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“The Party of Stupid,” Norman Vincent Peale, and the Coronavirus

Back in January 2013, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, then a rising Republican star, issued a stark and brutal warning to the Republican Party: it “must stop being the stupid party.” His issued this ringing admonition in the wake of the presidential election defeat in 2012 by Mitt Romney to Barack Obama. It was an election Republicans really thought they could win. When defeat ensued, the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting was convened to determine what the Party should do now. Jindal said to “stop insulting the intelligence of voters” would be a good start. Now here we are over seven years later and approaching another presidential election. So how is the Party of Stupid doing?


Let’s consider some very recent events to measure whether Jindal’s advice was taken.

1. Representative Ted Yoho
In this now-viral example, Yoho put a different face to the nasty and mean Party other than the normal ones. This mostly obscure representative committed a double faux pas. He uttered what should not be uttered and he did so in the presence of the press. He also directed his nasty meaness against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a target more than capable of fighting back. In fact, his foe was far more skilled in the use of the media, including social media, than he was. This very incident may be the one that solidified her position as the replacement of Chuck Schumer once he steps down from the Senate.

Yoho branded himself not only as a mean and nasty person who used derogatory language, he went on record as being a coward. His pathetic attempt at an apology only demonstrated that he would have been better off saying nothing rather than exposing himself as gutless. Hiding behind a wife and daughters does not project an image of strength or having the courage of one’s convictions. It shows that the Republican Party which rallied around him is still the Party of Stupid.

2. Representative Louie Gohmert
What can you say about a person who is superb at putting his foot in his mouth and who would be better served if he never opened it again? There is no need to waste space repeating his nonsense about masks before he became infected, his nonsense about masks after he became infected, his lunacy in how he informed his staff, and his decision to take hydroxychloroquine. As Forest Gump used to say, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Gohmert definitely is in the running for the Stupidest Representative of the Year award for 2020 and his year is not yet over. Clearly he is a card-carrying member of the Party of Stupid.

3. A Trump Voter on CNN
CNN interviewed a group of Trump voters from 2016 to determine where they stood in the upcoming election. One of them made Kellyanne Conway seem like a resident of the real world. Statistics were being thrown around on the basis that people have the right to their own facts. Why should the economy have been shut down when 99.99% of the people infected recover with no problem? After all we don’t close down the Interstate Highway System because of deaths from car accidents. Right you are. Thank you for showing why elected officials who exemplify being stupid have no problem retaining the support of their constituents. What Jindal meant to say was to “stop insulting the intelligence of general public voters if you want to be elected but keep on insulting the intelligence of our own party voters if you want to be nominated.”

Besides Roy Cohn, Norman Vincent Peale seems to be non-family member who greatly affected our current wartime leader. I became aware of this connection from “The religious roots of Trump’s magical thinking on coronavirus,” by Daniel Burke, CNN Religious Editor (May 21, 2020). Burke sought to understand the frequent references to a “miracle” as the solution to the pandemic. “It’s going to go away.”

It didn’t yet over and over again America seeking leadership heard this refrain instead. Burke wrote:

Invoking a miracle is an understandable response during a pandemic, but to some, the President’s insistence that the coronavirus will simply vanish sounds dangerously like magical thinking — the popular but baffling idea that we can mold the world to our liking, reality be damned.

In an attempt to trace the origin of this wishful thinking, Burke turned to biographers who had written about the influences:

But long ago, his biographers say, Trump learned how to craft his own version of reality, a lesson he learned in an unlikely place: a church. It’s called the “power of positive thinking,” and Trump heard it from the master himself: the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale… “He thought I was his greatest student of all time,” Trump has said. AND HE THOUGHT I WAS AN ADULT!

Back in 2009, in an interview with Psychology Today entitled Donald Trump on Failure, he said following:

In the early 1990s, I owed billions of dollars and many people thought I was finished. I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. I didn’t believe I was finished even when the [FAKE NEWS] newspapers were saying so. I refused to give up. Defeat is not in my vocabulary. Defeat is not in my vocabulary personally or professionally, which I think served me well in my comeback.

My father was friends with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and I had read his famous book, [HE READ A BOOK! HE READ A BOOK! HE READ A BOOK!] The Power of Positive Thinking. I’m a cautious optimist but also a firm believer in the power of being positive. I think that helped. I refused to be sucked into negative thinking on any level, even when the indications weren’t great. That was a good lesson because I emerged on a very victorious level. It’s a good way to go.

He did become President after all so the philosophy of the power of positive thinking seems to be working.

