Donald Trump and his people don’t know anything

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The subset of the human species that Gore Vidal refers to as, “that small public which reads books voluntarily,” is vastly underrepresented among the acolytes and idolaters of Donald Trump. This is because most Trump adherents are suspicious of learning and hostile to science and education in the first place. Try to imagine it yourselves, belonging to a group of people who have never ventured to the other side of a mountain, yet they find actual virtue in staying put and actual folly in those who get up and find out what’s on the mountain’s other side. In short, there is something wrong, so the theory goes among these superstitious, medieval Trump janissaries, with people who learn, people who find both value in facts and actual enhanced value in checking those facts. Meanwhile they will insult you with words they consider the pinnacle of inventive imagination and classy good taste. Words like “libtard.”

Take Donald Trump Jr and his own-goal tweet on Friday, an own-goal he scored in response to his father’s tweet from earlier that day. First, Donald Trump Senior tweeted this: “So funny that The New York Times & The Washington Post got a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage (100% NEGATIVE and FAKE!) of Collusion with Russia – And there was No Collusion! So, they were either duped or corrupt? In any event, their prizes should be taken away by the Committee!”

Trump Jr then added “He’s right… unless they give Pulitzer’s for fiction.” Never mind for a moment there’s no possessive apostrophe for the plural of Pulitzer, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s zinger of a response was worth the whole price of admission when he tweeted back: “Actually, I think I won one of those Pulitzers for fiction.”

And so we have Trump pere and Trump fils, the very flower of the group of idiots and self-owning fools who see the world through a glass darkly – and simplistically. They’ll be back with more idiotic, entertaining tweets just like that, I guarantee it. Theirs, for all their money and gilded toilets in the world, is a group that never manages to bootstrap itself beyond their adoring Lower Middle Brow fanbase.

In my secret fantasy, though, I can’t help but imagine an even more perfect denouement to this already delicious Trump Jr self-own. Imagine someone else tweets to Trump Jr something like, “Everyone who went to high school (everyone who paid attention, anyway) knows that Harper Lee won the Pulitzer for ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ a work of fiction.” To which Trump Jr would inevitably reply, “Well, Harper Lee didn’t earn his Pulitzer either.”

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