It’s confirmed: our nation is led by an ignorant buffoon unable to operate a computer, conduct his own research or validate the information presented to him. In a quite literal sense, our nation’s popular-vote losing president, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE, is immune to the truth.
To take one example, he has often repeated the claim that he received the “biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” In reality, Trump’s count of 306 electoral votes was smaller than former Presidents George H.W. Bush’s 426 electoral votes in 1988, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonPerdue proposes election police force in Georgia To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill Could the coming 'red wave' election become a 'red tsunami'? MORE’s 370 and 379 in 1992 and 1996, respectively, and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way Biden should pivot to a pro-growth strategy on immigration reform One year on, a critical role needs to be filled by the administration MORE’s 365 in 2008 and 332 in 2012. In other words, Trump received the third-smallest total since Reagan!
This bald-faced lie has been repeated many times since last November, and it has been corrected by many just as many times. Yet it wasn’t until last week’s press conference that an unhinged Trump was challenged on its veracity. His response? “I was given that information,” Trump said. “We had a very, very big margin.”
It’s obvious that Trump surrounds himself with sycophants eager to reinforce his warped sense of reality. Anyone who challenges their boss’s preconceived notions doesn’t stay in that inner circle for long. But it was truly breathtaking to see Trump fail basic literacy so dramatically. He’s bragged about his dislike of computers, and his desk is devoid of one. So he can’t whip up a Wikipedia page to compare presidential vote totals. “The whole, you know, age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” he said, proving the opposite is actually true.
Thus, he needs people to feed him info, yet he’s too stupid to confirm it. He’s surrounded by close advisors, yet they are either too stupid to fact-check Trump themselves, or too afraid to challenge Trump’s delusions. Whatever the reasons, none of them do anything as Trump ravages the truth. And in reality, those lies serve an important purpose — providing grist for allied conservative “fake news” sites hard at work crafting alternate realities.
That same reporter who challenged Trump’s electoral ignorance followed up on Trump’s answer: “Why should Americans trust you when you accused the information they’ve received of being fake, when you’re providing information that’s not accurate?” Fair question, indeed. Trump’s answer? “Well, I don’t know. I was given that information,” Trump pathetically answered. “Actually, I’ve seen that information around.” So if Trump can’t make the case for people trusting him, it’s an open-and-shut case. He’s untrustworthy.
Over the weekend, Trump went on an extended soliloquy about a recent terrorist attack suffered by the Swedes. “We’ve got to keep our country safe [...] You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.” Of course, no such attack took place. It was fantasy.
Digging in his heels, Trump later tweeted that he was referring to a story he saw on Fox News, one that severely distorted Swedish crime statistics, blaming supposed increased mayhem on Muslim refugees. In reality, Swedish crime rates have actually fallen in recent years, and refugees account for only one percent of all crime, according to an analysis by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
But all those facts are merely an inconvenience for Trump, who will never bother to verify whether the words coming out of his mouth have any basis in reality.
Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.
The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.