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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

Don Lemon: What Grade Are You In?

Naughty Child Judge Trelane (William Campbell) in Star Trek: “The Squire of Gothos.” (johnkennethmuir.wordpress.com)

“[M]ocking Kim Jong-un’s weight and height in a tweet was like a snippet of peevish dialogue from a middle-school cafeteria.” (Frank Bruni, NYT, January 21, 2018)

“If you examine him through the lens of playground politics, you will recognize Mr. Trump as thin-skinned bully…” (Annie Pfeifer, NYT, January 21, 2018)

By now, huge numbers of people are well aware that our President is a child. The Trophy Wife knows it. The White House staff knows it. Book authors know it. Anyone who has tried to have an intelligent conversation with him knows it. Practically everyone knows it except his actual children and the Bull Trump network.

However he isn’t just a child. He is an immature child. He is a narcissistic immature child with no sense of empathy or sympathy and limited attention span. One can be a child without necessarily possessing all these other characteristics as well. Because he is a child, then to judge him based on adult standards isn’t fair since he isn’t one. Yet this is exactly what the chattering class routinely does. It makes fun of him for his childlike behavior and then judges him as if he were an adult. The result often is absurdly ludicrous jabber jabber that causes one to change the station, kill the sound, or, dare it be said, turn off the device.

Let’s look at some examples of how even people who know he is a child nonetheless treat him as an adult.

Division of Powers

Lately there has been a great deal of discussion about the division of powers sometimes referred to as the separation of powers. The focus of the debate revolves around the relationship between the office of the President and the Department of Justice, specifically the FBI. Talking head after talking head, often with a legal or historical background, castigates the immature child president for not adhering to the time-honored traditions and rules of law about the proper conduct between the leader of the state and the justice organs of government, He should recognize the wall of separation. After all we are not a trumphole country, are we?!

These pronouncements are so funny it is all one can do not to laugh. The separation of powers is an adult idea. An immature child does not have the mental necessities to grasp its meaning. We do not have a president who has chosen to violate or ignore the separation of powers or breach the wall of separation. We have a president who genuinely does not understand the concept. How can he understand it? How can a talking head mock him for being a child and then reprimand him for not acting like a responsible adult? It’s not fair to judge him by adult standards since he isn’t one.

Office of the President

To differentiate between the office of the president and the person who is president also is an adult idea. He is not capable of understanding that distinction. He can understand someone face-to-face confronting him and telling him he will quit if he does violate that separation, but he can’t understand the abstract concept or that the loyalty of the chief counsel is to the office and not the person.

Loyalty Oaths

Speaking of loyalty, loyalty oaths and oaths in general have been in the news as well. Loyalty to the Constitution and to the American people are adult concepts of no meaning to our immature child president. He genuinely does not have the mental necessities to understand such abstractions. At his level, there is only loyalty to an individual person and not to any values beyond putting oneself first. When he asks who is his Roy Cohn, he is announcing that he has no awareness or recognition of the concept of an oath to the Constitution or to the Office of the President instead of to the individual President himself. There is no such thing as career people or civil servants, only team players and on his team. Who did you vote for? Are you loyal to me? Once again he his not choosing to violate the legal rules of the game, he really is not capable of understanding them in the first place. It’s not fair to judge him by adult standards since he isn’t one.

The Truth

According to media counts he has told over 2,000 trumps in his first year. One day, instead of a Vietnam Memorial with all the names of the Americans who died in the Vietnam War, there will be a monument, a really big one, with all the trumps he has told as president inscribed on it. As one reads the various oped pieces and articles and listens to the various talking heads on the lamestream media, again and again one hears that he is a trumper who can not tell the truth.

Here again one may witness people who mock him as a child then applying adult standards to him. There are reasons why children aren’t tried as adults. The biblical tradition sets a 20-year age as to when people should be expected to know good from evil. Children live in a world of make-believe. Children live in a world of fantasy. Children live in a world of pretend. And children live in a world of sometimes trying to play grownup.

If you recognize that he is a child, then you need to recognize his ideas about truth are those of a child…and an immature one at that. For our president, the truth is whatever it takes to get him out of any predicament he is in. There is no inherent or intrinsic truth or set of values to which he subscribes except those benefit him in his current situation. If he can get away with an action by claiming something then what else matters? Once again, the elitists who mock him for being a child, then apply adult standards to him and find him wanting. It is not fair to judge him by adult standards since he isn’t one.

Firing Mueller

Another silly idea conventionally stated by highly educated people without any understanding is that the firing of the Special Prosecutor would precipitate a constitutional crisis. Put aside the fact that if this President had sex in the Oral Office with a pornstar live on cable TV as a fundraiser, the current Republican Party would do nothing. Once again we are dealing with abstract concepts about responsible behavior that are irrelevant to an immature child. In a decision to fire Mueller, constitutional concepts will play no role whatsoever. It is possible that adults in the White House would try to talk him out of it, but let’s remember the Bull Trump network already has called for shutting down the Mueller investigation in quite vehement terms. [Note – I actually wrote these lines before the last breaking news about him ordering the firing of Mueller. I did however have to update the next paragraph from what I originally wrote.]

If [When] he decides[d] to fire Mueller, he will do [did] so solely because he thinks Mueller is a threat to him who needs to be stopped NOW!!! So far he publicly avows that there is no there there so he has no need to fire him. He has asserted that there is nothing to tell because it is all a hoax and witch hunt. As long as he believes he will not be caught or punished, he can allow the Mueller investigation to continue on its present course. [Apparently he believed right from the start that Mueller would be successful in exposing him.]

When the moment of truth comes and he realizes he does have something to lose, it might be too late to fire him [now]. At his point the very stable genius is quite confident in his ability to handle Mueller. After all, he doesn’t need diplomats since he is the smartest person in the room. He doesn’t need accountants. And he doesn’t need lawyers to handle Mueller in a one-on-one professional wrestling arena smackdown.

Obstruction

Unfortunately for him, the showdown will not occur in his favorite venue: the professional wrestling arena or on the Bull Trump network, it will occur in a legal setting. When he is asked how did he fight back against the witch hunt hoax, he will end up describing how he obstructed the investigation without realizing that he is doing so. Obstruction is another adult term he doesn’t comprehend as is collusion.

Even though he has the world’s greatest memory, he will claim he doesn’t remember. When that gets repetitive, he will exert executive privilege. He will throw in some pleading of the 5th Amendment as well. He hasn’t even told his own lawyers the whole truth and nothing but the truth so why should he start with Mueller? He will do what he thinks needs to do to escape the trap right now. To understand his decisions, one should focus on what the terms mean to the immature child and not on what they mean in the adult world. Consequences to one words and actions are an adult concept.

The elitists with their legal background think Mueller has the upper hand here since he can subpoena the President. If it should come to that as a followup to the interview, would the President obey it? On what basis do you think so? Because that is what an adult would do. But he isn’t one so what’s to stop him for defying a subpoena? Try to be serious.

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