The Benjamin Button Presidency of Donald Trump
It feels a little ridiculous to single out individual Donald Trump tweets when the man’s entire Twitter feed is an insult to humanity. Even by Trump’s low, low standards, however, a May 29th Tweet where the most powerful man in the world wrote, “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?” is uniquely distressing.
The “low IQ Individual comment referred to an article published in North Korea’s state-run media that lashed out at Biden for criticizing Kim Jong Un as a “tyrant” and “dictator” by calling the former Vice President and possible 2020 Democratic nominee for President a “fool of low IQ.” The article also accused Biden of engaging in “slandering rhetoric” and characterized him as “reckless, and senseless, seized by ambitions for power.” In my favorite passage, North Korea’s propaganda arm said of Biden’s criticism, “What he uttered is just sophism of an imbecile bereft of an elementary quality as a human being, let alone a politician.”
I think that means they think he sucks. Actually, the “sophism of an imbecile” line is my second favorite part of the article, after a passage mocking Biden for “self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate. This is enough to make a cat laugh.”
I’ve never heard that expression before but I am suddenly overcome with a desire to describe things as being ridiculous “enough to make a cat laugh.”
Trump’s tweet struck a decidedly different tone than an infamous 2017 social media missive where Trump inquired impishly, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!”
Reading those tweets I found myself thinking that Donald Trump is the Benjamin Button of American politics. Mentally, if not physically, Trump seems to be aging in reverse. Trump possesses the body of an unhealthy seventy-one year old who exists solely on fast food and Diet Coke and takes almost impressively terrible care of himself. But Trump’s mental age seems to decrease every year.
The world leader who decided that it would be smart to publicly refer to a murderous dictator super-eager to become a nuclear force “short and fat” while pretending NOT to call him short and fat (#3DimensionalChess) seemed to have the mind and judgment of a six year old, and not one of those precocious, mature six year olds either. No, when I say that the 2017 Trump was like a six year old mentally I’m talking about one of those booger-eating, name-calling, tantrum-throwing six year old brats that give kids a bad name.
As stupid and infantile as Trump was back in 2017, his 2019 tweet reveals unmistakable psychological regression. The tweet betrays Trump’s belief in the sandbox politics of the unchecked id and ego. Everything is about Trump’s feelings, and Trump’s ego, and Trump’s narrow self-interest. Notice that Trump doesn’t say that he believes Un will keep his promise to the United States or to the world. No, it’s all about Trump believing that Un will keep his promise to him personally.
It’s the politics of the sandbox: First, Kim Jong Un made it seem like he thought Trump was a poopyhead, so Trump said that the the diminutive dictator and war crime enthusiast was short and fat. But then Un made it seem like, actually, he liked Trump, and thought he was cool and had nice hair and that what he meant to say was that he thinks anyone who opposes Trump is a poopyhead. So Trump’s opinion of Un changed instantly and dramatically for the better. These two preschool bullies of the international political sphere joined forces to say that Joe Biden is dumb, although, Trump being Trump, he somehow managed to find a way to congratulate himself for his restraint and maturity, later tweeting, “I was actually sticking up for Sleepy Joe Biden while on foreign soil. Kim Jong Un called him a “low IQ idiot,” and many other things, whereas I related the quote of Chairman Kim as a much softer “low IQ individual.” Who could possibly be upset with that?”
Interacting with a simpatico strongman with a mental age hovering around the pre-K area brings out the toddler in Trump. Then again, Trump tweets as if communicating with empty-headed three year olds who will believe anything he writes, no matter how self-evidently false or insultingly self-serving, but need to be told exactly what to think, and why to think it, or they’ll be tempted to think for themselves, and at that point, Trump’s whole house of cards begins to crumble.
It’s not unusual for people to regress mentally as they get older. Senility is an unfortunate component of a lot of people’s everyday lives. There’s no shame in going senile but someone whose mind is as fuzzy and immature as Trump’s should not be given power over the lives of billions of people.
We need an adult in the White House, not a man-baby who communicates like a mob kingpin for an all-baby Mafia. We probably did not need a Benjamin Button movie. We sure as shit do not need a Benjamin Button President who is a septuagenarian on the outside, and a naughty preschooler in his mind.
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