Donald Trump

Our Lazy President

For better or worse, Donald Trump lacks political drive.

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Donald Trump has many worrisome, regrettable and even deplorable traits. But after studying him for the past two years, I have concluded he has an overlooked quality that cancels out many of his bad ones. Say what you will, the man is lazy.

This is a discovery that should gladden people of all parties, philosophies, races, sexes and religions. His detractors can be glad that he will never muster the drive or discipline to actually bring many of his worst ideas to fruition. His admirers can rest easy knowing he will not work himself to death.

The comic strip "Dilbert" has a character named Wally, whose chief talent is finding ways to avoid doing anything productive. A few years ago, his pointy-haired boss informed Wally that he was being replaced by a robot. "All it does is drink coffee and look at inappropriate websites," he said.

If that's the definition of sloth, the president has Wally beat, because he doesn't drink coffee and he doesn't look at inappropriate websites. We can be sure of the latter because he apparently never bothered learning to use a computer—a symptom of his antipathy to exertion.

It was always clear that Trump does not like putting himself out. At the height of the general election campaign, he averaged only one event per day. Over two months leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Reuters reported, Ted Cruz did some three dozen events; Trump did eight. He insisted on flying home to New York almost every night of the campaign to sleep in his own bed.

We've also known Trump is intellectually lazy. He admitted last year that he has never read a biography of a president, citing a lack of time—even though he claims to sleep no more than five hours a night. Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote The Art of the Deal, has said, "I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life."

Asked last year where he gets military advice, Trump replied, "Well, I watch the shows." He does put in long hours in front of a flat-screen, gathering random tidbits that inspire outbursts on Twitter. Atlantic writer Elaine Godfrey rounded up all the evidence and estimated that he currently watches five hours of television per day.

He's also averse to breaking a literal sweat. Unlike Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Trump doesn't work out. He said last year he didn't need to because of all the exercise he got speaking at his rallies. (In truth, jumping the shark does not burn calories.)

The closest he gets is golf, and he apparently minimizes the physical demands by using a cart, which makes the game about as strenuous as shuffleboard. Golf is not work but leisure, and Trump consumes it in quantities that must inspire envy in duffers with full-time jobs. He played 19 times during his first 100 days—far outpacing Obama, whom he roasted for playing too often.

Trump prefers to be at his Mar-a-Lago resort rather than in Washington; he spent all or part of 25 days there in his first 100. Even when he's in the White House, his public schedule indicates a lot of, um, unstructured time in his day.

Despite all this, the president sounds like a first-time marathoner hitting the 20-mile wall. "This is more work than in my previous life," Trump complained. "I thought it would be easier."

Much of Trump's cluelessness about issues stems from his refusal to make more than a minimal effort at his job. As his comments about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War confirm, Trump is not merely too lazy to learn; he's too lazy to notice there is anything others know that he might need to. His is indolence on an epic scale.

And that, on balance, is good news. The people who fear that Trump is trying to subvert democracy, persecute Muslims and dismantle the rule of law can take heart that he won't put much effort into it. Inaugurating a reign of terror requires a work ethic he just doesn't have.

Trump would be far more dangerous if he had the energy to pursue all his bad ideas in a systematic way. The more time he spends in a golf cart the less harm he will do. If the job is not so easy as he expected, I have some advice for him: Don't work so hard.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. It’s hard to dispute Chap-Man. His writing is incredibly lazy. So I assume he knows lazy extremely well.

    Of course Chap-Man is also a huge fucking idiot So there’s that too.

    1. He’s picking on your butt-buddy. That must be difficult for you.

      1. He’s picking on your bud-didly Chapman. That must be difficult for you.

  2. I’m curious if he reads executive orders before he signs them. I also wonder how easily others could get their own motives through via EOs because of this possible detail.

  3. Takes a lazy person to know a lazy person.

    Chapman, you crack me up. Despite all this, the president sounds like a first-time marathoner hitting the 20-mile wall. “This is more work than in my previous life,” Trump complained. “I thought it would be easier.” This is a media soundbite that is supposed to imply that Trump had zero idea what being President would be like. Has anyone in the media asked him if he meant that lazy bureaucrats and Nanny-State politicians would fight rolling back government excess and that is more work that he thought?

    It was always clear that Trump does not like putting himself out. At the height of the general election campaign, he averaged only one event per day. Over two months leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Reuters reported, Ted Cruz did some three dozen events; Trump did eight. He insisted on flying home to New York almost every night of the campaign to sleep in his own bed. Trump won, so maybe less is more. Maybe getting 5 hours of good sleep in your own bed is better that 6-7 hours sleep in a strange bed.

