Trump, IQ, and Social Change

You are probably wondering why there is a picture of Rex Tillerson instead of Trump. Well, not everything has to be about the galoot. Except it sort of is about the shamer-in-chief, but also his Secretary Galoot, Rex. He boasted about having a higher IQ than the embattled diplomat. But Donald did the same thing much earlier in his presidency, bashing Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, calling her “low IQ mika.”

Even Rex’s latchkey children at the State Department have used the concept of IQ to bash their leader. Unfortunately, I can’t find the link to that. Something about State Department employees asserting that Trump might have a higher IQ than Tillerson, considering how the latter chooses to run the institution. Point being that Trump has re-inserted the concept of IQ back into the public consciousness, and not with benevolent intentions (not that intentions matter in the grand scheme of things).

If you look at the patterns there, Trump regularly uses shame to cow his civil servants into submission. Remember how he berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions back in July, referring to him as beleaguered?  Donald Trump uses the whip of shame on his cabinet, and for some reason, chooses to return to the old and reliable “IQ” whenever it suits him. Does he feel insecure about his intelligence? Well, for obvious reasons, yes.

I guess I’m curious if this will concept will make it into semi-regular political discourse. It’s a favored idea among conservative thinkers, or conservatives that aren’t really thinkers but subconsciously refer to pop culture psychology when they wish to construct a very convenient, in-the-moment, soon-to-be-forgotten hierarchy of some kind. Will Roy Moore conjure up an astronomically high IQ score to support his incredibly hard-right religious views, or to somehow excuse his very extensive ethical failings? Probably irrelevant at this point, for this particular politician since he doesn’t seem to need it (we’ll find out soon).

Finally, even if it swirls about the political domain, that doesn’t mean it will stay confined there. Trump has already amplified an aggressive culture. IQ might just become invigorated as an extreme right concept, used vaguely and illogically to justify all sorts of heinous crap. Or those two letters might just die with Trump. I doubt it though.



13 Replies to “Trump, IQ, and Social Change”

  1. IMO and via the energetic reading I get from Trump, he is a very wounded and insecure man. His vocabulary is very limited and even a college professor of his labeled him the worst student he ever taught. It is common for insecure people to use shame, projection, bullying etc. to attempt to deflect from their own failings. How’s that for pop psychology 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s definitely very common. But when Trump engages in that kind of rhetoric, the consequences can, and have been, profound (for him and practically everyone else aside from his base).

      How does pop psychology say you should deal with a bully?

      “Ignore him, and he’ll go away.”

      Doesn’t seem likely.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. No, not ignore him. That isn’t what a psychologist would say. As you point out, bullying is very serious and dangerous, which is why most school systems now have programs to address this. And yes, it is dangerous to have a bullying, lying, abusuve, sexual predator as president, legitimizing those behaviours. I pointed out how wounded and insecure he is because so many people defend his behaviour as a sign of how successful and powerful he is, when it is just the opposite.


  3. Merry Christmas to you! I read a great article yesterday, sent out by Credo, about how Trump and the GOP’S behaviour and methods are creating new “norms”….very dangerous norms. The GOP has pulled out all stops to slam through all the deregulations, horrid legislation, on and on, to prosper their wealthy donors, using political tricks to an extreme, as they know if they allowed democracy to work, they’d accomplish nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the GOP has an overwhelmingly anti-democratic history, just look at Bush and Nixon. You’re right, the GOP is cramming through legislation, judges, etc, deregulations, labeling a hard-right, pro-corporate atmosphere as “competitive.”

      The scary thought is, it’s not necessarily a certainty that the Republicans will lose the Senate in the midterms, the way the voting maps are laid out. It’s not impossible for democrats to win a majority, but it would take a tsunami of anti-Trump sentiment for that to happen. We’re getting there, but not close enough just yet.

      Heh, I guess you could say that Trump and the GOP are a “gag gift.”

      Liked by 1 person

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