Donald Trump

The Incredible Cluelessness of Donald Trump

Trump has demonstrated over and over again that he doesn't know the slightest thing about policy. The GOP is supporting him anyway.

|

Foter / Gage Skidmore

Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump has given a series of extended interviews with major news outlets, covering topics ranging from foreign policy to the economy to abortion. Those interviews have been intensely revealing. What they have shown is that Donald Trump has no idea what he is talking about on just about anything of relevance to a presidential candidate.

More than that, though, we've learned that Trump refuses to prepare, and will not learn even the most basic factoids, even when a topic is certain to arise during an interview. Instead, he will respond with deliberate provocations, with refusals to answer questions, by altering his "position" repeatedly, by changing the subject, and by ignoring or denying the facts of the subject at hand. He has demonstrated not only that he is a blithering know-nothing, but that he is determined to stay that way.

In the space of just three days last week, for example, Trump—who years ago described himself as "very pro-choice" but has said throughout the campaign that he is now pro-life—managed to take five different positions on abortion.

First he said that, should abortion become illegal, there would have to be some punishment for women who got abortions. Shortly after the statement became public, a spokesperson clarified to say that the issue should be left to states, and that Trump was "pro-life with exceptions." Later that same day, his campaign released yet another statement saying that if abortion were made illegal, doctors who performed the procedures would be subject to punishment, but women would not be. The next day, he shifted again, seeming to indicate that he believes abortion should remain legal, saying that while he would prefer a federalist approach, "the laws are set…and I think we have to leave it that way." The same day, his campaign released another statement saying that Trump merely wants the law to stay the same way until he is president.

Trump's fumbling responses do not reveal what his actual position on abortion is so much as they show that he has no idea what he is talking about, and has never bothered to learn even the most basic talking points about the subject. That is more or less Trump's own explanation for his initial statement that women would need to be punished for getting abortions if the practice were outlawed.

"I've been told by some people that was an older line answer and that was an answer that was given on a, you know, basis of an older line from years ago on a very conservative basis," he said in a CBS interview, when asked about his response. Trump did not know this, or bother to find out. On a controversial topic that was sure to come up in a major interview, Trump chose to simply wing it.

Trump's Impossible Debt Reduction Promises

That appears to be how Trump conducts just about all of his interviews and policy pronouncements. He consults with almost no one except a handful of loyalists, family members, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, one of the GOP's most restrictionist voices on immigration, and he tends to describe himself as his own chief adviser on both strategy and policy.

So it's no surprise that whenever his answers can be fact-checked, the facts fail to check. In an interview with The Washington Post published over the weekend, for example, Trump said that he would completely eliminate the nation's $19 trillion debt in just eight years. He provided no clear way to do this, except to say that he would renegotiate the nation's trade deals so as to reduce the trade deficit. "The power is trade," he said. "Our deals are so bad."

Trump's promise doesn't pass the laugh test.

To start with, that's just not how trade deficits work. Trade imbalances, which measure the difference in value between a nation's exports and imports, do not represent dollars that the government can simply collect to pay down the creditors. And even if somehow you could, it still wouldn't cover the debt. Plus, that doesn't account for Trump's tax plan, which would represent a nearly $10 trillion increase in the deficit over a decade.

And then there's Trump's repeated promise not to reform Social Security, except through essentially minor reductions in waste, fraud, and abuse. The math simply doesn't add up.

As Jim Tankersly writes at the Post, "Trump could pass his tax cut, monetize the entire trade deficit as additional revenues, somehow eliminate all federal spending except Social Security (which he has said he will protect) and still not pay off $19 trillion of debt in eight years." Nor is it remotely plausible that Trump would reduce the debt through economic growth. As the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget,  an organization that is dedicated to reducing federal debt and deficits, notes, Trump's plan would ultimately require cutting non-entitlement spending by about 90 percent, while growing at more than 20 percent each year. To put this in context: Many economists were skeptical when Jeb Bush said that as president the nation would achieve four percent growth.

As with abortion, what we learn from this isn't really what Trump thinks about the issue: Instead, the main takeaway is that Trump doesn't know enough to learn even very basic facts about the subjects he discusses, and could not, in the course of running for president, be bothered to learn them.

Nonsense Policy

In other cases, Trump's responses to questions about policy are so removed from both reality and coherent thinking that they simply defy analysis. In the same Washington Post interview, Trump argued that the real unemployment rate was not 5 percent, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—the government agency that produces the official unemployment rate—says it is, but is instead much higher.

"We're at a number that's probably into the twenties if you look at the real number," he said, suggesting that the official statistic was generated for political purposes. "That was a number that was devised, statistically devised to make politicians — and in particular presidents — look good."

It might be reasonable for Trump to take issue with the official statistic if he had, say, a methodological dispute with the way the BLS produced its estimate. But Trump has nothing of the sort. His sole evidence to support this claim is that "I wouldn't be getting the kind of massive crowds that I'm getting if the number was a real number."

The problem with this is that it is not any kind of evidence at all. It is an inference based on a data point that has nothing to do with his conclusion, an inference that says, basically: Trump's rallies are well-attended, therefore the real unemployment rate is four times what the official statistic says it is. It is as logically sound as the proposition that bananas do not respond to the pull of gravity because Donald Trump often wears red ties. The first part is not true, and although the second part is, it has nothing to do with the first. It is economic policy Dadaism.