    Man Chapman, what are you going to say when Trump is able to do much of what he campaigned on despite RINOs and Democrats during this 4 year term?

    1. If you want a job done right get the laziest person to do it since they will look for the simplist solution

      1. You’re right. Laziness is under valued.

        1. I think it was Robert Heinlein who wrote (as a quote from Lazarus Long):
          “The mother of invention isn’t necessity, its laziness.”

    2. When Trump says the work is ‘hard’, he doesn’t mean the hours involved, or the busy schedule. That shit is nothing knew to Trump. What he’s talking about is all the political bullshit. Overcoming lawsuits stopping completely legal executive orders because the democrats shopped it to an activist judge, getting his people confirmed in a timely manner (News flash: not having your workers in place slows down the job), putting up with Ryan and McConnell, and the general learning curve of DC politics. Not the same as being a soft headed lazy piece of shit like Chapman.

      It’s funny, because Trump does quite a few things I don’t particularly like, but shitty articles like this from a moron like Chapman really make me want to defend the guy. When Chapman could have legitimately criticized Trump for a whole bunch of things.

      Guess Chapman is too fucking stupid to write a good article.

      1. What he’s talking about is all the political bullshit.

        You mean things like compromise, checks and balances, that kind of bullshit? Yeah, it sucks he can’t just do whatever stupid fucking comes into his mind at any particular moment, which is exactly what he thought being president would mean.

        1. I highly doubt that’s what he thought. And no, that’s not the kind of bullshit I was talking about. More like all the petty games, whining, etc.. Which I’m sure is far more pronounced among the mental midgets of congress than the business world Trump is used to.

          But yeah, keep pretending that the guy is a retard just because you don’t like him.

        2. I agree. He thought he’d get whatever he wanted (or promised) just by executive orders and blustering at Congress while crying about the courts. It’s proving much much more difficult than that.

  4. Chapman is the laziest Block Yomomma dick-suckin’ professional fake libertarian in Reason’s entire stable.

    1. zzzzzzzzzzzz

      1. So how many copies of your book have been pre-ordered buddy? I’m guessing not too many, since Amazon has already had to knock like eight bucks off the price.

  5. Donald Trump has many worrisome, regrettable and even deplorable traits.

    That right there is a sure sign that what you’re about to read is going to be fair and even-handed. /s

  6. So Trump is no John Quincy Adams…
    but neither is Hillary!

  7. ?a symptom of his antipathy to exertion.

    Says the lame-ass newspaper columnist about the guy who built a multi-billion dollar business empire and is known to sleep only about four hours a night due to his constant, restless inclination to keep busy.

    1. …due to his constant, restless inclination to grab pussy.

      1. Man, I feel bad, because the commentary in opposition to me is insightful.

    2. is known to sleep only about four hours a night due to his constant, restless inclination to keep busy.

      Sure, according to himself. Do you also believe that he knows more about the military than the generals? Because he has said that, too.

      As for his “multi-billion dollar empire”, again, you only have his word for that, which even he admits is worthless; he has out-and-out stated that his expression of his net worth is based on what he feels it should be worth. And we all know Trump is not one to exaggerate his own importance.

      More realistic estimates of his net worth have put it in the hundreds of millions, which, granted, is still a lot of money. But when you already have money, making more isn’t hard, especially when you have no compunction about screwing over anyone you deal with, as, yet again, Trump himself has not just admitted to, but bragged about.

  8. LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!

  9. Ted Cruz did some three dozen events; Trump did eight. He insisted on flying home to New York almost every night of the campaign to sleep in his own bed.

    And look how that turned out for Cruz! He went on to win the nomination and the election due to all that hard work! Stupid, lazy Trump … oh, wait….

    1. [slurp…slurp…slurp…]

      1. That’s some brilliant commentary there.

        1. Nothing quite like a Trump critique to bring the Republicans out of the closet.

          1. No, it’s just moronic articles like this, are in no way legitimate criticisms. So we are inclined to beat up on Chapman, who is a huge proggy felting moron. Had the article covered something legitimate like the bad budget deal that just passed, or Trump backing off off NAFTA, he might have had a fair point (assuming he didn’t;t find a way to fuck that up too). Instead he wrote his usual soft headed bullshit.

              1. Are you signaling me that you need your tears wiped away?

  10. Say what you will, the man is lazy.

    Well, he’s intellectually lazy. To be fair.

    To be fair again, Obama is intellectually lazy, too. His “you didn’t build that!” quip didn’t break any new ground nor does it owe its existence to making the hamster run extra hard.

