I don’t generally engage with Trump supporters in online debates. The principal reason is because I don’t have time to waste. Besides, it’s not my job to educate Trump supporters. But I do have a standard answer for them on those rare occasions when I have the time and nothing better to do.
My usual response to Trump supporters goes something like this: “Your problem is you think you have some special knowledge that the rest of us lack, that if only we comprehended reality as clearly and accurately as you did we would think just like you do. You also have shapeless feelings of frustration because you think you understand what you know but you lack fluency to communicate what you know. So if you could just do a brain dump from you to us we’d finally understand the truth. But because you’re inarticulate and because you’re so frustrated you just call us libtards and walk away.
“But here’s the actual truth of the matter. The actual truth is we have all the same information you have and we understand it as clearly as you do — more clearly, in fact. The difference is that you’re stupid. Because you’re stupid you have been suckered into what you believe because you want to believe it and you lack the simple brain power to blast free from the the comfortable and the familiar.
“I would suggest some reading. I doubt you’ll understand it, but give it a try anyway. It’s the work of Drs Dunning and Kruger. Their study exposed a common class of people just like you whose confidence and certainly about their ability to understand a subject grows in direct proportion to their incompetence. In other words, the more sure they are they are right the more incompetent they actually are.
“That’s you. Your whole life you’ve been angry because people don’t understand just how smart you are and how right you are about everything. Now you know. There’s a reason why people don’t think you’re smart. It’s because you’re not smart. In fact, you’re a moron, and nothing, absolutely nothing anyone says now or ever, is going to change your mind. Not in a million years, not in a billion years. Because you’re stupid. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you’re stupid.”
I’ll be the first to admit it doesn’t make for many converts. But then neither does anything else. And it’s a hell of a lot more fun. Apart from the manipulators from above it really is true, Trump supporters are vastly overrepresented by the stupid.
Michael Cohen agrees with me, though he is too modest. He recently said people get suckered by Trump “because we are stupid.” He continued: “For some reason, we fell into the cult of Donald J. Trump,” Cohen said. “There’s a lot of excitement. There’s a lot of energy around it. When he needs something from you, he makes you feel as though you are the single most important person in the world. And that only you are capable of doing something.”
As I say, he’s too modest. Many of the manipulators around Trump knew exactly what they were doing. But I understand why he said it. Sometimes it’s easier to admit that you were stupid than it is to admit you were evil.
The really curious part is, Trump himself is stupid. Of Donald Trump’s 14 page non-reply to the January 6 Committee’s call to subpoena him, Cohen had this to say: “I promise you that Donald in his entire life never, ever produced a 14-page document for anything. So this one was obviously written by Stephen Miller or one of the other missives that he has working for him,” Cohen said, adding that Trump will not “show up [to testify to the Committee] under any circumstance.”
Most of Michael Cohen’s predictions have come true. Either way, Trump is in a no win situation. Steve Bannon has already been convicted for defying the Committee’s subpoena. On the other hand, Trump will almost certainly perjure himself if he testifies. The fact that he’s in this position in the first place proves just how stupid he really is.
So here we have it, and certainly not for the first time in history, millions of stupid people following a stupid man for very stupid reasons. Trumpism is the cult of the stupid. The whole thing would be laughable were it not for the fact that the consequences could be devastating to American democracy and the safety of the world — if we let it. So vote in November. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.