Trump's indifference to both fact and reason makes him extremely difficult to argue with. We saw this in a debate earlier this year when Fox News moderator Chris Wallace told Trump that his plan to save the federal government $300 billion by cutting drug spending wouldn't work because the program he wanted to cut only cost $78 billion annually. Trump responded by bringing up some irrelevant details and unrelated issues, being told that they were irrelevant, and then concluding that, because of his superior skills as a negotiator, he could in fact save $300 billion. Trump is completely un-phased by appeals to logic, math, or sense.

And that's what happens when Trump bothers to answer the questions posed to him. Sometimes when interviewers press Trump for further details on questions, he will just change the subject, refusing to answer the question. In a different interview with The Washington Post editorial board, Trump responded to a clear follow-up question about whether or not he would use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS with the following: "I'll tell you one thing. This is a very good looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I'm talking to?"

Trump's Dangerous Self-Certainty

What these responses make clear is that Trump boasts a dangerous combination of self-certainty about issues he does not understand and an unwillingness to ever perform even the most cursory review of the issues he discusses. This is not new. It is a core part of his persona. Indeed, Trump seems to have a longstanding belief in his own ability to get up to speed on complex policy issues extremely quickly.

Back in 1984, Trump argued that he should be mediating nuclear arms negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, as Jim Geraghty notes. Trump did not have any particular experience with high-stakes international arms treaties, but did not see that as a barrier to his success. "It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles," he told The Washington Post at the time. To be clear, Trump was not some nuclear arms expert who merely needed to brush up on new developments: As recently as 2015, he did not know what the nuclear triad is. He simply thought that an hour and a half was all that it would take for him to learn what he needed to learn.

On the other hand, 90 minutes appears to be more than he's spent learning about practically any of the policy issues he's discussed during this campaign.

The GOP is Willing to Support Trump's Ignorance

All of this is, of course, incredibly damning to Trump. But it also reflects poorly on his supporters, the third or so the party's primary voters who seem not to care that Trump is helplessly uninformed. The same goes for the Republican party politicians and leaders who continue to insist that the party will stand behind Trump if he is the nominee.

When Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, says that "we are going to support the nominee of our party, whoever it is, 100 percent," what he reveals is that either he believes the party should support someone who has shown over and over again that he is manifestly unqualified to hold the office of president, or he does not believe that Trump's total policy ignorance should be disqualifying. He is saying, essentially, that it's okay, just so long as Trump is running as a Republican. He, and the rest of Trump's backers in the party, are validating Trump and his campaign. Trump may be clueless about politics in many ways, but he knew enough to run under the banner of a party that would support him in his ignorance.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

203 responses to “The Incredible Cluelessness of Donald Trump

  1. His cluelessness is interpreted among his faithful as independent-minded-ness.

    They’re ready at this point to elect Chance the Gardener.

    1. Would that be Being Trump or Trumping There?

      1. The Incredible Lightness of Being Trump?

        1. Nesnesiteln? lehkost byt? Trump.

      2. The Orange Panther.

    2. Dude, I’d elect Chauncey Gardiner president in a heartbeat.

      1. Fuck yeah, compared to what we have now.

        My ideal president is no longer alive, but when he was alive he said this:

        “If we could just find out who’s in charge, we could kill him.”

      2. Shit, what Chance the Gardener says is some deep thoughts compared to what these mongoloids we have running for president have to say.

        1. I mean “After the winter is spring, that is when we plant flowers.” Is a hell of a lot more thought out than any policy position I’ve heard from any other politician.

          1. “I like to watch.”

            We’re all Trumpcey Gardiner now.

          2. “After the winter is spring, that is when we plant flowers.” is perfectly grounded in reality and common sense, as opposed to “We know Bernie’s numbers don’t work but the things he wants to do are just too important for us to be held back by numbers.”

            Yeah, I would vote for Chauncey too.

          3. Understands cause and effect…. he’s overqualified for office.

        2. Elections are like the Super Bowl. A show to keep the masses happy.

          You get to vote on a bunch of PRE-SELECTED candidates who do not reprent you and have as its first loyalty themselves and their second loyalty the interest groups that bought them.

          None will tackle the real problem. The Federal Reserve. A private organization capable of creating money, the measurement unit of wealth, out of thin air. The are about as federal as federal express.

          Every time money is added to the system, the wealth of each and every individual grows small. Gold was valued at 18.75 in 1913, and an ounce of gold back then could buy you around the same it does now. If you look it up this private organization fiat money has lowered the value of the Dollar by 99% in the 100 years it stood.

          None will tackle that problem because both parties are bought. Elections are just more bread and circus for everyone.

      3. Dude, I’d elect Chauncey Gardiner president in a heartbeat.

        Too late. Obama’s already been in office for almost two terms.

    3. They’re ready at this point to elect Chance the Gardener.

      Well, the Left and the Undecideds already had their eight-year-long shot at it with Obama, so why not?

  2. FUCK POLICY

    In Trump’s America D.C. will be ringed by a palisade of policy wonks’ heads on pikes

    1. Trump wins because my reaction to that was to laugh and smile. And I’m not alone.

  3. Peter: you ought to draw a distinction between the ‘official’ GOP and the conservatives/Republicans who comprise the GOP. While the former may be giving lip service to the thought of supporting Trump, there are a lot of the latter who are praying for the world to end before Election Day so we’re not forced with having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Trump.

        1. Everyone dies, so why the fuck vote?

          1. To have something to do while you are waiting?

      1. Well, you certainly have the option of not choosing Hillary or Trump, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s still a very high chance you are going to be fucked by either Hillary or Trump for 4+ years.

