Nuance, Complexity, and Not Being F*cking Stupid

June 26, 2016

We focus on nuance and complexity and not being f*cking stupid today. During the 2004 U.S. Presidential election campaign then Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) used the word nuance to describe his position on the Iraq War. Bad move. No President John Kerry … although it turns out Secretary Kerry got much closer to the right position—blah, blah, blah, flip flop, blah, blah—on Iraq than President George W. Bush. (With a snicker, on several occasions President Bush said “We don’t do nuance in Texas.” Right-O, Mister President.)

NPR reported on Friday that two most asked questions on Google in the United Kingdom, after Brexit prevailed, were:

What does it mean to leave the EU? And

What is the EU?

Frightening. (By the way, stay tuned on Brexit. The rest of the story awaits us, and in the end the United Kingdom may not leave the European Union.)

The world is a very complicated place. Many people cannot accept that fact, and many of them have a candidate for President of the United States. Donald J. Trump is many things, but at his core he’s a man who thinks being POTUS is easy, and that much of what ails us can be attributed to overthinking situations. (By comparison, President George W. Bush looks like a master of nuance and complexity.)

Here’s Mr. Trump’s Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, Jr., from Meet the Press on June 26:

“And the good thing is, we have a candidate who doesn’t need to figure out what’s going on in order to say what he wants to do.”

Stop for a moment, please and let those words register. Totally. Completely.* Donald J. Trump does not concern himself with what’s going on, for he “knows what he wants to do.” And that’s a virtue!

I know Mr. Manafort was really trying to tell us his candidate doesn’t need to focus group all of his thoughts. The anti-Hillary Clinton meme still holds that she never takes a position until it’s been focus-grouped and tested to the nth degree. Alas, Mr. Trump demonstrates repeatedly that—with or without focus-group testing—his appreciation for nuance, complexity, and not being f*cking stupid is non-existent.

A wall won’t work, and for so many reasons it’s f*cking stupid to even be discussing it. So silly, in fact that John Oliver is just the right guy to explain why it’s so f*cking stupid, in John Oliver Explains Why Donald Trump’s Wall Won’t Work.

About banning Muslims. On December 7, 2015 Mr. Trump said: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” On June 13, 2016 he said: “I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.” Then, on June 25, 2016, he said it wouldn’t bother him to let a Scottish Muslim into the United States. So which is it, Mr. Trump? Because it matters. Really.

Trump Acknowledges Climate Change — at His Golf Course, by Ben Schreckinger for, explains Mr. Trump’s positions—yes, plural—on climate change. He offers “total hoax,” bullshit,” and “pseudoscience” for the public but the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare in Ireland has applied for a permit to build a wall because: GLOBAL WARMING.

We have never seen such an unqualified jerk so close to the nuclear codes … anywhere … except, perhaps, in North Korea. This man, Donald J. Trump, cannot be our next President of the United States.

*In a breathtakingly bizarre interview, I missed this one. Thanks to and Taegan Goddard for making it the Quote of the Day.

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