On Friday Hillary Clinton appeared at a conference for African-American and Latino journalists, an affair whose invitation Donald Trump declined. Following her prepared remarks she answered questions from the assembled reporters. During this Q & A Clinton used a colloquial term to characterize a misunderstanding. That led Trump to blow a gasket based on his inability to comprehend common language.
The problem centered around Clinton’s response to Chris Wallace of Fox News regarding the truthfulness of her testimony to the FBI. Clinton conceded that there was a discrepancy in her response which she explained to the journalists saying that:
“I was pointing out in both of those instances, that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful. That really is the bottom line here. What I told the FBI, which he said was truthful, is consistent with what I have said publicly. I may have short-circuited and for that I will try to clarify.”
All that Clinton was saying is that she may have associated both her public statements and her FBI testimony with Comey’s affirmation of her truthfulness. However, Comey was speaking only to her testimony. And all she meant by “short circuited” was that she had awkwardly conflated the two separate matters making it appear that Comey had validated both.
Enter Donald Trump. Grasping onto the dramatic imagery of a short circuit, Trump took the remark entirely out of context to suggest that Clinton had admitted to a mental infirmity. He lashed out at her at a rally Saturday saying that she had suffered a “short-circuit in the brain.” He tweeted a similar absurdity that said:
Anybody whose mind “SHORT CIRCUITS” is not fit to be our president! Look up the word “BRAINWASHED.”
Trump might want to take his own advice, because the definition of “brainwashed” has nothing to do with short circuiting. What’s more, his inability to comprehend such simple concepts does more to prove his own unfitness for the presidency. Not that more proof was necessary. Trump has provided ample evidence of his dodgy mental state for most of the past year. The consensus of professionals is overwhelming. For instance:
When looking objectively at the symptoms commonly associated with personality disorders and dementia it is hard not to consider Trump a likely candidate for such a diagnosis. What follows is an exploration of the three most prominent symptoms of dementia and their relationship to Trump’s behavior.
Trump’s Impaired judgment
From the very beginning of his of campaign for the Republican nomination for president, Trump engaged in outbursts that were hostile and irrational. His assertion that the immigrant population in the U.S. was the result of Mexico sending over rapists and murderers was untethered to reality. And that was just the first day. Trump went on to belittle Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero; he charged that Megyn Kelly’s questions during a Fox News debate were unfair because she was menstruating; he proposed a ban on all Muslims from entering the country; he called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese; he declined to honor the NATO treaty; he advocated committing war crimes against the innocent families of suspected terrorists; he still thinks that President Obama is not an American or a Christian; he won’t rule out nuking Europe. And there’s more where that came from.
These are all examples of behavior that is inconsistent with rational judgment. They have no basis in fact and cannot be portrayed as constructive methods of expressing oneself.
Trump’s Loss of Memory
Trump has frequently bragged that he has “one of the best memories of all time.” However, that boast has been utterly demolished by his own words and actions. One notable example was his insistence that he had seen television reporting of “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. That was an invented memory because there is no evidence that it occurred, despite the fact that television footage of such an event would be easily retrievable. More recently he had another invented memory wherein he imagined watching a video of palettes of cash being unloaded from an American plan in Iran.
Trump’s memory was also noticeably deficient when he called Ted Cruz “the single biggest liar” he ever met just three months after lauding him and floating him as a possible VP pick. Similarly he once praised Hillary Clinton as a “terrific” woman and a great Secretary of State. Now he is saying that she was the “worst Secretary of State in history.” And as for President Obama, Trump tweeted that he is “perhaps the worst president in U.S. history.” But this is what he wrote in his book Think Like A Champion:
“What he has done is amazing. The fact that he accomplished what he has—in one year and against great odds—is truly phenomenal.” […]
“Barack Obama proved that determination combined with opportunity and intelligence can make things happen—and in an exceptional way.” […]
“His comments have led me to believe that he understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has also surrounded himself with very competent people, and that’s the mark of a strong leader.” […]
“He’s totally a champion.”
Clearly Trump has either a failing memory or mental blocks that render his memory unreliable.
Trump’s Childish Behavior
This is perhaps the symptom least in need of elaboration, but here goes anyway. Trump is the most juvenile presidential candidate in this nation’s history. He lashes out with infantile insults about people’s looks and character. If he is criticized he will punch back with baseless, often unrelated, rebuttals. And that’s when he isn’t throwing tantrums like when he ditched the Fox News debate. Now he is whining about the upcoming debates with Clinton and already alleging that they are rigged. Anyone who doesn’t exhibit unrestrained adoration is an enemy who is out to destroy him.
Trump has the ego of four year old who believes the world revolves around him. The parts of his campaign stump speeches that aren’t attacks on his rivals are comprised primarily of bragging about how great he is at everything and how high his poll numbers are. The rest of his rhetoric, when put through the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, scored at the third grade level. Of course, that’s probably still somewhat higher than most of his Tea-vangelical supporters.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Every day Trump validates the notion that he is mentally challenged and unfit to perform the duties of the president. His immature outbursts, his brazen narcissism, and his faulty cognition, are all indications of potential senility. And now he exhibits a classic case of projection by asserting that Clinton is the one who is crazy based on his feeble reading of Clinton’s use of the phrase “short circuit.” When all of this is taken into account, it seems obvious that there is a problem here that requires attention. Hopefully someone close to him will notice and get him the help he so clearly needs.