        1. Then the trick is to split the ticket. Gridlock is looking pretty good these days… 😉

          1. Do enough people do that, though?

    1. the conservatives/Republicans who comprise the GOP

      You assume that none of them are Trumpalos. Which I’m pretty sure is false.

      They, together with an unknown number of new voters, resoundingly rejected the establishment/”official” GOP candidates, lets not forget, and declined to support non-GOPe/non-Trump candidates in any numbers.

  4. He provided no clear way to do this, except to say that he would renegotiate the nation’s trade deals so as to reduce the trade deficit.

    Using the business skills he learned at the Wharton School.

    1. Trump responded by bringing up some irrelevant details and unrelated issues, being told that they were irrelevant, and then concluding that, because of his superior skills as a negotiator, he could in fact save $300 billion. Trump is completely un-phased by appeals to logic, math, or sense.

      Exactly! The way they teach it at Wharton.

      1. Winners aren’t constrained by the laws of the universe. Do you want to be a looser like that bozo in the White House? He can’t even buy pants! Or do you want to WIN, damn it???

        1. Trump does not have to know policy to negotiate deals.

  5. And yet the GOP is supporting him anyway.

    Not sure about that. If he doesn’t get the 1237, I’ll bet they dust off Romney.

    1. In that case it will be Ryan.

      And as a consequence, Hillary.

      1. Stupid part gonna stupid. Good and hard.

    2. These masturbation euphemisms are getting downright nasty.

      1. What, you never called it “dusting off Romney”?

        1. I hadn’t previously, but I’m certainly going to start

      2. I like to open my binders of women and dust off the old Romney every now and again.

        1. You mean, like, with a cloth?

    3. Mitch Daniels!

    4. They’ll have to undo the rule that kept Ron Paul from being able to speak in 2012, and Gary Johnson will break another record for number of votes for the Libertarian party.

  6. Reason bashes Trump but never bashes any of the Democrats! Reason is a bunch of progressive shills!

    /John

    1. I assumed this post would be about the third response. But without the sarcasm. And with more “cosmo”s.

    2. Feel free to bash the Dems if you wish – or start your own website to do that.

      Trump deserves the bashing he gets because, hard as it is to believe, he may be even more arrogant and clueless than Obama.

  7. Trump’s fumbling responses do not reveal what his actual position on abortion is so much as they show that he has no idea what he is talking about

    Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

    And his ignorance is not restricted to abortion. The man is clueless. Which explains his appeal to like minded Americans.

    1. The failure of the public school system strikes again.

      1. Are you saying L.A. Unified created Trump?

        1. You should ask yourself, “How is it that they got the idea to put jockstraps on their head, hack a government computer and run some volts through a Ken doll in the first place?

    2. In the space of just three days last week, for example, Trump?who years ago described himself as “very pro-choice” but has said throughout the campaign that he is now pro-life?managed to take five different positions on abortion.

      Dude, he’s evolving. And since he is so great, he evolves much more quickly than we mere thousandaires. Remember how the ChocoJeebus evolved – same thing, just faster.

      1. What in the world is a ChocoJeebus…comments on Reason make for so much research for me lol…

    3. Uh. No. What he did was kill the “abortion is murder” meme. The pro-life people are now fighting among themselves. A brilliant move. He has trimmed back the Cultural Conservatives by calling out their hypocrisy.

  8. Suderman, I think you need to publish more articles calling Trump a maniac and his supporters idiots. You’re just one short of convincing all of them!

    1. Hilary, Bernie, Cruz, and THEIR supporters? GENIUSES!!!

      1. You’re thinking backward. Of course all the supporters of Hilary, Bernie or Cruz aren’t geniuses… not even a large percentage. There simply aren’t that many geniuses in our society in the first place. But that isn’t the question… the question is “who are the geniuses we do have supporting?” And clearly the answer isn’t Trump. It’s probably Bernie #1, Hillary #2. But I will also bet that most of them will vote for Hillary if Bernie isn’t the nominee, because they understand game theory… and in a two-party system the best outcome is to choose the recognized candidate most closely aligned with your view… not to ‘write-in’ another candidate’s name or to ‘skip’ voting completely…

        1. because they understand game theory… and in a two-party system the best outcome is to choose the recognized candidate most closely aligned with your view…

          Science!

  9. I liked the article, but what I find incredible is the lack of alt text. Back in my day Reason articles had alt text, and they was all in American, and were written by an American.

    1. So you’re saying we need someone to make alt-text great again?

    2. How about, “Five. That’s the minimum number of articles on me I wanna see on Reason per hour, Nickie. Five.”?

    3. Keep Shikha away from my alt-text!

  10. Trump’s fumbling responses do not reveal what his actual position on abortion is so much as they show that he has no idea what he is talking about, and has never bothered to learn even the most basic talking points about the subject.

    I’m generally pro-choice and certainly don’t like Donald Trump, but ti strikes me that his only sin on his first pronouncement was accidentally stating an unpopular truth. If you think abortion is a crime, why would you only punish the person who performs the abortion and not the person who demands it? It’s not like abortionists are running around performing abortions on women without their knowledge or consent. In fact, abortionists are so slow to perform their trade that they generally demand money to do so. If someone puts a contract on somebody, do you only prosecute the hitman and leave the person who ordered the hit out of it?

    Am I missing something here?

    1. Am I missing something here?

      I don’t know, are you missing the fact that pro-life activists have spent decades assuring the public that they don’t want to punish women for getting abortions? Or ignoring that as irrelevant?

