If you were dealing with a full grown adult who didn’t know which of two numbers was the larger one, didn’t know what color the stripes were on his own country’s flag, and thought that 40% odds meant something was likely to happen, you’d probably – in all seriousness – try to steer them toward getting professional help. So what are we supposed to do when the “President of the United States” is the one putting on this particular display of depleted cognitive abilities?
Donald Trump claimed today on Twitter that the “Stock Market hit all time high on Friday.” The trouble: it didn’t. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was more than eight hundred points higher back in January than it was on Friday. If this were an isolated incident, we’d either suspect that Trump had confused the DJIA for the NASDAQ, which did hit a high on Friday, or he was just flat out lying to try to make himself look good. But this was within the context of some other, more blatantly disturbing incidents.
In one of the stranger moments in the history of the U.S. Presidency – which these days is saying something – this week Donald Trump was caught coloring the American flag incorrectly. He colored the first stripe red, then skipped down and made the fourth stripe blue, before appearing to glance over at a kid’s work in the hope of copying it. Trump spends his day surrounded by American flags. There’s a giant one next to his desk. This is not something he could reasonably have gotten wrong, unless there’s something wrong.
Earlier this week Donald Trump tweeted an article which he thought was good news for him because it stated that he had “3-2 odds” of being reelected. This means he has a 40% chance, which means he’s unlikely to be reelected. Not everyone is familiar with the lingo of betting odds, so we’d overlook this if it were coming from the average person. But Trump spent years running casinos, so if there’s anyone familiar with what “3-2 odds” means, it’s him. Yet he appears to have lost that knowledge, just as he thinks the American flag has blue stripes. He’s lost what was left of his cognitive abilities – even as he faces criminal scandals that are destroying him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report