On Tuesday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan discusses the common leftist notion that Trump is stupid and why history shows that is not true. Video and partial transcript below:
Recently, a Florida middle school teacher got in … trouble after giving her students an exam in which she suggested that Donald Trump is an idiot. She’s not the only person who said so.
Bernie Sanders tweeted it. Just a few weeks ago, Don Lemon, who ought to know what stupid looks like, called Trump stupid. The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and Mother Jones have all used the “stupid” word on him.
I have to admit, it sometimes seems to me that Trump is painfully ignorant of some pretty important things. If I found out he had never read a book cover-to-cover in his life, I would not be entirely surprised. But whatever else he is, stupid does not seem, to me, to be an accurate description of this president.
Trump has been a massively successful man in massively difficult businesses for at least 50 years. You can say he got a good start in life (no doubt he did) and you can say he got lucky (maybe so), but the kind of success Trump has had — sustained, varied, creative, original success — is not generally vouchsafe to the stupid.
People no longer remember — and young people never knew — how important Trump was as a developer in New York City in the 1970s. That’s the New York City of the movie “Taxi Driver” and this television show, “The Deuce.” It was a trash can of a city, the parks belong to muggers, Midtown belong to hookers, and decades of Democratic rule had convinced people that it just couldn’t get any better than that. Trump put it on the road to getting better. His building complex helped make the West Side livable, his hotel helped win Columbus Circle back from the bums, and when the city couldn’t finish Wollman Skating Rink after six years, Trump finished it in under six months and helped reclaim Central Park.
His tower at the United Nations Plaza on Fifth Avenue helped redesign the skyline, and all of that happened when so-called smarter men wouldn’t risk a dime on a city that Democrats had turned into the sort of cesspool they’ve now made Chicago and San Francisco. After a while, Trump got tired of the brutal New York real estate game. He started to rake in cheap through licensing his name on lots of crappy stuff. A lot of his worst moves, like his casinos, date to that time. But then, Trump found television and he became a major star in another brutal business for 14 years.
Trump admittedly looked petty and mean when he pointed out that even a big name like Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t make his program work the way he did. But even a big name like Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t make that program work like Trump did, because it’s not easy to do, and Trump did it. And of course, he won the presidency when almost no one thought that was possible — no one who was smart, that is, no one who is in “the know.” I’ve heard people do everything they could to explain that presidential win away. They say he didn’t win; Hillary lost. They say he didn’t win the popular vote, as if that counted for anything. Or they say he just got lucky. But if that doesn’t sound like the various sour grapes to you, you haven’t lived — or if you have lived, you haven’t been paying attention.
Success always takes luck, and some stupid people stumble into it — they definitely do — but not this much, not this kind, not again and again. Now, I bring this up because for the past three years, every genius and his genius uncle has been throwing himself against this guy trying to take him down, and if you ask me, they all look like knuckleheads.
Trump is not only still standing, he’s actually going strong. The economy’s doing well, we’re not in any new wars, and the Democrats have to go down an impeachment road. It’s as likely as not to end in a cliff. This matters to me because I simply cannot cover this Ukraine scandal as if it were a scandal the way everybody else is covering it. Who did what? And did he do this? And what’s the law here? Did the other guys do the same thing?
I don’t think this is a scandal. I think it’s a continuation of the struggle between, on the one hand, a deeply flawed individual who is largely in the right about our politics, and an entrenched elite and its deep state, who have lost the plot of America entirely. It’s going to be extremely interesting to find out which of these are the real American idiots: Remember, stupid is as stupid does.