      1. Have they? Maybe that’s always been their position, I don’t know. But it is by no means a major talking point.

        1. It’s been the position of pro-life activists and interest groups for decades, and it is a major talking point if you follow the debate much at all. (That’s not to say I believe them, of course.) Here is a good explanation of the position.

          1. And in that entire article I couldn’t find one substantive reason that the woman shouldn’t be considered culpable for her part in the abortion. It’s the fact that they would have even more opposition if they held an intellectually consistent position.

            1. And in that entire article I couldn’t find one substantive reason that the woman shouldn’t be considered culpable for her part in the abortion.

              Not that I find the given reason persuasive, but I would say it is substantive to argue that women are pressured into doing something they don’t really want to do, and she did argue that.

              1. it is substantive to argue that women are pressured into doing something they don’t really want to do

                How many are pressured, and what about the ones who aren’t? And are they comfortable decriminalizing all kinds of other things (like, say, prostitution) based on this principle?

                Sorry, that’s so weak I’m comfortable calling it not a substantive reason.

                1. There are a few schools of thought here. Some believe a woman seeking an abortion may experience enormous pressure from many sides to do something she really doesn’t want to do and will feel severe emotional after she does it, guilt, health and emotional problems, etc. (some research bears this out). Some believe that because of the lack of informed consent provided by the doctors at the clinic, she really doesn’t understand what she’s doing (which is why some want to require ultrasounds and literature explaining what stage of pregnancy she’s in and what is actually happening inside her body, etc. before she agrees to the procedure). The idea is to show compassion, not punish. The doctors, generally are viewed as predators.

                  1. Ok but surely you have to grant that on at least one occasion, a woman had full and complete knowledge of what she was doing, faced no pressure whatsoever from any other entity, and got an abortion anyway. Under those circumstances, do you think she should be punished?

          2. Trump’s statement was at least logically consistent. If you believe abortion is murder, of course you should believe the parties to murder should be punished. Trump’s answer just shows he doesn’t really know much about the pro-life position and just made a logical assumption. Because I’m sure Trump doesn’t spend even 2 seconds thinking about this shit.

            1. What WTF said.

              1. Yes – and Trump used plain language, not politician nonsense-talk.

      2. …are you missing the fact that pro-life activists have spent decades assuring the public that they don’t want to punish women for getting abortions?

        No, I don’t think I’m missing that. I just don’t understand their line of reasoning that they shouldn’t want to punish women for getting abortions. If you buy the pro-life position that abortion is murder, than the woman demanding an abortion is basically doing the same thing as somebody hiring a hitman. We don’t give them a pass.

        That pro-life activists are willing to ignore the logical conclusions of their line of thinking in the name of political convenience doesn’t change what the logical conclusions of their line of thinking is.

        1. Of course it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean Trump stated “an unpopular truth.” It seems far, far more likely that he did exactly what the link above suggests, which is to try to reason out the pro-life position. But it’s based on politics, not reason, so he was wrong about what he was “supposed” to say, and “his own side” got pissed about it.

          1. They got mad he didn’t use the proper meaningless political phrasing to answer the questions with sweet nothings. Instead he used plain English and everyone was aghast.

          2. But, it was an unpopular truth. If you accept the pro-life position, the woman should be punished. That his own side wanted him to hold an irrationality because it would be politically more palatable doesn’t change what follows from the pro-life premise. On this one, I won’t blame Trump for the right’s disingenuousness on the issue.

      3. are you missing the fact that pro-life activists have spent decades assuring the public that they don’t want to punish women for getting abortions?

        That’s why pro-life activists use careful measured words like MURDER and HOLOCAUST to describe what women who have abortions are doing.

          1. “No True Scotsman”

          2. Bethany Goodman speaks for herself. Even pro-choicers are ready to lynch a pregnant woman for having a sip of wine or a drag off a smoke. Make abortion illegal and the penalties are going to be all “broken on the wheel, “pear of anguish” and rolling down a hill in a spiked barrel.

          3. No pro-life political pol advocates punishing the formerly pregnant woman because vagina.

    2. Yeah, I didn’t understand the reaction, either. If you outlaw an activity and someone engages in that activity, they are criminally punished. That is, in my professional opinion as an attorney, how laws work.

      Don’t we do the same thing with, among other things, drugs and prostitution?

      1. Derp-o-Matic wants to punish womyn!! He’s a MISOGYNIST!!11!!!

        1. Not just punishment, I want a WAR!!!

        2. Nikki, how did you get WTF’s handle information?

          1. We are all just Tulpa.

            1. Something like this?:

              https://youtu.be/lIpev8JXJHQ

      2. Have we not had a movement to jail john’s rather than hookers?

        1. Not a ‘serious’ movement, and not by anyone running for office. That’s exactly the point. If you say “prostitution is bad… let’s lock up the hookers!” what votes do you lose? The hooker vote? But if you say “let’s lock up the Johns!!!”, you could be losing a HUGE voting block… the combination of guys who have hired hookers and those who think they might one day.

          So, while what Trump said perhaps made ‘logical’ sense, it was politically ignorant. It would be the same as a gun-humper saying “sure we know every gun owned in a household increases the chances that you and your kids will die of a gunshot… but the Second Amendment GUARANTEES our right to own as many guns as we want… so the extra deaths don’t mean squat!”. It would be undermining the big fib they’ve all been telling for the past several decades….

          1. sure we know every gun owned in a household increases the chances that you and your kids will die of a gunshot

            Please, enlighten us more with your inability to understand basic statistics.

    3. From what I heard on the radio this morning, the women feel real bad afterwards so they have been already punished. One self proclaimed baby killer said exactly that and several other callers backed her up.

