I have a theory about Donald Trump.
Here's a guy with an Ivy League degree who allegedly graduated tops in his class from the University of Pennsylvania. A guy who has amassed a fortune of more than $4 billion making smart and savvy business deals. A guy who has risen to the top of almost every industry he's tackled, whether it's sports, entertainment, media, or real estate.
In short, Donald Trump is a very, very intelligent man. His business record, academic achievements, and personal accomplishments indicate that.
And yet, Donald Trump the presidential candidate has a tendency of making very, very stupid statements. Statements that make the pundits wonder if he's read the Constitution. Statements that make his closest friends question his integrity. Statements that make many of us -- even his GOP supporters -- wonder if Donald Trump graduated tops in his class from any school, let alone an Ivy League one.
This all makes me wonder: Is Donald Trump really as stupid as he sometimes sounds, or is he merely pretending to be stupid, because he believes the American people will be stupid enough to fall for it?
The answer, I believe, is the latter.
Donald Trump announced he was running for president on June 16th, 2015. Until then, Trump was viewed by many as an elitist. He's rich. He's from New York. He came from a wealthy family. He graduated from Penn, he travels in private jets, he owns his own hotels, and he's friends with everyone from professional athletes and actors to the British royal family.
It doesn't get much more elite than that.
But when you're running for president of the United States, it doesn't look good to look like an elitist. Especially when you're running as a Republican. So to convince Americans that he was not an elitist -- that he was, in fact, just like us! -- Donald Trump came up with a plan: To prove to America that he, too, can be a dumb, ignorant racist. Just as dumb and ignorant and racist as the rest of us!
On the day he announced his candidacy, he said most Mexicans coming to the United States are rapists. He followed that up by saying he would ban all Syrian refugees from entering the United States. He followed that up by announcing that he would ban all Muslims from entering the United States. In between, he has made insulting remarks about almost anyone you can think of: military veterans, POW's, Asians, people with disabilities, women, menstruating women, women who look like Carly Fiorina, men who look like Rand Paul.
These, of course, are all very dumb statements. Racist statements. Sexist statements. Xenophobic statements. Ignorant statements. But you know what? They're also statements that have made Donald Trump a very, VERY popular candidate with American voters! So popular, in fact, that CNN has Trump leading the GOP field by twenty points in its latest poll.
What does this say about Donald Trump? Not much, aside from what we already knew: Donald Trump is a very intelligent man. He knows how to push Americans' buttons. He knows how to tap into our worst fears and deepest prejudices. He knows that in a crowded field of GOP candidates, he has to go big or go home -- even if that means coming off like an ignorant, racist bigot who makes deliberately false, misleading, and insulting statements.
What does it say about America? A lot. It says we're becoming an increasingly stupid nation, stupider by the day. Sorry folks, but that's the cold, hard truth. If you think Donald Trump will ban all Muslims from entering the United States -- if you think it's even legal to do that -- you're not a patriot who's concerned about homeland security. You're just stupid. If you think most Mexicans coming to the United States are rapists, you're stupid. If you think Megyn Kelly was on her period the night of the GOP debate, you're stupid (and sexist).
In short, if you're stupid enough to believe that a man with an Ivy League degree thinks it's legal and constitutional to create Muslim databases, then yup, you're stupid. And if you're stupid enough to not realize that this is all by design -- that Donald Trump is playing you for the fools he believes you are -- then you're stupid, too.
Check the latest polls, folks. Trump's act is working. He's not just betting that America is stupid, he's proving it. Every time he makes a ridiculous, outrageous, outrageously stupid comment, his polling numbers go up. Why would a smart guy like Donald Trump stop making stupid comments? Making stupid comments is good for him!
I know, I know... I sound like an elitist, don't I? Insinuating that the American people are stupid? Suggesting a presidential candidate is playing us all for fools? But remember, folks -- I'm not the guy with the Ivy League degree. I'm not the guy flying on private jets, with a net worth of $4 billion. I'm not the guy making deliberately false, racist, misleading statements, assuming you're stupid enough to fall for them. Donald Trump is that guy.
Trump doesn't just believe America is stupid; he's banking on it.
And so far, it's working.