For most of my adult life, this semi-literate, mega-rich egomaniac out of New York called Donald Trump has pretended to be an important public figure, making an endless array of half-baked public pronouncements, slapping his name on things, and generally giving narcissistic personality disorder a bad name. Naturally, our devolutionary news media has played along with the guy all along, giving him coverage with no laugh track. It's all been a gigantic waste of time and intellectual bandwidth.
Donald Trump on why he thinks Senator John McCain is not a war hero. Maybe "thinks" is not quite the word.
At long last, however, like the proverbial chimp with a typewriter which finally taps out a bit of Shakespeare, the would-be public figure has performed an actual public service. He has dramatically demonstrated what many have long suspected, that there is no correlation between wealth and intelligence. Actually, he may have gone too far because his latest moronic utterance seems to demonstrate a negative correlation between wealth and intelligence. And that can't be true, right?
What did the paunchy loudmouth and putative Republican presidential frontrunner say this time? That Senator John McCain is not a war hero.
Reminded of McCain's famous service in the Vietnam War, Trump opined: "I like people who weren't captured."
Well, if that's his standard, Trump must think he's a war hero himself. Because he sure never came within a million miles of being captured.
While the highly decorated McCain, a career naval officer, was busy flying dangerous combat missions and doing risky aircraft carrier take-offs and landings, Trump was busy dodging military service.
First, Trump got repeated student deferments. What was Trump so busy studying that he had to dodge serving in a war that he supported? Real estate. Which certainly qualifies him to discuss the dynamics of history, right?
Then, with the student dodge finally exhausted, Trump somehow got himself re-classified from 1A (physically qualified for military service) to 4F (too physically incapable for military service).
How'd he do that? Who knows? Maybe he deliberately injured himself to suddenly flunk the physical he'd passed a couple years earlier. Or maybe he just had his very rich daddy make some phone calls.
While Trump was busy learning how to manipulate his military service status and the real estate finance system, John McCain was busy serving his country and using up his luck. McCain's luck finally ran out when his A-4 Skyhawk was blown out of the sky by a Soviet missile a half-mile above the North Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
It was McCain's 23rd combat mission over North Vietnam. So he was already a hero before his heroic endurance as a prisoner of war for five-and-a-half years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton.
What was Trump doing? Well, he was busy feeding his face, feeding his wallet, and feeding his ego, riding out the foolish war he enthusiastically supported back in the Big Apple.
As longtime readers know, I've supported McCain, in his 2000 presidential campaign, and criticized him, for his latter-day penchant of seemingly wanting to intervene in every international conflict besides snowball fights in Antarctica. But his courageous military service is always to be respected. And even when his overall judgement is wrong, he has useful insights.
In contrast, Trump simply knows nothing. He has nothing to say but guff. A classic chickenhawk. As someone who volunteered for military service and was appointed to all the service academies and a number of special schools, I find Trump to be beneath contempt. As a man, he is pond scum with a penis attached.
As an intellect ... well, hell, what intellect? Practically everything out of Trump's blaring mouth is simply idiotic.
It's often said that the world is run by C students. My observation is that the world is run by B students. (Let's not forget grade inflation.) It's certainly not run by A students.
Not that Trump is running the world. He's just a mega-rich guy running his mouth.
Yet Trump is historically important in one way. (Besides the decline of the media.) He is the latest massive example of the Republican Party's penchant for embracing aggressively stupid people.
Sarah Palin, who ... oh, let's not even get started on that egotistical waste of oxygen.
Herman Cain, he of the endless dime store platitudes and fear that China will at last get nuclear weapons.
And Trump, whose latest gems included hateful rants about all Mexican immigrants as murderers and criminals and his moronic complaints about high oil prices (oil has gone down by roughly 60 percent since June 2014).
Both big parties have big problems.
The Dems are too quick to embrace PC group think, too reluctant to honor individual initiative and excellence.
But the Republicans take the prize for fundamental dysfunctionality in a complex age of information. Their embrace of aggressively obnoxious ignorance is not just a a syndrome with them, it's an out and out disease. It ain't a bug, folks, it's a feature.
While Trump continues to blather on about a military he was too cowardly to serve in and is too ignorant to discuss -- something true with him of most every topic aside from how to rig a real estate deal -- what leadership there is in the Republican Party has an important decision to make.
Do they want to be the party that rejects the Enlightenment -- denying science in evolution and climate change, clinging to Confederate flags to the bitter and bloody end -- the party of chickenhawk Know-Nothings? Or do they want to be part of the 21st century?
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