      1. Heard something similar today on radio. “The women are already traumatized and were put in an emotionally-draining position, so they’ve been punished enough, etc. etc.” The real reaction should have been that Trump pulled away the curtain and exposed the cognitive dissonance of the pro-life movement. Some, of course, have the courage to stand by the punishment meme, much like they defend outlawing abortions for rape and incest.

        1. The rape and incest exception, in my opinion, is more “anti-woman” than a categorical ban on abortion. By making exceptions there, it suggests that a woman’s culpability should somehow be taken into consideration, and not, as pro-lifers argue, that the unborn fetus is a life worthy of legal protection.

          1. Nothing says “pro-woman” like forcing her to give birth to her rapist’s child.

            1. “More anti-woman” does not require that the opposing position is “pro-woman.”

            2. Nothing says “individualist” like killing a kid because his dad’s a piece of shit.

              1. If there were in fact any ‘kids’ involved in the process, you’re statement would have meaning. However, in the real world, where we all live, it is just ignorant posturing….

          2. That’s like saying a ban on being allowed to defend yourself with lethal force is less anti-human than allowing it, because it suggests that the culpability of someone who commits homicide should somehow be taken into consideration.

            1. Um…no, it’s not because there isn’t a third-party who is harmed in the scenario you proposed.

              The two sides of the abortion debate will never will the other over because of the fundamental disagreement over whether and when the fetus constitutes a human life entitled to the protection of the law. I realize that and am not trying to convince anyone on that one way or the other, but your response suggests you either don’t recognize the basis of the pro-lifers argument or are arguing in bad faith.

              1. Wrong. The absolute anti-abortion position requires extending a privilege to the fetus beyond the normal protection of the law.

        2. The real reaction should have been that Trump pulled away the curtain and exposed the cognitive dissonance of the pro-life movement.

          Don’t worry, that was the real reaction among pro-choicers. Except they called it “lies” and “propaganda” instead of “cognitive dissonance.”

        3. The women are already traumatized and were put in an emotionally-draining position, so they’ve been punished enough, etc. etc.

          One could say the same for many violent crimes, you know.

      2. You do know that this is exactly what Trump said in one of his clarifications of what he meant when he said women should be punished for abortions?

    4. Rather than punish the woman, why not just reward her with an 8 by 10, glossy, souvenir photo-montage of her with her freshly aborted fetus? Or post it on FB?

  11. He’s the low-information candidate, for the low-information voter.

    1. He is, quite literally, the revival of the Know Nothing Party.

      1. His blithering ignorance is very classy. It’s world class.

        1. He’s just channeling his inner Socrates. Socrates? Great guy.

          1. Don’t worry. You and your kin can allow jeer at us when we’re herded into the Trump Camps.

            1. OOOH!!! Camp is fun!

            2. Will we be forced to wear bad hairpieces to show our contrition?

          2. D’oh. Fault!

            He’s just channeling his inner Socrates. Socrates? Great guy.

            “I drank what?”

          3. Great guy, but he didn’t win. I like my philosophers to not get poisoned.

            1. *applauds*

        2. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by all these smug intellectuals Educated voters. Good thing the stupid American voter responsive poor can’t operate the internet.

          Insert statement regarding superiority of the Reason collective
          Insert statement regarding the stupidity of a populist candidate
          Insert statement regarding the tactical acumen of Reason commentators

          Guffaw, my good lads, cheerio and good day.

          1. Don’t worry. You and your kin can allow jeer at us when we’re herded into the Trump Camps.

            1. Kin? Jeer? Camps?

              Do you have information I don’t have? Let me be clear, Trump’s appeal is startling, but calling him stupid or clueless on the Reason comments section is like, so last year man. “Hey, look how dumb the objectively dumb Populist guy is, eh?” “Yeah, he’s so dumb.”

              We know Trump is an unpredictable trainwreck, save for John. Populists often are. What new and delicious snark are you adding for our consumption besides what the mass media cycle churns out every half hour? What fresh insights have you obtained?

              Be an artist with your mockery, my good man, that is all I ask.

              1. Hey, I thought my throwback to the Know Nothing Party was pretty clever. Give me a lollipop for that one, at least.

              2. Do you have information I don’t have?

                I don’t know. What don’t you know?

                Let me be clear, Trump’s appeal is startling, but calling him stupid or clueless on the Reason comments section is like, so last year man.

                Ah right, don’t say anything about the retard out loud. That’s would be crass and rude.

                Be an artist with your mockery, my good man, that is all I ask.

                I already rubbed the lotion on my skin. What more do you want?

            2. I’m assuming he’s a Sanders supporter, those people are pretty stupid. Not as stupid as the Hillary supporters or the Kasich supporters perhaps but almost exactly as stupid as Trump supporters and Cruz supporters.

              1. Would you say 8 stupids out of 10? What is the Stupid to Racist exchange rate? I am going to New York in a few days, and I would love to get some good monikers for CHEAP.

                Motion to give Los Doyers 1 Reason-Approved lollipop, locally sourced, fair trade, from Trinidad.

                All in favor?

                ***Cynic recuses himself; the yoke of foisted Sanders associations makes him clutch his Economic Facts and Fallacies book close to his quivering breast.***

                1. Motion to give Los Doyers 1 Reason-Approved lollipop, locally sourced, fair trade, from Trinidad.

                  What? Unless it’s made by or from orphans there’s no foodstuff that’s Reason-approved.

