The Most Ignorant Man in the World
Donald Trump’s entire campaign has been premised on truthiness – things that sound or feel right even though reality does not support such a belief. He spews accusations and statements that may feel true to some people (or at least seem close to true), but which, when facts are accepted, live quite far from rationality. His intrinsic narcissism leads Trump to believe himself over the judgment of experts. Unfortunately, he spouts nonsense with such confidence and swagger that Trump has manufactured a cult following where people only believe him and allied sources. This creates a dangerous situation and contributes to the buffoonery that surrounds his campaign.
For these reasons (and many others), Trump is running perhaps the most ignorant campaign ever and he’s managing to spread his disregard for facts to a large portion of the electorate. Mass ignorance is never desired in a democracy but that seems to be the only way Trump can waltz his way to a victory. Here are just some of the highlights of Trump’s deep-seated ignorance.
“I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” (Source.)
Trump’s ability to constantly insult our military, be it by insulting war heroes, attacking a Gold Star family, accusing those with PTSD of being weak, claiming that the attack on ISIS-stronghold Mosul is a political stunt, and doubting the intelligence of military leaders, should be immediately disqualifying. It’s preposterous that Trump assumes he knows more about ISIS than do generals. Keep in mind that Trump’s plans for defeating ISIS range from “bombing the sh*t out of them” (apparently without realizing that 1) we are already doing that and 2) ISIS embeds itself with civilians, so an all-out bombing campaign that Trump seems to favor would lead to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths) to plundering Iraq’s natural resources a la 19th century colonialism. Oh, and Trump has stated that he gets his military information from watching “the shows.” A man watching talking heads on television thinks he knows more about a complex terrorist organization than the generals? Really, Donald?
With regards to the DNC hacks: “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia.”
That’s true if and only if you ignore the US government, which “has formally accused Russia of hacking the Democratic party’s computer networks” in an attempt to “’interfere’ with the US presidential election.” Trump again is narcissistic enough to believe he alone knows more about “the cyber” than US intelligence agencies tasked with investigating the hacks. The scary part is that people believe him rather than the experts.
“I was endorsed by ICE.” (Link.)
It seems as if Trump doesn’t know that ICE is Immigration and Customs enforcement and thus cannot endorse a candidate.
“Why didn’t you change it when you were a senator?” (From the second debate.)
Donald, I think you need to go back to 8th grade and learn how bills become laws. For a bill to pass in the Senate, it needs 51 votes unless it’s filibustered, in which case it needs 60 to invoke cloture. But that’s only one chamber! The same bill also needs to garner a majority, or 217 votes, in the House of Representatives. From there, the president either signs or vetoes the legislation. If he vetoes the bill, then 2/3 of Congress must vote to override the veto. That’s 67 votes in the Senate and 290 in the House. Our hyper-polarized environment means many contentious bills, such as closing tax loopholes (to which Trump referred with his statement) pass or die along party-line votes. The Republicans controlled the Senate from 2003-2007; during the years it did not hold the majority, it could successfully filibuster any bill. Similarly, Republicans held the House from 2001-2007. Bush held veto power for the entirety of Clinton’s Senate tenure. In other words, based on a little thing called the Constitution as well as partisan composition, Democrats (let alone the junior senator from the State of New York) had no ability to close tax loopholes. The above statement demonstrates the Trump clearly does not understand the legislative process and is so ignorant that he doesn’t know a thing about recent political history.
“Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?” (More.)
Because a primitive atomic bomb instantly killed 80,000 people when dropped on Hiroshima (the ultimate death toll reached 192,000). Today, a single bomb dropped in a major city (and there are many cities in Europe, where Trump has said he would not take dropping a nuclear bomb “off the table”) could kill hundreds of thousands of people, almost all of them innocent civilians. Millions would be affected by radiation poisoning from the bomb itself and from its polluting resources. The death and destruction caused by a single nuclear weapon is simply unfathomable – it would destroy entire regions for generations. And yet Trump is not only open to using these weapons, he wants more countries to have them. Basic game theory dictates that one country building its military encourages an arms race among neighbors and rivals. Many heavily militarized nations increase the chances of conflict; with nuclear weapons in the mix, any conflict could destroy entire nations. Trump’s willingness to use nuclear weapons will encourage other countries to develop retaliatory capacity, especially given that he has stated he wants to be unpredictable with nukes. Unpredictable with forces that could cause millions of casualties. That endangers us all.
Trump’s campaign does not rely on truth or facts. It relies on bombastic statements detached from reality but which solicit a strong emotional response. In other words, his campaign is demagogic and borrows persuasive practices from dictators. He is running on ignorance and fear, not intelligence and the search for better policy understanding. Donald Trump is, without a doubt, the most ignorant man in the world.
 Something to ponder: If Trump and his followers refuse to accept facts and evidence that points out the falsehoods in their beliefs, are they still ignorant or have the crossed the road to stupidity, given they easily have access to information and simply choose to ignore it?