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(34,830 posts)
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 06:39 PM Jun 13

Let's Talk About Trump's Gibberish [View all]

What the former president’s shark tirade says about American politics and media

By Tom Nichols
June 12, 2024,

Perhaps the greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled was convincing millions of people—and the American media—to treat his lapses into fantasies and gibberish as a normal, meaningful form of oratory. But Trump is not a normal person, and his speeches are not normal political events.

For too long, Trump has gotten away with pretending that his emotional issues are just part of some offbeat New York charm or an expression of his enthusiasm for public performance. But Trump is obviously unfit—and something is profoundly wrong with a political environment in which he can now say almost anything, no matter how weird, and his comments will get a couple of days of coverage and then a shrug, as if to say: Another day, another Trump rant about sharks.


Sure, it seems funny—Haha! Uncle Don is telling that crazy shark story again!—until we remember that this man wants to return to a position where he would hold America’s secrets, be responsible for the execution of our laws, and preside as the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world. A moment that seems like oddball humor should, in fact, terrify any American voter, because this behavior in anyone else would be an instant disqualification for any political office, let alone the presidency. (Actually, a delusional, rambling felon known to have owned weapons would likely fail a security check for even a visit to the Oval Office.)

Nor was the Vegas monologue the first time: Trump for years has fallen off one verbal cliff after another, with barely a ripple in the national consciousness. I am not a psychiatrist, and I am not diagnosing Trump with anything. I am, however, a man who has lived on this Earth for more than 60 years, and I know someone who has serious emotional problems when I see them played out in front of me, over and over. The 45th president is a disturbed person. He cannot be trusted with any position of responsibility—and especially not with a nuclear arsenal of more than 1,500 weapons. One wrong move could lead to global incineration.


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