  12. Trumpkins don’t care about policies. They only care about the promise of a new witch hunt. Against immigrants, muslism, blacks, pregnant women or mentally ill, it doesn’t really matter. This is what motivates them. Of course, Cruz is no better. He recognizes this dynamic but doesn’t know how to effectively tap into it. Either way it’s a blood bath.

    1. I hope their trials are more sophisticated than being weighed against a duck.

    2. The progressive playbook – you’re just a hater!

      1. 7 words and 0 substance! C’mon, you can do better than that!!! I’ve seen ignorant Trump supporters write 7 PARAGRAPHS without an actual fact…. you should be ashamed!

  13. Donald Trump… hmmm… “Donald Trump”?
    Nope, name doesn’t ring a bell. Why am I just now hearing about this guy?

    1. He is potentially the next guy who is going to make your life more difficult for four years.

    2. He had this show that’s in reruns now.

    3. So, OT, but you asked me where I’d be staying in Rio. I’ll be staying in Mar? (Favela de Mar?, as it used to be known before the 2014 WC pacification), which is perfect, because it’s not even a ten minute drive from the airport!

  14. Isn’t this just a dream for a top man? I mean I wouldn’t call Obama’s policies all that grounded in reality… or Sanders… or Bush… or Clinton (both Mr. and Mrs.)… or just about any politician who has breathed.

    Trump is just bad at pretending he knows something.

  15. Nice, but it’s “unfazed”, like “Your phaser doesn’t faze me, Klingon scum.”

    1. You misspelled your first name again.

    2. For many years I thought they were “fazers” for that reason. Took a while to convince me the writers spelled it “phaser”.

  16. Those interviews have been intensely revealing. What they have shown is that Donald Trump has no idea what he is talking about on just about anything of relevance to a presidential candidate.

    Sorry, which is it? Were they intensely revealing, or did they show what we’ve known all along, as you indicate in the second sentence?

  17. The very fact that this narcissist buffoon gets so much voter support and mainstream media attention is a testament to the state of our union. We’ve devolved into a bunch of mouth-breathing, ill-informed and clueless sloths who rely on t.v. newscasts as our main source of information. We reap what we sow. The $20 trillion national debt will soon be cause for a great upset not seen in this nation for many decades, if ever. This American Experiment is near completion.

    1. This is a Trump article. Why are you blathering on about Hillary?

      1. I was thinking he meant Obama. Go figure.

  18. B-b-b-but, it’s funny to make fun of Mexicans

  19. O’Leary is dead and O’Reilly don’t know it. O’Reilly is dead and O’Leary don’t know it. They’re both lying dead in the very same bed, And neither one knows that the other ones dead.

    1. I considered updating the names, but decided I didn’t what any attention-seeking prosecutors to hunt me down.

    2. The compliments pass when the quality meet.

  20. The Incredible Cluelessness of Donald Trump Peter Suderman

    Trump has demonstrated over and over again that he doesn’t know the slightest thing about policy. And yet the GOP is supporting him anyway.

    When has policy mattered? It’s all about sloganeering and marketing. Was Obama’s logo a policy position? Are hope and change policies?

    1. Spot on Big T

    2. Right on! A little history lesson in Obama’s slickery eight years ago would go a long ways with the proggies and extreme right wingers. Well, at least we could say, “Told ya so.”

  21. Trump is just the politician’s final form. Just a human embodiment of meglomania. We all know politicians are the biggest, self-aggrandizing people that need to be loved by millions. Trump is just cutting out things like policy knowledge and cutting straight to the chase.

    1. Crap. Trump is a JRPG villain. I @#$@#$ hate JRPG villain.

      HIS POWER LEVEL IS YUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE

  22. The GOP is supporting him anyway

    Sure seems like they are trying to beat him in the primaries, and if necessary with a contested convention.

    If Trump wins the required number of delegates, isn’t the party apparatus contractually obligated to support him?

    1. It’s the whole point of a political party.

  23. Politicians focus on getting elected. Politicians in order to get elected, do not focus on policy, the voters are too stupid, or uneducated to understand policy.

    News at 11

    “Good and Hard”

    1. Okay. I’m taking back the Uneducated part. That was very arrogant of me to say. The voters are just trying to live their lives without being hassled. However they are stupid for voting for those very same assholes who are hassling them.

  24. It’s simple. Trump is a salesman. He answers any objection, whether it contradicts what he said yesterday, or 10 minutes ago, or an earlier clause in the same sentence. Try ending a conversation with a used car salesman; you can’t. He’s trained to answer any objection you have to buying a car today. Logic or consistency are irrelevant.

    Attention. Interest. Decision. Action.
    Always Be Closing

    1. Art of the deal. =D

    2. +1 set of steak knives.

    3. This is middle management as well.

    1. 37 followers? What a LOSER

  25. Good god is seems that Reason and most commentators here just regurgitate what they read from the MSM and the GOP talking heads. Who cares what the candidates say about policy when they just lie and do whatever they want when they become president?

    Hell, back in 2008 half the Reason writers were voting for Obama because “PUNISH THE GOP!” They didn’t give a rat’s ass about policy. Suderman is probably the worst of the bunch because he doesn’t even try to understand the popularity of Trump. Instead we get these endless stream of articles about Trump that could easily be about Hillary, Sanders or Cruz.

  26. Trump is not a lifelong pol who has a focus group tested and elite approved response to every question. That works for me. I want new responses.

    For the most part when he deviates from the elite party line I like his answer better.

