I wouldn’t want to tone down the 24 hour outrage, that’s actually a good thing and I hope everybody keeps it up until Trump is removed from office, and probably a bit beyond that because he is, after all, only a symptom of the problem, but I really would like to know if the groundhog saw his shadow or not and nobody’s posting anything on that, at least not that I’ve seen yet.
Anyway, today’s outrage is largely about his Black History Month speech, which was chock full of self-serving comments, tokenism, bullshit and rambling. But, tonight’s blog is specifically about one sentence in that speech, i.e. “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed.” His use of the present perfect instead of the simple past in the first part of that sentence indicates that he thinks Frederick Douglass is a living person, which would mean he has no idea who Frederick Douglass was, which makes him pretty darned uninformed, at the very least, and the fact that he made a blooper like that in what should have been a meticulously prepared, rehearsed, and fact-checked speech makes him stupid.
Others might say it was just a mistake in grammar, but the way I see it that makes him stupid, too.
They say that learning a foreign language makes you a more intelligent person, actually expands your brain power, and I suspect that’s true, although speaking two or more languages is not necessarily proof of a high IQ. With a lot of people, it’s just a question of exposure. Still, if you only speak one language and you don’t speak that one properly, that is a pretty clear sign of being a moron.
On the one hand, I suspect he actually had no clue who Douglass was and thought he was still alive, because that is a grammar mistake that few native speakers would ever make, whether they know the grammar rules or not. It just does not usually come out of our mouths that way.
On the other hand, he made the same mistake at the end of the sentence when he said “I noticed” instead of “I have noticed,” so that would indicate that he truly is illiterate, but maybe knows who Douglass is.
It’s sort of like the “Is he stupid, or just immoral?” question which has been leveled at many recent presidents: Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush, for instance. I hate that question, because it is a rhetorical mindfuck. If you call them immoral, they say he is merely stupid. If you say ‘anybody that stupid should be removed from office,’ they say ‘he’s not stupid, he’s just immoral’ and you can never win.
The point is, either stupid or immoral should be enough to get them removed from office.
With Trump, we’re not even arguing about that, although his immorality is pretty clear. The argument at the moment is just ‘what kind of stupid is he?’ and it still shouldn’t matter. Either kind of stupid is unacceptable.