Burke concludes:

Peale’s teachings can explain why Trump won’t accept criticism
You can hear echoes of Peale’s no-fail philosophy in Trump’s angry response to reporters’ questions about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, said Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio. “Nothing is an exchange of ideas or discussion of facts,” D’Antonio said. “Everything is a life or death struggle for the definition of reality. For him, being wrong feels like being obliterated.”

Maybe in his next interview Jonathan Swan will ask if the wartime leader still rates himself a “10” and still wouldn’t have changed anything.

Peale returned to the headlines in a frontpage article in The New York Times “Trump Family Legacy: Empathy Is for the Weak” (print July 29, 2020). The article focused on the funeral for Fred Trump at which Peale officiated. After Peale delivered a normal eulogy, everything switched to the son. The eulogy for the dead father became praise for the living son. It’s always about him.


The coronavirus, the Party of Stupid, and the child in the body of man with the emotional maturity of a three-year old are a match made in hell. They are a perfect storm for maximizing the death toll in America. It’s a concatenation of dumb, dumber, and dumbest. If you tried with all your might, with all your heart, and with all your soul to create a worse combination you couldn’t do better than these three.

Let’s put things in perspective. The Party of Stupid already existed prior to the 2016 election by its own admission. It didn’t choose to stop being that. It just looked around for someone to carry it over the finish line as the Party of Stupid. The longtime faux Democrat and Clinton-supporter knew he had no future faking it as Democrat. He had the gut instincts to realize he could exploit the Party of Stupid for his own needs. And it worked. Now it accepts him as its Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name. Furthermore, the cornonavirus is killing people they didn’t care about even before 2016. Unless Trumpicans start dying in droves even wearing a mask is a sign of weakness and selling out to scientists with all that global warming talk. They won’t do it. They believe in their leader who copes with reality through the power of positive thinking by claiming a miracle will occur.

                                           The Presidential Plan for the Coronavirus

Who knew all those chants of “We’re No. 1″ meant in deaths from Corvid-19?

“Stupid Is What Stupid Does”: The Donald Awards

In this time of awards and medals, it is only appropriate to name the nominees for the first Donald.

In 2013, Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal warned the GOP to “stop being the stupid party.” Jindal said Republican candidates should “stop insulting the intelligence of voters… with offensive and bizarre statements.” However, Jindal didn’t listen to his own advice; on May 10th, 2016, Jindal endorsed Donald Trump. Stupid is as stupid does.

Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough said that he’s tired of the GOP being the “stupid party.”  He made the comments while discussing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who won the state’s Republican primary in a runoff that week.

With this background in mind, let’s look at the nominees for the Donald.


“A good chief of staff advises the president against doing things that will make the administration look stupid or crazy (Gail Collins, NYT 2/8/18)

Ron Johnson, Republican Senator, Wisconsin

Johnson eagerly leapt into the fray on the Bull Trump network breathlessly asserting that he had proof of not just bias but of corruption at the highest levels of the F.B.I.  He knew there was a secret society. He knew there were secret meetings offsite. He knew the missing emails was deliberate. There was something rotten in the Beltway and he had uncovered it.

What he didn’t know ended up making him look an unrepentant fool. He didn’t know about the gag-gift Putin-theme calendar that was the basis for the email joke. He didn’t know that there had been a multidepartment installation of a new system and that the emails were recovered the next day. And he didn’t know that Peter Strzok, who replaced murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich as the Bull Trump network’s favorite whipping boy, was the one who had initiated reopening the email investigation just before the election, the very event some Democrats, like the loser, blame for the loss. Johnson revealed that he lacks the intelligence for critical thinking that one would think is a prerequisite for serving as chair of the Senate Homeland Security committee. Apparently not.

It seems clear that Johnson learned nothing from his escapade into stupidity. He eagerly rushed into a second one only a few days later. Once again he had to step back once the silliness of his claim had been exposed but the damage has been done. The people who get their news from the Bull Trump network and websites will never know or understand that Johnson didn’t know what he was talking about. Stupid is as stupid does.

Matt Gaetz, Republican Representative, Florida

Rarely is someone, yet alone an elected official, captured live on camera revealing him/herself to be a blithering ignorant idiot when it comes to the matter of one’s own personal faith. It is perfectly understandable why a non-Moslem, might not know that there were Sunni and Shiite Moslems and what the difference is. There is no excuse for a patriotic American not to know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address four-score and seven years apart. Similarly there is no excuse for a self-professed and proud Christian not to know the difference between the birth of a mother and the birth of her child a mere one-score and a few years apart.

Nonetheless the smugly arrogant Representative exposed not only his ignorance but how irrelevant to his own thinking his ignorance was and undoubtedly still is. The unanticipated event occurred lived on national cable TV on the CNN show hosted by Chris Cuomo.