    For example, his supposed gaffe over abortion was merely ignorance about how to properly lie and pander as a pro-life candidate. If abortion is considered a crime then of course a pregnant woman who arranges to have an abortion should be punished – that is what we mean by crime, something that should be punished. Trump didn’t know that you couldn’t punish a woman because vagina.

    Progressitarians want to be ruled by a professional ruling class. Some of us would prefer citizen legislators.

    1. Maybe Trump shouldn’t lie, and just run as pro-choice.

      Is that not an option?

      1. He may just be a pro life peasant who doesn’t know the tortured lies pro life elites think will maximize support for pro life policies.

    2. No, he’s a life long crony capitalism who is a leech on those lifelong politicians.

    3. Yeh, that.

      One of my biggest pet-peeves in this election cycle is that idiots claiming that Trump is the type of candidate the Founders feared. In reality, Trump is more like the Founders than any of the other career politicians.

      Office holders were supposed to come from successful private careers, serve their time with moderate pay, and leave after their term. now, we have mostly careerists, that work their way up the election ladder until they reach a point they can sustain for a full career, reaping financial rewards through crony capitalism and abusing the state larder. Bush was criticized for ‘vacationing’ at his personal ranch while in office. Obama gets no criticism for the extravagant vacations that he couldn’t have afforded prior to his election. WTF.

      citizen legislators. Would be nice to have a more impressive figure, but Trump is closer to the ideal than we have had in years.

      1. Well said.

  27. It’d probably be worthwhile voting for Trump just to watch people like Peter Suderman piss themselves.

  28. I think Trump made a mistake with regard to the abortion question in not doubling down. Doubling down on his statements seems to have been what propelled his success.

    “Not only should the women be punished, we might even consider the death penalty. We are talking about child murder, for Pete’s sake!”

  29. Trump is bad, but would a fully prepped, paid talking head make you feel better? Smooth platitudes and double speak, consistently babbled is better? I hate to break it to anybody who doesn’t know this, BUT NOBODY IS PREPARED AND INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO PRESIDENT, thin veneer of know it all notwithstanding. The notion that one person is qualified to head up the fantastically bloated leviathan of the USG is crazy. Whether that be the person running for the position or anyone voting for a person into that position. MAYBE the Constitutionally appointed duties could still be done by the office, but certainly not what the USG has grown into. The whole process is a farce.

    Once again, Trump is only a symptom. A symptom of an insane set of public policies that have pissed off rank and file to the point of becoming a roiling mass of anger. I predicted a Trump would come on the seen back in 2003-2004 (I wish all those comments and threads on that ESPN comment board that was converted into a soapbox board was still up, or I’d prove it). The asinine situation we were in THEN told me a Trump was inevitable. And here it is. And even the people at Reason think there’s still alternatives and solutions and an establishment to return to.

  30. he will respond with deliberate provocations, with refusals to answer questions, by altering his “position” repeatedly, by changing the subject, and by ignoring or denying the facts of the subject at hand.

    “Hillary, all right?! He learned it by watching Hillary!”

  31. What if government were to trust each of us to run our own lives, make our own policy?

    Isn’t the problem we have now too much policy top down, and not enough policies bottom up?

    1. But if we didn’t have the government overseeing our lives, then we might not know that we should raise our cats in a gender-neutral manner.

    2. Sorry, but there is no such thing as ‘less government’, as ‘governing’ is a process that occurs every single time that two members of a society have a dispute. The ONLY choice we get is whether we prefer elected, checked-and-balanced, term-limited government; or government by whichever of the two parties in the dispute has more power…

      If we all lived in Oregon, where they don’t get nearly as much interaction between citizens, or between citizens and large corporations, maybe we’d all think the way you do. But if you live a few years in a major city, or even in the suburbs around a major city, you understand that every single day someone is figuring out new ways to take what isn’t theirs, and often ‘government’ is the only thing stopping them.

      What exactly would a small government libertarian country have done to BP after the Gulf Spill? Written them angry letters? Asked citizens to punish them by ‘not buying their product’? Ask the guys in Alaska who lived where the Exxon Valdez leak happened if that incident dampened THEIR libertarian views any….

      1. “as ‘governing’ is a process that occurs every single time that two members of a society have a dispute”

        Ok, insane person.

        1. No. Gov’t vs. state.

      2. What exactly would a small government libertarian country have done to BP after the Gulf Spill?

        Sued for tort.

        Come back when you’ve learned a little.

      3. “What exactly would a small government libertarian country have done to BP after the Gulf Spill? Written them angry letters?”

        It might start by *not* capping their liability to the private parties they damaged, like the US Government did.

  32. WHYCUM U COZMO FAGGITS PIKIN’ ON TRUMP!!1!11111!!!!11!!!!!!!!

    1. Because.

  33. Trump has demonstrated over and over again that he doesn’t know the slightest thing about policy. The GOP is supporting him anyway.

    Seriously? Seriously?

    None of that matters. Hell, that doesn’t even really make sense. Know what about policy? How to craft it? How to pass it? How to test the waters, see which way the wind blows and drop some piece of legislation/regulation that will, on the surface, work to get them some more votes?

    Because they *all* know how to do that.

    Craft incentive structures, have humility regarding what legislation can accomplish – *none* of them have that.

    Of course the GOP is supporting Trump – because he can *win*. That’s it. Nothing matters to the people running either of those parties – that’s *why* they’re running those parties, for the sake of the party itself.

    All organizations are eventually captured by people who are only interested in expanding the power and scope of the organization for their own benefit.

  34. Having carefully read the article, only this: So, politics as usual, then.

    Unqualified idiots pontificating about things they don’t actually understand, presuming that their opinions will serve them just as well as, you know, actual data.

