Dana Milbank: We are a deeply stupid country

Trump sometimes has trouble convincing people of the truth of his position. This is because he is surrounded by idiots.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 16, 2018, after a short helicopter ride from Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump returns following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Washington • My fellow Americans, we are a deeply stupid nation.

I know this must be the case because President Trump has repeatedly informed us that we are a "stupid country" — he offered this opinion on at least nine occasions since he launched his campaign for the presidency — and he should know. As he reminded us after his NATO meeting last week, he is a "very stable genius."

It is furthermore the president's highly intelligent opinion we have been led by "stupid people" and "our laws are so corrupt and stupid." We have been stupid about trade. We have been stupid in dealing with Iraq, Iran, China, Mexico, Canada, Europe and Muslims. We have the "dumbest" immigration laws. Among the many stupid things Trump has identified: White House staffers, the FBI, the National Football League, Democrats, the filibuster and journalists.

"We're so stupid!" Trump said to a group of donors recently. They laughed.

"You feel like sort of stupid, don't you?" Trump asked a rally of supporters recently. "Don't you feel stupid?"

Stoo-pid! Stoo-pid!

But we are at our most imbecilic when dealing with Russia. "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity," he tweeted before meeting Monday in Helsinki with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs retweeted Trump's assessment of his own country's stupidity, tacking on the words "We agree."

In his news conference a few hours later with Putin, Trump again raised the flag of American feeblemindedness. "The United States has been foolish," he said.

How foolish are we?

We brainlessly criticized Russia when it invaded Georgia and Ukraine. We idiotically protested when Russia poisoned people in Britain. Like dunces, we punished Russians for killing human rights activists. Morons that we are, we complained when Russia shot down a passenger jet. And then, revealing ourselves to be truly daft and inane, we blamed Russia for interfering in our election.

Standing at Putin's side Monday, Trump let the world know just how doltish the people are who made this judgment, including the cretins at the CIA and the nitwits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russia," Trump announced. "I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia.

Trump, an aficionado of intelligence, likely sides with Putin because Putin is "very smart" in Trump's estimation (though not a "smart cookie" like Kim Jong Un), while he regards American intelligence as unintelligent. Trump long ago dismissed the CIA as the numskulls "who said Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction."

And the CIA's ignorance is as nothing compared with the ignoramus Robert S. Mueller III and his special counsel investigation ("we have this stupidity going on — pure stupidity," Trump said in Britain), which on Friday indicted 12 Russians in the hack of the Democratic National Committee. The dunces of the DNC "should be ashamed of themselves" for being hacked, Trump said.

Trump sometimes has trouble convincing people of the truth of his position. This is because he is surrounded by idiots.

NATO allies fumed about Trump's threats to abandon the alliance and go his "own way," and his later claim that the European Union is America's "foe." Fools! If they were smarter, they would realize NATO "is much stronger" for Trump's efforts.

The British thought Trump had savaged Prime Minister Theresa May when, in a recorded interview, he said she "wrecked Brexit" and "didn't listen" to his advice. Rubes! "I didn't criticize the prime minister," Trump said.

It appeared, to the dim, there were tens, if not hundreds of thousands, in the streets of Britain, even mocking him with a blimp showing an angry, orange Trump baby. But Trump's genius could discern that "they like me here."

Likewise, many a low-IQ individual cringed at Trump's performance in Helsinki: deferential to the Russian dictator, believing Putin over the U.S. government and boasting (with an incorrect figure) about his electoral college victory. But they are stupid if they can't see Russia did not help Trump win. "We ran a brilliant campaign, and that's why I'm president," Trump said.

If Trump is right — and he is so smart that he must be — then this could mean Americans wanted exactly what they are getting right now: a president who burns alliances, insults allies, sides with Putin over the American government, ignores Russia's abuses and bashes the free press across Europe.

If so, if we Americans really did want this, Trump has proved his point about our intelligence.

As a wise man once said: Stupid is as stupid does.

Dana Milbank | The Washington Post