The Bad Student
The Bad Student
The confused messaging from Washington regarding the United States attacking Iranian cultural sites is nothing new to this administration. My Grandfather always used to say, “The fish stinks from the head” and that couldn’t be more true regarding our Executive branch in 2020. What struck me most as I watched and listened to the news the last few days --- with Trump callously saying he would attack Iranian cultural sites and his Secretary of Defense & Secretary of State tripping on their own dicks as they tried to backpedal --- was just how much Trump exemplifies all the characteristics of “the bad student.” For those of us who spent years in classrooms Trump is an archetypal figure regarding a certain type of student. It is no wonder he will not release his high school or college transcripts (we won’t even discuss tax returns). As with not letting members of his administration testify in the impeachment hearing, Trump’s resistance to revealing his academic record speaks volumes! Just as not letting people testify to Congress screeches “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” his not allowing the educational institutions he attended release his transcripts screams “Deficient! Deficient! Deficient!”
It doesn’t take a professional educator’s eye to see how much Trump struggles reading a teleprompter or to observe how his vocabulary falls into the 5th/6th grade range. I have no doubt that Trump has some serious learning disabilities that have been denied and gone undiagnosed throughout his life. Because his father was able to buy Donald’s education while encouraging his misogynistic bullying personality, we have to live with the result. Returning to our thesis: Donald J. Trump is the personification of the spoiled (and bullying) rich kid who exhibits all the traits of what teachers identify in classic “bad students.” If you go to the website Thought.com you can find the “Qualities of Top Students.” Five items they identify are: hard working; good at problem-solving; unafraid to ask questions; motivated to learn; supported by parents/guardians. It doesn’t take much to measure Trump’s abilities in relation to each of those characteristics. His hours on (his) golf courses speaks to “hard working,” while his ignorance in most affairs reflects his inferior “problem-solving” skills. He is not only incapable (afraid?) of asking question (for fear of looking stupid, which he is) but also fearful of having probing questions asked of him. He is, clearly, NOT “motivated to learn” (no reading, no morning briefings on policy). Finally, even the briefest look at Trump’s biography shows that his relationship with his Dad was transactional and based on money --- certainly not supportive in any nurturing way.
The Odyssey Online website (www.theodysseyonline.com) discusses what it takes to be “College Ready.” A student must: 1) be good at time management; 2) demonstrate determination; 3) be focused; 4) be able to organize one’s priorities; 5) demonstrate flexibility; 6) have a clear ability to communicate; and, 7) demonstrate a commitment to serious engagement. As we review Trump’s record for the past three years we can see that he has NO time management skills (and, in fact, seems to be incredibly lazy! ). His “determination” is only self-serving and fiduciary. He totally lacks focus and has only one priority: himself. Trump is clearly inflexible and totally unable to communicate clearly (because he lies every moment he takes a breath!). He also has NO commitment to serious engagement in anything beyond serving his personal interests.
When you combine severe learning disabilities with malignant narcissism you get Donald J. Trump – the Classic Bad Student. He doesn’t care when class starts (his world revolves around himself!), he clearly does not do his homework, he does not care to ask questions, he only wants to entertain those people who are his “friends,” he has no respect for institutions (education, government, etc.). He is the classic bad student and many of those who are his most vigorous supporters were also bad students. THEY are his “true believers” (more on that in a future BLAST) and, sadly, their numbers are legion. For that, as a lifelong educator, I apologize. That so many have so little education, are incapable of reflective, metacognitive thought, lack genuine curiosity, or feel such self-loathing explains their desire to identify with the Trump tribe. As with climate change deniers, as with hypocritical “Christians,” as with “Republicans” who have abandoned the rule of law and their own principles, Trump is grossly ignorant, uncurious, unreflective, barely literate and, in a word, a simpleton. Yet he is our President. He managed to con enough people (many of whom are equally ignorant, uncurious, unreflective, sub-literate, and simple) to squeak out an Electoral (and not Popular) victory in 2016. That he might get re-elected is a frightening prospect. He is not “Keeping America Great” and did not “Make America Great Again.” He is leading our nation down a path toward ignorant authoritarianism and has radically divided the populous of the United States. We live in historic times --- but not what many of us would consider “good” history.
1/8/2020 11:04:28 am
Bil ~ Another spot on article this morning. Having the “bad student” in charge of our country is dangerous. Knowing the “Republican” lemmings are complicit and his rubber stampers is even more alarming. They’ve created The Monster.
1/8/2020 02:13:02 pm
You eloquently stated what many already knew and added several new dimensions to my thoughts. The term “simpleton” is one I have been searching for for months. I have completely exhausted my quota of “Idiot,” “asshole,” and “dipshit” and needed a new color for my palette of critical descriptors. Thanks Bil!
1/8/2020 03:50:43 pm
As always, you characterize the ineptness of this man with "good words" that explains who he is. What is left to be truly dissected is how the current Republican congress can go along with him. Can it be only to keep their jobs? Then, what is the word for that level of baseness?
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