    And of course they will. Because the actual actions they take are spoon-fed to them by the legions of lobbyists.

    Also Mr. Suderman, just as aside, it’s not “phased”, it’s “fazed.” Editor? Editor? Beuhler? Beuhler?

  35. I think that it should be obvious by now that Trump is the only way that Clinton could have been elected. It therefore seems that somehow, Clinton is behind the Trump effort. Perhaps they just egged him on. Maybe they paid him. As stupid as he appears he could very well be in money trouble. Rand wasn’t looking bad before him, so the country had a chance. Not much of one now. George Washington often spoke of how “providence” had been on our side more than once during the Revolution. We were lucky. It looks like the wheel of Fortuna has turned the other side.

  36. I think it’s a stretch to say the GOP is supporting Trump. Some of them, yes, but others are very much opposed.

  37. A progressive jew thinks Trump is clueless.

    Color me shocked.

  38. So, are Repeblicans supporting Trump more or less responsible than the Democrats that support an aging Socialist?
    And don’t even get me started on Pukes For Shrillary!

  39. Trump didn’t expect to do as well as he has. Pretty sure once he wriggles out of this he’ll look for a way to make money off this.

  40. Max . true that Gregory `s st0rry is impossible… on wednesday I bought Aston Martin DB5 since I been bringin in $9774 this last five weeks and more than ten/k this past-month . it’s by-far the best-job Ive ever had . I began this 4 months ago and practically straight away was bringin home minimum $81, per hour
    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.earni8.com

  41. Taking your last premise first, the GOPe is actively trying to thwart Trump.
    The fact Trump is not your typical politician is the EXACT reason for his support.
    Now talk to us some more about cluelessness….

  42. From the libertarian point of view Trump is the perfect President. He has no established political powerbase, all the professional politicos hate him, he will be unable to get anything through Congress, and out of spite he will probably veto bills all over the place. Government will grind to a halt for four years. Sounds sweet.

    1. The professionals will make deals with him. He’s already said he can work with Pelosi and Schumer.

      See also Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was rolled by the progressives.

  43. “The GOP” is NOT supporting Trump. Too many Republicans are, but a good portion of his votes in the primaries have been “crossover” votes. And even then, it’s a PLURALITY vote, not majority vote.

    IF Trump gets the nomination, many of us Republicans will not vote in the Presidential election, or will (like me) vote for Gary Johnson, the presumed LP candidate (who is polling well, by Libertarian Party standards).

    It’s looking more and more (Wisconsin is the turning point) like Trump will not get the GOP nomination. Talk about dodging a bullet!

    But the damage to the GOP will carry through to November. And if Trump chooses to run as an Independent, even more so.

    The key for the GOP is to hold the House and Senate. If they are lost, then we will become just another European Socialist country. Wait . . . aren’t we one already?

    If Trump’s not running in cahoots with the Democrat Party leadership, he SHOULD be. He’s done more for Hilary’s campaign than any Democrat.

  44. It’s kinda sad to see someone take issue with Trump’s cluelessness when they themselves are completely oblivious to their own cluelessness.

    On the unemployment figure, the 20%+ plus number has been in circulation for years. See Shadowstats. current unemployment rate is 23%, based on the official BLS calculation used in 1994. The lower 5% number is achieved from various revisions to the calculation that eliminated the long-term discouraged…who just gave up because welfare is easier. The total labor participation rate entirely supports the 20%-ish number as we are at rates not seen since the 1970s.

    All politicians throw around ‘facts’ to entice voters. Trump is not unique in this…far from it. So to criticize him for something every other candidate is doing is farcical.

    The abortion question also….He isn’t fundamentally wrong. If its a crime, there should be punishment. We can argue the merits of that, but he isn’t clueless in saying it….he is just taking an position

    And lastly, on the debt elimination. The argument is that he was talking about the annual debt increase…the deficit, not the cumulative debt and that the WP is misquoting. Don’t know the truth on that, but not sure WP has any more credibility than DT.

    So…yeh. An article ranting about Trump that says more about the writer’s intellectual limitations than Trump’s.

  45. What do you expect Priebus to do, promise that the party leadership would refuse to back a candidate who actually won its nomination? That doesn’t mean they want him. And given that he hasn’t won a majority in any state and many of his voters aren’t even Republicans, even GOP voters mostly don’t want him.

  46. Start making more money weekly. This is a valuable part time work for everyone. The best part work from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week.Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more details Check this link??

    Clik This Link inYour Browser
    ? ? ? ? http://www.ReportMax90.com

  47. Start making more money weekly. This is a valuable part time work for everyone. The best part work from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week.Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more details Check this link??

    Clik This Link inYour Browser
    ? ? ? ? http://www.ReportMax90.com

  48. Are you single tonight? A lot of beautiful girls waiting for you to http://goo.gl/X6JhyG

  49. Start making more money weekly. This is a valuable part time work for everyone. The best part work from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week.Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more details Check this link??

    Clik This Link inYour Browser?

    ???? http://www.selfCash10.com

  50. RE: The Incredible Cluelessness of Donald Trump

    The only thing more clueless of Trump the Grump are his followers.
    Scary shit indeed.

  51. til I saw the draft which was of $6881 , I didnt believe that my mother in law had been realy taking home money part-time on their laptop. . there best friend has done this 4 only twelve months and at present took care of the mortgage on there condo and got a top of the range Subaru Impreza . Learn More ….

    Click This Link inYour Browser….

    ?????? http://www.Reportmax20.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.