Cuomo: What do you mean by the Immaculate Conception?

Gaetz: Look, I was making a point that this is an absurd coincidence. [Echoing Johnson’s preferred metaphor of where there’ smoke….]

Cuomo: By what? What do you think happened with the Immaculate Conception?

Gaetz: The Immaculate Conception, it’s obviously a religious doctrine that deals with the Christian faith.

Cuomo: I know. Where is the analogy? That’s what I don’t understand. What do you think happened with the Immaculate Conception?

Gaetz: Look, did you really bring me on to discuss my religious views, Chris? I’m a Christian and I believe the Immaculate Conception was how Jesus was born.

Cuomo: I’m saying you made the analogy, and I don’t understand. The Immaculate Conception is not how Jesus was born.

Gaetz: It was the conception. That’s the nature of the Immaculate Conception.

Cuomo: No, it wasn’t. It was Mary’s conception. It was the mother’s conception without original sin. It was not the conception of Jesus. Facts matter, congressman. If you’re going to make an analogy, at least know what you’re talking about because you’ve got to have a basis for these things. You only know what you show. You’ve got to release that memo. It’s got to have the facts and you better figure out what this ‘secret society’ is before you say there’s a shadow organization within the FBI.

Gaetz: We intend to. We intend to, absolutely. We intend to find out what it is. That’s why the American people have been learning more and more about the intractable bias in this investigation.

Cuomo: They need facts to back it up and when they get them, you know where you’re welcome to come on and make the case. Right here. Appreciate you taking the opportunity.

Gaetz: Thank you.

I can understand someone confusing the Immaculate Conception with the Immaculate Reception. I can understand someone confusing the Hail Mary with the birth of Mary. But there are limits as to how much compassion one should have for the boastfully ignorant. One must presume that Gaetz’s ignorance of the difference between the Virgin Birth and the Immaculate Conception extends to his ignorance of the Constitution and to his lack of critical thinking skills. It is unlikely that he learned anything except to only appear on the Bull Trump channel where he never will be exposed for his ignorance. Stupid is as stupid does.

Devin Nunes, Republican Representative, California

In the entire history of the United States probably no document enjoyed as much hype as the Nunes Nothingburger. From all the pregame hype, one might have thought that he possessed a document that would show that Jesus had been married (an recent hyped forgery also amounting to nothing). The Bull Trump network went into full overdrive touting the pending release of the document that would expose the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the United States. Trump’s Brain was in his glory connecting the dots (Hannity versus Mueller: Who Is the Better Dot Connector?) of the momentous scandal now to be revealed to the American public.

And then Toto tore back the curtain and it turned out to be all smoke and mirrors with no there there. Never has a document landed with such a thud. One moment the President of the United States was singing in his child-like voice about having snagged the guilty ones. After all Trump’s Brain had told him that the Nunes Nothingburger exposed the greatest corruption scandal ever. Not just any old corruption case but the greatest one in American history. According to Trump’s Brain, the Nunes Nothingburger made it inevitable that Rod Rosenstein was on the way out and the days of the Mueller investigation were numbered.

And then on Monday, it was as if the events on Friday had never occurred. Even Republicans mocked the pretension of the alleged smoking gun. No stained blue dress had been found and everything was continuing just as it had been. In fact, the new topic was whether there would be an interview or a cross-examination as part of the Mueller investigation. The big joke was that even the lawyers recognized their client couldn’t tell the truth and shouldn’t be questioned. But nothing stops Nunes or the Bull Trump network. More Nothingburgers are promised and one wonders if the Congressional Republican leadership will ever stop Nunes from exposing himself as a brown-nosed bumpkin … or are they hoping the voters in his district will grow weary of Trump’s stooge and want to replace him? Stupid is as stupid does.


The candidates listed above might cause you to think that the Republican Party, the Bull Trump Network and websites, and, of course, the Donald himself, have a monopoly on being stupid. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The lamestream media including CNN, MSNBC, and their talking head guests continue to analyze our immature child President as if he were adult. They continue discuss adult concepts like separation of powers, oaths to the Constitutions, and truth as if these words have any meaning to him. There is no need to make a federal case out of an immature male child wanting to play with his toys and have a tea party…, I mean a parade. After all, Little Rocket Man gets to play with his toys and ours are bigger. If you are serious about wanting to understand what he is going to do, then ask the people in best position to know: seventh-grade teachers, middle-school guidance counselors, and child psychologists. Stupid is as stupid does.

Regardless of who the winners of the Donald are we know who the loser is: WE THE PEOPLE.