Trump’s recent sit-down with reporters on Air Force One show a candid and off-the-cuff president. Initially “off the record,” Trump’s team released a redacted version of the transcript. . .
Many of Trump’s “authentic” mannerisms are a break from traditional rhetorical styles of the American presidency. One example is the “now you know” technique. Trump takes on a professorial persona and relates common knowledge as if enlightening the audience with special wisdom they would not otherwise have. The tone is insulting for those who are well aware of the world faced by the president, despite Trump having discovered these truths only recently.
For example, days into holding office, Trump declared healthcare was a very complicated subject. “No one knew healthcare could be so complicated.” Of course, many did. Speaking to the Economist, Trump claimed to have coined the widely used phrase, priming the pump. “I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.”
It is when Trump tries to inform that his ignorance is most clearly displayed. The exchange with reporters on Air Force One reveals a great deal about how limited he believes the press pool’s understanding of the world actually is.
“They have an 8,000 year culture. . . . And you know, don’t forget, China, over the many years, has been at war with Korea — you know, wars with Korea.”
[Yes, China has been around for awhile]
“But don’t forget. He’s for China. I’m for the U.S. So that’s always going to be.”
[Yeah, you are presidents of distinct countries.]
“We have a thing called healthcare.”
[likely a joke but indistinguishable from raw stupidity or creeping alzheimer’s]
“Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the southern border.”
[Mexico is South of the US. Lots of sun. Got it.]
“. . . when they throw the large sacks of drugs over. . .”
[I hate it when my drug dealer accidentally throws my sack of drugs at the border patrol agent’s head]
“They have pressures that are tough pressures”
[have an indistinct grasp of concepts much?]
“[The meeting with a Russian lawyer] was attended by a couple of other people who — one of them left after a few minutes — which is Jared. The other one was playing with his iPhone.”
[As if the attempt and failure to work with US adversaries vindicates the crime of working with US adversaries.]
“Q Are you mad that Putin lied about the meeting that you had with him, especially about —
THE PRESIDENT: What meeting?”
[This would make sense if he then asked ‘Who are you? How did you get in here!?]
“I’m a tremendous fracker”
[Yes you are. Yes you are.]
The age of the celebrity president is upon us. Reagan pushed us that way. Jesse Ventura a sign. Schwarzenegger was the writing on the wall. Trump is the breaking of the damn wall. The television presidency is here.
Let’s just hope Dwayne Johnson believes Americans deserve healthcare.