Over the period of Donald Trump's political career, from candidate to president, there have been assessments of his personality and history that have ranged from shrewd businessman to Machiavellian strategist to narcissist to huckster. People have called him clever and clueless, a showman and a showboat. Everyone has a take on Trump, and after this past week, I finally have to conclude that almost all of these are wrong. There's only one correct take on Trump -- he is probably the dumbest man alive.
No, really, the man is as bright as a one-watt bulb. The wheels are turning, but the hamster is dead. The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but there's no train of thought coming. If there is one easily quantifiable thing to be said about Trump, it's that with enough money and lawyers, the most slack-jawed goon can succeed. Well, only if he's a straight cis white male.
Some people have said that if he wasn't born a millionaire, he would be a used car salesman in Queens. That's far too generous; he would be selling "Luke Vitton" bags from a card table off Canal Street, because he was the only three-card monte dealer in the city to actually lose because he didn't know how to throw the cards. He wouldn't even be worth the beat cop's effort to chase down the street. Why do I say this? Because that's about the level that most people with his measure of "savvy" make it. Trump was born with millions of dollars and an army of lawyers to cover his behind, something a two-bit hustler never has. Because of this, this guy has never actually learned from any screw-up of his. Not even to shut up and wait for a lawyer. Seriously, what's the first thing you've ever seen someone getting arrested by the cops say? They always yell, "I want my lawyer!"
The cops are even required by law to give you the Miranda warning: "You have the right to remain silent..." Trump has never figured this out. Every time he's gone to court, he's exhausted his opponent with legal gymnastics or settled. The few times he's testified, he's gibbered like a hyperactive monkey and ended up spewing some of the most self-incriminating, face palm-inducing garbage you've ever heard. Now that he's president, he doesn't even think he needs to listen to advisers to tell him to sit down and shut up.
It's been leaked that when Trump went to fire FBI director James Comey, Steve Bannon, a man better suited to stripping a house for copper wire than to be a presidential adviser, even told him it was a bad idea to do it right then -- but did Trump listen? Nope. Because he's simply too thick to realize how awful it was. If Trump really is guilty of colluding with the Russians, you do not fire the guy leading the investigation. Nixon did something similar, and Nixon was a hundred times shrewder than Trump could be even after being hit with cosmic rays and having his intelligence increased a million times. If Trump is innocent, you still don't do it! Because of the optics of it, obviously. Even if you're not guilty, you sure as hell look guilty now. What's so sad and pathetic is that anyone who's watched two or three episodes of Scandal or The West Wing knows this. On top of that, he didn't tell his own spin doctors he was going to do this, wrote the most guilty-sounding termination letter he could, and the next day met with the Russians in the Oval Office. Somewhere out in some small rural town in the Midwest, a corrupt mayor is watching all of this go down and he can only shake his head and think, What is this amateur bullshit?
When Trump used Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's memo to fire Comey, it was of course revealed that Rosenstein threatened to resign over the fact he was being used at the excuse. Now, review memos and analysis papers are dime a dozen in government, so it really wasn't that big a deal for him to write one up about Comey's inept handling of Hillary's email investigation. You'll note he never said to fire Comey in that memo either. That's why I'm not mad at him, and I get why Rosenstein is so mad and made such a naive mistake. Because at the level of deputy attorney general, you don't expect a move that dumb from your boss. Seriously, at his level, he's used to terrorists, spies, Wall Street scam artists, and organized crime. There's no way he was ready to deal with the kind of person who tries to rob a gun store with a toy gun that doesn't even have the red tip painted over. What's worse is that just days later Trump went on national TV and said that despite his people insisting it was the memo that caused the firing, he was the one who decided to do it. Trump's reasoning? Because Comey wouldn't stop the Russia investigation.
Yes, Trump literally confessed to interfering with a criminal investigation on national television. A criminal investigation he's potentially involved in. Somewhere out there, there's a guy sitting in jail because he called 911 to report someone had stolen his drugs, thinking this is some straight bullshit. Yet there he is, still sitting in office, and just this week it was revealed Trump gave away classified info to those same Russians who came to visit him the day after he fired the FBI director. Oh, and then the bombshell that he actually asked Comey in February to drop the investigation into alleged Russian stooge/former national security adviser Mike Flynn. Guess Trump forgot about that tidbit when he canned Comey or figured his disgruntled former employee would just let it go.
Trump is probably the best argument against capitalism, reality television, and bankruptcy laws. He's the beneficiary of thousands of years of human advancement, because someone as thick as him usually got eaten by wild animals early in their life. Only a person who has succeeded due to enough sycophants mopping up behind him and enough money to hire the kinds of lawyers that make the higher order of demons recoil in disgust could have made it this far. Everyone says that he's this great showman and this great businessman, but if he's honestly this bad at media manipulation and strategy, I really have to wonder how many times he thought he was the con man but was actually the mark? I guess the only person who can answer that is Vladimir Putin, and I don't think he'll stop laughing at us long enough to tell.
AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @EternalKerri.