When he appeared on Leonard Lopate’s talk show on New York public radio a couple of weeks ago, McCullough noted that in Donald Trump we had “put someone in the pilot seat who has never ever flown a plane before; who doesn’t understand how our government works, who has no interest in the history of the country and has said so on more than one occasion, who has never read a book about the presidency or a biography of a president and claims… that he doesn’t need to read books because he knows so much intuitively.”
And yet when Trump declares that health care reform or pretty much anything else — in fact the entire job of being president — is much more complicated than he imagined it would be, it’s precisely because he has no knowledge of history, the kind of knowledge that might at least from time to time buffer for him the shock of reality by offering the golden gift of precedence.
History, McCullough writes, is “an aid to navigation in such troubled uncertain times.
“… All problems have histories and the wisest route to a successful solution to nearly any problem begins with understanding its history. Indeed, almost any attempt to solve a problem without an understanding of its history is to court failure — an example our tragic plunge into Vietnam with hardly a notion of its past.”
Or our plunge into Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Iran. Or North Korea — especially when the sum total of Trump’s knowledge of that country’s fraught history seems to have been a 10-minute tutorial from the president of China.
Awhile back there was a popular song by the late Sam Cooke with the lyrics "don't know much about history, don't know much biology, don't know much about a science book, don't know much about the French I took, don't know much about geography, don't know much trigonometry, don't know much about algebra, don't know what a slide rule is for..."
In the song, Sam was bragging about his lack of knowledge and that is perhaps ok for a teenager declaring his love to the object of his affections.
For the leader of a powerful nation to brag about being ignorant is tragic, and yet, here we are with a president who doesn't know much about anything other than how to stroke his own ego.
And, to bolster his ego, he seems bent on appointing people to important positions who are the intellectual anthesis of post to which they are appointed... no specific examples are needed, simply refer to any and all of his appointments.
As pointed out by Michael Winship in his article for Common Dreams, "Donald Trump thinks his intuition is better than knowledge of the past. That's dangerous for him and all the rest of us."
Going beyond the president, the entire congress "don't know much about a science book". While 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming has been caused by human activities, 70 percent of Republicans in the Senate and 53 percent of Republicans in the House express doubts about human-caused global warming. Republican leader Mitch McConnell says that he doesn’t know whether or not climate change is a real problem because he’s not a scientist... and apparently, "don't know much about a science book".
Trump appoints Betsy DeVos, a dedicated destroyer of public education to run our education system. Also, Trump's budget cuts the Education Department's $68 billion budget by $9 billion, or 13 percent. We can conclude, don't know much and don't want to know much... and that's the truth !!!
of Various Subjects