Home National Politics Trump is Giving Idiots, Morons, and Children an Undeserved Bad Name

Trump is Giving Idiots, Morons, and Children an Undeserved Bad Name


For months, we’ve been hearing about the privately expressed opinions of people who work with Trump, describing him as a moron, an idiot, or being “like a child.” The recent book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff has put these descriptive words back into the spotlight.

Lumping Trump with the idiots and morons and children is grossly unfair to such people. Worse, it misses the real point.

Idiots and morons may have in common with Trump the lack of intelligence required for making good decisions in a complex world.

Children may, like Trump, lack the kind of good judgment that should be a requisite of being the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

But if we had a moron, an idiot, or a child serving as President, we would not see a dangerous consistency that’s visible in Trump’s decision-making: virtually every decision that Trump makes takes things in a wrong direction.

Trump never shows the sweetness that seems to characterize, for example, those with Down’s Syndrome. Nor the kindness or compassion that children regularly show.

If Trump were simply to flip a coin every time he made a decision — to decide between two options, one of which makes the world more whole and one that makes it more broken — what a different picture his presidency would present. Different– and better.

No, with Trump, the coin always comes up for the more broken option. That’s been true for

  • climate change,
  • income and wealth inequality,
  • the war on drugs,
  • delivering needed health care to American citizens,
  • breaking up families of undocumented immigrants,
  • respecting the norms of our democracy,
  • maintaining and building international order,
  • respecting and using the knowledge of experts,
  • keeping the impact of corporate power consistent with the common good,
  • protecting the interests of workers in the unequal power relationship with their corporate employers,

That list could, of course, be expanded. But just taking that list of 10 items, the chance of coming up on the wrong side every time would be 2 to the 10th power. Which is less than a 1 in 1,000 chance.

But that’s what we’e had with Trump. Not by chance, but clearly by some aspect of his nature– an aspect that does not characterize morons, or idiots, or children.

The salient thing about Trump is his inclination toward making things broken, toward destroying. What is salient, in other words, is that he is a channel for what might be called “evil” as a force in the world.

Maybe the ultimate rescue of America from this terrible man will be through the 25th Amendment, in which it will be his incapacity that is the identified characteristic used to justify his removal. Maybe the idiot-moron-child characterization will prove useful for laying the foundation for some such rescue, down the road.

But ultimately, what makes Trump truly dangerous is not his incapacity, but his reflexive inclination toward evil.

  • El Presidente Chavo


  • Jim B

    Doubt that Trump knew many of the people selected for the cabinet positions so there are some other evil people calling the shots, but that does not let him off the hook. Guessing from the Wolff saga Trump does not even contemplate what the functions of government are. Must be some ordeal getting him ready for a speech.

    • Andy Schmookler

      Yes, Trump is not the only agent of brokenness in his administration. But one might add to the list of examples of Trump’s own reflexive atttactiom to the broken his choosing people like Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Betsy Devos etc to fill those important positions.

  • RobertColgan

    Incredible to see that so many people find a malignant narcissist to their taste….and find his actions equally tasteful.
    Tells me that in our electorate we have many who share a taste for malignancy— and for narcissists.
    . . . . .and, that this is, most sadly, an accurate appraisal.
    There’s a sickness afoot in USofA …. one more spiritual than physical.
    But we already know that: a nation that was so easily lied into major military wars lasting for decades in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq — wars of illegal murderous aggression against sovereign nations, wars at the expense of its own infrastructure, its own economy —–is not a healthy citizenry, nor one capable of electing sane, moral leadership.
    Trump only reflects that sickness like a beacon on a moonless night.