Tag Archives: george will and donald trump

Another Interesting Perspective on Trump

As he has written in the past, The Curmudgeon is not a fan of columnist George Will.  The guy’s an excellent writer but his words usually leave The Curmudgeon cold.  But Will had a few interesting thoughts about our president last week and it seems only fair to share.  (You can read the whole thing for yourself here.)

It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either.

Oh my.  It looks like this may not be a friendly piece.

This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence.

Which seems pretty accurate, no?

Addressing Agent Orange’s assertion that no one ever asks why the Civil War was fought, Will observes that

A great speaker, perhaps, but he’s no Trump

Library shelves groan beneath the weight of books asking questions about that war’s origins, so who, one wonders, are these “people” who don’t ask the questions that Trump evidently thinks have occurred to him uniquely? Presumably they are not the astute “lot of,” or at least “some,” people Trump referred to when speaking about his February address to a joint session of Congress: “A lot of people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.” Which demotes Winston Churchill, among many others.

But Will’s not done.

What is most alarming (and mortifying to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated) is not that Trump has entered his eighth decade unscathed by even elementary knowledge about the nation’s history. As this column has said before, the problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.

And then there’s Trump’s thoughts on North Korea.

The United States is rightly worried that a strange and callow leader controls North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. North Korea should reciprocate this worry. Yes, a 70-year-old can be callow if he speaks as sophomorically as Trump did when explaining his solution to Middle Eastern terrorism: “I would bomb the s— out of them. . . . I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left.”

And that bombing could be nuclear, Trump believes.

 “We have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear. Nuclear changes the whole ballgame.” Invited to elaborate, he said: “I think — I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.”

Good lord, that’s only marginally English and bears no resemblance whatsoever to human reason.

 And then there was Trump’s lack of any understanding whatsoever about the complex relationship between the U.S., mainland China, and Taiwan.

As president-elect, Trump did not know the pedigree and importance of the one-China policy. About such things he can be, if he is willing to be, tutored. It is, however, too late to rectify this defect: He lacks what T.S. Eliot  called a sense “not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.

For once, George Will got it right.