Witless

Here’s an article from the New Yorker, “Why is Donald Trump Still So Horribly Witless About the World?”  Go read it.

As hard as it is for me to believe, there’s still that 27% hardcore lump of citizens who think the Current Embarrassment is actually being successful at his job.  To them, it’s a good thing that he’s like a coked-up bull in the china shop of the world stage.  “Heck yeah,” they shout, “USA! USA! Kick butt!”  Or words to that effect.

It does not seem important to them to take into account All The Things that make up international relations, not history, not protocol, not expertise.  They live in an imaginary world where the Middle East is all terrorists (except for Israel); China is a backwards Maoist dunghill; and the U.S. acts unilaterally no matter what the circumstances might be.  USA! USA!

They never see that, like their leader, their ignorance and bluster will not produce the results they were hoping for.  They’re just glad they finally have someone who will disregard all those effete intellectuals and Make America Great Again.

So let me present an analogy that I imagine many of them will find relatable.  Feel free to share it with your witless uncle.

You’re at work.  You like your job.  You like your company.  You’ve worked there for a long time, and you’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of the command chain, the production process, the purchasing process, the company’s competitors.  You know who to go to in order to get things done: Marcia for requisitions, Bill for project management, Laketha for personnel.  You know Rachel can’t be trusted to keep a secret and Austin’s a backstabber.

Then they hire a new boss. Let’s call him Ronald.  Ron.

Ron is pig-ignorant.  He’s never even been in the industry before, and it doesn’t look like he wants to learn about it.  He got hired because he can “shake things up.”  You know the type.

So Ron issues memos that don’t make sense and often conflict with company policy.  He makes everything personal.  He fires Marcia.  Bill quits.  He reorganizes your department in ways that are confounding.   He promotes Austin because Austin sucks up to him.  He does not ask for input, nor will he listen to anyone who offers it.  He’s degrading and abusive in meetings; Laketha has left in tears more than once.  He will not sign off on your vacation time.

Ron insults your partners and sets up meetings with your competitors.  He cancels longstanding contracts with suppliers.  He announces changes to the product line that have not been tested or approved, and if implemented will destroy the company’s bottom line.  He’s the epitome of both Dilbert‘s Pointy-Haired Boss and The Office‘s Michael Scott.

In other words, Ron walks into the job and ignores everything that’s important about the job and the company.  He dismisses it.  He shakes things up.

The Current Embarrassment is that guy.  He’s your nightmare boss Ron, only with nuclear codes and China and the U.S. economy at stake.

And that is why expert after expert has abandoned longstanding tradition and uses words like “witless, clueless, appalling ignorance, studious rejection of in-depth knowledge, unteachable, completely irredeemable” to describe him.  This is not some liberal plot to discredit the man. This is Marcia and Bill and Laketha (and you) trying to get the shareholders and the board to understand why the man has got to go.

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