    At least Obama doesn’t really believe his own shit. He’s a charlatan. El Se?or Presidente Bananero Trumpo is dangerous in the sense that he does believe his own shit. He’s a crackpot.

    1. Yeah crackpot seems to describe it. I wouldn’t have gone for lazy. The guy starts businesses like he’s picking up movies from Redbox. From real estate, to casinos to steaks to water to planes…. he just slaps Trump on anything and everything and calls it the greatest thing ever. Plus all the self-promotion and a TV career.

      Nah, I don’t think lazy is supportable. The guy clearly has a motor, even at 70.

      Crackpot though. That resonates.

      1. Re: Cyto,

        I don’t reach the conclusion that the argument centers on a lack of vitality or stamina. The argument is rather centered on an apparent lack of mental curiosity regarding the issues he later talks about and, worse, on which he later makes decisions. For instance, he harbors a dangerous disdain for trade and markets and doesn’t seem to give a shit about basic economics. To demonstrate his unwillingness to understand such topics, he merely surrounds himself with like-minded individuals. That shows intellectual laziness, which is what I gather Chapman is talking about.

        1. The problem is that Chapman lacks the cognitive and writing skills (plus possibly the basic intelligence) to write an article based on what you just wrote. Which was better than the shitpile of an article we are commenting on.

          Maybe they should shit can Chapman and give his space to you.

          1. I can’t really dissagree with this all that much. He harps on playing golf as an example of being lazy. And hanging out with foreign leaders at Mar a Lago. These are not examples of being intellectually lazy – which is an easier argument to make for a guy who appears to get his opinions from the group of old guys that have breakfast together at McDonald’s every morning.

            In fact, that is exactly what he sounds like. I know because that’s my dad’s group, and that’s exactly what they sound like. Half of them voted for Trump, in fact. The other half thought he was too liberal.

            1. You should listen to your Dad.

        2. Intellectual laziness or just a general mediocre IQ?

      2. From real estate, to casinos to steaks to water to planes…. he just slaps Trump on anything and everything and calls it the greatest thing ever.

        Does he slap “Trump” on things or does he have other people pay him gobs of money for the privilege of putting his name on stuff? While it’s probably true that he did do a lot of work to make his initial real estate fortune, I think at some point in the last 20-30 years, I’m not sure when exactly, he realized that since he was a celebrity he could make a lot of money with a lot less effort by selling the rights to use his name to other people who would then do all the hard work. All he had to do was endorse the product and rake in the dough. And when it comes to his real estate business, I get the impression that he’s more figurehead than hands on executive at this point. Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect these days he uses the “Ron Cadillac” management philosophy.

  11. It was always clear that Trump does not like putting himself out. At the height of the general election campaign, he averaged only one event per day. Over two months leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Reuters reported, Ted Cruz did some three dozen events; Trump did eight. He insisted on flying home to New York almost every night of the campaign to sleep in his own bed.

    YET, HE WON.

    … and then beat The Annointed Crone.

    My connotation of “Lazy” has always been not doing enough and not getting results.

    Doing just enough and getting the desired results is not lazy, it’s smart.

    1. Well the cosmo-types desire that their politicians act like they are doing much and their actions hurt Americans.

      This is new territory for some people to have a politician work smart, try and do what he campaigned on and not take shit from the cosmo-types.

      1. politicians act like they are doing much and their actions hurt Americans

        And that doesn’t apply to Trump?

    2. The idea that Trump is lazy because he didn’t hold events like his hair was on fire during the primary is probably the stupidest argument Chapman could have made, because Cruz lost. Once Trump got the nomination, he didn’t seem to have an issue holding multiple rallies on the same day, and whatever he was doing apparently worked because he won the Presidency.

      I’d certainly agree that he’s a lazy President, but for the most part that’s been a positive thing because he’s not running roughshod over everyone to get his agenda enacted the way Hillary would have done.

  12. Trump is being made to look stupid concerning Jackson and the possibility that had Jackson come later he could have stopped the dissolution of the Union. Many historians are piling on this comment yet are the same ones who seriously downgrade Buchanan’s presidency because he didn’t stop secession when he had three months to go in his term.
    Historians can make a good case for many ways the Civil War could have been prevented, and a good case for why it couldn’t be prevented. Trump undoubtedly knows nothing of these contending views but to claim his Jackson statement is totally ignorant is also ignorant.

    1. Many historians are piling on this comment yet are the same ones who seriously downgrade Buchanan’s presidency because he didn’t stop secession when he had three months to go in his term.

