Why Progressives Continue to Deny Trump's Brilliance

President Donald Trump points to cheering supporters as he leaves a campaign rally, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

I don’t know whether Donald Trump is a *good* person–I’ve never met him. I’ve only met people who have met him.

But after watching him for three years in action, along with researching his life extensively, I cannot help but conclude he is brilliant.

Not “smart”–BRILLIANT. I mean Napoleon and Gaius Julius Caesar brilliant, a once-in-a-century strategic mind.

His political maneuvers leave me with my jaw on the floor. As a lifelong strategist, I’m not used to having to play catch-up with a politician’s thinking. But with President Trump, I routinely find myself slapping my forehead: “Oh, THAT’S what he was doing …”


But if you read the legacy media, you find the Paul Krugmans, Robert De Niros, and Alyssa Milanos (you know, the great political minds) denigrating Trump’s intelligence every second word, presenting as self-evident truth Trump’s stupidity.

Why is this? It’s a tough sell on its face. Trump graduated from an Ivy League school when that really meant something; built a multi-billion-dollar real estate and branding empire; then headed up a popular TV show that ran for more than a decade and a half. Oh! And then he pulled off the biggest upset in presidential election history, becoming leader of the free world–such as it is.

If Trump is so dumb, how is he more wealthy, famous, and powerful than all these sneering credential worshippers put together?  That seems like a LOT of success to attribute to dumb luck.

Also, if Paul Krugman is so worried about Trump’s evilness, why doesn’t he just earn a few billion right quick and snatch the presidency from Trump’s bumbling fingers? If Trump can do it, surely someone with a 1,000 IQ like Paul Krugman can do it in his sleep, right?


Something very similar happened to President George W. Bush. The commentariat repeated on-loop that he was a witless rube. Comedians, celebrities, columnists, and later biographical films cast W. as cornpone Texas moron who inherited the presidency from his pops. They delighted in mocking his accent and seizing on every verbal stumble as proof he couldn’t tie his own shoes.

Therefore, it might surprise you to learn that W. is a mental ninja. Keith Hennessey–who worked with W. for six years–described at length in a 2013 article how sharp W. really is. Hennessey writes:

In addition to his analytical speed, what most impressed me were [Bush’s] memory and his substantive breadth. We would sometimes have to brief him on an issue that we had last discussed with him weeks or even months before. He would remember small facts and arguments from the prior briefing and get impatient with us when we were rehashing things we had told him long ago.

I wish *I* could say the same about Paul Krugman. When I read his attempts at political commentary, I’m struck more by his laughably broad generalizations about conservatives and his short memory.

Krugman is the guy who predicted an economic collapse following the election of Donald Trump; yet he expects adults to take him seriously today. He seems to have forgotten his monumental predictive failures, failures that would have made other men question their right to live outside a mental facility.


The insistence on Trump’s stupidity is just the latest example of the reality distortion field the establishment Left have been beaming at the American public for two decades at least.

Interestingly, Trump is the first conservative politician who has set up a reflector and beamed the reality distortion field right back at Democrats. It makes them deliciously angry:

How DARE you establish in the public mind that congressional Democrats are irredeemably corrupt; that mainstream press are incompetent and slanted; or that career wokeness crusaders are race-baiting attention seekers? Only WE get to do that sort of framing for the public! Have you no decency?

In his brilliant way, Donald Trump shows–rather than tells–Democrats’ hypocrisy. He doesn’t assert the contradictions; he demonstrates them in public and lets the people make their own decisions. The cognitive dissonance for the American people is growing untenable.


And no matter what happens, Democrats will never admit they are getting played by a grandmaster. They can’t, because almost no one would believe them.

That’s the cruel irony into which they have backed themselves: they can’t admit to one another how formidable their opponent really is without losing all credibility with their base.

More than ten years after Bush, his myth of stupidity is still holding strong. Mass delusion is incredibly tenacious. “Everybody knows” something that isn’t even close to true.

In Trump’s case, he found a way to make the myths his opponents stuck him with work to his advantage. He did what every general in history dreams of: he turned a liability into a strength.