Stupidity and Privilege: A Tale in the Time of Trump - by Greer Clem

One has to wonder how  Donald Trump managed to devolve into the absurdly moronic person he is today. Most villains have some deviousness that enables them to collude or mislead,  but there is no elegance to Trump, no great mystery as to his strategy. It's all out in the open now, though the GOP continues to try and disparage truth speakers. But Trump was stupid long before he entered the White House and long before the Republican party gave him a desperation victory. So why was this man ever considered a success?

Trump's "success" largely stems from the perception of his family brand.The Trump name slapped across buildings all around the globe, the multi-million dollar wedding to Melania at Mar-a-Lago, groundbreaking with golden shovels at new construction sites. Trump expected that his privilege would grow in his new role, but what he fails to understand is that the privilege of the presidency is of an entirely different sort. When you become president, you sacrifice your own privacy and preferences for the American people. You are a public servant, plain and simple, and are beholden to people who are all ranked lower than yourself. There have been selfish presidents before and no doubt will be many more, but Trump's narcissism and inherent failure to understand the position of President make his stupidity all the more evident. 

The ironic thing is that becoming president will be the worst thing that ever happened to Donald. Had he continued to be just a crass businessman, perhaps people would have continued to ignore his blatant lack of intelligence. Perhaps his accusers would never have come forward. Perhaps he would not have condemned friends and family to prison, as is likely to be the eventual outcome. But living in an age with such stupid criminals has emboldened the truth. It has created a national propensity to share opinions, because nothing any of us say is going to sound worse than what Trump says. For his supporters, they feel a kinship to his manner of speaking and his ideology. For his protesters, we feel like the bar is so low we might as well swing for the fences. His stupidity has created a dialogue that cannot be ignored. Though it brings with it a dark underbelly of America, it also sheds light on longstanding issues and calls upon us to address them.

This movement of truth and revelation has also made it all the more apparent when people try to impede this progress. The Paul Ryans and Roy Moore's and Steve Bannons continue to prop up lies while hiding behind Trump's position. But these idiots are turning out to be just as dumb as he is. Haven't they read a history book? The truth will always prevail, and those who try to silence it will forever be scorned by history and society. It seems that they too are blinded by a privilege they do not understand. Perhaps they think Trump has ushered in a new kind of privilege, one in which they are not beholden to the office they occupy, but the American people will remind them who's in charge. It may not be today or tomorrow but it will happen.  

In those moments of incredulity where I find it hard to reckon my conception of America with what is actually happening, I try to seek solace in the fact that, if nothing else, this era of stupidity is bringing forth the truth. Turns out people really don't have much patience for idiots. And our privilege, though misunderstood by the President and the GOP at large, is that ultimately our voice will rise above the current din. It's the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt and Barack Obama that are painted on our classroom walls and written about in college essays, not the voices of those small, ignorant people who tried to squash them. Trump won't be remembered for progress, but we may, and that's a privilege he will never have.

Greer Clem