Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Donald: Lost in the Details

The Donald, Short on Specifics

One of the most embarrassing moments I had as a third year medical student was  on the Neurology rotation when they sent in to see a delightful 69 year old man whose wife had brought him in and deposited him on the Neurology ward saying he was demented, would lose his shoes and blame her for hiding them, could no longer drive to the store, etc.

He was a charming man, full of the blarney, funny, a great story teller and when the Chief Resident asked for my evaluation I told her he was as sharp as you or me; his wife must be just trying to get rid of him.

The Chief Res, a wispy young woman, took me to his bedside and asked him about his vacation, which he had returned from a week ago.
"Oh, it was just beautiful.  Really, just so nice. Even at my age, you can enjoy a holiday.

"Oh?" she asked. "Where did you go?" 
"The most beautiful place. Sun off the water. Sunsets like you see in postcards."
"Oh? A lake? The ocean?"
"The water was just so gorgeous, turned all pink in the glow."
As she persisted, it was clear he had no idea whether it was the lake or the beach, or what the names of his children were or how many days they had spent or who had come along. When she drilled down to the details, you could see his answers were devoid of specific content, and were all carefully designed to include no details others could deny or correct.

I had the same feeling this morning  as I listened to some CNN journalist/bimbo interview Donald Trump. This lady was clearly selected for her looks, not her journalistic talent and I found myself  screaming at the television: Ask him for specifics!!!

She asked about Trump's assertion, made at a rally in South Carolina, that President Obama is "Thinking about signing an executive order to come and take away your guns." 

How did Mr. Trump know what Mr. Obama was thinking? Had he talked to Mr. Obama? Had he heard this from a reliable source, like Mr. Obaman's press secretary?

"Well, people are saying it," Mr. Trump said. "It's in the newspapers. People have told me." Which newspaers? What articles in what newspapers? What specific person is saying Mr. Obama is contemplating taking away your guns?  Names, dates, places please. The bimbo asked for none of this. She was cute, though. Just not very smart.

This is such an eerie echo of Michele Bachmann's source of information, about the woman in the parking lot who told her a friend's daughter got autism from a tetanus vaccine.

Is it not curious Mr. Trump would know what Mr. Obama is thinking about when that thought is the very thing so many of Mr. Trumps supporters have always suspected: They are coming to get my guns!  Those black helicopters. They want to disarm me!

Of course, if you believe Ben Carson, they want to disarm you because they know if the Jews in Nazi Germany had shot guns, deer rifles, Glocks or even attack rifles, they could never have been rounded up and carted off to concentration camps.  As Dr. Carson must know, when Jews actually got their hands on some guns in the Warsaw Ghetto, they were able to resist--for a week or two--until the SS rolled up a few howitzers and blasted the Jews right into oblivion. These Jews with guns, it must be admitted, did not die in concentration camps. They were splattered over the rubble in the ghetto. So they died happy and proud.

But back to Mr. Trump.

"I'm for the Second Amendment," Mr. Trump informed us. "I don't know how the President thinks he can get away with this." Well, Maybe Mr. Trump does know, as he suggested--Mr. Obama thought he could get away with signing an executive order allowing for a flood of immigrant rapists to cross the Rio Grande, so it's just one in a long line of Mr. Obama's plans for ruin for this country. What specific executive order is Mr. Trump talking about?

In fact, the longer I listened to Mr. Trump the more he reminded me of that guy on the Neurology ward, all generalities, all determinedly non specific, no hard details, nothing that could be checked. Someone told me, don't ask who.  I've heard it.  It's in the newspapers. You could look it up. It's just so amazing. We will win so much, you'll get bored with winning. 

He resonates with the 49% of the Republican party which does not ask for details because, well, truly, they are pretty vague on details themselves.

Mr. Trump did talk  about one specific case,  a case of  a 69 year old woman (un-named), a veteran who was raped and murdered by an illegal alien, in San Francisco. Well, there's a set of details. You could look it up. But is this a specific case from which we are safe to extrapolate?  If you can find a case of say, a white policeman murdering an innocent black man, should we conclude we should fire all the white policemen?   When he does use a specific story, he leaps from the specific to the general conclusion in a way which defines prejudice. All those immigrants flooding across the border, raping and murdering. We ought to build a wall. Round 'em all up. "I was attacked for saying this; now everyone is agreeing with me."

Really? Who is agreeing?

As Chris Cumo pointed out, after the Donald had signed off,  the vast majority of illegal immigrants in this country have come in legally, and overstayed Visas.  I would have liked to hear at least some numbers, any numbers, even bogus numbers about that. but more, I would have liked to hear him ask Mr. Trump about that. But three CNN anchors sat there with flustered smiles, never pressing him for specifics. The "Morning Express" is too express to stop and ask the important question. No local stops. Might slow us down. 

Thus does our free but commercial press fail us.  Maybe the news organizations should try hiring people for their brains rather than their looks.


  1. Mad Dog,
    Candidate Trump has the rather amazing ability to babble on endlessly and yet say absolutely nothing. Well nothing of any substance, nothing in the way of policy, nothing in the way of details, just a steady stream of hot air emanating from that vast and perpetually open mouth. One would think the media would do a better job at trying to pin him down more, but they apparently are still engaged in the on going-and silly-struggle to appear "fair and balanced"..

    I agree the far more troubling fact is that the majority of Republicans believe Mr. Trump's vacuous babbling is an indication that he is qualified to be Commander in Chief. Must be they find his message and delivery easy on the brain-not at all mentally taxing-concepts so simple an eight year old, or one's hamster, could understand.."Build wall".."Immigrants out".."Obama bad ".."Me smart"...uh,huh..

    PS-Is it just me or does Candidate Trump appear to have been sired by a pumpkin?

  2. Maud,

    Oh, my. It is almost worth seeing Trump run to see Maud in high dudgeon.
    "Vast and perpetually open mouth."
    "Vacuous babbling."
    Concepts so simply one's hamster could understand."
    "Sired by a pumpkin."

    Well, Ms. Maud, let me assure you, if Mr. Trump is not elected and Hillary Clinton is the new President, you will change your tune with they come to get your guns. You heard it here first.

    Mad Dog