      That’s because when it comes to politics, academics are mostly partisan hacks who lose all sense of nuance or perspective when someone they don’t like appears to encroach on their turf. That’s why these “historians” are conveniently overlooking the Nullification Crisis, when there was a real threat of secession by South Carolina, or hand-waving it away as inconsequential because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

      1. Perhaps the fact that the nullification crisis was settled by a compromise, and in the case of the civil war, that would have to involve an extension of slavery, perhaps indefinitely?

        The south wasn’t even prepared to scale back slavery, let alone abolish it. Under Jackson, we probably would have invaded South America and Cuba and made slave states.

        1. South America and Cuba were already slave states. Slavery wasn’t abolished in Cuba until 1888, in Puerto Rico 1873, in Brazil 1882. And the importation of new slaves was already against federal law since Jefferson’s time.

          1. Sorry, it was Brazil that was 1888. Cuba was 1886.

  13. Dear Reason-

    Multiple Chapman and Weigle articles in ONE WEEK???

    Are you purposefully trying to chase off the rest of the Commentariat and leave a RedCard-Dano.-Sparky(whateverthisweek) echo chamber?

    One more Dalmia article ought to do it …

    1. Heaven forbid anyone be exposed to writing they don’t like or agree with!

      Everyone seems to think Chapman is pretty lame (myself included). But given the commenting response to his posts (even if it’s mostly negative), I can see why they keep publishing his columns.

    2. leave a RedCard-Dano.-Sparky(whateverthisweek) echo chamber

      Oh, bite me.

        1. ;?

          Maybe some text has to be here too.

        2. I guess reason.com doesn’t like the iPhone Euro symbol. Too bad, it looks like a nice bitey mouth.

          1. Oh sure, make it appear 10 minutes later.

            1. You sure do gots a purty mayuth …

          2. I guess reason.com doesn’t like the iPhone Euro symbol. Too bad, it looks like a nice bitey mouth.

            So … an iPhone fanboy euro-weenie, eh?

            No wonder you are a Progtardian Clintonista cockswoggler.

            1. Well I ain’t no toothless redneck yokel, that’s fer darn sher.

    3. Well, the current trumpista/republican echo chamber of the commentariat is pretty awesome. Anytime that anyone posts an article with any criticism of Trump, there is a resounding response in the comments section from people screaming about liberals. Liberals/libtard seems to be the most common insult in the comments section these days.

      Articles criticizing Trump or the current congress does not equal support of liberals. They’re the ones who are currently in power so it makes sense that there would be more articles criticizing them.

      *just for clarity, I will note that this particular article is pretty much shit. And Dalmia is awful. But, unfortunately, 2Chilli can’t write all of the articles.

      1. Republicans pretending to be libertarians. It has always been thus.

    4. ? Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

  14. Every article must start with disclaimers about the writers dislike for Trump. I guess that honesty is better than the news outlets that claim to be impartial but it still diminishes everything written after that.

    1. Chapman also needs a low IQ disclaimer.

  15. So…low energy?

  16. He was up past 1am whipping votes for the terrible health care bill last night, seems like he has a work ethic.

  17. President of the United States is an executive position. It does not pay by the hour.
    Lazy is one word, efficient is another. Don’t confuse motion with action.
    How many events per day were required to win? Evidently one. So Cruz was wasting time while Trump was efficient.
    Being President is “hard” for Trump because his executive experience led him to think that decisions would be executed rather than ignored or thwarted. He will adapt. The other “hard” is not being able to fire the drones. He will adapt.
    Now, if we could get the majority party of everything to be as lazy as Trump – – – – –

  18. Pretty spot on.

  19. Why do people continue to underestimate this guy?

    There’s a combination of things that make people hate him – he’s a boorish asshole, and he doesn’t hide it.

    The only difference between Trump and every other public figure is that Trump makes no attempt to hide his true self from public scrutiny. Everyone else is an image-managed mannequin.

  20. Trumpkinz haz a sad.
    🙁

  21. Trump is a pussy. Look at him. Pathetic.

  22. Lazy is good. That way he won’t fuck it up too much.

    1. … and the Useful Idiot Troika is complete.

  23. Who’s the new retard?

  24. Gee, what are the ages of Trump, Bush, and Obama?

  25. My Doctor advised to stop reading Reason, otherwise the Chap infestation will get worse. And, there is no other cure.

  26. Is Bannon “acting as president” for the lazy sleazeball? If so, this bigot’s agenda will be worse than Trump’s, possibly a disaster for our Democracy!
    Trump’s massively overstepped his authority by appointing his own non-elected successor!
    I’ve been “cringing” everytime he “deputized” another of his corrupt family members,…his pseudo “royal dynasty”!

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