A President Should Know What He’s Talking About Before He Speaks

That’s kind of basic, isn’t it?

When Trump suggested that the medical community should look into injecting ultraviolet rays and disinfectant into the body in order to combat COVID-19 at his Thursday press briefing, it frankly didn’t surprise me. After all, this is the same guy who thinks exercise kills you, windmills cause cancer, and that we should try dropping a nuclear bomb into hurricanes. In other words, he is an idiot and has been for a long time. What makes his latest nonsense so dangerous is that he is the President of the United States and some people still take him seriously.

So what does the guy who refers to himself as a “stable genius” do when he makes a laughing stock of himself for all the world to see? First of all, he claims that he was asking reporters a sarcastic question, while lying about what he actually said.

Then, when the media zeroed in on the reaction from Dr. Deborah Birx to Trump’s outlandish suggestions, he claims that he was addressing his comments (not sarcastically) to HHS official Bill Bryan.

Much like a five year-old threatening to take his toys and go home, the president then threatens to scale back the press briefings and says they are a waste of time.

But Trump doesn’t stop there. On Sunday, he went on a twitter rant about how hard he works and blasted the media—including Fox News. Diving back into claims that the whole Russia investigation was a hoax, he referred to the “Noble prizes” some journalists got for their coverage, claiming that the “Noble committee” should rescind them. When someone informed the president that he probably meant to tweet about “Nobel prizes” and that there is no such prize for journalism, he deleted those tweets, but then, once again, claimed he was being sarcastic.

That’s what happens when the lunatic in the White House says whatever pops into his head during a global pandemic, and then goes on to demonstrate his malignant narcissism, ignorance, pathological lying, and obvious desperation in an attempt to save face, making matters worse. It is the direct result of electing a man who, while being both unfit and incompetent, is valued because he speaks his mind, unfiltered.

In all of this, Trump once again demonstrates that he is the polar opposite of his predecessor. I am reminded of the fact that, early on in Obama’s presidency, reporters like Ed Henry were concerned that he didn’t express outrage quickly enough.

It is worth noting that we used to have a president who liked to know what he was talking about before he spoke. But many in the media didn’t like that either. Chuck Todd wrote a book about “The Stranger” in the White House and Maureen Dowd told us that “President Spock’s behavior was illogical.”

Is it too much to ask that both the American public and the media spend some time reflecting on these back-to-back presidencies that are polar opposites? As we head into an election, we could be contemplating whether it is important to have a president who wants to know what he’s talking about before he speaks. That’s kind of basic, isn’t it?

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.