They’re not all dumb, but they’re all conditioned to long for the “good old days” of a “simpler time.” Trump knows what he’s doing here. He’s pandering to them by trying to convince them that they could all be pilots, if the airplane manufacturers weren’t conspiring against them. The dig at Albert Einstein is Trump’s way of signaling to them that intellect isn’t a virtue. It just comes off as one of his most bizarre quotes yet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report